Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Empryean Beer Quest scores and BJCP sign up.

I thought I would combine two posts in this one for kicks.

First, the scores were posted for the Beer Quest and I must say I was more than disappointed with my score(you will have to go near the bottom for mine, Bell) for my beer. I received a 17, YIKES! So, when I saw that number I thought, man they must have got an infected bottle or something because in competitions that I have participated in the past and judged in, anything below 20 is beyond missing the style, you made some colossal mistakes with sanitation and yeast handling and the beer is barely drinkable. I knew the beer I sent was not in that category so I sought out the score sheet. I was a little surprised at the comments and score, no mention of infection or defect, I just missed the style slightly in most categories. While that doesn't sound great, we are talking a 50 point scale here.

So instead of posting a very regrettable post last night I went home and tried my beer again, man am I glad I lost. I started to pour it and realized that it wasn't getting any c02 to push it out of my keg, I fixed that and realized that I was going to have a lower carbed beer. It was lower carbed than what I sent but properly carbonated now. So the major issues that were docked on my beer, thin, low to no malt character, too much smokiness(BTW no peat was used), all switched. The C02 was releasing too much aroma and was causing the malt to set in the back and reduce the mouthfeel. So, in conclusion, my beer was overcarbonated, that is hardly a 17 in my book, but there you go. Judging is not an exact science and is very subjective. How the judge interprets a 17 and how I interpret it are totally different. For example, I saw some beers that scored better or similar to mine with noted issues, such as phenols, DMS and astringency. In their defense as well, they openly admit to not having a good baseline for what a Scottish 60 should taste like.

So in conclusion, try to find out how a beer will be judged when you enter a competition so that you can come away with a level of expectation. This competition is not BJCP certified and they don't claim to be and never have. They do this as a fun thing to do with homebrewers and the public and approach it that way. I probably looked at this a little too seriously even though I thought I knew what to expect from my previous attempt. So please enter this competition, I know I will again, but do it in the name of fun and a different kind of competition as they intended it to be. Empyrean does great things in this state for beer and for homebrewers and this is just one.

If you are interested in entering other competitions or would like to know how to judge a competition according to BJCP guidelines and become certified, or you are just a beer geek that wants to expand on their knowledge of all styles of beers, the Lincoln Lagers are looking to host a BJCP exam and study group. Here are the details. I wish they were closer because I would be all over this.


Anonymous said...

interesting that judge 'S' had the 4 lowest scores of all judges, gave out an average score of 20.28, and had a beer that was a 19 advance to the top ten, even though he had other beers scoring higher. If you remove 'S' the only of score below his average scoring was a single 19.

I don't know how those guys run this thing, but it looks like you'd better hope you don't get judge 'S' if you want to advance.


Nate B. said...

Yep, noticed that. I also noticed, if the numbers are any indication of order, that the Scottish 60s were judged AFTER a Scottish 80 and a Scottish 70, no wonder my beer was thin and lacked malt character.

That is the nature of this contest though and that is ok, no big deal. I will surely enter it again and will encourage others. I also don't want to diminish the accomplishments of the beers that advanced either, because I know they were very deserving.

Besides, we all know a 3.5% beer was doomed for failure in an Imperial World because... we are living in an Imperial World and I am an Imperial guy... Sing it with me...LOL