Author Topic: Competition Ethics  (Read 3078 times)

Offline stlaleman

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Competition Ethics
« on: December 28, 2010, 03:04:48 PM »
I made a melomel with 7 kinds of fruit, two of them dominate, a few are subtle, a couple very faint. The guidelines say one should enter with all fruits listed, would you enter it that way. I can see the scoresheet, "could barely taste fruit 6" minus 10 points on flavor. What would you do?

Offline EHall

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 03:22:01 PM »
Put everything down that you used.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 03:24:54 PM »
Just as in cooking, not everything that is used can be tasted, even though it is part of the result. Doesn't a judge know this?
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 03:27:15 PM »
Only list those ingredients that are apparent to the senses.  It doesn't matter what went into it as much as what they are going to be judging it as.  
There is no rule that I know of that says you have to list everything you put into a batch.
It will be judged, as you say, with respect to what the judges taste and smell, so only list those things that are apparent.  
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Offline EHall

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 03:39:26 PM »
He asked about ethics... not what can/can't be tasted... all those judges taste things differntly... and some flavors build up/die off with age... put everything down you used.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 03:51:18 PM »
I would call it a multi-fruit melomel predominately fruit x and y with a variety of other (un-named) fruits adding a very subtle complexity
or something like that.

They are looking to stop you from entering a "fruit melomel" where you are not specifying any fruit.

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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



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Offline lonnie mac

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 04:04:02 PM »
Funny, I made a Mel several years ago. Took a 1st in a rather large comp. I used a few fruits, but in the end not a single sole could point to what I used. (Hardly even me included)

I entered it as "Merry Berry" and listed one of the main fruits I used, blueberry. Overall as judges, if it is a damn good Mel, it will win.

Offline punatic

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2010, 04:15:24 PM »
I think it depends on your motive for entering the competition.  If you are looking for feedback and brewing/meadmaking advise put down all of the ingredients.  If you are looking to win an award put down whatever it is you think the judges will want to hear, so they will be inclined to score higher.

After years of entering, judging and organizing homebrew competitions, I have come to have low regard for them.  Consistancy is nearly nonexistant, and it's pretty much all about egos.  I have a box full of awards and judge pins that do nothing but collect dust.  I look at them and think,"What was that all about?"

The biggest reward for me is when someone holds out their empty glass and says, "That was delicious!  May I have some more please?"
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Offline Mikey

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2010, 05:02:53 PM »
Just drink it and enjoy it. Why do you need someone else telling you it's good or bad?

Offline lonnie mac

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2010, 05:03:36 PM »
I think it depends on your motive for entering the competition.  If you are looking for feedback and brewing/meadmaking advise put down all of the ingredients.  If you are looking to win an award put down whatever it is you think the judges will want to hear, so they will be inclined to score higher.

After years of entering, judging and organizing homebrew competitions, I have come to have low regard for them.  Consistancy is nearly nonexistant, and it's pretty much all about egos.  I have a box full of awards and judge pins that do nothing but collect dust.  I look at them and think,"What was that all about?"

The biggest reward for me is when someone holds out their empty glass and says, "That was delicious!  May I have some more please?"

Honestly my friend, if your logic is true and it's all about egos, then neither reason of entering you mention would make a bit of difference. Over my years of entering, judging and organizing homebrew competitions, I have found pretty much an honest group of people that simply want's the best beer on the table to win. As it is subjectable, of course there are inconsistencies between comps, but I have never seen two different comps with the exact beers entered too...
I want the best beer (that is reasonably within guidelines) on the table to win, which makes your last point exactly right. :)

Offline stlaleman

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 05:14:33 PM »
Only list those ingredients that are apparent to the senses.  It doesn't matter what went into it as much as what they are going to be judging it as.  
There is no rule that I know of that says you have to list everything you put into a batch.
It will be judged, as you say, with respect to what the judges taste and smell, so only list those things that are apparent.  

