- Jan 31, 2009
- Reaction score
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.Outstanding job! Congratulations. I've got my exam on Saturday. Any pointers for me or just a general what to expect? Thanks.
I tested on September 9 or so, and got my results via email on January 6.Congrats! How long did it take you to get certified?
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.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.
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!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.
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.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.