Originally Posted by iowabrew
Just got sheets back from a local comp, my IPA that i love scored a measily 27. Comments said diacetyl present from both judges, watch fermentation temps, etc. Pitched rehydrated 05 and sat at 68F. Now i did rush this a little by getting it in the keg and carbed by day 16...
I was a little dissapointed...can i not taste diacetyl?? I'm only using about 7% crystal and 20-40L at that, could this be taken as the big D?
What was the experience level of the judges? That is one thing to consider. I got some sheets back from the same comp. Some, i thought, had some very valuable feedback. There were a couple, that I thought were not so great, and coincided with what seemed like inexperienced judges to me. I know they saw a very large increase in entrants this year. I did notice in at least one category there were 15 beers in my flight - that is a ton.
There are a variety of reasons your beer may have not done as well as you hoped.
1.) It very well could have the flaws that the judges perceived and you did not.
2.) It could be a case of overwhelmed judges and palate fatigue in tasting many beers. Does your score sheet say how many beers and what position yours was tasted? My IPA was judged as very good, clean, balanced - but on the "small" side. It was also the last beer tasted in the flight. My guess is it would be perceived differently if it was the first beer tasted. (Not saying it was scored improperly or anything - just that these sort of things can make a real difference.
3.) Could be inexperienced judges who did not identify something correctly.
4.) could be flaws in your handling or filling, or the contests handling.
Contests provide "a" tool of evaluating your beer. They are not the only tool. Multiple contests with the same beer, in my opinion, are really the only way to bring a flaw, or a strength, to the top. Send the same beer to 4 comps. Get 8 sheets and if 3- 5 experienced judges are telling you the same thing - it is likely true.