The guidelines clearly state to list all fruit used. So there is a rule. There have been many ethics questions lately at comps I have been involved in. Situation.....a Russian Imperial Stout is entered, the brewer states that he added coffee and chocolate to his brew. How do you judge this? Is it misentered, should be a cat 23 or fruit veggie, or spice beer (not sure where coffee and chocolate fit in)? Or since the guidelines call for those flavors (even tho they blame the darker malts for contributing) judge it as is ignoring the non-conventional ingrediants?

Offline Mikey

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 05:32:04 PM »
I think it depends on your motive for entering the competition.  If you are looking for feedback and brewing/meadmaking advise put down all of the ingredients.  If you are looking to win an award put down whatever it is you think the judges will want to hear, so they will be inclined to score higher.

After years of entering, judging and organizing homebrew competitions, I have come to have low regard for them.  Consistancy is nearly nonexistant, and it's pretty much all about egos.  I have a box full of awards and judge pins that do nothing but collect dust.  I look at them and think,"What was that all about?"

The biggest reward for me is when someone holds out their empty glass and says, "That was delicious!  May I have some more please?"

Your friends may not tell you that they like/dislike something, because they don't want to hurt your feelings, but watch how many times they go back to the tap. Now that's a TRUE reward.

I offered a pseudo lager as one of the beers I tapped over the holidays. I had a distant relative tell me it was the best beer they had ever had. From the many times he said it and the many trips he went back to the tap, It wasn't just about getting drunk, because he brought some Jack with him. I knew he was being honest. That's worth a 1000 cheap a$$ ribbons, IMO.

Offline lonnie mac

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 06:10:48 PM »
I think it depends on your motive for entering the competition.  If you are looking for feedback and brewing/meadmaking advise put down all of the ingredients.  If you are looking to win an award put down whatever it is you think the judges will want to hear, so they will be inclined to score higher.

After years of entering, judging and organizing homebrew competitions, I have come to have low regard for them.  Consistancy is nearly nonexistant, and it's pretty much all about egos.  I have a box full of awards and judge pins that do nothing but collect dust.  I look at them and think,"What was that all about?"

The biggest reward for me is when someone holds out their empty glass and says, "That was delicious!  May I have some more please?"

Your friends may not tell you that they like/dislike something, because they don't want to hurt your feelings, but watch how many times they go back to the tap. Now that's a TRUE reward.

I offered a pseudo lager as one of the beers I tapped over the holidays. I had a distant relative tell me it was the best beer they had ever had. From the many times he said it and the many trips he went back to the tap, It wasn't just about getting drunk, because he brought some Jack with him. I knew he was being honest. That's worth a 1000 cheap a$$ ribbons, IMO.

Understood that you don't care about comps. Some do, and that is the premise of the OP wanting to enter a comp. I have seen judges do the same exact thing as you are describing hitting a tap over and over because it's simply a great beer. And it wasn't mine sitting in the tap right next to it... Or sometimes it is. That's how the game is played when you want to play it. :)

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 06:26:00 PM »
I'd say put down all the fruits used...with the understanding that, as some have already said, some judges will be critical because they fail to "taste or smell" so and so fruit...but some judges will give you useful feedback.
I enjoy competitions, both as a judge and entrant. They can be a lot of fun if you actually attend the event. But I know not to expect perfect judging skills...as you often have judges who are still learning the skill, just as you have homebrewers entering who are working on their skills. But judges have no chance to improve unless there are beers entered to judge...and those beers have factual information about their ingredients or processes (only where required, of course).

If you manage a ribbon, that's nice, it doesn't hurt anything....as said already, with time it may fade in importance. But if you do get a scoresheet from a truly qualified judge, then you may find you're getting some very useful feedback. But there are no guaranties.

And +1,000,000 to what punatic and Mikey said: seeing someone really and truly enjoy YOUR homebrew is a huge reward. I value that more than ribbons...but that is a personal choice, just as anyone else can choose to persue ribbons for the fun of it.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 06:36:10 PM by kerneldustjacket »
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Offline markaberrant

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Re: Competition Ethics
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2010, 07:27:31 PM »
If you are entering comps "for the ribbons" then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.