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Australian Amateur Brewing Championship

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ausdb

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Although I don't know how many judges there were at the Nats this year I do know there were a few from WA all of which are BJCP certified or have completed the exams and are in the process of being certified, there were also at least two National BJCP judges so there has to be a reasonable level of calibration of judges and palates. Judges also came from other states so the local bias theory is a bit shaky.

Homeground advantage? many of the WA entries went over refrigerated to eliminate the possibility of poor handling in transit, mine didn't and went priority freight the week before close of entries and didn't fare any worse. I am not unhappy with my scores as I know there were things I could have done better with all of my entries but I know that to have made it to the nationals and placed so my brewing practices are sound and I don't make a bad beer, which is what is most important.

A crap load of effort with very little reward apart from "intrinsic satisfaction" goes into the planning and running of a major competition, I have been involved in a few at the state level so to the dissenter's and those that thought they were hard done by HTFU and cop it on the chin. Wait for your score sheets to see what the judges really thought and if you want to change things then make some effort of your own to take part in the judging/comp system and change it from within. :)
 

homekegger1

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Just wondering if anyone else has received feedback sheets/Trophies.

Cheers

HK
 

Bribie G

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Ausdb sounds like a bloke such as myself who has sent beers interstate on several occasions. If they are packed properly - and don't even need to be send express - then your precious beer will arrive in perfect nick, and probably no worse than where you keep your crates in the Garage. I doubt if Aus Post deliberately drop the parcels from 10m and leave in the sun for two days. I get proculture yeast from Perth cold so quite happy to consign my beers to Aus Post.

The home ground advantage could hypothetically happen if all the judges were from the ACT and were accustomed to a certain 'dialect' of beer that could arise in a geographical enclave - however it's up to members in other states to do the BJCP training and get asses down to the Nationals, as many now do.
 

GMK

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Hi All,

Now this is not a gripe but an observation and only my 2C worth.

As Vic Brew and ACT - can't find the date for WA when entries closed - hold their state championships in Oct 3-4.
The beers that are made to peak then - so that you get a top 3 place and can enter nationals - only have 3-4 weeks until rejudged.

SA & QABC are held in Sep with entries closing late Aug/early Sep.
Again - beers designed to peak then for placings have to wait 6 + weeks until being rejudged at the Nationals.
The beers can change alot in that time and be heading downwards. So the beers judged at the Nationals could/will be different.

This could be alleviated by all state comps being held at the same time...

Only a suggestion - happy to see if others think it has merit...

Flame Suit On....Waiting for the Meerkats - I can hear them circling.....
 

dr K

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You know what I do when I am bored to almost distraction..I read threads like this one.
This thread overall is pretty positive, it recognises that one comp will vary from another, and hey, good luck.
The problem that the negative persons have is that they blur the line between objective and subjective and perhaps with some reason.
The BJCP guidlines are at first pass subjective, but their wide acceptance makes them, certainly for the point of competions, objective. So in a comp we have three judges, (the eternal triangle perhaps) subjectively judging beers based on their own sensory evaluation, which will vary from the amount of training and practical experience, in particular with tasting commercially available examples of the style against (accepted) objective guidelines, which if you read and understand them are pretty flexible.
The whole point of a comp such as the Nats is to adjugde the standard of a beer compared to the style guidlines under which it has been entered, without stating the obvious, well perhaps I should, a 133 point dark lager ain't, or certainly should not, do as well were it entered as a Southern English Brown.
A rose by any other name indeed.

K
 

RussTaylor

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Hi All,

SA & QABC are held in Sep with entries closing late Aug/early Sep.
Again - beers designed to peak then for placings have to wait 6 + weeks until being rejudged at the Nationals.
The beers can change alot in that time and be heading downwards. So the beers judged at the Nationals could/will be different.
I agree with this point. I didn't bother entering my two qualifying beers as they'd started their decline and didn't have time to brew another.

A date that doesn't clash with ANAWBS would be nice too...but that's probably more of a State clash than National.
 

Bribie G

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Hi All,

Now this is not a gripe but an observation and only my 2C worth.

As Vic Brew and ACT - can't find the date for WA when entries closed - hold their state championships in Oct 3-4.
The beers that are made to peak then - so that you get a top 3 place and can enter nationals - only have 3-4 weeks until rejudged.

SA & QABC are held in Sep with entries closing late Aug/early Sep.
Again - beers designed to peak then for placings have to wait 6 + weeks until being rejudged at the Nationals.
The beers can change alot in that time and be heading downwards. So the beers judged at the Nationals could/will be different.

This could be alleviated by all state comps being held at the same time...

Only a suggestion - happy to see if others think it has merit...

