Author Topic: Competition letdown  (Read 5772 times)

Offline beerstache

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Competition letdown
« on: May 18, 2011, 02:58:02 PM »
How does everybody deal with competition letdown?  I mean, you think you have the best beer you've evermade, and the judges rip it to shreds!  I just got the results from a local comp., two beers in the mid 20's and one a 35.  Just when I think I'm getting to be a good brewer, doing all the right things, starters, aeration, temp/ferm control, reading all the how to books, I just dont seem to be getting anywhere.  I've had it with competitions.  I like my beer and my friends like it too, that's all that matters.

jaybeerman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 03:06:37 PM »
Wear the shoe when it fits.  Take all judges comments with a grain of salt.  Live and learn.  Be happy and keep brewing (keep entering too).

Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 03:09:59 PM »
It's just the opinion of those people at that time on that day.  If that's your first comp, keep entering.  You'll be able to average out the opinions.  And sit down with the beers that were judged and drink one while you read through the scoresheets.  As often as not, I find a judge will pick up something I totally overlooked and find myself grateful for pointing it out.
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ccarlson

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 03:12:11 PM »
I've had it with competitions.  I like my beer and my friends like it too, that's all that matters.

You've already solved your problem.

Offline denny

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 03:26:02 PM »
I've had it with competitions.  I like my beer and my friends like it too, that's all that matters.

You've already solved your problem.

Unless by entering comps you can learn something that will make your beer even better.  I certainly have.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 04:14:22 PM »
I think the key is to enter the competitions with the intent of getting feedback from trained judges, not necessarily winning. If they happen to like your beer, maybe you'll medal. If not, oh well, you've gained lots of knowledge on how to make your beer even better. It seems like every time I enter 3-4 beers in a comp, the one I think is the best doesn't do well, but one of my so-so beers ends up placing. It's just the way it goes. I know that my palate is not as well-trained as a lot of the judges, so I really appreciate it when they pick up on things that I never even noticed.
Mark Gres

Offline punatic

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 04:47:09 PM »
How does everybody deal with competition letdown?

That's an easy one; I don't participate in competitions.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 05:07:59 PM »
You have a choice:
You could chock it up to "different judge, different day" and keep entering the same beer in hopes that the next set of judges agrees with you;
You could extrapolate from the comments and make your beer better the next time;
You could save all the beer for yourself and your friends and avoid competitions altogether.

I like to enter competitions and have won a stack of medals, but I'm looking seriously at comments lately because my percentage of winning is way down these days.  I doubt that everybody else suddenly got better than me, so I'm looking at the comments to see what I may do to make improvements.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline tygo

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 05:11:17 PM »
You could extrapolate from the comments and make your beer better the next time;

This is what I've been doing lately.  I don't enter the same beer into multiple competitions and I don't take the score at face value. 

I look at the comments the judges are making, and especially when there's consistency in the comments between the judges, or if I get the same type of comments for multiple beers, I use that to try to diagnose what my process problems might be.
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ccarlson

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 05:12:10 PM »
I've had it with competitions.  I like my beer and my friends like it too, that's all that matters.

You've already solved your problem.

Unless by entering comps you can learn something that will make your beer even better.  I certainly have.

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.

Offline will

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2011, 05:26:48 PM »
I brew with people who are serious comp brewers and they give me all the advice and knowledge I need. The important thing is what do you think of your beer. Competitions don't really interest me, so don't be to hard on yourself. Have fun and keep brewing.

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2011, 08:03:12 PM »
I am my own (no mercy) judge. My "clientel" confirms what I already know. I don't have to prove it by sparring with others. But, to each his own.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 08:05:01 PM by oscarvan »
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Offline punatic

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Offline theoman

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2011, 01:18:11 AM »
I am my own (no mercy) judge. My "clientel" confirms what I already know. I don't have to prove it by sparring with others. But, to each his own.
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Offline beer_crafter

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Re: Competition letdown
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 04:28:35 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.