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Old 10-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by soonami View Post
I think the qualifications of the judges matter too. Dave Houseman and Pete Garofalo were there judging (both Grand Masters)-- those two guys were contributors in the first study guide and the style descriptions so I would trust their opinions. Newbie judges without any BJCP credentials? Maybe not as much.

Also, since I was stewarding, I remember certain categories were judged the Friday night and on Saturday in the morning session and which were judged later, so I think the quality of the palettes and comments might have dropped off a bit during the course of the day as people had more to drink
I had peter Garofalo, grand master III, judge my rye ipa. Gave me a 27. He picked up a few things that the other judge, who was recognized, missed and gave me a 31. I found peters comments to be more helpful and constructive than the other judge. I would rather receive a lower score and receive feedback that can help me improve as a brewer and brew great beer rather than win a metal with a "good" beer.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:22 PM   #102
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My saison had a note on it that said "warmth on the tongue seems to indicate a hot/too high fermentation".
Umm. is this possible for a saison?

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #103
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My saison had a note on it that said "warmth on the tongue seems to indicate a hot/too high fermentation".
Umm. is this possible for a saison?
Absolutely it is possible. You don't want higher alcohols even with a saison.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:10 AM   #104
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Just got back from the HOPS meeting, so I thought I'd fill you in.

First, I think what many of us guessed was right. The hold up was on the eligibility of submitted beers.

From the official HOPS-BOPS rules and regs:

Quote:
  • All entries become property of HOPS. No entries will be returned. Only home-brewed (not commercial or commercially assisted) beers may be entered (must conform to AHA guidelines for homebrew).
  • Entries that do not follow these guidelines and entry requirements will be disqualified. Disqualified entries may be judged but are not eligible for any of the awards.
  • Any questions or disputes that arise during the competition will be settled by the competition organizers with all decisions being final.

I think the issue is especially with one brewer who has a website with very explicit language about starting a commercial brewery. The AHA is pretty specific about the rules that qualify as homebrew for the National Homebrewer's Competition. They have been mentioned, but I'll repeat them, 7B of the NHC Rules and Regulations says:

Quote:
Your homebrew cannot have been brewed on equipment used to brew beverages for any
commercial purpose, whether for commercial research, production or any other purpose,
including equipment at brew-on-premises establishments.
Any commercial purpose. Including research

An entrant into the competition has a website for his website and a facebook page that lists his brewery as a "local business." Select language from the website and linked facebook:
Quote:
With luck, [redacted]'s brewing skills will soon be available to beer enthusiasts everywhere, as he plans to go pro. “I’m in the preliminary stages of starting a brewpub/micro...”
Quote:
Head brewer [redacted] has been entering [redacted] beers in Homebrew Competitions to get feedback from BJCP certified beer judges. As of January 2012 our beer has earned 6- 1st place, and 2- 2nd place medals in their categories. Our [beer] has earned the Overall "best of show" at the 18th annual [competition], and 3rd "best of show" at the [competition], and our [beer] got 2nd "best of show" at the [competition]..."
Quote:
[redacted]is a start-up Craft Brewery... Siebel Institute "Concise" brewing course gradute and Head Brewer [redacted] is fine tuning our recipe's on our half barrel pilot brewing system as we put together our 15 barrel system and finalize the location and business plan for our commercial brewery/ brewpub. Our goal is to have our beer for sale in 2013. We will be posting updates on our progress as we go.
So it seems like this guy has clear intentions of starting a brewery and has set forth in that direction. Submitting pilot batches of commercial beers into a BJCP competition for feedback of the beers is forbidden. Not only that, he's using different homebrew competitions as advertising and press for his brewing company. As far as I can tell, the brewer doesn't have a commercial brewing license or having the brewery incorporated, but that doesn't mean paperwork hasn't already been submitted and the process started.

I think many of us strive to make beer that is as good as beer you buy at the store, but when is a brewing beer no longer a hobby but a career choice? It's a very hard decision to make, and I'm glad I'm not in charge so that I don't have to make a call on this. For me, I think that if this guy really is going pro, which it looks like he is, it's really ****ty for those of us that are doing it just for fun and want to win ribbons because it brings us joy and not investors. Even if it's not technically illegal, it's still very morally dubious and against brewer's code. Once you treat brewing as career development it's no longer homebrewing, in my opinion. Especially so when you are taking advantage of volunteer beer judges, stewards, organizers, etc to basically get feedback on a commercial product and for advertising.

Anyway, the final decision is still being made, but the organizers have been struggling with what is most fair. I'm sure we'll all find out at the same time what the verdict is. In the end, the organizers have final say in what they decide in a judgment call like this
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #105
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Thanks again soonami for that detailed explanation. That explains a lot.

