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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Blended Beer. Cheating or not?

View Poll Results: For Contests - Is Blending Cheating?
Yes 43 20.98%
No 162 79.02%
Voters: 205. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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So, lets say you and I are both trying to brew an APA and Yours turns out exactly the way you want and mine turns out like an IPA. I realize I goofed, and I pour some maltier beer in to mellow it out after the fact. We're both equally skilled brewers? Even though you made the style you originally intended and I didnt?
BJCP competitions have got nothing to do with skill. There is nothing in the BJCP guidelines about brewing skill. They are about making your beer achieve a particular profile. You can make the best APA in the world, but if it doesn't fit neatly into the BJCP style guidelines, you are **** out of luck. I don't see anything wrong with blending, so long as you brewed all the beers.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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I disagree. The purpose of making beer to drink is to make something that tastes great to you. On the other hand, brewing a beer for competition is a test of the brewer's ability to make a beer that matches pre-defined criteria. Before he begins to brew, he (she) has a specific taste, color, ABV in mind, and uses skill to match those criteria.

Blending beer to reach a BJCP guideline is like shanking your tee shot onto another fairway and deciding to play that hole instead.
I think you mistake the point of the BJCP. They don't care how you got there. They don't say "you have to mash X ingredients, use X yeast, and ferment for X time to make this beer". If you look at the guidelines for each style, they cover a pretty wide range. Blending can be an art in itself. If that makes the best beer, then so be it.

Check out the appearance for a Dry Stout
Quote:
Appearance: Jet black to deep brown with garnet highlights in color. Can be opaque (if not, it should be clear).
how freaking vague is that? The guidelines are full of stuff like that. Some styles range from 30-60 IBUs etc. There are also other styles that rely on blending for the final taste. Gueuze is one example.

I could see the argument that blending homebrew with commercial beer could be "illegal". As long as its all homebrew, I don't see a problem with it.

I think, generally, people are not too sure of what the BJCP is all about, and how beer is judged. I highly recommend perusing the BJCP Exam Center. Check out the study guide, judges guide manual and even the practice exam.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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You're right. It certainly doesn't take any knowledge of brewing, mashing, yeast, hops, fermentation and malts to make a beer that meets pre-determined criteria, and tastes/smells/looks the way you intended before you began heating strike water.

"BJCP competitions have got nothing to do with skill" ...and i assume that the really good brewers who routinely win these competitions are just exceptionally lucky.

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Awesome man. I think that was the most helpfull post Ive gotten so far. Thank you!
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:48 PM   #14
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Lets look at it this way: a lot of beers are made by following a set of instructions without variation, where these instructions are meant to produce a particular product.

Toilet seats are made the same way.

Some beers are made by tasting and blending batches to produce a particular final product.

Wine is made the same way.

Do you want to elevate beer making to the level of wine making or restrict it to the level of toilet seat making? A lot of good beer is made in factories; and home brewers are free to limit themselves to a factory type process if they wish.

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Old 01-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #15
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As long as you don't keg...

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Old 01-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #16
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The competition awards the best beer that meets the guidelines. That's all. Most of the time, that will be a beer crafted by a skilled brewer, but not all the time. If blending a beer makes it better, there is no reason for it not to score higher. It's all about the beer in front of the judge.

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Old 01-24-2010, 05:16 PM   #17
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"BJCP competitions have got nothing to do with skill" ...and i assume that the really good brewers who routinely win these competitions are just exceptionally lucky.
Let me put this another way: BJCP competition rules don't care whether the brewer who made the beer is highly skilled. There are people who have posted on HBT about winning Best of Show on their first batch of beer. Do you think these are skilled brewers? Just because skilled brewers tend to perform better as a group than unskilled brewers doesn't mean anything. The person who wins first place did so because they submitted a beer the judges liked better.

The same can be said of poker. A skilled poker player will generally perform better than an unskilled player over the long haul, but anyone can win, and the rules don't care about who is a better player.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:29 PM   #18
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"Toilet seats are made the same way." - so are space shuttles. This is a non sequitor.

IMHO, the BJCP guidelines are extablished to define a style, with specific criteria. This way, brewers can take aim at creating a beer with those characteristics. By using knowlegde of mash temps, hops profiles, yeast strains, etc, etc, we try to brew a beer that meets the static BJCP guidelines. Let me be clear, we often make very good beer that does not meet BJCP style guidelines, the purpose of brewing is to make beer you like to drink.

However, in a competition the purpose is to make a beer that tastes good and also meets certain criteria. Some brewers pick a style, APA for example, and create a recipe, brew it, tweak it, re-brew it and contunially refine their recipe to make the best APA possible within BJCP guidelines.
Other brewers may make something thats close to correct and then blend it with another beer to meet the criteria. In either case, it's good beer! The difference, IMHO, is that the first person has a tried and true recipe, thats repeatable, that doesn't require the variables of blending (unless called for in the BJCP). He aimed at a specific target (BJCP) before starting the brew, and achieved his goal without having to make corrections to the brew by blending. Both methods achieve the same result, but once again IMHO, the first brewer exhibits more forethought, knowledge and skill.
Now, if the brewer plans ahead to blend, it's more acceptable. Some irish stouts, for example, require a portion of the wort to be seperated and soured, and then blended back in. Those circumstances, to me, are very different from accidentally making a brew that's different than the intended style, and then using blending to change it.
OP asked for opinions, that's what I gave.
Clearly I've stepped on the toes of a few folks who blend beers for competition. oops.

BTW, wine is blended due to differing soil conditions, weather, varietals, and climates from whence the grapes come. In the case of beer, we all have access to the same raw materials.

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Awesome man. I think that was the most helpfull post Ive gotten so far. Thank you!
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:39 PM   #19
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I would think it would take more skill to brew two beers that blend together to be a great APA than to just brew a great APA to begin with.

It is most certainly not cheating. Is it cheating to blend sours together? Hell no, that is traditional. Why not any other beer, as long as all the threads are your own brewed beer.

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:57 PM   #20
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The same can be said of poker. A skilled poker player will generally perform better than an unskilled player over the long haul, but anyone can win, and the rules don't care about who is a better player.
One hand of poker is anyone's game, 1000 hands of poker and the better player will almost without a doubt have the largest pile of chips in front of them.
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