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Old 12-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Competition Questions for BJCP Judges

I want to enter a couple of my beers in an upcoming competition and I'm wondering how much attention is given to serving temperature by judges in competitions like this.

I mean, I'm sure that it is a consideration since these are BJCP judges and they realize the importance of serving temperature, but I'm wondering how closely they look at the temp when judging a beer.

I'm entering serveral stouts and a mild and these need to be served pretty "warm" in order to have the real character of the style come out. They taste like totally different beers if served even 6 or 7 degrees colder.

Anyone have insight into this? Thanks!

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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In competitions I have judged the beers were stored on ice until ready to serve. Good judges don't complete their notes/score until they have tried the beer cold and warm. Unfortunately you can't stipulate that it has to be judged at a certain temperature. So if your beer is a 12 at a lower temp but is a 50 at a higher temp, I would expect a score to reflect somewhere in the middle...probably high 20's to low 30's.

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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Most likely the beer will be stored on ice, or refrigerated before it goes to a judge. A good judge will ask for a few bottles to be brought out at once if they notice the first one is way too cold. Also, they are judging a small sample of beer. What we have learned so far in my BJPC study group is to get some initial impressions cold (taste, smell appearance), then to use your hands to warm it up some. A judge should know the beer will open up and change when warmed, especially in the stout category.

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Old 12-04-2009, 05:24 AM   #4
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A good judge or steward will make sure those beers are served at an appropriate temperature. When I am judging, I will always come back to a cold beer after it has warmed to make sure that the profile hasn't changed. I don't think you have much to worry about.

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Old 12-04-2009, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtrav View Post
In competitions I have judged the beers were stored on ice until ready to serve. Good judges don't complete their notes/score until they have tried the beer cold and warm. Unfortunately you can't stipulate that it has to be judged at a certain temperature. So if your beer is a 12 at a lower temp but is a 50 at a higher temp, I would expect a score to reflect somewhere in the middle...probably high 20's to low 30's.

this doesnt sound right to me. why would they average out the score of the two tasting temps if only one of those temps is the one its INTENDED to be drunk at.

If I buy a beer from the store that says to drink it at one temp, and I drink it at a different temp, its my own fault that I probably didnt like it. Why should it be any different for this?

I am sure if you tell them to drink it at a certain temp, then thats the temp they will judge it at.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivot View Post
this doesnt sound right to me. why would they average out the score of the two tasting temps if only one of those temps is the one its INTENDED to be drunk at.

If I buy a beer from the store that says to drink it at one temp, and I drink it at a different temp, its my own fault that I probably didnt like it. Why should it be any different for this?

I am sure if you tell them to drink it at a certain temp, then thats the temp they will judge it at.
The judges won't have a thermometer. A judge shouldn't be doing 2 scores on a cold and warm beer and averaging them either. What they should be doing is recognizing "hey this beer is way too cold, I'll warm it a bit in my hand".
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Mrtrav, are you a BJCP judge?? This averaging of warm and cold scores seems odd to me and I can't believe that they don't warm stouts before tasting them. Makes no sense to me.

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Old 12-04-2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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The averaging of the scores just sounds ridiculous.

"I don't get it the ice cream was good cold but now that I heat it up I don't like it"

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Old 12-04-2009, 01:08 PM   #9
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The temperature has more to do with the stewards than the judges, they are the ones who decide when to bring them out of the cooler. The only thing the judges could do is ask for a bottle to be set out early if they wanted. However the stewards, at least in my experience, tend to pay quite a bit of attention to this and it has never been an issue for me.

They do not tend to have different temperature storage units for different styles though, they are all stored and brought out at the same temp and if it's a style that should be served warm it will have to be left at room temp for a bit first.

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Old 12-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #10
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If I am stewarding, which I have a few times int he past, I will generally bring several bottles while the judges are setting up so they can begin to warm up slightly(depending on style). They generally will wait until the beer is at a proper temperature or they will warm their sample with their hand.

Judges are generally trained to know what temps are proper for the style they are judging and they do their best to sample the beer at that temperature. All of the judges I have worked with revisit the beer before moving on to the next beer to make sure the characteristics have not changed. If they have, they adjust the scoresheets.

In other words, both judges and stewards generally know what temp the beers need to be, and they try to make it happen.

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