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Old 05-01-2013, 02:41 AM   #421
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Got my Milwaukee score sheets today. A couple of high scores and mini-BOS advances but none placed.

Really disappointment in some of the comments for my sour beers though. A national BJCP judge complained that my fruit beer (Passionfruit Berliner) was "heavily infected" and to "check sanitation procedures for fruit prep and bottling." It's a Berliner, it's going to be acidic, have no hops or malt and will be dominated by the base beer acidity! Also, the "acidic acid" you taste is from the fruit...

Then there was the 17C entry (Syrah Lambic), one judge was at 35, and the other was at 19 before he bumped up his score to 23! The one that gave me a 19, was a National judge. His scoresheet was one of the most blank I've ever received and it complained 4 times about "bitterness": I used whole grapes with skin, those are grape tannins and oak tannins from the French oak chips! This beer has scored in the 38-42 range in a couple other comps, so I know it's good, but there is no way this is a 23 let alone 19 point beer!

Anyway enough ranting, I'm just glad to get score sheets back and learn from these comments. I can't say I agree with all the comments, but maybe that's the benefit of going to Homebrew meetings and getting a lot of feedback from many people instead of just two

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Old 05-01-2013, 03:42 AM   #422
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I can't say I agree with all the comments, but maybe that's the benefit of going to Homebrew meetings and getting a lot of feedback from many people instead of just two
In general national judges know their stuff. Their email addresses should be on the scoresheets. Shoot them a note and say "Hey, thanks for your comments on my beer at the _________ NHC Regional; I'm sure you won't remember this particular beer but here's the feedback you gave me. (add whatever feedback you would like to focus on) Now, my beer has done rather well at other competitions, so I would like to try to reconcile what you told me with comments I have received elsewhere. Here are my thoughts on your comments. (now add whatever you would like to say) If, in light of what I've just said, you have any further comments or feedback on my process that might help me improve future entries, please let me know by return email. Thank you very much for taking the time to consider my request, and for your service to homebrewers everywhere via your role as a National Beer Judge. Sincerely, ________"
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:59 AM   #423
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Anyone from Milwaukee seen a place on a scoresheet yet?
Just wondering (hoping) maybe they left them off so we would have to wait until May 4th?

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Old 05-01-2013, 04:20 AM   #424
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In general national judges know their stuff. Their email addresses should be on the scoresheets. Shoot them a note and say "Hey, thanks for your comments on my beer at the _________ NHC Regional; I'm sure you won't remember this particular beer but here's the feedback you gave me. (add whatever feedback you would like to focus on) Now, my beer has done rather well at other competitions, so I would like to try to reconcile what you told me with comments I have received elsewhere. Here are my thoughts on your comments. (now add whatever you would like to say) If, in light of what I've just said, you have any further comments or feedback on my process that might help me improve future entries, please let me know by return email. Thank you very much for taking the time to consider my request, and for your service to homebrewers everywhere via your role as a National Beer Judge. Sincerely, ________"
That's very good advice and I think I'll take you up on it. Although I think if a judge is scoring a beer in the teens, he didn't like it all, which is not something you can have a discussion about in my mind. But I will send that message.

I think part of it might just be evolving tastes, I think East Coast brewers and drinkers just have a certain aesthetic when it comes to certain styles that may fall on one end of the style spectrum when compared to another region. For instance, Amber Ales that do well in comps here tend to be more balanced, maltier, sweeter, caramel versions of pale ale, where's in California, they almost want a red tinge DIPA. Makes me wonder how the NYC judges might have scored the same beers
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #425
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Anyone get the mail yet today? I am hoping when I get home the NYC envelops are waiting.

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #426
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I can just imagine hundreds of homebrewers getting their envelope, like when Ralphie got his Little Orphan Annie decoder key and running into the bathroom for privacy while they check their scoresheets.

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by soonami View Post
Really disappointment in some of the comments for my sour beers though. A national BJCP judge complained that my fruit beer (Passionfruit Berliner) was "heavily infected" and to "check sanitation procedures for fruit prep and bottling." It's a Berliner, it's going to be acidic, have no hops or malt and will be dominated by the base beer acidity! Also, the "acidic acid" you taste is from the fruit...
Did they explain any rationale behind the infection comments? A visible ring around the bottle or a gusher, or did they just say "acidic" as their main descriptor?

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Then there was the 17C entry (Syrah Lambic), one judge was at 35, and the other was at 19 before he bumped up his score to 23! The one that gave me a 19, was a National judge. His scoresheet was one of the most blank I've ever received and it complained 4 times about "bitterness": I used whole grapes with skin, those are grape tannins and oak tannins from the French oak chips! This beer has scored in the 38-42 range in a couple other comps, so I know it's good, but there is no way this is a 23 let alone 19 point beer!
That is a really large scoring difference between the two judges. Sixteen points is huge, and generally you want both judges to be within 2 - 3 final points of each other. Sounds like for whatever reason he just did not like the beer. It sounds like a really cool beer though. Like others have said, I would send him an email and ask him if he recalls why he felt strongly about it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #428
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"check sanitation procedures"
maybe it's just me, but this piece of feedback isn't very helpful. they might as well tell me that i should "brew a better beer".
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:09 PM   #429
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maybe it's just me, but this piece of feedback isn't very helpful. they might as well tell me that i should "brew a better beer".
I guess that depends on what you're doing with sanitation. If you can honestly say that you're doing everything you know to do to maintain ideal sanitation, then yes, just telling you to do it better doesn't help much. However, speaking for myself, I have plastic that's been around for a while. There are things that I do that I probably could do better. So I know that there are things that I could do to be more sanitary. So if I started seeing that comment with any frequency, it would let me know that its time to revisit those things.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:15 PM   #430
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maybe it's just me, but this piece of feedback isn't very helpful. they might as well tell me that i should "brew a better beer".
OK, smartypants. Let's hear your better feedback for an infected beer. "Check sanitation" seems pretty appropriate to me. Without delving into process specifics for that brewer, which nobody has during a competition because everyone is just drinking from a bottle with a number on it, I personally cannot think of better advice to write down in that situation.



However, for sours in particular I agree that saying the beer is infected isn't particularly useful unless you couch it very specifically. E.g. is it acetic, solventy, etc. Every sour is infected and the important part is determining whether the infection is appropriate to style. The more specifically you can describe the aroma and flavor of the beer, the better chance of identifying the flaws. All that said, in terms of feedback there is nothing better to write, IMO, than "check sanitation procedures" for beers which are obviously infected with bad stuff. It may be obvious to most, but that doesn't make it incorrect.
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