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Author Replies
DrunkenPanther
01/11/08 04:58 PM  
Brett only....category? Other Competition thought
Just curious what category ya all have entered yur 100% bretts in when entering into competition?

Im not huge on competition, but always like to get the feedback......and with wild beers, that feedback seems to swing a lot! I like sending my wild beers off and having different judges returning wayyyy different tastes and opinions on the same beer. It's always just kinda funny.

BPotts
01/11/08 05:14 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
Sometimes that seems to happen with normal beer styles too.....
Ryan
01/11/08 07:09 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
I was thinking of sending in my 100% lambicus to the New York contest. It would be my first and I don't know which category to send it to, so I'm interested here.......

Cisco
01/11/08 08:55 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
Usually the experimental category works best because any other category you'll get slammed for the brett esters and unusual flavor profiles.
DrunkenPanther
01/11/08 11:08 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
Yeah, last comp I sent a brett to was a quad that I got bored and threw some brett brux in secondary. It was reviewed by 2 judges.

Judge 1: Oh My God! Too much Brett flavor and aroma! Cant get past it! Must let it age to mellow!

Judge 2: Says it has Brett....I cant taste nor smell it. Unfortunate. Maybe let it age to grow?

I just laugh. That beer was submitted as the Belgian Specialty.......prolly woulda done better with the experimental. :)

Dave I
01/12/08 11:37 AM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
<<Judge 1: Oh My God! Too much Brett flavor and aroma! Cant get past it! Must let it age to mellow!

Judge 2: Says it has Brett....I cant taste nor smell it. Unfortunate. Maybe let it age to grow?>>

Not to sound jaded, but that is the kind of crap that makes me really skeptical, and almost anti-establishment, when it comes to the BJCP's beer judging. It is so subjective, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and maybe in that case the two opinions balanced each other out. However, some of the things I have seen that judges have said, sound asinine. And I vehemently disagree with some of the BJCP categories and descriptions. I would almost like to see something like a to-style grade (i.e. how it stacks up against the Plato-like "Ideal" of the style), and an overall impression (i.e. the beer strikes you as having a 7 for taste for style, but a 9 for overall flavor impact, or maybe, it is an 7 for style X, would be a 9 or 10 in style Y). Probably not practical, but would make it more encouraging for people who brew to try something different and not just brew to the exact letter of the style(s).

Sorry. End rant.

-Cheers

TedJ
01/12/08 09:20 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
If you want to see an all Brett category or other changes for wild beers, then why don't you contact BJCP and offer to work on proposed changes. Draft up what you think is appropriate and send it in.

If you guys want better judges of wild beers, then why don't you take the test and become a judge. Then you can volunteer your services and show everyone how beers should be judged.

Dave I
01/13/08 09:08 AM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
<<If you want to see an all Brett category or other changes for wild beers, then why don't you contact BJCP and offer to work on proposed changes. Draft up what you think is appropriate and send it in.>>

Not a bad idea. For me personally? The range seems very wide. It would be easy to suggest an official American Sour Ale, but would the BJCP accept it or just tell you to enter the beer in the kinda catch-all category 16E. Belgian Specialty Ale? I think there is room for more refinement of the categories for sure.

<<If you guys want better judges of wild beers, then why don't you take the test and become a judge. Then you can volunteer your services and show everyone how beers should be judged.>>

Do I sense some sarcasm? Sure, it's easy to be an armchair quarterback. Just speaking for myself, I am not qualified to a BJCP judge. However, I may actually take the BJCP class/test, and eventually do just that. However, I have no dillusions of "showing everyone how beers should be judged." I am not that arrogant, far from it. I just think it is important to appreciate beer for what it is. The judge who said "Oh My God! Too much Brett flavor and aroma! Cant get past it! Must let it age to mellow!" gave a perfectly acceptable PERSONAL opinion of the beer, yet did a horrible job of judging the beer for it's intention; an intentionally Brett-infected beer. What happens in the 16E. Belgian Specialty, or 23A. Specialty Beer when there is an all-Brett beer with this guy? Your beer is screwed. I would be not much better now since I do not know the scope of what different souring agents can do; once I have brewed a few, that may very well be a different story.

So part of me actually agrees with you. Part of me just wants to brew for myself and just use the BJCP as a way of getting opinions more informed than my friends & family who are either not into these beers at all, or at newer to them than me. Still, I could see being a BJCP judge in part to help give a more informed judgment on the more out-there beers than some of the critiques I have read. Even if the beers have been flawed or needed tweaking, at least some of the judges' comments, considering the styles or intention of the brewers, were awful. The beer may just have not worked for the judge, and considering you are brewing to a style that can also lead to a loss in points, but there seem to be some great judges and some people that should not be allowed near a glass of beer and a pen at the same time.

