Quantcast

That's Right, I'm in the Club Now - Best Start Showing Me Some Respect

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,505
Reaction score
12,032
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Outstanding job! Congratulations. I've got my exam on Saturday. Any pointers for me or just a general what to expect? Thanks.
Actually, even though I'm teasing Pappers (a lot) about this- he was extremely helpful to me in getting ready for the test.

I don't have a homebrew club and I live in the middle of nowhere, so I was prepping totally on my own. Pappers' advice helped me quite a bit with getting ready for the tasting portion. He tested about 6 weeks before me, but we got our results on the same day so our exams were scored at the same time.

His advice is helpful and I really appreciated it. It's probably more helpful to take a class or two through your homebrew club than attempting what I did and doing it alone- but my certificate is proof that you can do it on your own as well.

The tasting exam isn't hard at all- IF you know your beerstyles. In a real competition, it's much easier as you can have a copy of the guidelines in front of you as you score. During the test, you really have to exhibit that you know the guidelines for each style. You can't really say "too much" at all- but you can say too little.

A rule of thumb that Al Boyce told me is to give one piece of corrective advice for every 10 points under the score you give. That means, say, for a 30 point beer, you give two very good points of advice. Not "watch sanitation", which is easy to say. But to say, "The staleness could be signs of oxidation- make sure that transfers are done without splashing to avoid oxygenation" if you gig the beer for oxidation. If the beer is infected, talk about sanitation and how to avoid infection, not just "watch sanitation".

And if you've got a seat in a tasting exam- good for you! I know Pappers (who lives in a HUGE metro area) had to travel for his exam, and I traveled to Minneapolis for mine.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,505
Reaction score
12,032
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Congrats! How long did it take you to get certified?
I tested on September 9 or so, and got my results via email on January 6.

The test scoring is a huge process- the scores I got back were expansive and explained where I scored at "National", "Certified" or "Recognized". There were helpful hints on being a better judge, as well as some kudos for what I picked up. (and some gigs on what I missed!).

I had 13 BJCP points going in from prior competitions, so they added my judging points in and that's why I'm certified. Pappers scored higher than I did, and he'll be certified as well very soon since he's got a couple of competitions scheduled to judge.
 

Hop_Hero

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
144
Reaction score
3
Location
Fallbrook
I meant how long from the time you started pursuing being bjcp certified till you got certified.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
5,643
Reaction score
2,861
Location
Groton
Actually, even though I'm teasing Pappers (a lot) about this- he was extremely helpful to me in getting ready for the test.

I don't have a homebrew club and I live in the middle of nowhere, so I was prepping totally on my own. Pappers' advice helped me quite a bit with getting ready for the tasting portion. He tested about 6 weeks before me, but we got our results on the same day so our exams were scored at the same time.

His advice is helpful and I really appreciated it. It's probably more helpful to take a class or two through your homebrew club than attempting what I did and doing it alone- but my certificate is proof that you can do it on your own as well.

The tasting exam isn't hard at all- IF you know your beerstyles. In a real competition, it's much easier as you can have a copy of the guidelines in front of you as you score. During the test, you really have to exhibit that you know the guidelines for each style. You can't really say "too much" at all- but you can say too little.

A rule of thumb that Al Boyce told me is to give one piece of corrective advice for every 10 points under the score you give. That means, say, for a 30 point beer, you give two very good points of advice. Not "watch sanitation", which is easy to say. But to say, "The staleness could be signs of oxidation- make sure that transfers are done without splashing to avoid oxygenation" if you gig the beer for oxidation. If the beer is infected, talk about sanitation and how to avoid infection, not just "watch sanitation".

And if you've got a seat in a tasting exam- good for you! I know Pappers (who lives in a HUGE metro area) had to travel for his exam, and I traveled to Minneapolis for mine.
Thanks for all the tips Yooper, that's really helpful because I really have no idea what to expect walking in there aside from what I've heard from others who have taken the exam. I am in the same situation you were in about going it alone and having to travel. I live smack dab in the middle between New York and Boston, so there were no tasting classes available to me that were within a reasonable distance to drive every week for three months. My exam is taking place on eastern Long Island, so I actually have to take a ferry across Long Island Sound to get to mine. Thanks again and congrats to you, too! I didn't realize you weren't already certified because I think I remember you mentioning a time or two about judging in competitions.
 

BobbiLynn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
2,951
Reaction score
793
I hope my comments have always showed the respect I have for you, if not, I apologize, oh judge!!!! I mean "Your Honor!"
 
OP
Pappers_

Pappers_

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
17,556
Reaction score
3,935
Location
Chicago
For those taking the test or thinking about taking the test, here's some advice on how to prepare:

1) know the guidelines well enough and then practice tastings from beers that are near to each other in the guidelines; for example, we did a tasting of ordinary bitter, special bitter, and extra special bitter (ESB) and filled out judging sheets on each of them;

2) know the off-flavor compounds and work on being able to perceive and identify them

3) practice describing what you are tasting, regardless of the style guidelines; become comfortable with descriptive words and apply them to what you are tasting
 
OP
Pappers_

Pappers_

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
17,556
Reaction score
3,935
Location
Chicago
Thanks! I think I'm going to do a last minute off flavor panel later in the week with as many off flavors as I can easily get a hold of, just so they're all fresh in my mind.
Speaking of off-flavors, one of the beers at our test was a Bohemian Pilsner and it turned out to be Pilsner Urquell (the commerical beer, not a handmade clone) - badly skunked!
 

weirdboy

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
8,221
Reaction score
495
Location
Los Angeles
For what it's worth, I took the test a year ago (one of the last full essay/tasting combined exams) end of January, and got my results back in I want to say end of July or early August.
 
OP
Pappers_

Pappers_

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
17,556
Reaction score
3,935
Location
Chicago
For what it's worth, I took the test a year ago (one of the last full essay/tasting combined exams) end of January, and got my results back in I want to say end of July or early August.
Its interesting, we had no essays, but we did have to taste and evaluate twice as many beers as the combined exam. I like this system - to get more judges into the system with an entrance exam and a tasting exam. Then, if you want to progress further, you need to gain experience and take a written exam with essays.

I'm not even going to think about the essay exam for a couple of years. Get some experience judging and see what happens, what feels right. I very well might get quite comfortable judging a couple of times a year and leave it at that.
 

CreamyGoodness

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
7,419
Reaction score
2,121
Location
Ossining
I think the real story here is that a disproportionate number of homebrewers have the first name "James".

With the acquisition of Pappers_ and Homercidal, "James" dominates the mod category as well.
 
OP
Pappers_

Pappers_

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
17,556
Reaction score
3,935
Location
Chicago
I think the real story here is that a disproportionate number of homebrewers have the first name "James".

With the acquisition of Pappers_ and Homercidal, "James" dominates the mod category as well.

And don't forget handsome - named James and handsome.
 
Top