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Got my first comp sheets back

I’m hooked! Entered my RIS into the Milwaukee Beer Barons Midwinter HBC. Got three scoresheets in the mail - one BJCP certified, one non-BJCP judge, and the head brewer from Water Street Brewery. Scored an overall 30, low of 27 and high of 32 (by the pro!). Got some really good, actionable feedback, and when I went back to my brewday notes, can definitely understand the factors that would lead to their comments (mostly that I undershot my mash temp pretty significantly, and got a lot of comments about the prevalance of alcohol/roast, and low body/supporting malt flavors). I can definitely see the value of doing this more often - getting feedback from someone other than friends who think your beer is “awesome”.

Already planning on entering some more comps, but with more “middle of the road” styles, to try and nail down some more process feedback.

Just wanted to share - carry on!

Awesome! I just brewed my first batch 2 weeks ago. Looking to dry hop it tonight. So, I have a long way to go.

There you go, having a pro sit in during judging is always helpful such as in this case it really opens the pathways for newer brewers to become excellent such as you have aims for! 40-50 is a great number my friend, but great work on 30’s those are truly well made beers then. I very seldom find myself awarding many brewers over 25 just due to the lack of willingness to do a few steps of preliminary research before starting brewing and therefore willingness to submit horrid beer to comp the overall ratio of good(25+) to bad(<20) beer at comps I have seen is usually 1 out of every 3. Sure all the judges can give you a 15 when your fresh out of the gate so you can learn but three years later did you even try to change or learn a da**m thing from feedback then is the biggest question.

NO is the short answer for some with too much money to burn or blind ambitions, too much ego-something etc…submitting a bunch of hooey that individual calls beer. I just had a guy’s beer come back in front of me and I did not notice-recognize his name until I finalized his score sheet what do you know I had given him 15’s and 20’s many, many times over the last three years and his current beer was awarded an overall 18 by a group of 4. So I was like WOW Chief WTF its cool and all for you and your circle to consume this BS but stop objecting innocent bystanders to this biz LMFAO. If your brand new off the bus I can understand but really? Cmon try stepping up the game just a tad would yeah I mean if not shooting for 40 aim for 25 holmes.

Sorry to get a tad off track in no way trying to diminish the good vibe about your scores here hopefully it adds a chuckle or two, welcome to the world of fine brew and good work on the numbers you’re next ones will be in the high 30’s if not 40’s-50 with that attitude!

Trust your own tastebuds, not those of the “professionals”, if you like the beer it is good. It doesn’t matter what they think. You could enter the same beer in a different competition and get completely different responses. Taste buds vary no matter what they do or say to try and suggest that the playing field is even.

Floyd are you my long lost horse hockey brewer?? LOL just kidding but why so bitter.

Comps are meant primarily as a learning tool to become better. Seriously dude if you like your beers and enter 1 every six months over the next 6 years and every-time the beer scores 13-20 points you really do have major flaws with your process. If you enjoy what your doing and enjoy the byproduct even though its been proven without a doubt ( just for theory approximately 50 brewers sampled your beers over the 6 years etc…) it might be time to honestly hang it up if your not willing to see the forest through the tress and upgrade your abilities some. You will be much better off buying commercial as you are brewing a product worse than a infected natty ice at this point. OK so this might be harsh seeming, but it’s the reality of the scene I described earlier and just theorized again for you.

Other than that if you feel you brew good beer and happen to enter even one comp and receive 20-40 points on that brew your process is quite sound but if you consistently score towards the lower end of this spectrum again are you too proud to take constructive criticism? And if you are then enjoy the hobby and brew at your own pace, but Ill be honest dont be that guy I described in my last post keep that shiz to yourself save some cash on entries and refrain from entering if your not going to at some point shoot for 25-50.

Sure there are judges that are poor-mediocre in their judging/ palette skills and may also put stupid stuff on sheets such as 50% of the beers they rate all have diacetyl etc… BJCP judging is not a perfect computer test of your beer, but it gets awful close when you have grade a judges rating your beer.

