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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Blended Beer. Cheating or not?
View Poll Results: For Contests - Is Blending Cheating?
Yes 43 20.98%
No 162 79.02%
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DrDirt View Post
BTW, wine is blended due to differing soil conditions, weather, varietals, and climates from whence the grapes come. In the case of beer, we all have access to the same raw materials.
This is so close to true. However, you and I would have to work from the same bag of grain, the same plant of hops and the same vial of yeast. Oh, and the same water.

I sincerely doubt BJCP cares about blending. Newcastle is listed as a commercial example of Northern English Brown. If they gave you crap about blending, this would make your case.


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Old 01-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #22
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I think the article by Gordon Strong on "How to Compete" (or something like that) in Zymurgy is the reason why I think homebrew competitions are a load of bunk. Brew what you want to brew. It's not the beer you brewed and you most certainly can't replicate it if you can't brew it in the first place. He and anyone else who do it for competitions are CHEATERS. If one is really that concerned with making a beer to an exact BJCP style (and blending is the way they accomplish it) then I find it pathetic that they go to that extent to win an award.

As far as blended lambics and British stock ales, they are historically accurate (if that's your thing). That would be acceptable if you compete.



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Old 01-24-2010, 08:31 PM   #23
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Default BJCP reference

Sections 17a-17c in the 2008 BJCP suggest blending is necessary for the style and is becoming a lost art.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:34 PM   #24
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Bull****. Complete bull****.

Taking two ****ty beers and blending them together doesn't magically transform them into something magical. But, if you know that this batch has just not quite enough bitterness, and you've got another batch that's maybe just a bit too bitter, and you work to get the proportions just right... ****, dude, that's an art all by itself. Wineries do this all the time. Major breweries do this all the time, that's what they do when they're constantly sampling the different batches.

If someone makes a batch that's not quite perfect... and they know HOW to fix it, that's 100% OK with me.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:35 PM   #25
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Sections 17a-17c in the 2008 BJCP suggest blending is necessary for the style and is becoming a lost art.
i agree, if you play to "Style" then you should only blend the beers where it is "neccessary for the style." Don't go all Gordon Strong.

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Bull****. Complete bull****.

Taking two ****ty beers and blending them together doesn't magically transform them into something magical. But, if you know that this batch has just not quite enough bitterness, and you've got another batch that's maybe just a bit too bitter, and you work to get the proportions just right... ****, dude, that's an art all by itself. Wineries do this all the time. Major breweries do this all the time, that's what they do when they're constantly sampling the different batches.

If someone makes a batch that's not quite perfect... and they know HOW to fix it, that's 100% OK with me.
I am just thinking of brewing for competitions here (not for one's own enjoyment). I could care less what Gordon Strong and the others do for their own buzz. The fact is that it is not the beer they brewed. It's the beer they blended. It might be semantical, but competitions are an exercise in pedantic semantics. And if a style doesn't call for blending (and the brewer (blender) chooses to blend), it IS cheating. Comparing this to wineries is a bogus argument. It is the historic style to blend wines (either grapes or from different barrels) just like many "Styles" of beer.

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Old 01-24-2010, 08:56 PM   #26
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Again, you can argue all day about which EXACT series of steps is "real" brewing while any deviation from that series is hackery and cheating. If you draw the line at blending, why? Maybe I'm cheating because I buy premalted and kilned malts while real brewers malt their own. Oh wait, no, the guy that grows the barley and malts it is the real brewer.. Nevermind, I just found out that he buys his fertilizer. What a hack.

If you can assembled ingredients in a manor that resembles brewing and deliver it to someone who thinks it is an amazing beer, you're the man. If that someone is a judge and that beer fits the style you entered it as, you win. If it was a blend that made it that way, you're not only a good brewer, but you're a good quality control tech too.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:18 PM   #27
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If you can assembled ingredients in a manor that resembles brewing and deliver it to someone who thinks it is an amazing beer, you're the man. If that someone is a judge and that beer fits the style you entered it as, you win. If it was a blend that made it that way, you're not only a good brewer, but you're a good quality control tech too.
Well-said as always, Bobby. A lot of brewers wouldn't even know that their beer NEEDED to be "fixed" by blending, much less have the skill to do so effectively.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:20 PM   #28
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Again, you can argue all day about which EXACT series of steps is "real" brewing while any deviation from that series is hackery and cheating. If you draw the line at blending, why?
I guess because I see the style guide as an historic, rigid guideline.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:38 PM   #29
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Then you need to study the history of the guidelines, because you are wrong
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:53 PM   #30
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. . . Oh wait, no, the guy that grows the barley and malts it is the real brewer.. Nevermind, I just found out that he buys his fertilizer. What a hack.

If you can assembled ingredients in a manor that resembles brewing and deliver it to someone who thinks it is an amazing beer, you're the man. . .
I don't know Bobby. You're going to one extreme. The other would be pouring a commercial beer into an unmarked bottle and sending it off to a competition. Heck, if you’re the guy who decided which one from your local beer mart was best, you deserve to win.

I think, inside, we all know what it takes to brew a good beer. And that doesn’t mean, “I F’ed it up, but if I blend it with this other stuff it might be OK.” If you F it up, you start over!


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