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Old 03-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #11
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And it doesn't end. Tomorrow night the organizing committee gets together to assign the prizes that weren't handed out at the dinner and package /mail those that aren't local.



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Old 03-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #12
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So ,gift cards or sacks of grain?



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Old 03-26-2013, 12:28 AM   #13
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We all want to brew or quaff that example of home brewing at it's finest but what about those attempts that get entered into competition that just aren't... worthy? Do you, as a judge, let them down easy or hammer them with harshness?

Has anyone entered a brew that failed judging (what would a failing score be? <10?)? How did that make you feel?

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Old 03-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catdaddy66 View Post
We all want to brew or quaff that example of home brewing at it's finest but what about those attempts that get entered into competition that just aren't... worthy? Do you, as a judge, let them down easy or hammer them with harshness?

Has anyone entered a brew that failed judging (what would a failing score be? <10?)? How did that make you feel?
The lowest we've been "allowed" to give is 13. But we fill out the scoresheets fully, with good feedback. Generally, I've been told to give at least one piece of real and helpful advice for every 10 points subtracted. So, for a 13 beer, I'd give at least four pieces of good advice. I'd also make sure to note WHY the scores are the way they are.

To be frank, most of the beers I've judged have not been very good. I think brewers are looking for helpful feedback, and submit beers for criticism so they can improve. I've had a couple of "world class" beers, and maybe handful of "very good to excellent" to judge. The rest have been "good", "fair", or "problematic".
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:32 AM   #15
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Joe- I like that you won't beat a dead horse. But...

Yooper- With all your wisdom I'd love to get a beat down from any judge (Joe or yourself included!) just to get the feedback you speak of. That's the primary reason I think homebrewers should submit their beers. If somehow on the off chance they do well or even place well, then at least they know what to keep doing consistently.

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Old 03-26-2013, 07:19 AM   #16
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How do you get your hombrews into a competition?

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:41 AM   #17
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Great write up.

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:26 AM   #18
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How do you get your hombrews into a competition?
Take a look at this calendar of AHA and BJCP sanctioned competitions http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/competitions/aha-bjcp-sanctioned-competition/calendar

Follow the links to the competition's website, register and enter your beer. There is usually a $6-12 fee. If you find one locally, that's the easiest, then you can drop off your beer at a designated drop-off location. Or you can ship your beer via UPS or Fedex to any competition anywhere.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by catdaddy66 View Post
We all want to brew or quaff that example of home brewing at it's finest but what about those attempts that get entered into competition that just aren't... worthy? Do you, as a judge, let them down easy or hammer them with harshness?
Last year at one of our local comps, I was lucky enough to judge meads with the head brewer of one of the larger microbreweries in the country. Early in the session, he said something that's really stuck with me. Paraphrasing, his philosophy is that you want to help people improve, and that you also want them to enter the same competition next year. Beating up on them isn't going to make them want to come back, so the idea is to be honest, but still constructive and encouraging. Regardless of whether or not you could justify a courtesy score of 13, that's just going to hurt somebody's feelings. He scores a little charitably - but keeps the overall score in the 14-20 range - for such entries. That score reduces embarrassment and discouragement for the entrant while still indicating there is significant improvement to be made. Your feedback will help them improve next time, and you're not doing anything that is going to affect the higher-scoring entrants.

I like his approach because I think it really reduces the chance of a 'why should I enter a competition again' reaction that extremely low scores can generate.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #20
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Cool Write up

I had a few beers in and took a couple of 3rd places , in fact one in the California Common category!

I've put beers in 3 competitions now and find the feedback to be interesting. Sometimes the same beer (from same batch) can get scores that are 5-10 points different from comp to comp.

I do think that the first two/three judges make or break your ability to get a ribbon, if one of them gives you a "low" score you can't make it to next round and have a chance.

Thanks for the writeup, and I'm local to the South Suburbs if you are having trouble getting rid of prizes! I will make sure I get to the awards next year.



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