The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Embarrassing Results From First Brew Competition - What Went Wrong?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-15-2011, 01:55 PM   #1
inkman15
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: West Orange, NJ
Posts: 207
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default Embarrassing Results From First Brew Competition - What Went Wrong?

My favorite local bar decided to hold it's first home brew competition, so my friend and I were excited to enter.

A little background: we've been brewing for about 10 months and have brewed 5 batches (not anywhere near as much as I would like to have done). Overall, I've been pretty satisfied with our results but I'm well aware that we have a lot to learn and improve upon.

Our most successful brew to date was the Deception Stout recipe found on this site, so we decided to brew that again for this competition. Of course, because we really needed this one to go well, it didn't. We cracked open the fermenter after 4 weeks and found what people on this site said could be a Brett infection.

Since it was too late to brew another batch, we decided to make the best of it. We racked under the infection, bottled, and called it a day. Three weeks later, we tasted it and didn't detect any "infection flavors." It wasn't sour or anything and it still had that coffee taste that it was supposed to. So, we submitted it.

Well, the results came back last night and they were dreadful. There were 3 judged who rated based on aroma, appearance, mouthfeel, and taste. Here were our scores:

Judge 1: 20/50
Judge 2: 19/50
Judge 3: 14/50

Yikes. All three judges said it tasted "metallic" and that the aroma was "baby diaper." They also said it was a little "roasty."

So, what went wrong? Is the infection to blame? Something else? I know we're all a bit biased towards our own beer but this also has me wondering if my palate isn't developed enough yet to taste what the judges did

__________________

Primary: Empty
Drinking: Centennial Blonde, Citra SMaSH

inkman15 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
bottlebomber
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ukiah, CA
Posts: 14,246
Liked 2640 Times on 2068 Posts
Likes Given: 290

Default

There's no way for anyone here to tell what you might have done... I think a good place to start would be your water. Are you on a municipal system? What is the water profile and how much chlorine is there? Do you filter it?

I would love it if we could have more contests around here, this kind of feedback is exactly what helps you make better beer.

__________________
bottlebomber is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:09 PM   #3
friday
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: emerald triange
Posts: 184
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Sanitation is the first thing that comes to mind. Sanitation is the difference between a bad beer and a good beer.

Yeast could also be a factor, use a liquid yeast.

Water plays an important role but the first two are what I would focus on first.

__________________
friday is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
usfmikeb
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Leesburg, Virginia
Posts: 3,172
Liked 233 Times on 200 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

There are many nuances which could be making an impact. This is where keeping good notes during the process is critical, so that you can make changes to each variable one at a time. If there's a local homebrew club, join it and start taking samples to meetings to get feedback.

__________________
usfmikeb is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #5
ZamaMan
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 271
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

What's your fermentation like? Are you making a appropriate starter or pitching a couple packs of liquid?

__________________
ZamaMan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
houndsbreath
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: houston, tx
Posts: 173
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Remember to look at this as a learning experience and keep brewing to learn more. I saw a hugeimprovement in my beers whe I started brewing 1/2 with tap water and 1/2 with bottled spring water. I think hard water and roasty malts can result in mineral/metallic tastes in beers when the hard water is not diluted enough. Don't quote me on that, it's just my own observation.

__________________

Life is too short to drink cheap beer.

I decided to stop drinking with creeps. I decided to drink only with friends. I've lost 30 pounds. -- Ernest Hemingway

houndsbreath is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
rexbanner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: DC
Posts: 1,372
Liked 94 Times on 67 Posts
Likes Given: 91

Default

You submitted an infected beer. Why would you do that? I mean, it's one thing to submit a beer just to get some feedback, but what kind of feedback are you going to get on an infected beer?

__________________

Peep my nanobrewery: http://crookedrunbrewing.com

On tap at the brewery:
Logan's Song English pale
Hopsail Belgian single
Hellfire Black IPA
Summer Night raspberry dark saison

Crooked Run Brewing: Traditional ales, local ingredients

rexbanner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
mmb
FNG
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
mmb's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 23,511
Liked 3093 Times on 3015 Posts
Likes Given: 158

Default

The infection obviously didn't help but they are also judging your beer against others in the flight and to the standard. All beer might have been judged low in that flight or your beer might have had major problems. But always submit your best work.

Usually I submitted the same batch to more than one event to get some other judges opinions of the beer. Now I save the money and just drink it with friends. Win your first ribbon and then you can "retire" as a award winning brewer.

__________________
White Dog Aleworks and Drafthouse
mmb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
Jawbox0
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Posts: 377
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Don't knock the dry, a properly rehydrated dry yeast is going to make a good beer as long as it is appropriate for the style. I doubt that's where metallic & diaper aromas are coming from, especially given that there were signs of infection already.

My suggestion is to throw out these results, because you already knew the batch was infected. That infection isn't going to just stay at the top, it's permeated your beer, and is probably detectable by a good nose, or at warmer temperatures. You might not smell it chilled, but upon warming, that aroma might be right out in front.

Instead, concentrate on cleaning and sanitizing that infection. Everything the wort touches from the brew kettle spigot onward are suspect. Replace hoses... scrub, sanitize, scrub, and sanitize more. Take apart spigots, joints, get in every nook. Look for scratches. If you're using any disposable tubing or fermenters, replace them before the next one. Brett is a tough infection to clean up.

__________________
Jawbox0 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
jmf143
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wixom, Michigan
Posts: 607
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I've never read "baby diaper" as an aromatic attribute on Beer Advocate or Rate Beer.

__________________
jmf143 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First brew results! GreenDragon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 02-28-2011 03:16 AM
First Brew Results ongreystreet Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-31-2011 02:21 PM
Results of my first brew TheGeek Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 03-30-2010 02:32 AM
Hopefully not my first embarrassing NewB question.. webnmar Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-06-2009 12:18 AM
First Brew - Too Soon? - Results Evets Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 04-16-2006 07:52 PM