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Old 05-04-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
jamorgan3777
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Default How to I know if my beer is "good"?

I like beer. Most of us do. However, I have been brewing new styles lately and I do not know if they are "good". I dont have access to a lot of competitions or other tasters that know any more about how they "should" taste than I do. How can I find out what, for example, my Belgian Wit "should" taste and look like? It tastes good to me and the others that are drinking it. If I think, "eh, its okay" is that because it was poorly crafted (I made mistakes in the brewing process) or its just not a beer style I like? Any advice?

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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If you look at the BJCP Style Guidlines you will see at the bottom of each one a list of the best commercial examples of those styles.

For example for Belgian Wits, these beers were picked to be the best representations of the style.

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Hoegaarden Wit, St. Bernardus Blanche, Celis White, Vuuve 5, Brugs Tarwebier (Blanche de Bruges), Wittekerke, Allagash White, Blanche de Bruxelles, Ommegang Witte, Avery White Rascal, Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, Sterkens White Ale, Bell’s Winter White Ale, Victory Whirlwind Witbier, Hitachino Nest White Ale
Get your hands on some of those and taste them in comparison to yours.

Plus you can read the descriptions of the style, and see if yours has some of the same characteristics.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #3
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Thanks Revy! Ive been wondering the same thing.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Can do what i do with new styles. Buy two 750 bottles of that style. Drink one while brewing and the other after tasting your finished bottle/keg. Compare.

Edit: i must have slow internet!

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Drink it! If it's not good that's a surefire way to find out. Now back to the real answers...

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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Default Thanks!

I did not know about the "examples" in the BJCP site. That would really help. I have been trying to get commercial examples, but even then how do I know if they are "good" and "correct". At some point personal preference has to take over, I just want to brew better beer and I think that means I have to brew it "correctly" first.

Thanks again!

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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Of course before you buy them, you might want to do some googling of the various beers that you can find to see how close the grain/hop/spice bill is to your recipe.

The wit is a classic example of this. Nearly if not all wits are spiced, BUT not all wits use the same spices, so you kinda want to make sure that your wit and the commercial wits you are tasting have the same spice bills.

For example my 3 favorites on that list are Hoegaarden, Celis White, and Bell's winter white. And they all have a similar spicing, orange and coriander mostly, but they all are completely different. Celis White is so high in coriander that it's almost mustardy to me. In fact I use it in my version of welsh rarebit, which is pretty much just swiss cheese melted with a beer and mustard. Hoegaarden's more of a balanced beer to me.

So kinda want to make sure the beers you're are similar, so you don't think there's something wrong with yours for example if you've selected a comparason beer that has Anise let's say, which is really overpowering (to me anyway) and yours doesn't.

It's good to try a lot of beers in whatever category you are brewing. I like beersotres that allow for mixed sixers. It's not too uncommon for me, when I'm consisidering brewing a new style to get 6 different wits, or 6 different ipas to see how different breweries approach the same basic style.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamorgan3777
I did not know about the "examples" in the BJCP site. That would really help. I have been trying to get commercial examples, but even then how do I know if they are "good" and "correct". At some point personal preference has to take over, I just want to brew better beer and I think that means I have to brew it "correctly" first.

Thanks again!
+1 make sure you have your process correct and the beer is sure to follow.cheers!
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:54 PM   #9
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The only real way to know is to send me some for judging. A couple of mixed 6'ers ought do to it.

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
The only real way to know is to send me some for judging. A couple of mixed 6'ers ought do to it.
I was thinking the same thing.
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