Author Topic: Competition letdown  (Read 5771 times)

Offline MDixon

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2011, 04:34:51 AM »
Exactly, a competition is about style...if one didn't brew the beer to style, one probably will not score well. FWIW a "good" beer should score at competition in the 30's. The OP had two just below, so they probably missed stylistic attributes and one at a 35. I don't see why there is dissapointment...
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline johnf

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2011, 05:11:52 AM »
Keep in mind that BJCP comps don't judge "what's the best beer" they judge what is the best example to style.  You may make a great beer but it may not fit into the judge's mind into the category you've entered in.  As an example, I believe if Dogfish Head 60minute IPA was entered into a BJCP comp, it'd score in the low to mid 30s.


Any flaw free beer entered in the correct category (there is always a correct category) should score in the high 30s or better.

If you brew great beer and you can't win medals consistently then you are either very bad at choosing where to enter or there is something wrong with your assumptions about the quality of your beer.

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2011, 05:14:27 AM »
Exactly, a competition is about style...if one didn't brew the beer to style, one probably will not score well. FWIW a "good" beer should score at competition in the 30's. The OP had two just below, so they probably missed stylistic attributes and one at a 35. I don't see why there is dissapointment...

If you ever saw how I dressed, you'd know that style is not important to me. I'm guessing that around here, I'm not alone. :)

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2011, 05:22:12 AM »
Quote
How does everybody deal with competition letdown?
I get inspired to try harder and make better beer.  There are plenty of examples of judges giving conflicting comments (even in Zymurgy magazines commercial calibration tastings) but ime the majority of the time there is useful information in those scoresheets.  I can't in good conscience say I'm entering for the unbiased feedback and then get bent out of shape when I get just that.  I have plenty of friends/family that will tell me my beer is good...I want real, unbiased feedback and I typically get that from competitions.

I entered a RIS in the NHC and it scored poorly (28).  After I read the scoresheets and drank another one of those RIS I was almost embarrassed I entered it (and brewed it) as a RIS.  It's just a really strong brown ale, not a bad beer but not a RIS by any stretch.  But prior to the comp I had been drinking it with full 'knowledge' that "this is a RIS'.  So I kept tasting RIS when it really wasn't.  As much as we like to think we can be unbiased about such things, we're all human.

But my dog is definitely smarter than everyone else's...and as long as I never enter him in a competition he'll stay that way. ;)

Offline dean

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2011, 05:30:25 AM »
This will either lock the topic or my post will be deleted... probably.   ;D

While I've yet to enter a beer competition, from what others have told me its like going to church, you want to belong to something greater than yourself and you need/want salvation.    ;D

With that said... you might get a laugh out of this.

 Are Your Rapture-Ready?

As most of you know by now, the end of the world is scheduled for late in the day on May 21st when The Rapture begins and the world of man ends. 

You are prepared of course, but what about your pets?

Good News (pun intended).  The pagans have come up with a solution: 


Our service is plain and simple; our fee structure is reasonable.   

For $135.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $20.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged and feathered friends.

If you truly believe in Jesus, you will post this to your Facebook wall all day.

 ;D :D :D :D :D
.

Offline stlaleman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2011, 05:54:27 AM »
Dean-that was bizzare.
As far as all beers fitting in a catagory, thanks to cat 23, they do. I've judged a few comps, entered a lot more. Competitions are getting harder to win, better beers are being brewed. That said, its still one of the best places to get honest feedback. A good beer may have a little DMS, I'm not one of those who pick that up easily, but whether we like the beer or not, if it has DMS in it, and it should not, then I want to know so I can do something to fix the problem. My goal is not to make beer that is good enough for me and my friends, but to make the best beer in the world. (A lofty goal, but if you don't try for the summit, you'll never reach it)

Offline dean

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2011, 06:09:12 AM »
My goal is not to make beer that is good enough for me and my friends, but to make the best beer in the world. (A lofty goal, but if you don't try for the summit, you'll never reach it)

Have you taken this yet?  http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=7555.0

You might even get a higher score than I did.   ;D  ;D

Btw... thanks, it was meant to be bizzare.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2011, 06:59:14 AM »
Exactly, a competition is about style...if one didn't brew the beer to style, one probably will not score well. FWIW a "good" beer should score at competition in the 30's. The OP had two just below, so they probably missed stylistic attributes and one at a 35. I don't see why there is dissapointment...

