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Author Topic: Competition letdown  (Read 14011 times)

Online jeffy

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2011, 08:58:46 am »
If money is the consideration, wouldn't it be more economical to sample the beer with a list of flaws in front of you, figure out what to change in your brewing techniques, and skip the competition?

Yep. That's why being a beer judge, or at least training yourself to recognize and troubleshoot off-flavors, makes you a better brewer. It should be no surprise that homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong are also highly ranked judges.

Yep.  And that's why, as a high ranked judge, while homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong were still s***ting yellow, I wised up, realized that ribbons, medals and trophys are just ego candy, and quit participating in competitions.
I had to read this several times to understand that what you're saying is that you are older than them.  It's quite the insulting way to say that.
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ccarlson

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2011, 09:42:12 am »
If money is the consideration, wouldn't it be more economical to sample the beer with a list of flaws in front of you, figure out what to change in your brewing techniques, and skip the competition?

Yep. That's why being a beer judge, or at least training yourself to recognize and troubleshoot off-flavors, makes you a better brewer. It should be no surprise that homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong are also highly ranked judges.

Yep.  And that's why, as a high ranked judge, while homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong were still s***ting yellow, I wised up, realized that ribbons, medals and trophys are just ego candy, and quit participating in competitions.

I'm with you on this. I'm amazed at how much money people spend on comps, fancy labels, single batch ingredient purchases, etc., but it isn't my money, so who am I to criticize. Although I've never done it, I'm betting that if you have an unidentifiable problem, that many of the judges on this and other sites would be happy to accept a bottle of beer from you and return some feedback.

Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2011, 09:56:46 am »
If money is the consideration, wouldn't it be more economical to sample the beer with a list of flaws in front of you, figure out what to change in your brewing techniques, and skip the competition?

But what if you don't have a sensitivity to some of those flaws, or you don't realize they're flaws until someone points them out to you?  That's happened to me more than once.  I overlooked things in the beer until someone pointed them out to me.
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ccarlson

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2011, 10:31:30 am »
If money is the consideration, wouldn't it be more economical to sample the beer with a list of flaws in front of you, figure out what to change in your brewing techniques, and skip the competition?

But what if you don't have a sensitivity to some of those flaws, or you don't realize they're flaws until someone points them out to you?  That's happened to me more than once.  I overlooked things in the beer until someone pointed them out to me.

But if you were to drink a commercial beer of the same style I'll bet you could detect the differences and then go from there. Also, based on what's been said in this thread and others who's to say the judges would detect it either?

Offline Steve

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2011, 10:37:01 am »
I've entered competitions a couple of times to get critiques on a specific styles brewed.  I'm not in it to win it, but rather to get feedback from people who don't know me and to learn from their impressions.  I'll do it again occasionally for that reason.
Steve
 
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Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2011, 10:45:55 am »
But if you were to drink a commercial beer of the same style I'll bet you could detect the differences and then go from there.

What if there isn't a commercial equivalent?  And even if there was, what would that tell you if you couldn't tell what the flaws were in your own?

 
Also, based on what's been said in this thread and others who's to say the judges would detect it either?

Who's to say they wouldn't?  Of course we hear about poor judging, but we don't hear about great judging.  Since you don't enter comps, you can't be aware of how many great judges are out there.
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ccarlson

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2011, 10:56:24 am »
But if you were to drink a commercial beer of the same style I'll bet you could detect the differences and then go from there.

What if there isn't a commercial equivalent?  And even if there was, what would that tell you if you couldn't tell what the flaws were in your own?

 
Also, based on what's been said in this thread and others who's to say the judges would detect it either?

Who's to say they wouldn't?  Of course we hear about poor judging, but we don't hear about great judging.  Since you don't enter comps, you can't be aware of how many great judges are out there.

I did enter a few comps, but quit for many of the same reasons noted here. As for the flaws, if you can't detect them in your beer and you can't detect them in a commercial example, are there really any flaws and if there are, why would they matter to you anyway?