Sure there is subjectivity that’s why I just stated the majority of scores home brewers will receive on the sheet 20-40. Its not a be all end all boss. Its a spectrum of the hobby that tons of us actively participate in and/ or enter brews. There is nothing wrong with taking down some 1st place medals, some people are proud of these signs of achievement although another truth stands also you can have great pride without a medal or comp as your own palette will tell you if you produce grade a beers with low-no flaws. Also your own palette doesn’t lie so trust it dont be the brewer with a denial complex your just hurting yourself and the ones that love you by continually serving sub par beer that you know in your heart is off.

Sure your right also nobody needs to enter any comp. If they want to brew and have fun doing it and enjoy the product so be it. But knocking the system as a whole or making statements that try to exhibit the BJCP comps as worthless is far from the truth. Far too many other skilled home brewers would beg to differ from your standpoint and plenty of now commercial brewers started as home brewers scoring 20-30 points but they took it at face value and did their own self exploration in the hobby-cum trade and I’m sure many would freely admit that they took the constructive criticism from their score-sheet to heart and that made them better brewers overall and the comp system was indeed beneficial to them. But again this is a hobby and enjoy it at whatever rate you wish, some brew 1 extract brew every other 6 months, some brew every other week and like being a part of the brew social scene also. Some enter one comp and never do it again for whatever reason, Some enter every comp in the nation different strokes for different folks there is plenty of room for plenty of extra curricular.

Its worth sending a beer in for judging if you know theres a problem but can’t quite nail it down.

If you really want to make your beer better, become a certified judge and do some contests. You’ll get to judge with experienced people and taste what everyone is making, and the range of quality of homebrews in a style. Its a little bit of an eye opener to see how good (and bad) it can be.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]Floyd are you my long lost horse hockey brewer?? LOL just kidding but why so bitter.
[/quote]

I don’t think his comments express bitterness, but rather the notion that there are no rules to homebrewing. Entering competitions is a personal choice, as is deciding if the score and comments are valid and useful to you. Remember, the scores reflect how well a beer conforms to a style guideline, not necessarily how well its brewed. Good judges will comment whether a beer is well-brewed but doesn’t fit the guidelines. You don’t have to accept the feedback, but I think you owe it to yourself to carefully consider if the judges comments are valid or not should you enter beer in competition.

Example- I can’t taste diacetyl, so I have to trust others who can if it’s a problem in a competition brew. I know the processes to reduce or eliminate it, but I can’t tell myself if it works. I have to decide if I care or not. No rules.

I think competitions are a good thing also. As a newer brewer, I’m always looking at improving my beer. I know if my beer is good or not, but im not able to pick up on some of the minor flaws in my beers. That is why I like getting feed back about my beers from people who know more then me. Plus bragging rights are pretty fun too. The last comp. I entered a cream ale that I knew was good but I could tell something was a little off. After I got my sheets back from the UMMO I realized what i did and will fix it next time brew.

Congrats Louie!! Sometimes entering beers into competitions can be very worthwhile. Other times, you might get scoresheets back with little to no feedback, or writing that is not easy to decipher. Enter more if you want.

@ ITsPossible - why do you make such a big deal over scores? You keep mentioning all of these score ranges as if it is something to shoot for.
When I entered my first competition, all of my beers had flaws, being that I’m not perfect and I was still a noob. However, I did it so I could some honest feedback from people who had been brewing far longer than me, and can pinpoint some errors and successes in my entries.
As a homebrewer, everyone has the right to decide what they are going to brew. We don’t have to stick to the style guidelines. And, unfortunately, people can still brew beer that might not be up to your standards, but fit their palette just fine.

Also, I’m not a judge, but many people in my club are quite experienced. Isn’t there an unwritten rule that says you aren’t supposed to score a beer below a certain point?

Cool congrats man!

On a side note, being from WI as well, I have heard about the “law” which does not let us share our homebrew creations outside our home.

How are we getting around this law to be able to send our beer to these competitions, or even hold the competitions in the first place?

I guess Im still a bit confused on the whole thing.

