Author Topic: First Competition- Category selection  (Read 562 times)

Offline berry_pride

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First Competition- Category selection
« on: January 22, 2018, 12:43:16 AM »
Hey there! I am going to attempt my first home-brew competition this month and I have some questions about category selection. I have several meads and a few beers I would like to enter into the competition. Below Ill list the characteristics of the beers and meads I have along with what category I THINK they belong. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Molasses Mead- This was a mead I made that I substituted molasses for some of the honey. I also added vanilla bean and oak cubes during the secondary. M4C Experimental Mead Category???

Maple Mead- For this mead I substituted some of the honey for maple and then added vanilla bean in a secondary. M4C Experimental Mead Category???

Orange Ginger Mead- This is a very dry mead that ginger and orange peel was added to. M3A Fruit and Spice Mead????

Peach Vanilla- Semi sweet mead that had peach and vanilla added during a secondary. M3A Fruit and Spice Mead???

NE IPA- An IPA made in the NE style. Almost zero bitterness and hazy. No hops during the boil but heavy addition during whirlpool, fermentation and secondary. London Ale III Yeast. 21B Specialty IPA???

Pear Pale Ale- Typical Pale Ale with Pilgrim, Bitter Gold and Galena hops used during the boil. Nottingham Ale Yeast. Fresh Pears and Dry hopping during the secondary. 18B American Pale Ale?? Although it does use some New World hops....

As I said before, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

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Offline jjpeanasky

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 05:00:46 PM »
I can't comment on the meads, but unless the pear flavor is nearly zero in the pale ale, I think it belongs in the specialty/fruit category with pale ale as the base style. If there's not much pear flavor, you could throw it in the standard pale ale cstegory and hope nobody notices, but I dont know how valuable that feedback would be.

- Josh P


Offline berry_pride

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 11:40:23 PM »
Actually that helps! That’s where I had some confusion was when I would modify a base style. So with that being said, if I were to add fruit to an IPA would it then be entered into the specialty IPA category or the fruit category?
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Offline hopsindahood

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »
I know this doesn't help your problem now, but some food for thought going forward.

When I make competition beers, I start with the plan to make a competition beer. That way I start from the very beginning to hit a particular style. Once the beer is ready, if I feel it has no chance of doing well, I tweak the recipe and make it again. I have made random beers and tried to figure out what style they fit in to and have never had much success. I expected the feedback would still be helpful, but that has not been my experience.  The feedback is mostly around how the beer fits in to the style you state it is, rather than how good a beer it is.

When I make a random beer without regard to style, I just enjoy them for what they are. If it's a good beer, then I will tweak the recipe to get it to fit a particular style for competition. I usually at least develop a recipe to fit loosely in to some style, though. At least the ABV and IBU, I try to keep to a similar style.

Offline udubdawg

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 02:22:06 PM »

Molasses Mead- This was a mead I made that I substituted molasses for some of the honey. I also added vanilla bean and oak cubes during the secondary. M4C Experimental Mead Category???  Yes

Maple Mead- For this mead I substituted some of the honey for maple and then added vanilla bean in a secondary. M4C Experimental Mead Category???  Yes

Orange Ginger Mead- This is a very dry mead that ginger and orange peel was added to. M3A Fruit and Spice Mead????  Orange peel is treated as a spice, not Fruit, so you're in Spice, Herb, Vegetable, M3B

Peach Vanilla- Semi sweet mead that had peach and vanilla added during a secondary. M3A Fruit and Spice Mead???   Yes

Offline dsmitch19

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 08:31:28 PM »
Actually that helps! That’s where I had some confusion was when I would modify a base style. So with that being said, if I were to add fruit to an IPA would it then be entered into the specialty IPA category or the fruit category?

Fruit. If you add special ingredients that are not typical in a style, you'll need to enter the beer in the appropriate specialty beer category. It's also a good idea to read the style guideline for what you are entering to make sure your beer is in the right place.

Here's a recent article about entering Specialty IPAs (and IPAs with added ingredients):

http://dev.bjcp.org/newsletter/specialty-ipa-clarifications-and-qa/
Cheers!
Dennis Mitchell
Grand Master Judge + Mead Judge
BJCP Communications Director
AHA Governing Committee

Offline Wilbur

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 10:05:54 PM »
Actually that helps! That’s where I had some confusion was when I would modify a base style. So with that being said, if I were to add fruit to an IPA would it then be entered into the specialty IPA category or the fruit category?

Fruit. If you add special ingredients that are not typical in a style, you'll need to enter the beer in the appropriate specialty beer category. It's also a good idea to read the style guideline for what you are entering to make sure your beer is in the right place.

Here's a recent article about entering Specialty IPAs (and IPAs with added ingredients):

http://dev.bjcp.org/newsletter/specialty-ipa-clarifications-and-qa/

This is fantastic, and clears up many questions I've had. Thanks!

Offline trubgerg

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 04:32:55 AM »
I beat myself up about which category to enter my beers in every competition I enter.  I read the BJCP guidelines, and read them again, and re-read them, etc. 

But I think it's important to follow your instincts, and if you think your beer fits a category then you should enter it there.  I have had feedback from judges on scoresheets that suggest a category that my entered beer would have gotten a higher score... and that's the most valuable feedback I have had. 
~Homebrewer Since 2010~
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 03:25:40 PM »
If you just want feedback it matters a little less.

If you want medals, make sure it has no off flavors, then enter it in the category that best describes your beer (not your recipe)

You might brew a pils but if it tastes like an IPA, enter it IPA

Offline Robert

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 05:31:02 PM »
If you just want feedback it matters a little less.

If you want medals, make sure it has no off flavors, then enter it in the category that best describes your beer (not your recipe)

You might brew a pils but if it tastes like an IPA, enter it IPA

[Jim, if your Pils tastes like an IPA is your lager yeast really an ale yeast....? ;)]  Back to topic...
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline joeinma

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Re: First Competition- Category selection
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 07:57:38 PM »
The New England IPA should go in 21B, Specialty IPA.