Author Topic: Shotgunning a Competition?  (Read 2377 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Shotgunning a Competition?
« on: January 20, 2011, 09:18:48 AM »
I'm a complete newb at comps, and I heard this term "shotgunning" ahwile back.  I gathered at the time it described someone who had multiple entries in a comp, and that it was frowned upon to some extent.

My question is, what is proper etiquette regarding number of entries for a beer comp?  Or is it really no big deal?  Any other constraints, like not entering more than one of a particular style?

I was going to enter two beers in an upcoming contest, but I have probably four or five that might be worthy (still evaluating, thats tough work).
Lennie
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 09:22:14 AM »
I don't think anyone's ever gonna accuse you of "shotgunning" with just four or five entries so I wouldn't worry about it.  As for more than one entry in a category, each comp usually has specific rules listed for that.  Some allow it, some dont'.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 09:32:29 AM »
"Shotgunning" will do you no good if you don't make good beers in all the styles.
Enter the beers in competition as you brew them for feedback.
"Shotgunning" is usually done to achieve higher awards.

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Online jeffy

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 09:39:26 AM »
I think the term "shotgunning" refers to entering the same beer in multiple categories.  Some beers are good enough to win across a couple of styles either because they are so good or because the judges aren't so trained that they can differentiate between two close styles.
Some people just like to win medals or ribbons while others like to get feedback.  
There is always somebody who enters a metric ton of entries.  I'm not sure how they can afford either the entry fees or the loss of beer.  I try to "support" all the local competitions in the state (we have a Circuit with 7 competitions) with several entries in each, but I try hard not to waste the money or the beer.
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Online blatz

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 09:41:23 AM »
shotgunning is generally used by people who are looking to win the competition circuit.  for instance, in my state, we have 6-8 competitions from which you get points for each medal, BOS, etc.  and at the end of a competition season, there is an award for Brewer of the Year for the state, as determined by the points.  There are people here who enter 30+ entries to a competition, That's $180 in entry fees alone!!

I could care less about that kind of stuff, so I don't bother entering more than a handful of whatever is on hand at the time, but a lot of guys here get into it.  I tend to look at my percentage of awarded entries as a better barometer of whether I'm doing a good job or not.

In fact, I think that would be a better way of judging for BOTY, your 'hit' rate with some weighting toward 1st, 2nd or 3rd, BOS etc., with a minimum number of entries to qualify, rather than just an absolute point total.  It would reduce shotgunning
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Offline ipaguy

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 09:47:16 AM »
I agree that you shouldn't bother entering anything that you don't consider a least 'good'.  On the other hand, you shouldn't limit yourself to entering what you consider perfect.  I see the main value of competitions not to be winning awards, but getting feedback on how to brew better beer.  If you have what you consider a great beer, don't be afraid to enter it in more than one category if you think that is appropriate.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 10:31:54 AM »
Guess I didn't have much of a handle on what the term actually meant.

This would definitely not be to garner medals, I'm just new to it and as usual I tend to go overboard.  I'm most interested in seeing judging sheets.  Maybe I'll just stick with two or three.
Lennie
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Offline johnf

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 10:36:30 AM »

In fact, I think that would be a better way of judging for BOTY, your 'hit' rate with some weighting toward 1st, 2nd or 3rd, BOS etc., with a minimum number of entries to qualify, rather than just an absolute point total.  It would reduce shotgunning

Midwest Homebrewer of the Year does that. You get points for your highest place in a category (not subcategory) and then your points get multiplied by your win rate (medals/total entries) with some minimum requirements to win.

My wife and I won High Plains (or officially will next month) Brewer of the Year for 2010. We entered 15 in one competition (all different beers) but probably averaged 8. 30 seems like a lot, I would only go that high for Nationals (and I only had 8 there last year, but we started competing last January, shooting for 25 this year). That said at the end of the day if the competition doesn't limit or penalize (some increase the fee for more entries) entries then I have nothing against someone entering a ton whether they want the feedback, the hardware or the groupies. I do like the idea of a winning percentage factor in circuits though. I would be very proud to win MHotY both because of the quality of competition and the fact that you can't win it with a low win rate by simply entering more than other people are willing to.

