Homebrew Competitions: Decoding Your Judging Scoresheet

Homebrew Competitions: Decoding Your Judging Scoresheet Primary

In “Facing (Beer) Judgment” last week, we looked at three things to remember when you consider entering your beer in a homebrew competition. Let’s say that you have entered a beer in the competition and you have the results. Whether your beer brought home a medal or not, you’ve received valuable feedback that can have a major impact on the quality of your future batches. You should have a cover sheet and at least two score sheets for each beer you entered. You already know whether your beer won, but looking at your paperwork will indicate why it did—or didn’t—do well.

Start by looking at the cover sheet. There’s a lot of explanatory text here, but the interesting bit is in the box in the middle. Your final assigned score stands out, but more importantly, you can see where in the flight your beer was judged (Ordinal Position in Flight: ____ of ____). This information can be useful when you’re reading the score sheets because it can affect how your beer was perceived. For example, bigger beers tend to do better late in the flight because of palate fatigue. Crowd skewing can also be a factor; a set of milder or stronger beers before yours can impact a judge’s sensitivity.

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