Author Topic: First Time Judging Beer  (Read 2788 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2011, 03:19:12 PM »
More good stuff.  I might just look like I know what I'm doing.

How many beers are typically judged in a session and how long do you expect we'll have per beer?  They said they have more entries than last year, but they've enlisted more judges.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2011, 03:23:00 PM »
Be as descriptive as you can...it's far better than just saying things like "nice head" or "good aroma" or "I like the flavor."
What is it about the head that looks nice? is it Frothy? Dense? Mousse-like? What about the aroma? Is the aroma hoppy? Malty? Caramel-like?
What flavors do you perceive...malt? hops? roast? wheat?

Having said that, I feel that the hardest part of judging is finding the right descriptive language to describe what you perceive, so don't feel awful if you have a case of writer's block.
Developing a good "judges vocabulary" will take time and experience...and will always be a work in progress.

Oh, and don't be too serious about it, it should be a fun thing to do...not something like a trip to the dentist! (no offense to any dentist's on the forum!) ;D

More good stuff.  I might just look like I know what I'm doing.

How many beers are typically judged in a session and how long do you expect we'll have per beer?  They said they have more entries than last year, but they've enlisted more judges.

EDIT:
Never more than 12 beers to a flight...typical might be 10. A good pace is to do one entry in ten minutes. Or at least in my experience...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 03:25:58 PM by kerneldustjacket »
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2011, 03:26:52 PM »
John I understand the concept of descriptive vocabulary completely and I want to do justice to the brewer who paid to enter their beer.  I found out during the BJCP test that its easier said than done.  I may make myself a list of precise descriptors for each category, just as a crutch.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tom

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2011, 03:48:13 PM »
The 2nd round beer "checklist" scoresheet has a lot of descriptors you can use.
http://www.bjcp.org/docs/Beer_checklist.pdf
Brew on

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2011, 04:01:36 PM »
John I understand the concept of descriptive vocabulary completely and I want to do justice to the brewer who paid to enter their beer.  I found out during the BJCP test that its easier said than done.  I may make myself a list of precise descriptors for each category, just as a crutch.

Well then you're way ahead of most first timers! So that means no worries, you'll do far better than average.

I made a list of descriptors for appearance...to help describe color, clarity, head appearance, and carbonation...it helped just to go through the process of thinking up the terms, let alone writing them down.

And Tom, you're just the sort of judge I'd want to have judging my beers.
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline johnf

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2011, 04:26:07 PM »
Since I'm on the committee for this competition I can offer some specifics.

Judging is by BJCP category with the exception of 27 and 28 (Cider and Perry) which are combined for judging.

In multi-flight categories "queued judging" will be employed such that all of the beers in the category are pulled in order and each set of judges gets one and then when the finish gets the next one in the pull order. For most categories pull order would be in subcategory letter order (and in no particular order within the subcategories) but for fruit, smoke and wood aged, spice herb vegetable, specialty, and meads and ciders the head judge may choose to alter the pull order with the aim of pulling in increasing order of assumed palate impact (so a smoked hefeweizen before a smoked imperial stout, for example).

The average number of beers per set of judges does not exceed 10 in this case but in multi-flight queued judging the fastest pair may judge 1-2 more than the slowest pair (hopefully not a bigger discrepancy than that). As others have said ten minutes per beer is a good pace that everyone can strive for. Highly experienced judges working together can go quite a bit faster. Our two Saturday sessions are set 4 hours apart. Most judges will finish in under 2 hours so this isn't a terribly aggressive schedule (by design as the afternoon session must start on time since we have the brewery tour after). In our case we gave some consideration to the palate impact of a particular category when deciding how to split it into flights. For example 10 sour ales were split into two flights. I can't think of a real example off the top of my head but had we had 10 English Brown Ales we would have kept those in one flight.

We will have around 1 printed set of guidelines per every other judge. Given how many phones I see out lately at competitions I believe this will be more than sufficient.

We will provide labels to judges. We will also provide round stickers that you can write the entry number on and stick on your cup so you don't have to use a sharpie or grease pencil.

Every flight has a Certified or higher judge and most categories have a National or higher judge so you will be paired with more experienced people. Feel free to ask them questions, almost everyone I run into is happy to help other people.


Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2011, 06:11:48 PM »
Since I'm on the committee for this competition I can offer some specifics.

Judging is by BJCP category with the exception of 27 and 28 (Cider and Perry) which are combined for judging.

In multi-flight categories "queued judging" will be employed such that all of the beers in the category are pulled in order and each set of judges gets one and then when the finish gets the next one in the pull order. For most categories pull order would be in subcategory letter order (and in no particular order within the subcategories) but for fruit, smoke and wood aged, spice herb vegetable, specialty, and meads and ciders the head judge may choose to alter the pull order with the aim of pulling in increasing order of assumed palate impact (so a smoked hefeweizen before a smoked imperial stout, for example).

The average number of beers per set of judges does not exceed 10 in this case but in multi-flight queued judging the fastest pair may judge 1-2 more than the slowest pair (hopefully not a bigger discrepancy than that). As others have said ten minutes per beer is a good pace that everyone can strive for. Highly experienced judges working together can go quite a bit faster. Our two Saturday sessions are set 4 hours apart. Most judges will finish in under 2 hours so this isn't a terribly aggressive schedule (by design as the afternoon session must start on time since we have the brewery tour after). In our case we gave some consideration to the palate impact of a particular category when deciding how to split it into flights. For example 10 sour ales were split into two flights. I can't think of a real example off the top of my head but had we had 10 English Brown Ales we would have kept those in one flight.

We will have around 1 printed set of guidelines per every other judge. Given how many phones I see out lately at competitions I believe this will be more than sufficient.

We will provide labels to judges. We will also provide round stickers that you can write the entry number on and stick on your cup so you don't have to use a sharpie or grease pencil.

Every flight has a Certified or higher judge and most categories have a National or higher judge so you will be paired with more experienced people. Feel free to ask them questions, almost everyone I run into is happy to help other people.

John, could you be more specific?  ;)

Seriously, thanks for the heads up.  I'll work on a time frame of 10min per beer, that should be plenty for 10 beers in 2hours.  I'm really looking forward to the competition, the tour, the talks, the BBQ and the wine.  And if theres beer thats good too.

I forgot to mention the best part of this weekend, I get to call my wife a wench for two days straight, to her face.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 06:07:16 AM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline ajk

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2011, 11:12:26 AM »
Don't drink coffee the day of the judging.  According to Carr's Sensory Evaluation Techniques, it can impact your palate for up to an hour.  Smoking is bad, too, but according to the book, its effects don't last quite as long.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2011, 11:28:58 AM »
I suppose if I don't over-indulge the night before I'll need less coffee in the morning.  Can't do without at least a couple of cups though.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline markaberrant

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2011, 02:36:09 PM »
I print up labels (Avery 5150) with my name, judge rank, and email on them.  Saves having to fill it in on every sheet.

We do this for all the judges at our competition, they love it!

Offline denny

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2011, 02:38:13 PM »
I print up labels (Avery 5150) with my name, judge rank, and email on them.  Saves having to fill it in on every sheet.

We do this for all the judges at our competition, they love it!

A lot of comps do.  I carry my own just in case.  It's a great time and hand saver!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2011, 06:24:25 PM »
I print up labels (Avery 5150) with my name, judge rank, and email on them.  Saves having to fill it in on every sheet.

We do this for all the judges at our competition, they love it!

Over the course of a couple of rounds...it's a time saver for sure. I need to print some up and carry them with me as Denny has indicated.
Ron Price

Offline tom

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2011, 07:41:07 PM »
oh, and I don't have a beer with lunch
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2011, 09:16:55 PM »
I just judged my first comp a week ago.  The previous pieces of advice were great, but I would also pick up a sample from one of the classic styles from your category....If you know your category ahead of time.  The comp I judged provided a classic example for the first session, but not the second.
Dave Malone
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2011, 06:23:58 AM »
oh, and I don't have a beer with lunch

This just keeps getting worse!

Actually, do any of you find yourself catching a buzz when judging?  Should I be wary of that?  I'm no lightweight but some of these styles can be pretty strong.

As for classic examples, we don't know which styles within a category we're getting so I'd be trying several beers from each category.  I've done quite a bit of homework in the past though.  I'll probably just go with the style descriptions and trust my tastebuds in the end.  There aren't many beer styles I don't like, and I appreciate them all.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO