Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Dominion Cup Results

Patiently I waited, patiently that is once I had given the Dominion Cup organisers my address again because I couldn't remember filling it out when I registered. 2 weeks went by and still no sign of the score sheets for the 3 beers I entered in the Domion Cup, Virginia's largest home brew competition, then yesterday they arrived.

I had already been tipped off that my dunkelweizen/weizenporter had scored 30 out of 50, putting it in the "Very Good" category - defined as "may have a minor flaw (technical or stylistic) or may be lacking in balance or complexity". The thing though with the score sheets is that they give feedback which I can use to improve my beers.

Continuing with the dunkelweizen, which came 10th from 20 entries, the theme from both judges was that it was more roasty than malty. The dark grains in this beer were caramel 60 and chocolate, so perhaps in future versions I will tone back the chocolate and add an extra caramel malt, perhaps a 10 or 20, especially if it is being entered in competition as a dunkelweizen.


The peat smoked mild scored 33 out of 50, and placed 7th out of 15. In my eagerness not to allow the smoke to overpower the other elements of the beer I only used a very small amount, which seems to have caused the biggest criticism of this beer. I entered the beer in the Smoke Beer category rather than the mild or porter categories, and am now convinced that it needs more oomph to really make it as a smoke beer. Next time it will be a mild, or I'll just add more of the peat malt that I still have vacuum packed away.

The last of the three beers was Samoset 2009, my barleywine. Averaging 32 out of 50 from the 2 judges (the higher score coming not just from a Master BJCP judge but also a professional brewer), Samoset came in 6th out of 25. Both judges really only had two criticisms, both said it was a touch thin and that it would have ranked higher as an American Barleywine rather than the English that I put it down as.

Overall, I am very happy with the score sheets, especially as I have been brewing for little more than 18 months and am using the extract with grains approach. This weekend I will be dropping off more beers for another Virginia home brew competition and hope to score as well there as in the Dominion Cup.

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