Also, I never meant to imply that there aren't some great judges out there. I feel like it's not all in what you learn in classes. Some people just have the ability to detect very slight imperfections, but I think they are few and far between.

Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2011, 11:28:47 am »
As for the flaws, if you can't detect them in your beer and you can't detect them in a commercial example, are there really any flaws and if there are, why would they matter to you anyway?

Because even if you don't realize it, your beer could be better.  If it was better, chances are that you would realize that it was better.  Again, I speak from my own experience here.

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Offline Hokerer

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2011, 11:38:07 am »
As for the flaws, if you can't detect them in your beer and you can't detect them in a commercial example, are there really any flaws and if there are, why would they matter to you anyway?

If you're happy with your beer and aren't big on sharing it, then it might not matter at all.  If, though, you'd actually like to improve your beer (and face it, there's always room for improvement), comp feedback is one way to achieve that.

Give it a try, you might be surprised at what you've been missing.
Joe

Offline punatic

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2011, 02:03:07 pm »
Reading the "May 21..." thread just now it occured to me that critcizing homebrew competitions could be the same as insulting someone's religion.  That I will not do. I  tried it and it wasn't right for me for a number of reasons, but if brewing and judging beer to compete brings you happiness, then that's good. 

I'm just shakey on the whole, "If it's good for me then it's good for everybody" idea.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2011, 08:30:54 pm »
If money is the consideration, wouldn't it be more economical to sample the beer with a list of flaws in front of you, figure out what to change in your brewing techniques, and skip the competition?

Yep. That's why being a beer judge, or at least training yourself to recognize and troubleshoot off-flavors, makes you a better brewer. It should be no surprise that homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong are also highly ranked judges.

Yep.  And that's why, as a high ranked judge, while homebrewing heavyweights like Jamil Zainasheff, Drew Beechum, Randy Mosher and Gordon Strong were still s***ting yellow, I wised up, realized that ribbons, medals and trophys are just ego candy, and quit participating in competitions.
I had to read this several times to understand that what you're saying is that you are older than them.  It's quite the insulting way to say that.

No, what he's saying is that he's got the grey hair to be wiser than the young turks out to beat each other. And he's saying it in a respectful, though tongue in cheek way.
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narvin

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #56 on: May 22, 2011, 09:02:38 pm »
You can't take it too seriously.  Competitions are about as objective as figure skating judging, but if you understand that you might get some good feedback and even a well-deserved pat on the back at some point.  When the feedback sucks and the scoring is a travesty, you can shrug it off or you can take your ball and go home, vowing never to play again. 

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2011, 12:38:37 am »
I wised up, realized that ribbons, medals and trophys are just ego candy, and quit participating in competitions.

Different strokes. I know plenty of excellent brewers who don't bother with competitions for various reasons. My point was that the skills involved in being a judge - like troubleshooting and understanding ingredients, techniques and beer styles - help make you a better brewer, and vice-versa.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2011, 12:46:46 am »
But what if you don't have a sensitivity to some of those flaws, or you don't realize they're flaws until someone points them out to you?  That's happened to me more than once.  I overlooked things in the beer until someone pointed them out to me.

If you're a cheapskate like me, you take your beer to your local HB club meeting, round up a couple of folks whose judging and brewing skills you respect and ask them to critique it. If you are trying to pinpoint subtle faults, there's going to be at least one person in the room who's got a nose like a bloodhound and who can taste diacetyl down to 0.02 ppm. Identify that person and make friends with them.

Offline johnf

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2011, 12:49:49 am »
I probably spend more than most on competitions and most of that is spent travelling to judge.

I know a lot of people who spend more than I could dream of spending on home brewing to hit a ball, drive a small cart after it, and hit it again and in particular to do this in a nice and exclusive location. I think this is silly, but I usually keep that opinion to myself. Everyone needs a hobby, everyone thinks everyone elses hobby is silly or weird (or the way other people in the same hobby participate is silly or weird in this case).