-Cheers

WitSok
01/13/08 02:20 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
On the BJCP forum, I had suggested that another sub-category be added to the sour beer (Cat 17) group - Wild Artisan Brews. Unfortunately, the post did not generate any discussion. In my opinion, this new group would serve these new wild brews better than either the Specialty beer category or the Belgian Specialty beer sub-category. There are several reasons I believe this:

1. Judges in category 17 are usually assigned to this group because they request it. I have found most judges do not want to judge this group. So hopefully, entrants would get the "better" sour beer judges.

2. Wild beers are not necessarily Belgian. I don't know the actual issue, but I recall an article in Zymurgy "Don't Call it Belgian."

3. Those entering wild beers would probably prefer to be judged against other sour beers, not necessarily Belgian's or other Specialty beers.

4. We don't force "Belgian Specialties" to compete in the more general specialty beer catagory. Shouldn't the same logic apply to these artisinal beers? Seems to me they have more in common with catagory 17 than any other group.

Hopefully, some day there is a special catagory for these unique sour beers. Typically new catagories are driven by increased number of entries. This is how wood aged beers came about, emerging from the specialty beer group.

Porsit, Dan

Al B
01/13/08 02:36 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
I thought I saw something recently as "American sour ales"
BPotts
01/13/08 02:37 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
They have American sour ale categories in the Pro comps.... It's wide like belgian specialty but it's something in the right direction.
DrunkenPanther
01/13/08 05:47 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
I'm gonna just keep chuggin away at comps with the buggy brews. I like em, my friends like em, people who eat bugs like em, so I figure if I enter enough of them, they are gonna get noticed eventually ;)

Would be cool to see a BJCP bug only competition some day!

Mark
01/19/08 10:46 AM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
You have to keep in mind that an all-Brett beer is going to be difficult for most BJCP judges to properly evaluate.

BJCP judging is based on how an entry relates to a classic-style, and along with that, classic commercial examples. Where I live, it is just about impossible to get your hands on a commercial example of this style unless you travel or are into trading.

I like DrunkenPanther's comment; keep entering so that the judges can get experience with judging them.

WitSok
01/19/08 12:46 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
<<all-Brett beer is going to be difficult for most BJCP judges to properly evaluate.>>

I would agree with this statement.

<<BJCP judging is based on how an entry relates to a classic-style, and along with that, classic commercial examples.>>

I don't completely agree with this statement. Yes, it is true for most styles, but catagories like Specialty, H/S/V, Fruit, and Belgian Specialty the judge should evaluate the overall balance and drinkability of the brew. Contrary to popular belief, a BJCP base style does not need to be specified, the entrant only need provide basic information to describe their intent. For me, ale, lager, wild or enough information to describe the base. Of course more information is appreciated (special or center stage ingredients, unique process elements that would affect the perception, etc..). I also look for the creative element. Is it unique or something that has been done frequently by other brewers. Given two beers with equal technical merit and drinkability, I will always give the more unique beer a better score. It is my way of rewarding creativity. Personally, the specialty catagory is my favorite to judge. Not every judge can do it, so are just too stuck on classic styles. My understanding of these groups from my converstaions with Gordon Strong is they are not benchmarked against classic examples (unless they are specifically clone brews).

Cheers, Dan (BJCP National)

Mark
01/20/08 02:52 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
WitSok, I believe we are thinking the same thing. I have found that some BJCP judges are very poor evaluators beyond the rigid guideline categories, and many cannot even properly evaluate beyond the "classic styles." For example, some can't even judge kolsch properly because they simply have not drank enough examples of them. I've also come across some judges who don't even want to expand beyond the classic styles; the taste of Cascade hops turns them off, let alone a bug beer. As you have stated, you need the right people to judge the "open" categories, and that is the responsibility of the Competition Organizers.

I'm a big believer in BJCP certification and judging, and I have respect for all certified judges. But like any certification, there are those that are "book smart," and those that actually know what the hell they are doing and are able to judge all styles properly.

As an aside, I have judged at 2 competitions so far as an apprentice, approx 125 beers. I am currently in a BJCP study group, with a target exam date of July 08.

WitSok
01/20/08 05:31 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
<<WitSok, I believe we are thinking the same thing.>> Yes, I agree! Infact, sometime you find judges who judge against a favorite commercial example and not the full depth of the guidelines (in my exerience, these cases are are with actual BJCP certified judges).

Good luck on the exam Mark. I never thought I would take up judging, but when our club decide to start a competition, I decided I should give it a try. It has been a fun extension of the hobby. The homebrew community can always use more judges, especially those passionate about the open catagories. Again, good luck!

Cheers, Dan

WitSok
01/20/08 05:35 PM  
Re: Brett only....category? Other Competition tho
<<(in my exerience, these cases are are with actual BJCP certified judges).>> That should have been are RARE with actual BJCP certified judges. Sorry for the typo.
 
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