Flame Suit On....Waiting for the Meerkats - I can hear them circling.....
Yes, my UK Mild took first in its class in the State. I brewed another one for the Nats but it wasn't up to standard so I entered the State brew in the Nats. It got fifth place, which I'm not whingeing about - however it was past its best. I agree that a coordinated approach at State level would be good.


doesn't HB improve with age?
Don't wish to sound patronising here, GBM - That's like asking "are dogs all good at retrieving ducks ?". When you have brewed a range of beers you will appreciate that they all have their own life cycles according to style. Some, like UK bitters and Milds are meant to leave the brewery and be drunk fresh within a few weeks, others need to be aged like fine wines. Edit: Also your use of the term "HB" suggests that it still hasn't sunk in that home brew is actually just beer - of various styles - that is crafted in home breweries as opposed to commercial plant.
 

dr K

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This could be alleviated by all state comps being held at the same time...
Kenny
What a great idea but surely it is up to the individual states to pick their dates and not the AABC hosts, surely the individual states will know (from their AABC delegates) when the Nats are on, furthermore a decent brewer, knowing both the dates of the states and the Nats can make a decision as to when they brew and whether, if required, when they need to re-brew. Sorry, but there seems to be a few excuses and even possible accusations joining this story.
The AABC consists of two delegates from each state, their duty is to represent those states concensi, report such to the AABC and then transmit this back to those in the state who are interested.
If anyone has a problem with the AABC then they should contact their state delegates, and if they do not know who they are, then, dare I say, ask.

K
 

AndrewQLD

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Why do people think that just because they did well in a state comp they should automatically do as well in the National comp?
And why is it, when they don't do as well they feel the need to question the running of the competitions and the judging and not their own brewing practices and organisation.

It is fairly common knowledge when these competitions are held and if your serious about entering you should be planning six months in advance what you will be entering.
Start brewing your higher/bigger beers first, bottle, allow a couple of weeks to carb and then store in a fridge until the competition. Work your way down as the weeks progress to your lighter styles all the while storing in the fridge after they have carbed.
Works very well and you'll find they mature and blend better than a young bottled beer or an aged beer left at room temp.

Andrew

Edit: My slow typing has left me behind here but DrK, as always some common sense.
 

rude

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I must admit it would be nice to enter a beer & get first place.

Is that ego ?

HTFU is that drink concrete

Meanwhile Darrens niggling away

Everyones off Darren

Typical of forums I guess

If youre beer is good enough & the timing is right you will go close just like all sports

Dedicate youreself & be a good sport about it shaking everyones hand after the game & who knows you may win a chocolate frog

:ph34r: suiting up here as I've had a couple & I luv a niggle
 

kenlock

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Hi All,

Now this is not a gripe but an observation and only my 2C worth.

As Vic Brew and ACT - can't find the date for WA when entries closed - hold their state championships in Oct 3-4.
The beers that are made to peak then - so that you get a top 3 place and can enter nationals - only have 3-4 weeks until rejudged.

SA & QABC are held in Sep with entries closing late Aug/early Sep.
Again - beers designed to peak then for placings have to wait 6 + weeks until being rejudged at the Nationals.
The beers can change alot in that time and be heading downwards. So the beers judged at the Nationals could/will be different.

This could be alleviated by all state comps being held at the same time...

Only a suggestion - happy to see if others think it has merit...

Flame Suit On....Waiting for the Meerkats - I can hear them circling.....
Why do people think that just because they did well in a state comp they should automatically do as well in the National comp?
And why is it, when they don't do as well they feel the need to question the running of the competitions and the judging and not their own brewing practices and organisation.

It is fairly common knowledge when these competitions are held and if your serious about entering you should be planning six months in advance what you will be entering.
Start brewing your higher/bigger beers first, bottle, allow a couple of weeks to carb and then store in a fridge until the competition. Work your way down as the weeks progress to your lighter styles all the while storing in the fridge after they have carbed.
Works very well and you'll find they mature and blend better than a young bottled beer or an aged beer left at room temp.

Andrew

Edit: My slow typing has left me behind here but DrK, as always some common sense.
Putting these two thoughts together.

Why wouldn't the State comps be held aroung April/May and the Nationals around Oct/Nov?

That way the brewer's qualify for Nationals, and then have time to prove their skill by reproducing (or bettering) their beer(s). Much like qualifying for the Olympics and then peaking for the day to win a medal. Thereby, each brewer from any state will be able to time their performance/beer to the day of judging.

Surely, a fair(er) for all! ??
 

Online Brewing Supplies

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The advantage could only be that the home state gets their beers to the venue easier. Judges don't know who's beers they are judging, and from which state they originate.
Days in the post box ! I am behind in this post but its obvious if you dont have your beer in the post for 5 days its going to be in better shape .
GB
 

GMK

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I quote Dr K here...

":a decent brewer, knowing both the dates of the states and the Nats can make a decision as to when they brew and whether, if required, when they need to re-brew. Sorry, but there seems to be a few excuses and even possible accusations joining this story."

Whilst I know Dr K personally and have a real regard for him both as a person and as a brewer and more importantly as a mate - perhaps he has missed my point.

While I agree that a good brewer knows when to rebrew - there amounts a few problems...
If you look back at least at the last 4 years of nationals - the Australian brewer who won came from a state that he dominated.
Anyone who can enter 12+ beers into the Nationals in allot of categories has a greater chance to win.
Ask them if the rebrewed any of their beers - can't see that many were rebrewed or had to be.
But if you dominate the state comp and it is held in Oct and the Nats in Late Oct - guess what - you don't have to rebrew 12+ beers - also - you don't have time to. .but in states that are held earlier - if you entered 12 + beers in the State comp - would you rebrew all of them in time to peak for the Nats just in case you got a top 3 place.