FWIW, I find commercial brewers to usually be some of the worst BJCP judges. All too often they have set ideas of a style that don’t coincide with the BJCP definition. It’s definitely not 100% of them, but I’ve seen it many times.

I believe 13 is a courtesy score.

Yep. Although in one comp I ran, John Maier refused to give a BW anything higher than a 5.

Id be ok if one of my beers got a five provided that the judge who gave me that score gave me some very clear a good constructive criticism. If it came without a note like “Try pinning down fermentation temps” Id be a little pissed.

But congrats to the Original Poster, thats pretty awesome. Probably felt good.

I once judged a beer that deserved a score of 5. Tasted probably just like a soiled diaper (if ever I had eaten one, which I haven’t). I gave it a 13 but even that was way too high.

As for the Wisconsin homebrew laws, right now in my opinion we are in a bit of a “don’t ask don’t tell” kind of thing. The law is going to change, hopefully very soon, it is just a matter of time. We have overwhelming support both liberal and conservative, so the only hurdle we have right now is the Tavern League, and their attempts at stalling progress have been as feeble as they have been effective. A few more weeks, a month… that’s about all the time it should take to get new legislation passed, assuming Gov. Walker is not recalled.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]I once judged a beer that deserved a score of 5. Tasted probably just like a soiled diaper (if ever I had eaten one, which I haven’t). I gave it a 13 but even that was way too high.

As for the Wisconsin homebrew laws, right now in my opinion we are in a bit of a “don’t ask don’t tell” kind of thing. The law is going to change, hopefully very soon, it is just a matter of time. We have overwhelming support both liberal and conservative, so the only hurdle we have right now is the Tavern League, and their attempts at stalling progress have been as feeble as they have been effective. A few more weeks, a month… that’s about all the time it should take to get new legislation passed, assuming Gov. Walker is not recalled.[/quote]

How do people feel about Gov. Waker out there? Im from Cailfornia and from watching the news he seems pretty unpopular. Is that thle reality or just the news being a B****?

I entered the MN state fair comp last year with an extract porter I made. I was a bit nervous since I was coming back to brewing after a 4 year hiatus and this was my first batch. Turns out I got a 37. There was some constructive criticism on my scorecard from one of the judges, which was great. I was pretty stoked and it fueled me to jump to all grain also.

It’s easy to listen to your friends tell you it’s great beer, but it’s awesome to be told by someone that tastes a lot of beer that you made a solid beer. So there is the validation factor for competitions too.

?? You have entered competitions before right ?? Other than that I think I have summed up my position quite well about why. If you take your time and everyone else s continually by entering time after time without some humility then as explained quite well stop. That’s all, keep brewing to your hearts content just dont make myself or others become innocent bystanders. Your freinds might drink it cause its free still doesn’t make it right.

Yeah, I covered that in one of the “your right” paragraphs in my prior post also and right above your quote again. Do you notice a recurring theme? If you like to “brew” not good concoctions or have a tendency to pickup infection, keep it. Don’t continue to send it in to comps if others may be sharing opinions previously that things are not cool at the ranch unless the new submissions have some heart in them is my plea here.

Unless you a truly looking for the feedback or make good beer at some point comps may not be your forte. If you like making mt dew flavored kolsches or brett flavored pilsner etc… call it yours by all means again just keep it around your camp.

EDIT* I dont know about this forums rules, but politics is usually a big nono/ super gray area unless it is industry specific such as bills related to brewing etc…

Gerald, you snuck in while I was putting up this post. Excellent score, sounds like a stellar effort. Beers and enthusiasm like this and exactly like what the OP stated is why I really enjoy judging because its like a light bulb turning on or a ahha moment when you sample beer that has heart and soul.

Really? I have never heard of a doctor diagnosed conditions related to this. Are you trying to establish that within your palette only you cannot pick it out in beer? Let me ask you this>> have you ever had a big buttery chardonnay that went through 100% maloactic fermentation? I can almost guarantee you not alone will taste it, rather its a flavor you cannot avoid.

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