LAB Open Competition - (results are in)

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Alastair70

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Congratulations @MickDundee that is a fantastic achievement clapa

I can read my Irish Red feedback. Positive comments about the balance of roasted malt and sweetness. They liked the esters which came from letting WLP004 run warm during fermentation. They suggested more roasted flavour would have produced a higher score. I'm chuffed with the last comment "We drank it all!"😂

I can't read the Märzen feedback. I think they are liking 'moderate malt flavours' 'esters appear in the beer' and 'dryness that stays for the next sip'.

My take on it is - the Irish Red is almost there, I'll up the roasted barley next time and drop the crystal malt. There's room for more hops in the late addition too. The brew process will stay the same, and WLP004 is the yeast of choice for this one.
The Märzen needs more work. I think a higher OG and FG will sort a lot of that out. I won't change the recipe, but I'll look at the mash schedule next time round and either widen the steps or even have a lash at a decotion. And…I will let the next one mature a lot longer, I promise!
 

foxy

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For anyone disappointed with their score I would say most of us aim to improve our beers. Don’t be disappointed with a lower score than you might have liked (I’d already convinced myself I deserved the conical!), as long as you get good feedback on how to improve your beer - mission accomplished!👍

That is the main part about entering the comps whether win or lose its the feed back which will improve performance. Though difficult to understand the big difference in the scoring for the same beer. Should usually be fairly close with the judges finding the same faults.
There should be judges certification number/rank marked on the sheet, sometimes in comps they do use training judges or just club members.
 

foxy

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Thank-you @foxy. Both got full marks for appearance. I just need to get them smelling and tasting right and I’m golden😂
Well you could put the same beer in another comp and it could walk it. The judges have to be fair dinkum. I won't go into a comp unless I am sure there are bona fide judges presiding. Maybe different over there, here especially with Covid it wasn't the case
 

twistedcopper

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Is there a way of finding out how the winning entries for each category scored, so you know how far off you were?

My American IPA scored 32. It was my first ever BJCP comp entry and I'm really pleased with the feedback I got.
 

nickjdavis

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Is there a way of finding out how the winning entries for each category scored, so you know how far off you were?

Not really....and to be honest its not always the highest scoring beer on a table that wins.

When judging a large flight of beers it may take some time for a judges palate to settle down and find a "benchmark" for want of a better word. So a beer that is first up might score X, but if it was judged later on in the flight it might score differently.

What often happens is that once the table has been fully judged the judges will ask for the best half a dozen or so beers back so they can rank them in order...irrespective of score....like a Mini Best of Show for the table. This is especially common when there are a large number of beers in the table where 2 pairs of judges are judging the beers. One pair may be scoring more generously than the other pair....so for the MiniBos they might go back and reconsider the 3 best beers from each pair of judges....it may turn out that one par of judges were a lot harsher and in actual fact a lower scoring beer might be the best.
 

JockyBrewer

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I got a 36 for the IPL and a 38 for the margarita gose. It would seem I was a little heavy handed with my salting, but the concept was well received.

I don't think the world is ready for my IPLs.... That or they are miscatagorised, I have the ACB coming up which I will be entering the next version into but under NZ pilsner to see if there is any change of perception...

Are we posting the PDFs up or holding back due to judges names being present?

I judged your Magarita Gose, and thought it was lovely, just a bit too salty - the description for the style says it should be noticeable, but not overly salty, and just a bit less (so you can barely taste it) would do it the world of good. There was a lot of fighting to decide the placings on that table and it was in the running.
 

JockyBrewer

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Not really....and to be honest its not always the highest scoring beer on a table that wins.

When judging a large flight of beers it may take some time for a judges palate to settle down and find a "benchmark" for want of a better word. So a beer that is first up might score X, but if it was judged later on in the flight it might score differently.

What often happens is that once the table has been fully judged the judges will ask for the best half a dozen or so beers back so they can rank them in order...irrespective of score....like a Mini Best of Show for the table. This is especially common when there are a large number of beers in the table where 2 pairs of judges are judging the beers. One pair may be scoring more generously than the other pair....so for the MiniBos they might go back and reconsider the 3 best beers from each pair of judges....it may turn out that one par of judges were a lot harsher and in actual fact a lower scoring beer might be the best.

That is exactly the Mini Best of Show procedure.

