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Old 11-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default All Grain & Extract brewers competing against each other?

With all these competitions popping up everywhere shouldn't All Grain & Extract brewers be competing individually instead of against each other?

What is everyone's thoughts regarding this?

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Old 11-10-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
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Good beer is good beer, no matter the method.

Segregation of methods opens the door to all sorts of nuances that would make competitions a mess. What about partial mashes? BIAB? Partial mash BIAB?

Judge based on output, not method of getting there.

Having said that, I have zero interest in ever entering a contest... so my opinion counts for slightly less than nothing.

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Old 11-10-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Good beer is good beer, no matter the method.
Agreed. I have tasted some fantastic extract brews and some horrible All Grain brews. All grain is not a guarantee that the beer will be better. It all depends on the brewer. All grain does off some nuances that are not possible with extract but for some styles very good brews can be made with extract.

Also where would you classify partial mash?
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evrose
Good beer is good beer, no matter the method.

Segregation of methods opens the door to all sorts of nuances that would make competitions a mess. What about partial mashes? BIAB? Partial mash BIAB?

Judge based on output, not method of getting there.

Having said that, I have zero interest in ever entering a contest... so my opinion counts for slightly less than nothing.
I totally agree with you there. Its not the method, its the skill thats important. I, like many others (i think), started with extract, went on to AG, then back to extract, and my beers have only gotten better and better.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:45 PM   #5
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So we are to advocate renaming brew kits and entering them in a contest? I'd like to determine, beyond the final product being beer, how the various methods can possibly compare.

All Grain - you learn and study a great many details, develop recipes based upon BJCP style guidelines in hopes of producing, what you hope to be, a contest worthy homebrew.

The other, you open a box of preselected ingredients prepare the product as per instructions and submit it and quite probably be judged against someone else doing the same thing. Where is the recipe development & preparation.

I don't see how these can possibly compare. The playing field seems uneven.

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Old 11-10-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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Extract doesn't mean you just brew kits. You can come up with all kinds of crazy recipes as an extract brewer. You're just not mashing your own base grain. I love brewing all grain, but I did a dozen extract batches first, and only the first couple were "kits."

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Old 11-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #7
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Now that's a good point. Should we differentiate then. Should "brew kits" entries be prohibited?

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Old 11-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Just because someone brews extract does not mean they are using kits. There are many ways to make beer. When I first started and was doing extract I made many of my own recipes that were extract recipes with steeping grains.

There are many award winning brews that use extract.

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Old 11-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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I don't see how these can possibly compare. The playing field seems uneven.
I guess I can understand how you can come to that conclusion. But I"m a certified BJCP judge. I've had wonderful extract beers win/place in competition- and of course we didn't know they were extract beers as the judges have no way of knowing that. I've had some really awful AG beers.

It's not like an extract batch (or partial mash) is a can of spaghettio's entered in an Italian recipe contest. There is much more to it than that!

Think of it this way- the only thing an extract brewer is doing is using the extract instead of two-row. That's it. Sure, he/she skips the mashing process, but temperature control, fresh ingredients, yeast pitching rate, water quality, etc are the most important part anyway.

I sort of think of extract brewing (assuming some specialty grains) as making spaghetti sauce out of canned tomatoes and sauce, but adding spices and other ingredients to make the sauce. I've had some of the best spaghetti sauces made this way.

For AG, the process would be the same, except a guy starts with a bushel of tomatoes. I"ve done this, by the way! It could be much better, but much more could go wrong and it could be worse. I've made great sauce this way, but it takes more equipment (to peel the tomatoes and things) and more time.

The real contest, then, is the flavor. I mean, when I go to a restaurant I don't really care if the spaghetti sauce was made the old fashioned (canned) way if you're my grandma, or from a bushel of tomatoes. I care about the taste.

The same is true of brewing. I"ve had bad beers of all sorts over the years- even in commercial brewpubs. I'd rather have a great beer, no matter how the brewer got there, than all of those bad ones.

It really takes great skill to make a kick-ass extract brew, so I'd give kudos to that brewer.

The first HBT competition we had, a partial mash beer won the BOS (or was it the second BOS?). Anyway, he won kegging gear, beating out over 300 other entries. I'd say the pool of beers we submitted (me included) were pretty darn good, so if he beat my AG beer, then that's awesome.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cryhav0c View Post
Now that's a good point. Should we differentiate then. Should "brew kits" entries be prohibited?
no. because every individual brewer will brew & ferment the kit differently. there are many variables that contribute to flavor. no matter if it's an extract kit, BIAB kit, or AG kit.
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