Originally Posted by Rubes
My LHBS has Crystal malt, but I have no idea what the lovibond is on it and neither do the people who work there. It could be anything. How drastically will it affect the flavour if I use a Crystal that's too light or too dark compared to what's in the recipe?
C-60 tastes like caramel, that's the only way I can describe it. Lighter crystal is sweeter, darker crystal is less sweet and more burnt tasting. I think this beer would turn out OK with c-40 or c-80, but it definitely wouldn't be the same. If your LHBS doesn't know this stuff, it might be time to start ordering stuff online.
On another subject, I entered this beer in a comp and it bombed. Respectively, the three other beers I entered all got over 35, and my IPA took first with a 42, but this got a 25. I don't understand...what happened? The judges all said it had a roasty, astringent taste that overshadowed the rest of the beer. Since it was BJCP and both judges had similar comments and scores, I'm inclined to believe them, but I did not notice any of the flavors they did, and I still have this beer on tap. It tastes caramely, with a slight touch of chocolate roast.
The only thing I can think is that maybe the beer changed when it warmed up during shipping or something. I have my water profile dialed, too. What could it be? I used wlp002 instead of nottingham, maybe the astringency they are referring to is the British yeast bite?