Competitions

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Steve3730
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Competitions

At last months meeting a few people voiced that they would like to see Chaos members enter more competitions. I had two ideas about getting people to enter more

1. Have a judging program at Chaos. So if I wanted to get some feed back on my beers I can leave some bottles in the fridge with a BJCP scoresheet attached to it with the beer style and my info on it. A couple BJCP certified members are free to come take the beer, try it and fill out the score sheet to than leave it in a designated area for the beer maker to get their reviews. I think this could give people confidence to enter competitions or atleast get some feed back on what they need to work on before entering

2. The other idea is to have group entries. So say June 25th there is a competition in Texas. Someone wants to strat a group entry, they post on and recruits more members to enter. Everyone can ship their beers together to cut down on the shipping cost and instead of the hassel of multiple people going to ship their beers the guy that starts the group entry takes charge and handles it that time. Of course splitting cost. This can encourage people to start entering more competitions

Jeff W
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As always, me, Kyle, Jim, and

As always, me, Kyle, Jim, and Matt are more than happy to provide feedback on anyone's beer. There's bound to be one of us at the brew house on a fairly regular basis. Plus, we have a few more CHAOS members in the BJCP class who I'm sure will pass their exam in June. So more judges are on the way!

I'm not sure how the group entry would work. I think you mean group, as in club members all brewing the same style, then shipping their separate entries together and splitting the shipping cost?

JamesFaircloth
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I've brewed a bunch of

I've brewed a bunch of recipes at CHAOS over the winter and they are entered as:

CHAOS Hefeweizen - 2nd place @ Drunk Monk

CHAOS Golden Strong (aka Wedding Crasher), 2nd place @ Charlie Orr

CHAOS Altbier - getting 30s - 34s because I fermented too hot.

 

Kegging now and off to competitions soon:

CHAOS Kolsch

CHAOS Margarita Gose

CHAOS NEIPA

 

Come on guys, the more the merrier and the feedback will help you fine tune your brewing.

 

--james

Boollish
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Both from my personal

Both from my personal experience and feedback I have received from other members, one of the largest obstacles to doing competitions for many members is that they simply do not "know" how to brew competition beer.

As I'm sure James will back up, there is a certain art and technique to competition brewing. You have to understand stylistic brewing, and then time your brews properly, then package them in the right time frame and ship them in the right time frame.

While there are people here certainly capable of doing that, some hand-holding would help along the competition spirit within the club, if that is indeed a direction we want to go.

In my opinion, a real concerted homebrew effort would go something like this:

Day 1: 10 members put their name down to brewing competition beers for a competition 90 days out. Perhaps there is a recipe and style discussion here.

Day 1-10: Those members brew their beer.

Day 25: Those members package and carbonate their beer.

Day 30: Collaborative judging where those members get together, perhaps with the backing of BJCP judges, and get some feedback.

Day 31-40; Those same members take the feedback, then brew theh "improved" version of the beer that is to be submitted for the real competitoin.

Day 55: Package the competition beers.

Day 65: All entries shipped out

Day 90: Competition judged.

My timing may be a little off here, but the point is that a successful club efort would probably require this type of training and hand holding to get a pile of high quality entries.

James, just for personal curiosity, is a NE IPA classified as a "specialty IPA?" Would prison hooch be a proper entry under "historical beer style"? What about japanese kuchikamizake?

 

Jim Vondracek
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Yes, I'm happy to give

Yes, I'm happy to give feedback on beers, as long as people understand its not 'gospel'.  Informal feedback is fine, more formal like filling out the scoresheet is good, but it wouldn't be anonymous so not as good as a competition.  

Regarding the group, when you enter a competition, you can list 'co-brewers' - I always do that with beers I've brewed with Hugh, for example.  I've done it with larger group brews too, like with a barrel project.  

Jeff W
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James, there currently isn't

James, there currently isn't a category for NE IPAs, but I have a feeling they will be added to the 21B Specialty IPA category very soon. It would probably be best to enter all three under the 34 Specialty Beer category.

There was an NE IPA entered as a double IPA in the last competition I judged. They new what it was, but still docked points for the haziness, lack of bitterness, and creamy texture.

Steve3730
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yes jeff but it doesn't have

yes jeff but it doesn't have to be the same beer. people can brew whatever style they wish and just try to basically get Chaos on top of every bracket. I've sent some of my beers to other states competitions just to see how I'd fair and think if Chaos did it as a group a few times a year more people would try it. Its like $6 to enter and two bottles of beer really not much to lose.

Jim we could make the in house judging anonymous. Put a mail box on top of the back fridge for judges to drop their sheets in. Brewers can fill out style and name of beer or initial it just so they know which is theirs

Kyle N
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NE IPAs are Specialty IPAs

NE IPAs are Specialty IPAs (21B). In the description, just put "NE IPA." Don't put "hazy, late hopped with juicy hops, high CaCl2" or anything like that. Judges should know exactly what it is. 

Kyle N
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And the best tip I can offer

And the best tip I can offer is to enter the beer into a category based on how it tastes, not on what you set out to brew. For example, if your IPA doesn't really have the bitterness or hop presence called for, don't enter it as an IPA even though that's what your recipe said. 

JamesFaircloth
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James,  my technique is a

James,  my technique is a little different.  I brew and keg and then let the beer

Lager and condition until I think it has peaked. Then I bottle the whole batch with

a beer gun.  From there whatever competitions are closest on the calendar I ship

to or drop off.  Beers change over time and that's good to track that feedback and

note the changes overtime. Some beers get better with time some just fade.

 

Sorry about the weird spacing - iPhone sucks with the GUI.

 

--james

JamesFaircloth
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As for how to get more visibility as a club I would suggest members brew to a benchmark style for personal

reference and then send the beer in for feedback.  You could take the time to rebrew that recipe or see what

flaws were primarily brewday issues, fermenting or sanitation and take care brewing the next recipe.  Send 

that in and see what the judges say.  I usually enter my beer in 4 competitions and then average and group

the feedback to lock down rebrew tweaks.

 

There would be more visibility with members collaborating as 2 person teams and entering 5 recipes vs. 10

guys trying to collaborate and enter and perfecting one recipe.

 

My goal is to work through the style guide a region at a time.  This year I'm focusing on all German styles

of beer and by Christmas I should probably have 10 recipes entered.  Next year I'll move onto a different region.

--james

Eric Mott
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I love the idea of having a

I love the idea of having a system at CHAOS for BJCP members to offer constructive feed back on beers. While I don't currently have much of an intrest in entering competitions, I want to do nothing but improve my brewing. I like the idea of having a spot in a fridge where you can leave a bottle with a score sheet and then either a thread in the forums or a file folder on the wall to return the completed score sheets.

Kyle N
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You can always bring beer to

You can always bring beer to the bottle share portion of the meetings as well - Jim, Jeff, and I are generally in attendance and can give you real-time feedback. 

Would folks be interested in learning more about competitions, i.e., how to best brew and package for them? Starting tomorrow, my home away from home this weekend is going to be at the Chicago regional, and there should be several people that I can ask to come to a meeting for a talk/demo. Heck maybe we can convince James to finally come out at some point (stupid realtor/broker schedules!) for a talk. I know Jim had Scott Pointon in a year or so back, so maybe it's time to revisit this. 

Steve3730
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Kyle I think real time

Kyle I think real time feedback will always be a little impartial to total blind scoring. And even some brewers may rather have their beer critiqued blindly.

JamesFaircloth
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I agree Steve.  Even the BJCP

I agree Steve.  Even the BJCP comps are pretty anonymous until the scoring table applies a name sticker

on the score sheet at the end.

 

 

--james

Kyle N
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Either way, I'm always up for

Either way, I'm always up for tasting someone's beer (or cider, since that's on my radar as well) 

Rich
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If you look at a menu from

If you look at a menu from one of our events, I would not get the impression that brewing strictly to a style is what most people like to do.  Personally, a no-holds-barred IPA, stout, or even the vanilla competition we did are more more fun and creative. Those are the ones I enjoy entering anyway.  Really cool prizes are nice too.

Jim Vondracek
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Everyone should enter our

Everyone should enter our upcoming Horse Thief Hollow/CHAOS competition - no entry fee, evaluation and feedback from National BJCP judges, gold/silver/bronze medals, the chance to brew with Dave at HTH, and of course, glory.  Right now, we only have four entries - sign up now!

https://www.chaosbrewclub.net/event/horse-thief-hollow-chaos-white-ipa-c...

Ben r.
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Ok Jim, I'm in...although I

Ok Jim, I'm in...although I noticed a typo on the date for the announcement of winners - Feb 10th? Not that I'm expecting anything big... ;) 

Jim Vondracek
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Hi Ben, thanks, but I can't

Hi Ben, thanks, but I can't find the typo (I'm sure its from cutting-and-pasting from the last competition).  Can you point it out more directly to me?  

Pete
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The error is in the entry

The error is in the entry form

"Give a man a beer, and he will waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and he will waste a lifetime!" Bill Owen

Jim Vondracek
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Well, there it is! Thanks,

Well, there it is! Thanks, Pete and Ben!