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #106
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Isn't a mild by definition a boring beer? haha.
BJCP-

That stuff drives me nuts. I understand they are just doing their best, but some of this stuff gets a little frustrating.
My IPA comments from judge on aroma-

From BJCP-

So, where the hell did I lose 4 points? Looks like I pretty much nailed the aroma according to the comments.
Comments from one judge on mouthfeel-

Comments from the other judge on mouthfeel-




The beer had an FG of 1.010. How much more attenuated do they want it to be?
I got dinged on having some grassy notes too.

BJCP-

Like I said, everyone is a volunteer and is just doing the best they can, but when they write things on the scoresheet that directly contradict the style guidelines, how the hell is someone supposed to craft a beer to style? You shoot to hit the style and the judges don't even seem to read the guidelines when judging the style.

Flavor comment from a well known and experienced judge who will remain nameless-


If he tasted "hops, hops, and hops" then why is he dinging me for not bringing out the hops more?


I'm glad I'm not alone, I guess.

This isn't constructive feedback, this is "I'm a beer snob and I'm going to invent reasons not to like your beer." Very little of the feedback they gave me is useful. They said my pumpkin ale was too dry, and even though the recipe/mash temp/yeast/gravity reading/taste says otherwise, so what? Nothing in the category or base style says that is a flaw.

This reminds me of last comp, where a grand master judge said my Belgian single needed to be fermented at higher temps to get more yeast character. Sorry man, that's totally your opinion. What's next? "I like Chinook hops, you should have used Chinook."
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:13 PM   #107
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I'm glad I'm not alone, I guess.

This isn't constructive feedback, this is "I'm a beer snob and I'm going to invent reasons not to like your beer." Very little of the feedback they gave me is useful. They said my pumpkin ale was too dry, and even though the recipe/mash temp/yeast/gravity reading/taste says otherwise, so what? Nothing in the category or base style says that is a flaw.

This reminds me of last comp, where a grand master judge said my Belgian single needed to be fermented at higher temps to get more yeast character. Sorry man, that's totally your opinion. What's next? "I like Chinook hops, you should have used Chinook."
Sometimes it's hard to identify specifically what a flaw or shortcoming in a beer is. I've been a craft drinker for 5 years and homebrewing for almost as long and sometimes I'll have a really fresh, hoppy IPA, but it just doesn't wow me. I don't know how to describe it, it's something in the balance of the ingredients or the combination of hops. There is some melding of ingredients that just doesn't take place where I'm not sure how to help it. It's really easy to drink a fresh Pliny and say that's the perfect double IPA, but your local brewpub may brew the exact same recipe by Vinnie and it's just not quite the same, can you always explain exactly why? Sure maybe it's not hoppy enough, even though it's 100+ calculated IBU and dry hopped with 10 pounds, or not dry enough, even it's 1.010, or not crisp enough even though US-01 was pitched at the right rate...
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonami

sometimes it's hard to identify specifically what a flaw or shortcoming in a beer is. I've been a craft drinker for 5 years and homebrewing for almost as long and sometimes i'll have a really fresh, hoppy ipa, but it just doesn't wow me. I don't know how to describe it, it's something in the balance of the ingredients or the combination of hops. There is some melding of ingredients that just doesn't take place where i'm not sure how to help it. It's really easy to drink a fresh pliny and say that's the perfect double ipa, but your local brewpub may brew the exact same recipe by vinnie and it's just not quite the same, can you always explain exactly why? Sure maybe it's not hoppy enough, even though it's 100+ calculated ibu and dry hopped with 10 pounds, or not dry enough, even it's 1.010, or not crisp enough even though us-01 was pitched at the right rate...
+1
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:23 PM   #109
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Finally got my "correct" score sheets back. The numbers match my entry numbers but I very highly doubt it was my beer being judged in two of the cases.

My Blonde Ale has two comments that really don't line up with my beer. They first state that the color of the beer is amber when my SRM is about 4 which isn't even close. In regards to hops, they mention twice on each score sheet that I used too many West Coast hops and it's too bitter. The hop bill is all noble hops and the IBU's are low (about 20). They also mentioned this is really an APA and not a Blonde which most definitely doesn't fit the beer that I submitted.

The Mild that I submitted talks about the color being too light, being described as amber. It's actually around 25 on the SRM scale and I was worried about it being too dark. There are a couple other comments about hopping that also lead me to believe that my beer was mixed up with another entry.

Sounds like they have enough issues with this competition so I am just going to let it be. I will probably not entire next years event and hope that they get things inline. If they do, I will give them another shot the following year.

-Josh

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #110
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[QUOTE=joshs;4509984]Finally got my "correct" score sheets back. The numbers match my entry numbers but I very highly doubt it was my beer being judged in two of the cases. "
Ha, well you received your "corrected" scoresheets, and I haven't received mine at all. And I live in PA, you'd think since it was a shorter distance for delivery I'd have had mine already. Oh well, based on what I've read here, I don't have high hopes!
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