Beers In Sacramento reached out to Mike Ungerbuhler to post about his journey to become a certified beer judge. Mike will post every Sunday for the next three months to share his experiences. Mike has his own blog, Insatiable Thirst, make sure to check it out. Here's Mike..
There was a lull in the journey this week as there was no class. There is still much to learn and plenty of practice to do. It is often said that practice makes perfect. I had a music teacher who said, "Perfect practice makes perfect". What he meant by that was, if your practice is not perfect then the results will not be perfect either. In fact, if you practice poorly your results will be poor. I took that to heart and try to apply it to daily life. So what does this have to do with beer? Judging beer and completing score sheets take practice. So, with the lack of class this week I took some time to practice. Granted some of that practice was just drinking beers, but hey who's judging. Oh wait, I am, or I should be.
A score sheet should be completed in 12-14 minutes and while that may seem like plenty of time, it can be a bit stressful. Completing a score sheet in that time frame is important to competition organizers. They generally like to get through 4 beers an hour per panel of judges. 12-14 minutes should allow time to discuss the beer and time to be sure that is no more than a 7 point variance from judge to judge. The 7 point variance is to ensure that there are no extreme deviations in the score sheets and that the judges are, for the most part, in agreement. I have my time to roughly 15 minutes; I'd like to get to 10-12 minutes on average. Here's to more practice.
Mike was generous enough to show us a few sample scoresheets that he completed. Check them out below: