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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Poll: Beer Competition Ethics
View Poll Results: Is it ethical to submit a beer to a competition using someone else's recipe?
No, it is not ethical-- figure out your own recipe! 11 5.91%
Yes, it is ethical-- brewing is a performance, while the recipe is just the score. 139 74.73%
Meh-- you think too much. 36 19.35%
Voters: 186. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2009, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Poll: Beer Competition Ethics

What are your thoughts about submitting a beer to a competition that was made using someone else's recipe?

For me, it doesn't seem right, but I'm interested in what others feel about this. I've never entered a competition before, so maybe I'm way off base here. I hope I'm not opening a can of worms here.


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Old 06-09-2009, 02:12 AM   #2
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I'm not sure it's truly unethical, but I personally probably wouldn't do it. I'd like feedback on my OWN recipe, not just my ability to follow the script...

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Old 06-09-2009, 02:16 AM   #3
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We could all brew the same recipe and we would end up with very different beers.

When I brew a recipe, no matter where it came from, it is my unique beer because I used my water, methods, equipment, time, temperatures, etc.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:17 AM   #4
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If you used your own water and equipment and procedures then you have something that is uniquely yours. I rarely ever create a recipe exactly I find it since I usually substitute something, either way though it is your beer that you made.

Anyway I'd be proud to have someone brew my recipe and enter it into a competition. I'm sure most people here feel that way.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:49 AM   #5
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Do we all honestly think that after CENTURIES of brewing that there really is a true UNIQUE brew that still exists? As has been stated, if you gave 5 people the same recipe, I dare say even the same ingredients you will get 5 different brews.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #6
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Yea, who cares. To submit a beer to a comp, you have to brew to style anyways. Honestly, how many different recipes are there for a Bavarian Hefeweizen?

McDole won the SA Longshot comp with a clone of Russian River's Pliny. Many people have won comps with recipes from Brewing Classic Styles. Brewing (and winning) is much less about the recipe than the process.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #7
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In my opinion, submitting a brew of someone else's recipe is fine; you wouldn't be penalised for entering someone else's recipe in a cooking competition would you? There's a lot of skill in brewing; it's easy to get something that's drinkable, but to get an excellent brew takes practice, fine tuning, and skill.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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I voted B......anyways, the only truly original recipes out there are for beers that have their own style outside of the guidelines. All others a just a variation on a theme.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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I think that the process of making beer has more to do with the recipe that is used.

If the AB brewers gave everyone on HBT the exact 5 gallon recipe for Bud, and we all brewed it, very few people would have a beer that AB would actually call a Bud. That is due to the process and not the recipe.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Brewing is a process.

I'd go even farther than kilted and say that 3 brewers following the same recipe, using the same ingredients - water, malt, yeast, hops - brewing side by side (somehow unaware they're all using the same recipe) then taking home and fermenting would produce 3 different beers.

Timing, temps (mash and ferment), carbonation (volumes and natty vs forced), Time (hop additions, mash, sparge), time on the yeast, techniques (fly/batch sparge, racking style, aeration) and equipment - from electronically controlled all stainless blingman to heatstick and buckets, crush of grain all change the final product.

It may speak to my Noobness as a brewer but there are two beers I've repeated - BM's centennial and LilSparky's Nut brown - both were subtlely different each time (I have no temp control set up yet which is probably a large part of it).

Hell, there's talk here of different years of commercial beer's special releases being vastly different year to year. If the pros produce a different process each time...

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