CHAOS and Gino's Brewing Club-Only Competition: Altbier!

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Jim Vondracek
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CHAOS and Gino's Brewing Club-Only Competition: Altbier!

Announcing the 2017 CHAOS and Gino's Brewing Club-Only Competition - Altbier!  If you've not brewed an Altbier before, its a great style, very drinkable and accesible.  Take a look at all the details, rules and dates here and sign up to enter.   This is a great opportunity to enter a contest, get high quality feedback, and maybe win a chance to brew with Gino's Brewing's Head Brewer, Kevin McMahon.   There will be a pizza party following the judging, where the results will be announced.  

Questions?  Jim Vondracek, Kyle Nordquist and John Gammal are the competition committee and can help you with any questions you have.  

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CHAOS’ Club-Only Competition:

 

ALTBIER!

Gino.jpg

Enter CHAOS’ Club-Only competition, sponsored by Gino’s Brewing Company - the winning brewer will get to brew an Altbier with Head Brewer Kevin McMahon at Gino’s Brewing!  

 

A BJCP accredited competition, you’ll get high-quality feedback from BJCP judges.   This is a one-style competition, all the beers entered will be judged as Altbiers, 7B in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.  According to the guidelines, an Altbier is:   

 

 

A well-balanced, well-attenuated, bitter yet malty, clean, and smooth, amber- to copper-colored German beer. The bitterness is balanced by the malt richness, but the malt intensity and character can range from moderate to high (the bitterness increases with the malt richness).

 

IMPORTANT DATES:

Monday, February 6, 2017: Entries due at the Brewhouse

Friday, February 10, 2017 6 pm - 8:30 pm:  Judging

Friday, February 10, 2017 8:30 pm:  Announcement of awards, sharing of entries, pizza party

TBD:  Tapping Party at Gino’s Brewing Company

 

RULES:

  1. Participation is limited to members of CHAOS

  2. All entries must be brewed and fermented at the CHAOS Brewhouse

  3. One entry per brewer

  4. Enter your beer by clicking here

  5. Submit two 12-ounce bottles of your beer, in brown bottles with no distinguishing markings, with your name on a piece of paper rubber-banded to each bottle

 

Entering competitions like this is a great way to get feedback on your beers - the entries will be made anonymous by the competition coordinators so the judges won’t know who brewed which beer and the feedback will be unbiased.

 

You can brew for this in pairs, with co-brewers, if you’d like.   With a little more than three months notice, you can start planning your brew now and reserve a brew time.  For more info on Altbiers, take a look at Brewing Classic Styles (in the CHAOS library) and this BYO article.

 

Questions?  Ask the organizing committee:  Jim Vondracek, John Gammal, Kyle Nordquist

 

Brandon Kessler
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Gammal, you better watch your

Gammal, you better watch your back .... I'm coming for your title!!! 

Looking forward to this!

Boollish
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Hey Jim, is there any

Hey Jim, is there any guideline for what the brewer is looking for out of the style, or is the objective to try and stick as close to the BJCP guidelines as possible. I know last time around there was some misunderstanding regarding the use of adjuncts and going off-style.

Brandon Kessler
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Boolish wants to do an

Boolish wants to do an AltRadler.

Jeff W
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James, as long as it tastes

James, as long as it tastes like an altbier, you don't have to worry about the ingredients. If you're going to flavor it with something, you just need to let the judges know. Please keep in mind that the judgest should still be able to taste the altbier under the flavoring.

Boollish
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I actually wanted to adapt

I actually wanted to adapt the breakfast mild recipe to an altbier, but undoubtedly british dark malts would take it way out of style.

Kyle N
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It will be judged as a

It will be judged as a regular altbier, so additional flavorings will probably not score so well. Just my $0.02

Brandon Kessler
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Also, Jim - I remeber for the

Also, Jim - I remeber for the last competition we submitted more than 2 bottles so everyone can try some during the party at the end.

Should we say a 6 pack?

Jim Vondracek
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James - per the announcement,

James - per the announcement, the judges will evaluate the beers against the Altbier substyle in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.   An online version of the guidelines can be found at http://bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf   Its always a great idea to read the guidelines before entering the beer - not because the guidelines will tell you how to brew the beer but rather it tells you what the judges will be looking for.  In this case, scroll down to 7B, Altbier, in the Amber Bitter European Beer category.  

Specifically regarding adjuncts, if they enhance some of the qualities of the beer as articulated in 7B, then you might use them.  But if they add an additional flavor not called for in the style, judges will mark it down.  For example, Hugh and I brewed a Saison this summer and we added a little bit of lemongrass tincture to it.  It was subtle, not enough for anyone to be able to pick out that it was lemongrass, but rather to enhance the spiciness and fruitiness that is appropriate in a Saison.  It worked well enough to win a silver medal recently.  

The style guidelines have a number of categories for beers with additional flavors and aromas and adjuncts.  For example, an Altbier with jalapeno would be appropriately entered as a 30A Spice Herb or Vegetable beer.  The brewer would let the competition know that the base style was an Altbier and the spice used was jalapenos.  

