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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through July 12, 2004 * Best style for first entry into competition? < Previous Next >

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Chad Dickinson
Intermediate Member
Username: Icehouse

Post Number: 264
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A little help here from those of you that have entered competitions before please? I'm looking into entering a beer into the competition at the Iowa State Fair.

I was thinking of entering an English Bitter a friend and I recently did. We absolutely LOVE it. We don't feel the need to tweak the recipe at all. Has great hoppy flavor, balanced with a good amount of maltiness, good head retention. Only problem is that I fermented it with WY1056, its been in the fridge almost 3 weeks, and still isn't as clear as I'd like it to be!

Anyway, would this be a good first time entry? I've read that hoppier, bigger beers are the way to go, as you'll hide more flaws. Also, since a friend and I brewed this batch together and split it, any way to enter both of our names for the same brew?

Or should I try to enter something else? I think the hefe I made turned out very nice. Nice clovey flavor, with a decent clove/banana nose. Not much (if any) head retention though... Guess I shouldn't have done that protein rest at 122!

Thanks!
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2032
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What sort of categories does the fair use? BJCP categories? If so, I would enter several beers that you think are good in the appropriate categories.

Back in the mid90s, I used to enter my beers in the Eastern Montana Fair. There, the 5 categories were pale, amber, dark, wheat, and lager. I recall one year I entered an IPA, dusseldorf alt, dubbel, rye hefeweizen, and pilsner in each respective category, and won 1st in all five, plus best of show for the rye hefe. I started entering more challenging contests after that.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3107
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chad,the biggest thing is to make sure it's to style. It doesn't make a bit of difference how much you like it if it doesn't fit the category you enter. Sit down with a pint and read through the style guidelines as you drink it. Carefully assess how it meets each point of the style guidelines. If you've got one that's right on, it doesn't matter what style it is.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 366
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ask about a category for new brewers. Some of the larger competitions have them.

You should be able to put both names on the same entry. Your rules may vary...

Looks like 250 entries last year...that is a good sized competiotion and you are likely to face stiff competition. You have to nail the style in the more competitive categories. You may be going up against a dozen (or more) english ales. You can bet on getting a comment like "nice beer but lacking esters typical of english pale ale...check yeast selection and/or fermentation temperature". Unfortunately your american yeast pale ale probably isn't nearly hoppy enough to go up against the hop monsters in the american pale ale category.

That said, enter your beer anyway! Enter it as an english pale ale and as an american pale ale. Get some feedback on your brewing. Did the judges pick up on a technical flaw that you missed? Was it descried as flawless but not quite to style?

Last but not least, keep brewing and look for more competiotions to enter.

Don
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 95
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've judged several times at the Iowa State Fair. Over the years the competition has become more organized and rigorous. I would say the quality (I last judged there in 2001) is equal to all but the largest well-known competitions.

I strongly recommend volunteering as a steward. You'll learn a lot and sample some good beer. You'll also receive free tickets to the fair, which is usually the largest in the US, drawing about a million visitors. It's a true Iowa experience.


(Message edited by billpierce on June 28, 2004)
 

Jeffery Swearengin
Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 209
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think that your English Bitter would be a great place to start! If memory serves me correctly, a Best Bitter made with Muntons LME was the first beer that I ever won a ribbon with. My suggestion is to simply not be afraid of entering. At worst, you'll receive some quality feedback for your efforts. Who knows? You might win something!
CHEERS! Beertracker

"Hop pickers are God's guardians of beer & health." --- Saint Arnold of Soissons (1040-1087) ~ Patron Saint of Hop Growers

 

Joe Alf
Member
Username: Joea

Post Number: 161
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Jeff,
Whre did you find that quote? I would really like to find a biography of St.Arnoldus,one of my heros.I dont think I've seen the "of Soissons" before, either. Also I think the modern history of beer assumes that hops were'nt used in beer till quite a bit later.Interesting.
Thanks
Joe
 

Steve Fletty
New Member
Username: Cheesehead

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's no best style to enter. You never know what will win. Many times, the things I think are good don't place while things that I've entered for the hell of it do very well.

If you're entering to win, make sure your beer adheres to the style you enter, which might not be what you set out to brew. For example, one of my first dry stouts years ago scored OK, but the judges noted it would have done much better as a sweet stout.

Last year, my oatmeal stout was scoring OK as an oatmeal, but didn't medal until I entered it as a sweet stout.

On the other hand, if you just want feedback, enter it as what you set out to brew.

I also second Bill's recommendation to get involved in home brew contests as a judge or steward. You can then taste things and see what's winning and contrast that with what you're doing.
 

Jeffery Swearengin
Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 215
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheesehead,
Congrats on your two medals in Las Vegas! Your combined club effort was impressive this year. Save some CAP for our competition this Fall.
CHEERS! Beertracker

"Hop pickers are God's guardians of beer & health." --- Saint Arnold of Soissons (1040-1087) ~ Patron Saint of Hop Growers

 

Brewzz
Member
Username: Brewzz

Post Number: 170
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I say enter as many as you have on hand.It's always fun and you will get feedback that is invaluable in making you a better all around brewer.
Cheers,Brewzz
 

Steve Fletty
New Member
Username: Cheesehead

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff-

Thanks.

Only 6 bottles of the CAP left. Three are for MCAB. I could send the other 3 your way, but maybe I'll try to pass them off in BJCP category 2 to see if I can earn any more High Plains points.
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 770
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is no best category. If you enter one of the more common categorys like stout, pale ale, etc. you will be in a large field of entries. If you enter in a more obscure category with not as many entries it's likely that it will be combined with other categories or sub-categories and you end up with a large field anyhow. Just make sure to enter it into the category it actually fits. Not always the category you intended it to be. Denny and Cheesehead are right on with their recommendations.