Help me class this lager for a competition...

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seatazzz

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So back on 7/7 I brewed up a lager, using 80/20 pilsner/two row, 0.5oz Chinook for bittering, and some Crystal as late additions at 10 & 5. Fermented at 52 for a week, then a d-rest for a few days, now supposed to get some lagering time. Planned on it just being for home consumption. Just finished the d-rest for it, and it's down to 1.012 from 1.060 (6.3%), and is absolutely DEEEEELICIOUS. So tasty, in fact, that I am considering entering it in the WW Fair this year. However, I'm having one hell of a time deciding what class it can go in. Too strong for American lager, not quite a Munich Helles, has some of the characteristics of pre-Prohibition (not an available class for the Fair anyway), and the International Light lager class seems wrong because it's not, well, International, but none of those seem right. Here's my take on the flavor (can't describe the appearance/final mouthfeel yet cause it's not done): good malt backbone, the Chinook gives a nice light bitterness that isn't overwhelming like chinook can be; has that lager 'bite', but isn't overpowering, and is slightly sweet on initial taste, that doesn't linger. Slight fruity aroma from the Crystal hops, but they don't dominate the flavor as much as I thought they would. Slightly dry, crisp finish. I know it will get better with some lagering time, and the character will change a bit, I was just wondering what others (with more BJCP experience than me) might think.
 

Lefou

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Ok, what yeast did you use for this brew? Did you scale the recipe for a BJCP 2015 style range?
I try to define a beer by yeast strain, IBU level measured in bitterness-to-gravity ratio, and malt choices relative to weight and color. More or less I depend on Brewers Friend to choose the closest style but there's quite a bit of overlap left to your imagination.
 
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seatazzz

seatazzz

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Ok, what yeast did you use for this brew? Did you scale the recipe for a BJCP 2015 style range?
I try to define a beer by yeast strain, IBU level measured in bitterness-to-gravity ratio, and malt choices relative to weight and color. More or less I depend on Brewers Friend to choose the closest style but there's quite a bit of overlap left to your imagination.
Yeast was S-23, fresh. I haven't plugged it into Brewers Friend to see what it might come up with, but might try it tonight.
 

Lefou

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I suppose the color, gravity, and hopping level would work for 4B, but in a contest does the sample beer need to be specific on the ingredients and are the judges that exacting?
No idea myself, but since dave is a qualified BJCP judge this is more or less a question on my part.
How would that work?
 

dmtaylor

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I suppose the color, gravity, and hopping level would work for 4B, but in a contest does the sample beer need to be specific on the ingredients and are the judges that exacting?
No idea myself, but since dave is a qualified BJCP judge this is more or less a question on my part.
How would that work?

The judges do not receive a copy of the recipe. Most competitions don't even ask for the recipe, and for the rare ones that do, they still don't even really need it and they won't give it to the judges.

Always base the style category on how the beer actually tastes, which is sometimes not the style that you had intended to brew, or like in this case might not even be based on any style at all. If it tastes good and you enter it as a suitable style based on how it tastes, then it should score well.

If you enter competitions a lot, you'll want to familiarize yourself with all the BJCP style descriptions to help figure out which style fits best. In this case, I'm pretty sure it's 4B... although of course I'd have to taste it for myself to really know for sure. I'm only basing my judgment on the recipe alone, which admittedly might be a little dangerous. :D
 
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seatazzz

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Congratulations, you've made a 4B Festbier. That's one of my favorite styles these days actually. :)

I spent a lot of time last night (and today) reading over the guidelines again, and the Festbier is actually what I landed on a few times. I've got a couple of other entries for this competition (that I know are true to the style/class they are going in) so I can maybe afford to slide this one in as a Festbier. Thank you Dave!
 
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seatazzz

seatazzz

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So a bit of an update; Thursday I hit this one with some gelatin and started crashing it. This morning it's almost perfectly clear, and nicely chilled. Cold, the flavor is even better (duh) and I absolutely cannot wait for it to be carbed and ready to drink. If I don't get at least a second with it I'll be surprised. Best lager I've made to date, about 10 under my belt now. Next one I'll ferment warm to see what difference it makes.
 
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