Offline bonjour

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 10:41:08 AM »
If you have beers that you want feedback on, do not hesitate to enter them.
What category to enter them as, enter them in the style they taste like, NOT the style that you brewed.
Another way to get feedback is to ask club members.  Be sure to ask them for a critical analysis, so they don't just say things to please you, and ask, ahead of time, what you can do to improve the beer.

I can give much better feedback this way because I can see what your grain bill, and process was.

Fred Bonjour
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Offline rbclay

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 07:59:16 PM »
Quote
enter them in the style they taste like, NOT the style that you brewed.
This is where being a member of a local club can really help. I brewed for a number of years before I entered any comps. I also joined a club at about the same time. One of the first things they helped with was how to enter my beers in the "proper" category. I should say, the category that beer would do best in. If this intrigues you at all and you become interested in the process I highly recommend getting involved in helping out at competitions. They usually put out a call for judges and stewards. It takes a lot of people to pull off a competition. You will learn a lot.
Quote
Another way to get feedback is to ask club members.  Be sure to ask them for a critical analysis, so they don't just say things to please you
And have your recipes at hand when asking for advice. I joined a local club that has a reputation  ;D for giving "critical" feedback. This club is not so interested in giving pats on the back and saying keep up the good work! We like to make eachother better brewers. I like it because it has made me a better brewer. And because I am from the East Coast. This club is definitely "east coast", even though we are in Minnesota...
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Online MDixon

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 08:07:15 PM »
It was stated by someone else, but shotgunning is generally sending as many beers as you can to garner as many awards as you can. Often it is what many feel is required to win in a particular "circuit". If your categories are well chosen (meaning ones without too many entries), then one can generally grab ribbons in the lesser contested areas.

We are one of the competitions who penalize those who decide to shotgun by raising entry fees as the number of entries from an individual increases. It is not a popular stance, but is effective...
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 04:56:03 AM »
It was stated by someone else, but shotgunning is generally sending as many beers as you can to garner as many awards as you can. Often it is what many feel is required to win in a particular "circuit". If your categories are well chosen (meaning ones without too many entries), then one can generally grab ribbons in the lesser contested areas.

We are one of the competitions who penalize those who decide to shotgun by raising entry fees as the number of entries from an individual increases. It is not a popular stance, but is effective...

At what number of entries do the fees go up in your system?
Lennie
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Online MDixon

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 05:13:47 AM »
5 or 6...and it goes up dramatically...we haven't fully decided our pricing this year, but are leaning toward 1-6 = $5, 7-10 = $8, 11 and up =$12 (I wanted to take it to $15 above 6)
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 06:16:43 AM »
5 or 6...and it goes up dramatically...we haven't fully decided our pricing this year, but are leaning toward 1-6 = $5, 7-10 = $8, 11 and up =$12 (I wanted to take it to $15 above 6)
I don't follow the logic here. For my home club, our yearly competition is a major fund raiser, anything we did to limit entries would be detrimental to the club. Why do you penalize folks who want to enter multiple entries?

Online blatz

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Re: Shotgunning a Competition?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 07:18:03 AM »
5 or 6...and it goes up dramatically...we haven't fully decided our pricing this year, but are leaning toward 1-6 = $5, 7-10 = $8, 11 and up =$12 (I wanted to take it to $15 above 6)
I don't follow the logic here. For my home club, our yearly competition is a major fund raiser, anything we did to limit entries would be detrimental to the club. Why do you penalize folks who want to enter multiple entries?

how many entries does your club get?  we often get over 350, Orlando and Tampa are usually in the 5-600 range.  that's a LOT of beer for us to judge.  and its not penalizing entering multiple entries - 5 or 6 is fine, its penalizing flooding or shotgunning by people who are gaming the system to claim the circuit prize.  we had 60 entries by one brewer at our comp a few years back, that's just ridiculous. 
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