Author Topic: Competition letdown  (Read 7255 times)

Offline bluesman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2011, 06:55:40 AM »
Competitions can be:

a let-down
encouraging
discouraging
rewarding
enlightening
disheartening
fun
a hassle
exciting
frustrating
piss you off
make you want to quit competing
make you want to go for the Ninkasi
give you a big ego
ecourage you to become a BJCP beer judge
a real PITA
anticipating

I've personally experienced all of the above at one point or another but to me competing is something I do because I enjoy all of the facets that encompass the art and science of homebrewing which are a part of the competition.
Ron Price

Offline redbeerman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #61 on: May 23, 2011, 07:09:43 AM »
What I get from competitions is the satisfaction that over time my scores have gotten higher and my beers have gotten better.  I don't always agree with the feedback I get, but it does give me another point of view and gives me something to think about the next time I drink that beer.
CH3CH2OH - Without it, life itself would be impossible.

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Offline beerstache

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #62 on: May 23, 2011, 06:22:59 PM »
I see that I really touched a nerve with this topic!  Now that I've had some time to reflect on my scores and everybody's comments, It's not as bad as I originally thought.  I'm going to use the feedback to improve my beers the best I can and move on.  The beers I scored low on were only my second or third attempts, so there is room for tweaking and improvement.
Thanks to all who commented, it is greatly appreciated!
Tom


Offline The Professor

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #63 on: May 23, 2011, 10:25:33 PM »
I see that I really touched a nerve with this topic!  Now that I've had some time to reflect on my scores and everybody's comments, It's not as bad as I originally thought.  I'm going to use the feedback to improve my beers the best I can and move on.  The beers I scored low on were only my second or third attempts, so there is room for tweaking and improvement.
Thanks to all who commented, it is greatly appreciated!
Tom

Sounds good, Tom. 
But do remember this as you continue to explore the hobby...  if you make a beer that you like, you shouldn't feel compelled to change ANYTHING about it just based on a competition scoresheet (unless going for a blue ribbon is important to you).  The most valuable things to be gotten from the scoresheets would be notes about off flavors from bad practice, oxidation, and the like.  And even there, it really can be argued that if your palate doesn't detect the flaw, is it really a flaw? Taste is a very subjective thing.

Some of the very best homebrews I've tasted (from other brewers, and a few of mine as well) were beers that would be difficult to fit neatly into any of the so called 'recognized' styles.  But that's the great thing about brewing at home...the only palate you really have to please is yours (and the folks that enjoy your brew with you). 

Regarding the "styles" question, Lew Bryson gives some very sound advice to both homebrewers and commercial brewers:
 "Brew with style, not to style..."
Sage advice indeed!
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline phunhog

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2011, 07:07:45 PM »
Sorry to bring up an older thread but that is what I am experiencing....Competition Letdown. I have been brewing for a few years now and seldom enter contests. I entered this one mainly because it was in my hometown and it was free.   The cool thing about it though, which I found out later, is that one of the judges is one of the highest ranked BJCP judges in the country!!  The bad part is that he scored my American Amber a 13.   Isn't that the lowest score a judge will give?  I mean I could have peed in the bottle and gotten a 13!! ;)  The awful part is that after brewing for almost four years of brewing and twenty years of drinking craft beer I thought I had brewed a fairly decent beer. Was it going to win anything? Probably not. But it shows that if I think a "13" beer is decent that maybe I don't have any business brewing beer.
A question I have for any judges out there is are all beer comps judged the same?  I know the judge has forgotten more about beer than I will ever know. Not for a second am I questioning his score/notes. It seems to me like I was a 10 year old gymnast being judged by an Olympic judge to Olympic standards.  This is a local comp with no prizes and most categories either aren't represented or they are lumped in with other categories. In other words this isn't the NHC. I found it interesting too that my other beers, which I didn't really care for,were judged by non-BJCP judges did much better 25, 30, 41.  Of course how much faith can I put into those scores/notes?

