Homebrew competition: German beers (ended)

//Update: This competition was a bit special for multiple reason. It was a blend between a distanced competition while we met up for the actual winner announcements. The other reason is that we got some feedback from special brewer guests: Jan from Kromme Haring, Sander from Oedipus, which drank the beers with Jan from Butcher’s Tears.

A lot of really high scores were given to the participants and some useful feedback was exchanged. At the end of the day Edwin took the number one spot with his first entry: a Rauchbier! Congratulations Edwin on winning and thank you all that competed and joined us in evaluating the beers!

//

It’s time to announce our next homebrew competition: German beers!

Germany is famous for it’s beer and beer culture. Home to the purity law, Oktoberfest, and a very large number of beer styles. The assignment for this competition is quite simple: Choose a German beer style and brew the best example of this style.

To sign up, please fill in this Google Form: https://forms.gle/MtDxKBit28SBbMzp7

We have chosen to make this a restricted style competition. You can choose from a large range of beers to brew (see the list below) but instead of getting creative you are challenged to brew the best example of your chosen style as possible. Read the guide lines well and make sure your beer has the right colour, uses the right malts and hops, make sure you hit all the gravities, and the ABV is style appropriate. We will use the recently released BJCP beer style guidelines (BJCP 2021) to determine if a beer is a good example.

So why did we choose to do a restrictive competition?

First of all, it’s a great challenge to colour in between the lines. You will want to show that you can brew exactly what you intended to brew. German beers tend to be quite simple beers with no additives. It all comes down to process and brewing mastery. Secondly, if you enter a beer you will also get to evaluate other people’s beers. Having clear guidelines makes it easier to determine how well a beer complies to the standards. You become better at tasting beer, and your feedback will help the brewer to brew an even better beer in the future. We all win!

List with accepted entries (check BJCP 2021 for style details)

  • PALE MALTY EUROPEAN LAGER
    • 4A. Munich Helles
    • 4B. Festbier
    • 4C. Helles Bock
  • PALE BITTER EUROPEAN BEER
    • 5A. German Leichtbier
    • 5B. Kölsch
    • 5C. German Helles Exportbier
    • 5D. German Pils
  • AMBER MALTY EUROPEAN LAGER
    • 6A. Märzen
    • 6B. Rauchbier
    • 6C. Dunkles Bock
  • AMBER BITTER EUROPEAN BEER
    • 7B. Altbier
  • DARK EUROPEAN LAGER
    • 8A. Munich Dunkel
    • 8B. Schwarzbier
  • STRONG EUROPEAN BEER
    • 9A. Doppelbock
    • 9B. Eisbock
  • GERMAN WHEAT BEER
    • 10A. Weissbier
    • 10B. Dunkles Weissbier
    • 10C. Weizenbock
  • EUROPEAN SOUR ALE
    • 23A. Berliner Weisse
    • 23G. Gose
  • HISTORICAL BEER
    • Historical Beer: Kellerbier
    • Historical Beer: Lichtenhainer
    • Historical Beer: Roggenbier
  • SMOKED BEER
    • 32A. Classic Style Smoked Beer

Zwickel (bier) will be judged as Historical Beer: Kellerbier, and Zoigl as 5D. German Pils. Landbier and Steinbier are more descriptions of method and origin than that they are easily captured in a style guide. Lastly there are some styles that don’t fit anywhere, like dampfbier or Kottbusser. If you brew these we would love to try them, but they pose a problem with evaluating them against guidelines.

How does the competition work and who can particpate?

As always we are a homebrew group that is open for all – so everyone can participate if they choose to. You don’t have to be a member, you don’t need to be a great brewer. The competition will take place distanced and the competition meeting will take place online. We have developed a Corona proof system that has worked well for us in the past 2 years, these are the instructions:

1) Everyone can enter – you enter by signing up in advance. We use the number of entries to decide how many bottles to enter into the competition. Please fill in this form to enter before March 31st. We normally have 10 to 12 entries in a competition.

2) You can enter your beer in any bottle or can you choose. Please label your beer with the style and the alcohol content. We ask you not to put your name on the label to prevent any bias during evaluating the beer. Ideally you don’t add any additives in the beer; but if there are – please put them on the label. Think of allergens / animal products like gelatine or lactose.

3) We will collect all the beers at a central collection point: This is Yaya Kombucha or a home address in De Pijp. Drop off your beers before the 22th of April. All beer will be packaged and shipped to you. The shipping costs will most likely be 10 euros.

4) You will have a period of about 2 weeks to sample the beers and evaluate them. We will send a feedback form to all participants.

5) The online meeting on the 10th of May (proposed date) to discuss all the beers and share our thoughts.

PS. We ask you to bring 2 extra bottles. Our plan is to ask an expert on German beer to join us. In our experience it’s a good idea to bring an extra bottle, in case a box breaks or cannot be delivered.

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