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Quick question regarding packaging for competitions...

Usually samples should be submitted in 12oz bottles with caps... is it the case for Belgium styles? Some beers have to be conditioned in bottles, which may create some potential additional fermentation... Is it allowed to use corks instead of caps?

For example 18C (Belgian Tripel) "traditionally bottle-conditioned" according to the 2008 Guidance. Should I use corks with muselets?

Thanks, guys!

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Being involved with the AHA and having judged national finals several times, I can tell you there are 2 concerns...first, there should be nothing on the bottle to identify it came from you. That's not too difficult. But with the number of entries we get these days, storage is a concern. The reason you should use standard 12 oz. bottles and caps is so that your beers can be stored along with all the other ones. If you use a bottle or closure that doesn't fit into a standard case, you not only screw everything up but you risk disqualification. And really, there's no advantage for you using a cork. Even if the judges saw it, they wouldn't care. For everybody's sake, stick to 12 oz. bottles with caps. If they're good enough for Westmalle, producer of the original and greatest tripel, they're good enough for us.

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The rules for the National Homebrew Competition, Part I talk about bottle specs. It doesn't appear to restrict the cap type.

  • No, but it does talk about bottle size, which may very well affect the type of closure..."No more than 2.75 inches (7 cm) in diameter and no more than 9 inches (23 cm) in height, to ensure that they will fit in standard longneck case box slot." Better safe than sorry. Especially when corking will gain you nothing. – Denny Conn Mar 1 '15 at 20:07

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