Suggestions for AHA/BJCP guidelines

Not sure if general is the right place to post this but I am looking at entering a AHA sanctioned competition soon and was looking for primary category and secondary category advice to enter the listed beers in. As much as I would like to place, I truly am just looking for feedback on my beers to learn to correct, or adjust my processes. Any help would be appreciated.

Beers are:

Chocolate Milk Stout with Ancho Chiles

Irish Red- Primary category is easy on this one

Surly Bender Clone-seems less hoppy than commercial version

Dunkelweizen

[quote=“golgofett”]Not sure if general is the right place to post this but I am looking at entering a AHA sanctioned competition soon and was looking for primary category and secondary category advice to enter the listed beers in. As much as I would like to place, I truly am just looking for feedback on my beers to learn to correct, or adjust my processes. Any help would be appreciated.

Beers are:

Chocolate Milk Stout with Ancho Chiles

Irish Red- Primary category is easy on this one

Surly Bender Clone-seems less hoppy than commercial version

Dunkelweizen[/quote]

-Choc Milk Stout - Either 23 “Specialty” or 21A “Spiced Herb or Vegetable Beer”, but likely 21A with 13B (sweet stout) as the base beer (you can indicate this on the entry form, and list the special ingredients (chocolate and anchos)

-Surly Bender - I would probably say 10A “American Brown Ale”. Can you post a pic or give a color description? My fear is that if you enter it as 14B “Am. IPA”, you will get dinged for it being too dark, as “medium reddish copper” is as dark as Am IPA should be.

-Dunkelweizen - 15B

The first thing judges will (should) look for is technical flaws, which seems to be what you are after. If they are perceiving DMS in any of these beers (except the Irish Red), this will be considered a technical or process flaw. Same goes for phenols, fusels, cloying sweetness/underattenuation, acetaldehyde, or diacetyl (some of the most common flaws I find when judging).

THEN they should be evaluating it against the entered style guidelines. Think about if someone entered an awesome, well-made commercial beer in the wrong category, like Sam Smith’s oatmeal stout, entered as any type of porter. There is probably too much roast in this beer for any of the porter styles. So its still a well-made, clean beer with very minimal, if any technical flaws, just not ‘to style’.

SO, if you are looking for technical/brewing process feedback, you will (should) get that even if the beer is miscategorized.

Good luck in the comp and remember that judges are here to help.

The surly bender clone is a little darker. I think American Brown will work.

The comp I am entering is only requiring bottle id labels and not the entry form. There is no place on the label ID for special ingredients. The bottle ID label lists primary and sub-category. For the Stout, are you suggesting Specialty or Spice/Herb beer for primary and Sweet stout for sub-category? I just wanted to clarify and thanks four your informative response.

Keep in mind that other than running the National Homebrew Comp, the AHA has nothing to do with it. It’s all up to the BJCP.

No, the number is the category, and the letter is the sub-category. For instance, “12” is porter, and “A”, “B”, and “C” are brown porter, robust porter, and baltic porter, respectively. The letter refers to the INDIVIDUAL style within the broader category.

For Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer “21A” (there is no 21B, or 21C, etc.), the guidelines say that the entrant MAY specify the base style. This will get your beer evaluated as a sweet stout as well as the hedonistic judging of the individual beer. If there isn’t a space for it, I would just include a note with your entry stating that the baseline style is sweet stout, 13B. Optional though. You could just enter as 21A and be done with it, but you won’t get feedback on how good of a sweet stout you make.

23 “Specialty Beer” works a little differently. Since its such a ‘catch all’ category where there is no category. I believe Black IPAs, with no BJCP style, currently get judged in Specialty Beer. Same with Rye IPA, kellerbier, etc.