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2011, 07:35:05 PM »
If your beer got a 13 then you likely gave him a bad bottle or the beer was entered in the wrong category.  What do the comments say?  Chances are, if the other bottles you drank were good, that the bottle that was judged has a sanitation issue.
James Lorden
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2011, 05:32:44 AM »
Yes, a 13 is really low.  You did not share any comments the judge made.  Did the judge say it could do better in a different category?  Can you verify that you entered it in the right category?  The judge will be judging to style, and if it is not to style... you get a low score for a good beer. 

Or it could have been a bad bottle.   Are you extra careful on the bottle cleaning and sanitation?  For competitions, I am.  It is also a good practice to have some extra bottles to drink when you read a score sheet.  Sometimes you can pick up what the judge points out.  Then you know that flaw, and can research how to fix it.


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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline bluesman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2011, 05:58:34 AM »
That sounds very odd. Some thoughts:

bad bottle (infected)
entry mislabeled (swapped with another entry)
misjudged
mishandled

Let us know the scoresheet details.
Ron Price

Offline phunhog

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2011, 10:18:29 AM »
Here are the judge's notes:  American Amber
Aroma 2/12-  low malt, medium vegetal note, low peach pineapple ester. Musty/mulchy
Appearance 3/3- pours golden with creamy off white head that holds as a solid cover. Very good clarity
Flavor 3/20- Medium low grainy malt. Very low hop flavor. low bitterness. Balanced to malt. Finish is vegetal/musty
Mouthfeel 2/5- light body, low CO2, no warmth, light astringency.Full creaminess.
Overal Impression 3/10- Several issues to tackle. Attennuation, sanitation, yeast health, pitching rate, more hops
Total 13/50

I guess next time I could drink a world class beer, pee it out, carbonate, and get a better score ;D
Like I said I don't doubt the judge for a minute. I doubt myself and my ability to even taste beer

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2011, 10:30:43 AM »
Just my opinion,  I don't think that is a very good score sheet for feedback.  Was this an all grain recipe or an extract batch.  Was it a new bottle or a previously used bottle.  What did the recipe look like?  I am pretty sure that if you continue on this forum you will be able to troubleshoot through that beer yourself.... I will often drink my beer side by side with one of the comercial examples in the style guide.  This will help keep you honest in your opinion.  Last but not least - if you like it, who cares what the judge says.
James Lorden
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Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2011, 10:32:37 AM »
Just my opinion,  I don't think that is a very good score sheet for feedback. 

I dunno...seems pretty good to me.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2011, 10:39:12 AM »
Just my opinion,  I don't think that is a very good score sheet for feedback. 

I dunno...seems pretty good to me.

yeah - the comments are pretty good - I tend to be more verbose, but the essence of what he was experiencing was there.  However, for me his score assigned and comments are a bit disconnected - I usually would only assign a 3/20 for flavor if it was just awful and infected etc. So I wouldn't put much behind the actual score - I probably would have given high teens/low 20s if I experienced the same tastes/aromas that were indicated.  That said, neither score will push this beer to the next round, so its arbitrary.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2011, 10:43:45 AM »
Like I said I don't doubt the judge for a minute. I doubt myself and my ability to even taste beer

Maybe that's the problem; giving too much credence to one opinion and not enough to the other.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline bonjour

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2011, 10:50:42 AM »
I agree with you Denny, pretty good feedback.
A Tale of two beers.

What are interpreted as flaws are often great flavors that are out of place.
I had a Dark English mild that I brewed a demo.  It was an awesome beer,  three judges scored it 18 (I think).
They told me it was an awesome beer and wanted more of it.  It still scored an 18.

While cooling someone kicked some dirt in the beer.  The beer developed a "Rustic" note from Brett,  even a touch of Cherry, and had a touch of smoke.  very complex.  very nice.  At the time it was my goto beer.

It was not what I had intended when I started.

At a recent exam I served Beer 1, a good, mid-upper 30s Flanders red,  The second beer was an "American Amber",  Score 17 (I think).  I was questioned if I served the same beer twice in a row,  yes, the Amber tasted like a Flanders Red.

Yes, you got great feedback.



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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2011, 11:51:52 AM »
  However, for me his score assigned and comments are a bit disconnected - I usually would only assign a 3/20 for flavor if it was just awful and infected etc.

This is what I mean, words don't seem to match the score. At the very least pick at the worst flaw and give some advice on corrective measures maybe?
James Lorden
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