I hope this helps.  If brewers haven't entered competitions before, it can be confusing, but you definitely want to enter your beer in the proper category.  If anything is unclear with this, brewers should feel free to ask me (or any of the other CHAOS BJCP judges) for clarification.  

This competition is a one-style competition - picked by Gino's Brewing - and all entries will be evaluated against the criteria laid out in the 7B Altbier category.  

Jim Vondracek
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Brandon, I think it would be

Brandon, I think it would be great for the brewers to bring more bottles or a growler of their entry to the party afterwards.  We'll try to emphasize that in the publicity for the party.  

For the competition, we only need two bottles (one for the original evaluation and the second in case the entry is moved forward to the Best of Show evaluation).   

Jim Vondracek
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Sign up here https://goo.gl
Brandon Kessler
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Jim - I can't remember if I

Jim - I can't remember if I filled out that form already & don't want to fill it out twice (So I don't skew the numbers). Can you let me know if I did? Sorry about that!

Kyle N
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I have a response from you,

I have a response from you, Brandon - no Chicago-style ballot box double entry needed!

Jeff W
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Someone asked me this:

Someone asked me this:

Can a friend level member brew at the brew house, with the proper supervision, for the Gino's competition?

Jim Vondracek
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https://www.chaosbrewclub.net

https://www.chaosbrewclub.net/membership

According to our membership levels, Friends do not get the benefit of using the community brewspace or fermentation room/fridges.  So I think the answer is no.  They should consider upgrading their membership to Apprentice or Brewer.  If you'd like me to talk with them directly, let me know.  

Jim Vondracek
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Another idea, though, is that

Another idea, though, is that anyone can brew in partnership with a brewing or apprentice member - a team brew, as it were.  But it would be the brewing or apprentice member who would be officially entering the beer, with her/his co-brewers.  In addition to being brewed at the brewhouse, the beer must also be fermented at the brewhouse.  

brockboland
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I'm pretty sure I had already

I'm pretty sure I had already registered for this, but I just filled out the form again just in case. Aplogies if I show up in your list twice.

Jeff W
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You'll all be happy to know

You'll all be happy to know that I tried my altbier the other day and it's coming along nicely! 

Kyle N
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BUMP! 

BUMP! 

Hey CHAOS, remember to have your beers at the Brewhouse by Monday, Feb 6th. The Superbowl Party would be a great opportunity to drop them off while you discuss the merits of pigskin inflation pressures. 

I will designate and mark a refrigerated spot this Friday and update this post with its location. I'll also soon update with instructions on how your bottles should be labeled. 

Good Luck!

 

Kyle

Jim Vondracek
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Hi guys, this is coming

Hi guys, this is coming together, we've got a couple of National judges joining us, so you should be getting good, high-quality feedback.  

I'll be organizing and making all the entries anonymous, so remember to bring two bottles, with no identifying marks on them, and rubber band a piece of paper with your name on it on both bottles.  Please have them at the brewhouse before Tuesday morning.  

Also, everyone is invited to a pizza party (huzzah Gino's East!) at the brewhouse after the judging is completed, around 8 pm.   Brewers, it would be great if you'd bring more of your Alts to share with everyone!  Or any beers if you want.  Everyone is welcome - including guests.  And we'll be announcing this year's winner and the brewers can pick up their scoresheets.  

Jeff W
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Jim, where would you like for

Jim, where would you like for us to leave the bottles? Fridge behind the bar or the lager fridge?

Jim Vondracek
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Either is fine, Jeff - as

Either is fine, Jeff - as long as you've got your names on both bottles.  I'll have the list of those who've entered, if I don't see your bottles, I'll follow up with people directly.  

Canuck
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Are these the labels that

Are these the labels that need to be on the bottles?
http://www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_BottleID.pdf
 

The emperor is not as forgiving as i am

Jim Vondracek
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Bill, in a normal competition

Bill, in a normal competition, yes.  But because this is a club-only competition, I know who you all are - just a piece of paper with your name on it, rubber banded to each bottle (make sure both bottles have your name on it) is fine.

I will assign each entry an entry number and remove your label, so I'll know which beer was brewed by who, but the judges won't.  

Stewpid
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I tied a label to each of my

I tied a label to each of my bottles and put them in the lager fridge. (Top right shelf in the back next to Jeffs beers)

Stewpid
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I tied a label to each of my

I tied a label to each of my bottles and put them in the lager fridge. (Top right shelf in the back next to Jeffs beers)

Jeff W
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Todd's trying to get the

Todd's trying to get the awesomeness of my beer to rub off on his...

 

Jim Vondracek
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You all need to be looking

You all need to be looking over your shoulder for Ben . . . his Alt has already won a medal!

Jeff W
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Ha! Ben was literally looking

Ha! Ben was literally looking over my shoulder at that competition!

