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Old 03-13-2011, 07:31 PM   #11
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congrats on the scores brewzilla.. there not too bad... so dont feel to fustrated.. remember opinions are like A** Holes everyone has one... if you like your beer dont sweat it.. ive never entered a contest because i know if my beer is good or not... im the only one i have to please... i enjoy swmbo coments (she doesnt drink) of thats the worst Fkn Beer ive ever tasted

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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I've been brewing for 4 years and have just recently started thinking about entering in competitions. I wouldn't take the score sheets to heart too much.

So you're concerned about the fruity esters... I notice in the Amber ale you used Wyeast 1272. This yeast gives fruitier esters in my experience. Without sampling the beers (oh and you should send me some ) I have no clue what the judge was tasting, but the fruity note might just be from that yeast so there may be nothing to worry about process-wise there.

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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i enjoy swmbo coments (she doesnt drink) of thats the worst Fkn Beer ive ever tasted
LOL. Doesn't drink? Wait... that's an option??
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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So you're concerned about the fruity esters... I notice in the Amber ale you used Wyeast 1272. This yeast gives fruitier esters in my experience. Without sampling the beers (oh and you should send me some ) I have no clue what the judge was tasting, but the fruity note might just be from that yeast so there may be nothing to worry about process-wise there.
Yeah- I know the 1272 is a little fruitier than the 1056. So possibly those are comments I should expect on that beer using that yeast.

By the way, one thing that was fascinating that I noticed at the competition.. there were three or four people who kept winning golds and silvers in category after category. So I'd send you some of my beer to sample.. but I think those dudes are the ones you want to contact
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:13 PM   #15
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Well,first of all,these judges sip a lot of beers while judging. I tend to think their taste buds turn into Freddy Flame-out pretty quick.
This right here. I asked recently how judges cleanse their palate and the answers of oyster crackers, matzo's or whatever really doesn't cut it IMO. As I mentioned in the same thread, if I have a Paulaner hefeweizen then a Franziskaner right after the Franziskaner will taste like ass, even if I eat some crackers or pretzels. It just doesn't cleanse the palate to get an honest clear taste of the next brew.

I also see some of this judging as people sitting down and simply intentionally trying to find the worst in a beer rather than the good. Some of the score comments just come across that way. "OK... I'm a beer judge... here's this beer... now let me see in how many ways it's bad".

Don't get me wrong, it obviously can't all be like that as then how would they really judge the winner? "This one had the least I could find wrong with it or just didn't care to analyze enough so late in the game".

As mentioned already by someone, submit the same beers to a few other competitions and see if similar comments come back. If they do then you know what to work on. But if some of them wind up winning a top medal then you're really going to be confused lol.

By the way, one last thing I wanted to say. I bet if you entered top notch gold winning brews by the pro's you'd get some similar criticisms. Everything varies from person to person.


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Old 03-13-2011, 08:18 PM   #16
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Yeah- I know the 1272 is a little fruitier than the 1056. So possibly those are comments I should expect on that beer using that yeast.

By the way, one thing that was fascinating that I noticed at the competition.. there were three or four people who kept winning golds and silvers in category after category. So I'd send you some of my beer to sample.. but I think those dudes are the ones you want to contact
Definitely talk to them and get some tips. They can help find flaws and help you understand what you are tasting and how it could have gotten there. Maybe see their setup and refine your process a little as well. You will learn something new everyday.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:23 PM   #17
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None of these scores is poor. I believe the range for "good" starts at 21. It does sound like the judges hit upon some key points: your Steam beer being out of style, your Belgian not having enough yeast flavor.

As far as fruity esters are concerned, it's not just fermentation temps that matter, it is the consistency of those temps and the amount of year you use. Do you think those may be issues?
Exactly! Those scores are actually above "average". It seems like the recurring theme in all of them are unusual or unexpected esters. That's something useful to key in on. When you ferment at 65 degrees, and use a not-estery yeast, that would be unexpected. Perhaps the starter wasn't large enough and the yeast produced more esters than you expected? That's just one example of something to look at. You've mentioned that your starters are big enough- but it does sound like yeast health. Maybe constant 65 degrees (beer temp, not room temp) are an issue? Fluctuations can produce some weirdness. But you've handled that as well, too. I'm not sure what the cause is, either, but now you have three things to try- a cleaner yeast strain, a bigger/healthier starter/and watching the fermentation temperature more closely.

As far as the "light-struck" and "oxidation" comments on the bitter, I think light-struck and early oxidation do taste very much alike. Not so much the "cardboard" that's talked about, but more of a slight astrigency on the sides of the tongue. It's not quite sherry-like (that's severe oxidation) but has those notes if you've ever had sherry.

Oxidation is by far the most common flaw I've seen in competition. It might be very slight, but if it's present it will be noted.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:25 PM   #18
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I was there with you (and a few hundred others). I received good scores for the most part, 29 to 39, and had some "ester" comments also. I sat with and am friends with a judge that may have judged your beer. I'll send this link to him and see if he has some input.

My ester comments were about a lager and it scored a 33. I was told to "watch my fermentation temperatures" and "I might have a water problem".
Awesome! Congrats on the good scores. Despite that it may seem from my original post like I didn't have a good time with the whole experience, nothing could be further from the truth. I thought it was a great time and I look forward to entering the Drunk Monk Challenge every year... as well as some other comps.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #19
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As far as the "light-struck" and "oxidation" comments on the bitter, I think light-struck and early oxidation do taste very much alike. Not so much the "cardboard" that's talked about, but more of a slight astrigency on the sides of the tongue. It's not quite sherry-like (that's severe oxidation) but has those notes if you've ever had sherry.

Oxidation is by far the most common flaw I've seen in competition. It might be very slight, but if it's present it will be noted.
Thanks Yooper. When oxidation is present, does it show up pretty quickly? I always thought that oxidation would show up more after the beer had been in the bottle for at least a couple months. It was confusing to me that the one beer I entered that had the oxidation comment was the youngest of all of them. It hadn't even been in the bottle for a full three weeks yet.

And yes- you definitely make some good points about yeast health and maybe using a cleaner tasting strain. Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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Thanks Yooper. When oxidation is present, does it show up pretty quickly? I always thought that oxidation would show up more after the beer had been in the bottle for at least a couple months. It was confusing to me that the one beer I entered that had the oxidation comment was the youngest of all of them. It hadn't even been in the bottle for a full three weeks yet.

And yes- you definitely make some good points about yeast health and maybe using a cleaner tasting strain. Thanks!
Severe oxidation won't show up early, but subtle signs sure can!
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