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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > IPA's not within BJCP style guidelines
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:25 AM   #21
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I think you have to remember that judges don't know a beer's IBU's or ABV. Those numbers are guidelines but it really is all about perception. You could have a 100 IBU (at least on paper) IPA but it tastes like a 70 IBU IPA. The same could be said for ABV. It boils down to a brewers technique, skill, and ingredients in some cases to "fool" the judges when really a beer is technically out of style. However the judges perception is that it is brewed "to style".

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #22
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I just got a 33 on my English IPA in the OrganicHomberewsCompettion.ONe of the judges didnt "prefer" and like my hop choice .Really I was debating on entering in in American IPA. Didnt get docked as bad as I thought. No flaws also. I just thought it was more of a American version of an English IPA, and it didnt taste all that American in my opinon,mainly due to yeast choice. More of a hybrid,if I stuck to the basics I probably would have got an even higher score. It tasted good and I knew it,thats what matters. How many of these current successful breweries really stick to guidelines,anyways?
What are you complaining about? You entered an English IPA into a BJCP competition using American hops. You shouldn't have expectations of doing very well if you're not going to stick to the style. A 33 isn't a poor score by any means. It may taste great, but if it's not to the BJCP style, than it's not going to score well.

A lot of people complain about BJCP competitions because of the adherence to the style specifics. Those specifics are there to force brewers to submit beers that fall within general specific guidelines so that the competition is focused more on each brewer's techniques and skills rather than on the specific recipe they used.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #23
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+1 Being a "hop head" is like being someone who likes really hot food. After a certain point you're not doing it because you like it, you're doing it so you can say you did it.
My experiences do not align with this mindset.

I hated bitter, hoppy beers when I started my craft beer journey. Now I love them. My taste just became more appreciative of them over time. They are now the majority of what I brew and buy. And I don't do it to show off. I do it because I enjoy it.

We all know from Pliny the Elder that if you use nearly a pound of hops wisely, you won't end up with a severely bitter/harsh/abrasive beer. Instead, you'll end up with the #1 rated IIPA consecutive years straight as per beeradvocate.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #24
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I think you have to remember that judges don't know a beer's IBU's or ABV. Those numbers are guidelines but it really is all about perception. You could have a 100 IBU (at least on paper) IPA but it tastes like a 70 IBU IPA. The same could be said for ABV. It boils down to a brewers technique, skill, and ingredients in some cases to "fool" the judges when really a beer is technically out of style. However the judges perception is that it is brewed "to style".
How would you do this? I made a really hoppy American amber a month ago and what I learned is that crystal malt doesn't really create sweetness per se, lowering the IBUs does. You can't just use a bunch of crystal or vienna/munich. Not only that, but dumping in those malts is going to make the beer too syrupy.

I suppose you could use a less attenuative yeast. But the human tongue can for sure taste the difference between a 70 IBU and a 100 IBU beer. 5-10 IBUs, sure, but 30 is going to be pretty apparent.

If I were a judge I would ding a 100 IBU American IPA for lack of balance. While I don't doubt that some people genuinely enjoy imbalanced bitter beers, they aren't in the majority.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:05 PM   #25
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My experiences do not align with this mindset.

I hated bitter, hoppy beers when I started my craft beer journey. Now I love them. My taste just became more appreciative of them over time. They are now the majority of what I brew and buy. And I don't do it to show off. I do it because I enjoy it.

We all know from Pliny the Elder that if you use nearly a pound of hops wisely, you won't end up with a severely bitter/harsh/abrasive beer. Instead, you'll end up with the #1 rated IIPA consecutive years straight as per beeradvocate.
I'm not saying that people who like hoppy beers only do it to show off. I love hoppy beers, too, but as I said in my other post, it's the gimme more attitude that a lot of people have toward hops. Eventually even Pliny isn't enough and you find yourself drinking a 2500 IBU beer when you probably only perceive about 100-120 of them.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:08 PM   #26
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I haven't met anyone like that, I'm sorry. Maybe the new craft beer drinker / cocky newb who is arrogantly insecure (I think that BIG alcohol content is more appropriate for those types). More often, I think there are just a lot of haters, complainers, and labeler snobs out there.

Drink what you enjoy!

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:07 AM   #27
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What are you complaining about? You entered an English IPA into a BJCP competition using American hops. You shouldn't have expectations of doing very well if you're not going to stick to the style. A 33 isn't a poor score by any means. It may taste great, but if it's not to the BJCP style, than it's not going to score well.

A lot of people complain about BJCP competitions because of the adherence to the style specifics. Those specifics are there to force brewers to submit beers that fall within general specific guidelines so that the competition is focused more on each brewer's techniques and skills rather than on the specific recipe they used.
Maybe you misinterpreted me. I wasnt complaining at all. I do wonder however, if I would have got an even better score had I entered it in the american ipa category,though.And I am more than happy and pleased with the score-which is the satisfaction of entering it. Next time I will stick to the category with more accuracy,but just hopefully it turns out as good tasteing enough to enter. I really just did it to get some more professional feedback. And yes I did predict what would be said about what I already knew where I was pushing the style lines. So at least that gives me some confirmation of what I do know about beer.

I didnt use American hops either,by the way.I was just told to tone down the hops for the style hence what I would think would have made it American IPa,rather. I didnt orgionally brew it for the competion,either. It was a last minute decision to enter it, and not to mention it was also a 5-6 mo.conditoned beer.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:22 AM   #28
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I think Phundog summed it up pretty well. Think Pliny, on paper it's like 285 IBU or some insane number like that, tested it's near 100 (?). It's hoppy as $hit, like biting a hop, but is it bitter? Not overly so. More like a mild bitterness that comes from loads and loads of flavoring hops. I almost always over shoot IBU on my IPA according to the BJCP, but I get the majority of those IBU from flavor addition, not the bittering shot. In fact, I've even done a few with no "bittering" addition, all flavor/aroma but with alot of IBU from those adds. The perception is not of a bitter beer, but of lots of hops flavor and aroma. On paper, those beers aren't "to style", but to the drinker, they are. BJCP judges are drinkers.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:37 AM   #29
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Ultimately, I think the BJCP guidelines are a good thing, but it isn't a measure of a good beer, per se.

Consider the competition more like a dog show; just because someone has entered a pure bred, doesn't mean that its a "better" dog than the mutt down the street.

The only problem that I see with the ultra high IBUs in an IPA category is that the judges taste buds will get worn out by too much hop. Other flavors in a more complex beer will be diminished.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:37 AM   #30
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Judges who's palates can handle high IBU shouldn't be judging a category in which high IBU is standard.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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