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Old 04-18-2007, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default 1st homebrew competition and... I won something?!

Well, I was dumbfounded!

I honestly did not expect to win with the problems I have been having. The 3 beers I entered were pretty- good but winners? I was shocked. I entered the 13th annual Littleton Homebrew Competetion and took 3rd place in the dark beer category for My Great Grandad Silas' Oatmeal Stout. Well, here it is...



Of all the ones I entered I would not have guessed this one. It was still green and I decided at the last minute to enter. I think in a few weeks it WILL be the best of the bunch. I WAS expecting to win for labels but did not. I know this sounds egotistical but based on the other entries I was pretty certain I would win for label. The judging for label was done by the contestants the night of and many beers had been consumed so...

So, I am happy, but, being the over-analytical person that I am, I have questions now.

It is great to have written feedback from professional brewers but what do I learn from it? I have one sheet each for all 3 entries A best bitter, a brown ale and the for the oatmeal stout I have 5. So I guess the others did not make the first cut? Some things I do not understand, others I do not agree with.

For the Oatmeal stout: The general concensus seemed to be it was a bit thin which I do agree with. It was my first partial mash and it was quite a fiasco. Also, it lacked Roast malt character. My opinion was that it was a bit harsh on the roast side and not quite sweet enough for an oatmeal.

Here is one I need help deciphering. For the Stout and for the best bitter the same judge wrote chalky finish. What does this mean? I am guessing this is a result of hard water? I do not know what my town water make-up is as they do not test for that. My brown ale, which the same judge apparently did not sample, I used gypsum and I am thinking it was completely unecessary but the judge who tasted that thought it was pretty good.

well, losing my train of thought here, resampling beers

anyways... Fun time regardless. I highly recommend entering this one or your own local. Do not know if they are all the same. For $25 you get one entry in each of 5 categories, a dinner (which was nothing to write home about), ALL the good beer you can drink (mostly micros and some homebrew). There was a "people's choice" were we all sampled 23 different homebrews. It was a bit nutty as we were all pretty slopppy at this point, but fun.

okay, nuff for now. Thanks for reading...

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:16 PM   #2
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great job & well done!

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Congrats!!!!

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:32 PM   #4
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Booyah! Good on ya! If you want a second opinion, send me 4 bottles with your information rubberbanded to one bottle, not taped or glued.

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:53 PM   #5
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Awesome, I bet thats a great beer!

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:57 PM   #6
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congrats! those labels look great, too, btw

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Old 04-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #7
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Congratulations! Sounds like a great experience!

(let me guess - you're going to become our resident competition-junkie now, right?)

If you want information on your town water that they won't provide, there was some company that someone linked to a couple weeks ago that will run tests for not too much money. Might be good to know whether the "chalky" flavor is something real or something the judge imagined (maybe he'd just eaten a Tums ). Someone with a better memory than I might remember the company that does that testing.

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Old 04-18-2007, 09:13 PM   #8
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Default Ding ding ding

Just found it, they're called Ward Labs.

This seems to be their water testing pricing page:
http://www.wardlab.com/fee_schedule_water.htm

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Old 04-18-2007, 10:05 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
(let me guess - you're going to become our resident competition-junkie now, right?)
It was fun but I do not see myself entering any others. I will enter this one again for the same reasons I did this time, drinking beer with fellow homebrewers and something to look forward to towards the end of winter. Other than that I am just too lazy I guess to enter any other competitions.

Thanks for the water testing tips. I am not sure I can justify the expense right now but definately something to keep in mind. Would I want the household complete mineral test for $24?

Just remembered the same judges other comment on both the Best bitter and the oatmeal stout. Yeasty nose, or yeasty affected pallete!!!!


AAAAAAAaaaaaaggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!

That made me even more resolved to NEVER use easYeast again. Then I looked at my notes. The best bitter I used Muntons dry ale and the oatmeal i used safale s-04??? The bitter pours really crystal clear and the stout well, uh, can't tell NO light gets through that one. Anyway, I am kinda bummed about that cause that has been an issue only I thought these ones were fine?! I am hoping it was just the judge.

Also reminds me, one of the beers offered that night was from one of the homebrewers there. I had his ESB and well, what do you know... Tasted EXACTLY like all the yeasty beasty beers I have had problems with recently! I am almost certain he must use that same brand. I could not drink more than a sip, especially since I knew there were so many other tasty brews.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:35 PM   #10
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They had a dark beer category? So what was the other category, light beer?

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