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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Smoked Porter = "no smoke aroma or flavor" at competition
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default Smoked Porter = "no smoke aroma or flavor" at competition

I'm thoroughly confused at how smoky typical BJCP judges expect a smoked Porter to be. I've had Alaskan and Stone many times of various vintages and I can honestly say that mine is comparable. The first attempt used 3lbs of Weyermann Rauch just like Jamil has in BCS. I felt it was a little light on the smoke. The judges agreed too.

This time I was sure to use more Rauch, 5 lbs in 6 gallons, and even made sure I used a more reliable HBS with a quicker turnover hoping it was a freshness thing. Ah, success. It's just like I hoped.

Judges: If it wasn't labeled "smoked", I wouldn't have even perceived any smoke aroma or flavor. It's a decent Robust Porter and would have judged better in the non-smoked category.

Seriously, do they want a 1/2 pound of peat smoked in there?

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Old 11-24-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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One thing that JZ has mentioned is how smoked beers are hard on the judges' pallate after they've been drinking them for a while. Maybe yours happened to be one of the last ones in the flight?

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Old 11-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Judges: If it wasn't labeled "smoked", I wouldn't have even perceived any smoke aroma or flavor.
If they truly are qualified judges, shouldn't they be able to tell what style it was, even without being labeled? Why should the word "smoked" allow them to pick up the smoke taste on their palate? That doesn't make any sense.
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CONDITIONING: 40 gallons KBS clone in a Jim Beam Barrel (since 11/24/12)
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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The smoked category is going to have palate fatigue issues like the IPA category.

Given that Robust Porter is the base beer, you probably went close to last in the flight.

This is unfortunately one of those situations where the best beer to a fresh palate may not be the best beer strategically to enter in a competition.

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Old 11-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by annasdadhockey View Post
If they truly are qualified judges, shouldn't they be able to tell what style it was, even without being labeled? Why should the word "smoked" allow them to pick up the smoke taste on their palate? That doesn't make any sense.
No, you are always more likely to find something if you are looking for it.

I think it is completely reasonable to say "since you told me it was smoked, yeah I can taste a little bit of smoke but it is really barely perceptible".

You are expecting perfection in beer evaluation by judges, which is unrealistic.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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Maybe I just don't care that much for smoke, but I've only made one, using 2 lbs 10 oz in a 5-gallon batch (it's what I had on hand). I mashed with a couple other grains (don't remember which), and it's actually a little too smokey, I think. So how on Earth could 5 lbs be barely detectable?

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:12 PM   #7
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Maybe I just don't care that much for smoke, but I've only made one, using 2 lbs 10 oz in a 5-gallon batch (it's what I had on hand). I mashed with a couple other grains (don't remember which), and it's actually a little too smokey, I think. So how on Earth could 5 lbs be barely detectable?
If you used 2 lbs 10 oz in a robust porter and found it too much then, yes, smoked beers are not for you.

If you used that amount in a lighter tasting beer than you are comparing apples to oranges.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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I put 3# weyermann in a 5g lager. It was delicious, and the smoke is prominent but not enought for me. My next will probably be 100% smoked (1/2 beechwood, 1/2 cherrywood-breiss). I do like the smoke.

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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To me, the smoke character in Stone Smoked Porter is very subtle, and the way it should be. Overly smokey beers are tough to drink IMHO.

F'n judges. My porter was recently judged and comments as having way too much caramel character( 1lb C40) and too much diacetyl slickness/fullness from one judge and not enough caramel/sweetness, too dry and light bodied from the other sheet in the same competition.

I guess you have to deal with the occasional when entering comps

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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This has got to be a problem for judges. My wife recently took a sip of my Rogue Imperial Porter and when she went back to her hefe = nothin'.

How long to clear / cleanse the palate?

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