Therefore, by extrapalation - those states that host early have IMHO a disadvantage....

However, for ACT and the other states that have great brewers who enter 1-2 beers in almost every category and are so well rounded to get a placing in almost every category they enter - they do raise the bar for everyone else.

IMHO it would be better if all state comps were held at the same time.

As stated before - my 2c worth.
 

kook

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I quote Dr K here...

":a decent brewer, knowing both the dates of the states and the Nats can make a decision as to when they brew and whether, if required, when they need to re-brew. Sorry, but there seems to be a few excuses and even possible accusations joining this story."

Whilst I know Dr K personally and have a real regard for him both as a person and as a brewer and more importantly as a mate - perhaps he has missed my point.

While I agree that a good brewer knows when to rebrew - there amounts a few problems...
If you look back at least at the last 4 years of nationals - the Australian brewer who won came from a state that he dominated.
Anyone who can enter 12+ beers into the Nationals in allot of categories has a greater chance to win.
Ask them if the rebrewed any of their beers - can't see that many were rebrewed or had to be.
But if you dominate the state comp and it is held in Oct and the Nats in Late Oct - guess what - you don't have to rebrew 12+ beers - also - you don't have time to. .but in states that are held earlier - if you entered 12 + beers in the State comp - would you rebrew all of them in time to peak for the Nats just in case you got a top 3 place.

Therefore, by extrapalation - those states that host early have IMHO a disadvantage....

However, for ACT and the other states that have great brewers who enter 1-2 beers in almost every category and are so well rounded to get a placing in almost every category they enter - they do raise the bar for everyone else.

IMHO it would be better if all state comps were held at the same time.

As stated before - my 2c worth.
GMK - one thing also worth considering is the time to prep / ship your beers for the nationals. Obviously this is not a problem if you are the hosting state - but for others it could be. Having them too close could mean that people miss entering due to entry deadlines / delivery times. There are still people out there who don't access these sites like AHB either. We had entries with no email address supplied (one of which qualified for the nationals). Sending results and entry forms for the nationals via snail mail further reduces the window of opportunity for postage.

Another point - is if all state comps are held at the same time - there is less chance of interstate judges. We were fortunate enough to have two interstate National ranked BJCP judges at WASABC this year. This wouldn't have been possible if the ACT and VIC comps were on - as they would have presumably been judging at their home competitions.

I can see where you are coming from though, it would be an advantage for fresh styles - but I think it could limit things a little more.


Personally I think people are analysing the results in far too much depth. Judging is an inherently variable process to begin with - applying quantitative values to qualitative data. There is always going to be a difference of opinion between judges, everyone has their own palate and style guidelines are open to personal interpretation. I'd expect there to be a reasonable gap between the NHC first and second round scores too - it all comes down to luck, and averages. Look at the consistent winners in the US (Jamil et al) - they enter a phenomenal number of beers. If you're in it for the medals, enter more (good, drinkable) beers.
 

hazard

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When you have brewed a range of beers you will appreciate that they all have their own life cycles according to style. Some, like UK bitters and Milds are meant to leave the brewery and be drunk fresh within a few weeks, others need to be aged like fine wines. Edit: Also your use of the term "HB" suggests that it still hasn't sunk in that home brew is actually just beer - of various styles - that is crafted in home breweries as opposed to commercial plant.
Well I disagree a bit here Bribie. Bottle conditioned home brew will behave differently to stuff made in a commercial plant. If its made in a commercial plant, then its usually filtered and CO2 pressurised, and can be drunk in weeks. I don't keg at all, but I do cold condition my ales to clear them before I bottle. It takes at least a month to carb up, so certainly can't be drunk in the same time line as a commercial brew, and I note in all my brews that they continue to improve with age. I've never kept a bottle longer than about 12 months so I don't know what the time limit is, but I've not noted any deterioration. Beer is just malt, hops, water and yeast. The ratios vary, but that will make one style "go off" in a couple of weeks when its in a bottle.
When you say that bitters and milds are meant to drunk within weeks, is that because they are drawn through a beer engine in the UK? In that case, then air is entering the cask, tghe beer is oxidising and it must be drunk quickly. Very differrent to bottled conditioned bitters, which last months. And as I recall, I made my entries to AABC in bottles, not casks. So I can't use aging as an excuse for failing to get a placing!
 

Adamt

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On the other hand, it's quite easy to see how rebrewing would be an advantage. Good judging feedback from the state comp should point the brewer to issues that prevented it from scoring higher.
 

browndog

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Dr K, I don't think GMK was insinuating anything at all and he does make valid points. It is fairly obvious to anyone with half a brain that the Vic and ACT guys are the better brewers, I think this is probably due to having better club culture than what we have in other states. A good beer can score at state level, but it must be exceptional to score in the Nats.

cheers

Browndog
 

Stagger

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"A good beer can score at state level, but it must be exceptional to score in the Nats."



I think you hit the nail on the head.

CRaig
 
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