Friday, March 31, 2006
So, this is it. I take the National Beer Judge Certification Exam on Sunday. I have been studying hard for this. Yes, tasting is part of it, but only 30%; you only get 4 beers to taste over the span of the 3 hour test.
To give you a flavor of some of the questions:
--Identify, describe and differentiate three top-fermenting beer styles with original gravities greater than 1.070. Give commercial examples of each style.
--Describe and differentiate the German Pilsner and Bohemian Pilsner beer styles.
--Explain how the brewer gets the following characteristics in his/her beer:
a) good head retention
b) appropriate body for style
c) appropriate clarity for style
--Describe the hopping schedule for a British Mild and a Bohemian Pilsner explaining why you have selected specific amounts and varieties of hops and how your schedule fits the style.
--Describe and explain two different major enzymatic reactions in brewing.
--Provide a complete five-gallon all-grain recipe for an Oktoberfest, listing ingredients and procedure. Give original and final gravities. Explain why the recipe fits the style.
That's just a sample. The test is 3 hours. There are 10 of the kinds of questions asked above, and 4 beers to taste. This blog has been helpful in selecting different styles of beer, tasting and understanding them, and tracking and listing my brewing procedures and recipes. I hope it all pays off.
When all is said and done, I'll be an "Apprentice." As I attend, judge and volunteer to work at competitions, I will accrue experience points; sort of a way cooler D & D! Instead of getting experience points for slaying dragons, though, I get them for understanding beer. If only I knew about this in high school, maybe I'd have been laid more.
Anyway, as I accrue points, I can continue to re-take the test, scoring higher and higher. You move up the judging ranks, and are soon recognized to judge nationally and even internationally.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me in what is essentially a vice and a hobby all at once! Of course, I will keep the site going.
Wish me luck!