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Old 12-23-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default IPA Competition Category

I just thought I'd solicit a little feedback on this question as I have been flip flopping in my head, although I think the answer is fairly obvious. Just looking for reassurance I guess.

I just brewed a moderately big IPA that I feel pretty good about and I want to put into a couple competitions to get some feedback on. It has a solid malt backbone with 1.5lbs of mixed crystal in there as well. It had an OG of 1.072 and is still in the fermentor and I am expecting an FG of about 1.016-1.018 based on past experience with my attenuation for this yeast in my system (Wyeast 1056). BeerSmith puts the color at 12 SRM and the IBU's at 91.5 using the Tinseth formula. The IBU's are derived mostly from multiple late hop additions in the last 30 minutes of the boil using 5 american varieties.

Some of the competions I am looking at may require me to classify the beer before it is completely finished. Now from reading the guidelines the projected IBU's clearly put it into the imperial IPA category. I am just concerned because the ABV will be at the bottom of the style which has an OG range of 1.070 to 1.090 and it may be overshadowed by heavier beers in the category.

The OG would put it inside the high end of the style for an IPA, but the IBU's exceed that style recommendations handily. The initial tasting post boil was as expected a pronounced complex layerred citrus/floral/piney but not severely bitter hop presence with a fairly supportive malt backbone. Closer to a Hop 15 than a Pliny.

Has anyone ever enterred something in this range into an Imperial IPA category and do you feel it would be hurt by the lower ABV? Also for west coast competitions could this be snuck into the IPA category, or are the IBU's just too big?

I realise the beer isn't even finished yet and final taste will be important in this decision after the yeast scrubs some of the IBU's away, but I just wanted to get some feedback just the same.

Thanx

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Old 12-23-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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I'm not a competition expert but if given the choice between entering a particular beer at the high end of one category or the low end of another, I'd choose the high end, especially with an aggressive beer like an IPA. Or better yet enter it into both.

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Old 12-23-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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If you’re early in the IPA flight there's a chance you might get hit, but anywhere but first in the IIPA and you’ll definitely score low. I’d enter it as an IPA.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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I'd enter it as an IPA as well.

I've entered IPAs in the category 14 that were middle of the road OG/FG/ABV, and the judges almost always said that it would be more appropriate in the APA category.

If you malt backbone is as strong as you say, it will easily mellow those ~91 IBUs. Hell, I think Stone Ruinitation fits in the IPA cat even though it's ~100 IBU and 7+% ABV

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Old 12-23-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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I was just listening to JZ talk about entering competitions and he recommended aiming for the high end of the style vs the low end. Not to mention the judges will have no idea exactly what your OG was and what your IBU is.

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Old 12-23-2009, 11:42 PM   #6
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Thanx for the input. It looks like the consensus is to enter as an IPA, although I do like the suggestion to enter as both categories. The only problem with that is sending out double the quantity to each competition as I suspect I just may want to drink this a bit at home. That's the problem with 5 gallon batches.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:15 AM   #7
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Zen:

Amazing the timing of this question! Thanks for asking, and thanks for the answers.

I am in the same boat as you.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2eng View Post
Zen:

Amazing the timing of this question! Thanks for asking, and thanks for the answers.

I am in the same boat as you.
It's a nice boat though. Must be a west coast kinda thing

Good Luck r2eng!

Since the timing is similiar, maybe if we each can spare a bottle or two we can swap and sample if you like.
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