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Old 01-18-2010, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default Beer competition

So I've decided that I'm gonna enter a competition this year. It wont be until October, which is good as it means that I have enough time to plan things out like I'd like to.

I got ahold of the guy running the show, and he informed me that the whole thing has yet to be set up as far as categories/entry fees and such go, but that it is/will be AHA recognized.

I'm mostly looking for feedback from someone who knows what the hell they're talking about. While winning even an honorable mention would be awesome, its not expected.

I was just hoping that some of you guys would have some "dos and donts" for me.

For example, I'm torn between brewing a Belgian Honey brew which is a little more complex, with corriander and orange in it...or keeping it simple with a proper, say, Nut Brown Ale...

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:23 AM   #2
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I guess the first thing to recognize is that BJCP/AHA competitions are not about the 'best tasting' beer. Taste is a very personal thing and is impossible to judge objectively.

Most beer competitions are BJCP sanctioned and are meant to be objectively judged. To do this, the judges must understand the brewer's intent (i.e. what it was that they were trying to brew). To this end, the BJCP has designed their Style Guidelines, which are meant to represent every major beer style in the world. It is assumed that when you enter a competition, you are brewing to target one of these styles, and everyone is judged against them.

A common misconception is that you can take any homebrew you like, and place it in the appropriate category, and if it tastes good, it should get a high score. No -- the process is structured to evaluate how well a brewer achieved the parameters (e.g., flavour, mouthfeel, carbonation level, etc.) of a particular style. It is not meant to limit creativity, but rather, provide an objective basis by which brewers can make beer to certain targets and demonstrate their brewing ability.

The bottom line is that if you want to enter a competition and do well, you should either (1) brew to the established target parameters in the BJCP Style Guidelines, or (2) recognize that if your creatively-produced homebrew does not actually meet certain parameters of the style it was entered under, it will be scored down because the judges assumed you were trying to hit the style, but missed.

Having said all of this, if you want to enter a few brews and not worry about the scores, you will get some excellent feedback from any credible BJCP sanctioned competition.

Best of luck!

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:25 AM   #3
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You looking for information like this?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/ente...ome-qs-115105/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ente...1/#post1595002

Don't neglect the link to the BYO article that is posted in both threads (I think once by me and once by Spanish Castle ale)

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
I guess the first thing to recognize is that BJCP/AHA competitions are not about the 'best tasting' beer. Taste is a very personal thing and is impossible to judge objectively.

Most beer competitions are BJCP sanctioned and are meant to be objectively judged. To do this, the judges must understand the brewer's intent (i.e. what it was that they were trying to brew). To this end, the BJCP has designed their Style Guidelines, which are meant to represent every major beer style in the world. It is assumed that when you enter a competition, you are brewing to target one of these styles, and everyone is judged against them.

A common misconception is that you can take any homebrew you like, and place it in the appropriate category, and if it tastes good, it should get a high score. No -- the process is structured to evaluate how well a brewer achieved the parameters (e.g., flavour, mouthfeel, carbonation level, etc.) of a particular style. It is not meant to limit creativity, but rather, provide an objective basis by which brewers can make beer to certain targets and demonstrate their brewing ability.

The bottom line is that if you want to enter a competition and do well, you should either (1) brew to the established target parameters in the BJCP Style Guidelines, or (2) recognize that if your creatively-produced homebrew does not actually meet certain parameters of the style it was entered under, it will be scored down because the judges assumed you were trying to hit the style, but missed.

Having said all of this, if you want to enter a few brews and not worry about the scores, you will get some excellent feedback from any credible BJCP sanctioned competition.

Best of luck!
Yes, yes - what FlyGuy said ^^^^^^
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:38 AM   #5
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I disagree with the excellent feedback. I've had good feedback in some, but more often than not, I have been disappointed with the feedback I've gotten from BJCP competitions.

The last several competitions I've entered have been of the latter sort, and I've basically been soured on the whole concept. I like the idea of getting good, unbiased, constructive feedback, but my experience has been severely underwhelming for the most part.

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:46 AM   #6
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I disagree with the excellent feedback. I've had good feedback in some, but more often than not, I have been disappointed with the feedback I've gotten from BJCP competitions.

The last several competitions I've entered have been of the latter sort, and I've basically been soured on the whole concept. I like the idea of getting good, unbiased, constructive feedback, but my experience has been severely underwhelming for the most part.
That's really too bad. It sounds like you have not found good competitions to enter. It really is like shopping around for a good LHBS -- some are good, some aren't. Reputation is about the best tool to select one.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:12 AM   #7
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Enter an unpopular category. Less competition.

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Old 01-18-2010, 04:36 AM   #8
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Appreciate the feedback everyone.

Revvy, I especially appreciate the links. Dont take me the wrong way though, I purposefully didnt do a search on HBT because my train of thought dictated that maybe those new to competitions would weight in as well, as opposed to those who had posted in what may have been a 2 year old thread.

Open question: So basically, self-judge your beer before you send it out (which means bottle AT LEAST 3 12 oz Amber bottles) and then decide where it belongs at that point in time, correct? If thats the case, then I guess I need to start bottling 3 of my scarce 12 oz. bottles with every batch...

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Old 01-18-2010, 04:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Enter an unpopular category. Less competition.
I'm gonna brew what I like, flock the competition. I'm not in it for bragging rights (yet)...I'm just looking to be critiqued by someone who isnt family or a friend and thus has no reason to hold their tongue.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBKing View Post
Appreciate the feedback everyone.

Revvy, I especially appreciate the links. Dont take me the wrong way though, I purposefully didnt do a search on HBT because my train of thought dictated that maybe those new to competitions would weight in as well, as opposed to those who had posted in what may have been a 2 year old thread.

Open question: So basically, self-judge your beer before you send it out (which means bottle AT LEAST 3 12 oz Amber bottles) and then decide where it belongs at that point in time, correct? If thats the case, then I guess I need to start bottling 3 of my scarce 12 oz. bottles with every batch...

Thanks for the advice everyone.
Yes, no matter what size or type of bottle I am bottling a batch in I alsways set aside at least 1 sixer in plain 12 ounce bottles for comps, then when I'm near the dates of my contests I evaluate them and decide which I want to enter, and what category.
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