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Old 02-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default What do you say when you taste a bad homebrew?

This is just for kicks. I have had tasted bad homebrew batches but I do not have the heart to tell the brewer it sucks.

Whats your story and what did you say to break the bad news?

I was at the monthy club meeting and was tasting an IPA. From all the IPA's I have tasted in the past. This one tasted more like a weak pale ale with stale hop aroma and flavor. I was able to avoid the brewer during the meeting but I really wanted to tell him is was nasty. I didn't want to start an arguement with a drunk dude I barely know. So I just kept my thoughts to myself.

Any one have a story and care to share the outcome?

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Damn, this is beer.

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Pick out what you can that is positive about the beer, then constructively address the problem.

So, in your case, you might note that the color is nice, and it has a clean fermentation character. Then, maybe ask a question about the hops used and point out delicately that you think there may be a issue with hop freshness.

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Old 02-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNOTSANE View Post
Damn, this is beer.
Lol, I'm going to need to remember that.


I just tell them that it tastes different from mine and we talk about what we did differently.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomBeerGuy View Post
This is just for kicks. I have had tasted bad homebrew batches but I do not have the heart to tell the brewer it sucks.

Whats your story and what did you say to break the bad news?

I was at the monthy club meeting and was tasting an IPA. From all the IPA's I have tasted in the past. This one tasted more like a weak pale ale with stale hop aroma and flavor. I was able to avoid the brewer during the meeting but I really wanted to tell him is was nasty. I didn't want to start an arguement with a drunk dude I barely know. So I just kept my thoughts to myself.

Any one have a story and care to share the outcome?
Positive, constructive, and knowledgable criticism will always be well received.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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You gotta give them some good news with the bad. But, I'd be willing to bet that they would like to make better beer. Who doesn't? So, you gotta point out some flaws and offer some ideas about what the cause was and a few ways to try to remedy it.

No sense in avoiding him and stifling his growth as a homebrewer.....unless I guess if he is a drunk that just makes beer to drink, then perhaps avoidance is best (and ignorance is bliss?)

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Old 02-07-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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"Hmmm, it's interesting. Did you dry hop it? Seems like it could use a little more hop aroma, particularly for an IPA."

If people don't want to take objective, constructive criticism, they shouldn't be sharing their beer. You never have to be a dick, but you can always open up a line of conversation. If there are multiple issues (maybe it's a little sour as well), just talk about one thing, not everything.

But, you can open up a dialogue easily. If he says "Yeah, three ounces of Cascade!," it's easy to transition to a conversation about how fresh they were, or how he stores them, or things like that. Just keep it respectful, and most people will respond fine.

I absolutely HATE it when people won't say that my beer is off, when I know there's something not quite right. If you never hear anything bad about your bad beers, you never know when your good ones are good!

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Old 02-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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I say nothing unless feedback is solicited. If the brewer wants feedback, I give an honest critique.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Pointing our the positives and negatives of homebrew is pivotal part to all becoming better brewers. They way I see it is if your going to bring our beer to share with a room full of your peers, you should expect "feed back", both positive and negative.

I have similar experiences, and in talking to the brewer found that they had used a prepackaged kit or hops from one of our LHBS that does not take steps IMHO to insure their ingredients are as fresh as they could be. I try to keep in mind that a beer is only as good as it's ingredients, no matter how tight of a process the brewer follows.

I have had brewers get a little "testy" with constructive criticism. The way I have handled it is by backing off and suggest they try entering some into a competition. It can take some of the "ego" out of it when they get score sheets that have similar comments to the critiques they may have gotten from their peers.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
I say nothing unless feedback is solicited. If the brewer wants feedback, I give an honest critique.
This. When a brewer gives me a beer, I'll often ask whether they want just a general opinion or if they want a detailed critique.
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