I love alts, so am looking forward to trying everyone's beer!

Ben r.
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Alright, my Alt is in the

Alright, my Alt is in the lager fridge. Guess I need to rename it "Great Expectations."  I've got a mini keg (2.5g) around to share in case it does well. Actually even if it doesn't. 

Jim Vondracek
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All of you Alt brewers should

All of you Alt brewers should bring bottles/growlers/sheepskins of your beer to share at the pizza party!  

Kyle N
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TOMORROW TOMORROW TOMORROW!!!

TOMORROW TOMORROW TOMORROW!!!

 

Just a friendly reminder that the Gino's Brewing Mini-Pro-Am competition winner will be announced tomorrow shortly after 8 PM at the brewhouse! 

For the "reception," brewers are encouraged to bring some of their Altbiers so others can try to see exactly how wrong the judges are (just kidding, we're not wrong), but feel free to bring any style/bottle/keg to share. In addition to the normal CHAOS crowd, we are hosting some wonderful folks from other clubs in the Chicago area as well as the Gino's faction again, so I would love to show them some great hospitality so these relationships continue to flourish. 

Along with Jim V. and John G. as an organizer, we RESPECTFULLY ask that people refrain from coming to the brewhouse before 8pm. IF YOU MUST come before then due to transportation synchs, then STAY DOWNSTAIRS and KEEP THE NOISE LEVEL DOWN. We will host the judging in our intimate quarters upstairs, but it will be a "closed" session. Only the judges, steward, and organizers should be upstairs prior to 8 pm. Thanks, and see y'all tomorrow! 

Rich
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You don't want people showing

You don't want people showing up until after it is over?  Too bad, that was a lot of fun last time, even though Gamal won(just ask him).

Kyle N
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We don't want people showing

We don't want people showing up during judging. But since we're judging upstairs, we're talking it over and trying to find a solution. 

Jim Vondracek
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Those who want to come over

Those who want to come over to the brewhouse earlier may, stay downstairs and don't make a huge ruckus while the evaluation of the beers is going on upstairs.  We're going to follow the convention that many competitions  follow - no observing the judges while they are evaluating beers.  Its just too uncomfortable and distracting.  The judges should be done around 8 pm or so and we'll call everyone to attention and do a brief awards ceremony - medals will be awarded and all brewers can pick up their score sheets.  

It would be great for everyone who brewed for the competition to bring some of their Altbiers to share.  And everyone is invited to bottle share, also.  We have nine judges, including 7 non-CHAOSers, so it would be great if folks showed off a little bit about how great a club we are ;)  

The judging will be in three flights, each flight will have a National-ranked judge and two other judges.  The top beers from each flight will go to a Best of Show round and the gold, silver and bronze medal winning beers will be selected in that round. 

Gino's East will be providing the pizza for the party - see you all tonight!  

 

Jim Vondracek
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To be clear, come when you

To be clear, come when you want to tonight, just stay downstairs until the judging is over and keep the noise down a little while the work is going on.  

Kyle N
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Also: I will unlock the front

Also: I will unlock the front door when I get there this afternoon. If you arrive between 6:30-7:45, please go through the front door - the judges don't want to head the garage door being opened every 5 minutes. 

Jim Vondracek
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Congratulations to all the

Congratulations to all the brewers - i enjoyed all the Altbiers I tried. Bill Sansom's won third place, Jeff Whelpley's second, and Ben Resch's took first place - congratulations! Stay tuned for news as Ben brews his beer at Gino's Brewing with headbrewer Kevin McMahon and a tapping party is announced.

A big thanks to the judges;.Kyle Nordquist, John Gammal, Jenny Pfafflin, Dave Fetty, Megan Sawa, Jordan von Kluck, and Karen Shaw. And to Hugh Vondracek for stewarding.

After the judging, about thirty five folks gathered for Gino's pizza and to try all the Alts. Good times at the Brewhouse!

Killsner
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If we weren't able to make it

If we weren't able to make it is there a way to get our score sheets?

Jim Vondracek
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Hi I have your scoresheets -

Hi I have your scoresheets - would you like me to leave them in an envelope with your name on them at the brewhouse?

Bernie.Brews
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Hey Jim. Would you mind doing

Hey Jim. Would you mind doing the same for my score sheet?

Jim Vondracek
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Happy to, Chris!  I'll be at

Happy to, Chris!  I'll be at the brewhouse briefly later today and will drop them off in envelopes with your name on them, will leave them on the bar.  

Killsner
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You drop them off yet Jim?

You drop them off yet Jim?

Jim Vondracek
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Sorry, I haven't been to the

Sorry, I haven't been to the brewhouse yet.  Will do so tonight before I leave town tomorrow morning.

Jim Vondracek
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Sorry, I haven't been to the

Sorry, I haven't been to the brewhouse yet.  Will do so tonight before I leave town tomorrow morning.

Bernie.Brews
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Just saw this. Thanks in

Just saw this. Thanks in advance Jim!