+1

I think by and large one will find that a well brewed beer will be reflected in the results of the score sheets. There will be subjectivity to some degree, and that is the nature of the system as there will be some palate differential from judge to judge but on average there is consensus within the judging IMO. I think the subtle differences from beer to beer within a style can be picked up by experienced judges most of the time. The variations witnessed by the OP could be due to subjectivity in the judging, but I think it's more the exception than the rule in the BJCP.
Ron Price

Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2011, 08:11:35 AM »
How can you say they teach you something when thread after thread people complain about questionable judging conditions, lack of feedback and beers that place in one comp and score bad in another? That's why I got out of them. I felt I was chasing around trying to solve problems that never existed.  My friends told me it was good and when I drank commercial craft beer, in many cases I preferred mine to theirs.

It's kind of like when you are constantly hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. It sure feels good when you stop.

Like most things in life, you only hear about the bad.  If there were nothing but the problems you describe, then comps would have died out a long time ago.  In fact, participation in comps is on the increase.  If you're satisfied with your beer, fine.  I like to get other opinions to see what I can do to improve.  I don't always agree with those opinions, but I find that it's valuable to me to at least consider what they say.
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Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2011, 08:13:08 AM »
Keep in mind that BJCP comps don't judge "what's the best beer" they judge what is the best example to style.

But they also judge on flaws in the beer that can come from process.  That's the part I find valuable.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2011, 08:38:17 AM »
I read the feedback and look for those things that were identified.  Often I can detect something if I'm looking specifically for it.  When its there I can then think of ways to improve the beer.  Sometimes I won't find what the feedback indicates as a problem, in that case I discount the comment.

I wouldn't doubt that teh quality of the beers going to competition is improving as the number of entries is going up.  Even if the quality isn't becoming elevated as a percentage, the increased number of entries will mean there are relatively more good beers in a given category.
Lennie
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Offline bfogt

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2011, 08:45:35 AM »
I became a judge because of multiple scoresheets with fewer than 50 words and unpredictable scores.  In every case (back then 4 years ago) one was a pro brewer and the other was new to judging beer.  Bad combination, especially for Cat 23 at NHC...  So, I took time off from entering beers, judged for a bit and learned what competitions were improving the judge pool and investing in treating judges well so the comments would be useful.

Compare beer judging to wine judging and you'll even appreciate the poor feedback.  As I understand it, if your wine has a flaw it doesn't score and you don't get feedback.

Offline jimbo44

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2011, 09:21:03 AM »
I enter beers into competitions for feed back.  Feed back is given by humans and therefore the quality can vary.  I also like to try and enter the beers I think a really good into a couple of competitions.  This allows me to get more of an average on the feedback notes.  It also helps me to start recognizing when that particular beer is getting past its prime.  If you brew a beer that you can taste mild flaws in I wouldn't bother with entering it.  I only enter beers I believe to be dialed, and hope to get some feedback that can make them even better.  This year for first round one of my entries was a German Pils.  I felt that it missed the mark a little on hop presence so I decided, last minute, to enter it as a Dortmunder as well.  It took first place in the light lager but scored poorly in the pils category.  So, once you've decided its good and there's not detectable flaws then you have to pick the appropriate category or all is for not.
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Offline homebrewgamecock

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2011, 09:46:54 AM »
I have only entered a few comps over the years - mainly due to laziness on my part.  I have received both good and bad feedback - meaning some feedback was valuable the other was obscure and not helpful at all.  I always keep 2 bottles of every beer I enter in the comp to taste and read the comments by the judges.  This helps me understand their perspective.  Sometimes I get it, other times I do not.

I have learned from most of the feedback I received thankfully.  I am not a big comp person, but I do enter them from time to time to benchmark my technique and beer.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2011, 01:57:17 PM »
How does everybody deal with competition letdown?  I mean, you think you have the best beer you've ever made, and the judges rip it to shreds!

How does one deal with failure or rejection in general? Don't take it personally, try to keep a positive outlook and decide what you'll differently if you try again. Keep trying until you succeed or give up.

Based on your scores, I'd say that you were doing something right. One of your beers got a 35, which is a good score. On a good day, it's good enough for a win. Your beers that scored in the mid-20s might have been entered in the wrong style category or otherwise gotten dinged for not hitting style definitions, even though they were perfectly good.

Brewing for competition is different from brewing for yourself; you have to look at the guidelines first and figure how well your beer hits the style description before you enter it. Otherwise, bound to be disappointed.

If you're wanting feedback on becoming a better brewer, which I think you are, describe the beers you entered in competition and the sort of feedback you got from the judges, especially Overall Impression. There are a lot of very experienced judges on these forums who will be able to explain what the judges were writing about, and perhaps why they gave you the scores they did.

I'd also suggest that you read Gordon Strong's new book, since it gives a lot tips for entering beer in competition, and brewing better beer in general.