We can have two or three pairs of judges doing a table as we aim for them to judge a maximum of 8 beers in a sitting to avoid palate fatigue. As scoring between pairs of judges can be variable, the top beers are put side by side for a final face off to decide the actual final placings.
 

JockyBrewer

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My beer which I thought was lovely scored really poor with lots of flaws identified. Carbonation was good so I’m at a bit of a loss to explain how poorly it did. I am super chuffed that so many of you have done so well, but I can’t help but feel rather down about it. All the points they made, about temperature control, yeast starter, and yeast type I already have scrupulously controlled, and it has always been closed transferred.
I’ll try again but yep that’s a bit of a downer.

Sorry to hear that. We do everything we can to ensure that every beer is judged fairly and by high quality judges, but however much we try there is a level of subjectivity in the process.

I would always say that if you're confident in a beer's quality then enter it in another competition to see if they say the same things. Ideally find a BJCP judge to taste the beer with you and give you honest feedback on it, and whether you're entering it in the right category.
 

JockyBrewer

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Well you could put the same beer in another comp and it could walk it. The judges have to be fair dinkum.

This is very true.

At LAB run competitions most of our judges are BJCP certified, and the rest we know are either in training, have some other qualification or we have reviewed their feedback to ensure it's of the quality we'd expect to receive ourselves.
 

moto748

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Well done to all our winners, especially Alastair and Mick for fantastic efforts. athumb..

I just wonder, on a more general level, when we are disappointed with the reception we may receive, either in a comp or just an exchange hereabouts: do we/should we accept that some beers sometimes just don't travel well? I'm sure it's not uncommon that we find other folks' verdicts on our beers more negative than our own, and/or, conversely, been unimpressed with beers that have been raved about? Can being exposed to the tender mercies of ParcelForce really do damage to a beer?
 

Agentgonzo

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Can being exposed to the tender mercies of ParcelForce really do damage to a beer?
Probably less than the damage any commercial beer gets going from the brewery to the supermarket/off-license and sitting on a shelf/warehouse for potentially weeks/months. But certainly more than sitting undisturbed in a fridge.

Whether that disturbance matters is a matter of opinion/argument 🤐
 

JockyBrewer

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Well done to all our winners, especially Alastair and Mick for fantastic efforts. athumb..

I just wonder, on a more general level, when we are disappointed with the reception we may receive, either in a comp or just an exchange hereabouts: do we/should we accept that some beers sometimes just don't travel well? I'm sure it's not uncommon that we find other folks' verdicts on our beers more negative than our own, and/or, conversely, been unimpressed with beers that have been raved about? Can being exposed to the tender mercies of ParcelForce really do damage to a beer?

Undoubtedly. Packaging and delivery has unstuck the very best brewers I know.

Ideally bottle an extra bottle for competitions, and keep it at ambient conditions at home. Consider giving it a shake a couple of times to simulate travel. Then stick it in the fridge for a few hours and try judging it.

For LAB Open all bottles were unpackaged at least 24 hours before judging and then kept upright in a cold store.
 
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Undoubtedly. Packaging and delivery has unstuck the very best brewers I know.

Ideally bottle an extra bottle for competitions, and keep it at ambient conditions at home. Consider giving it a shake a couple of times to simulate travel. Then stick it in the fridge for a few hours and try judging it.

For LAB Open all bottles were unpackaged at least 24 hours before judging and then kept upright in a cold store.
Both mine lost points for poor carbonation, I had transferred to PET bottles from a keg using disconnects and a carb cap on the bottle. I'm never too sure how to 'recarbonate' after transfer, I do sometimes just connect the CO2 back to the carb cap and give it a blast but then it just fizzes up when I take off the carb cap to replace with the normal bottle top.
 

MickDundee

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Both mine lost points for poor carbonation, I had transferred to PET bottles from a keg using disconnects and a carb cap on the bottle. I'm never too sure how to 'recarbonate' after transfer, I do sometimes just connect the CO2 back to the carb cap and give it a blast but then it just fizzes up when I take off the carb cap to replace with the normal bottle top.
That’s the problem I have too. I use a counter pressure filler. I actually had to turn the pressure down in my kegs last week (this was after I’d filled and sent the bottles) because I felt like they were over carbonated, but in both my entries I was told the beer would benefit from more carbonation.
 
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