Well I entered a homebrew competition recently to get some unbiased feed back from those who have much more extensive experience than myself. I wanted informed opinions from someone other than my girlfriend and co-workers. I was not looking to win and was not concerned about my score.
The beer I entered was a Belgian witbeer from a Northernbrewer all grain kit. I recieved a score of 29 which I was very happy with. My question is how do I take the critiques given and apply them to my brewing process?
The main criticisms for this beer was too much bitterness and a very dry finish. Their suggestions for improvement was too increase the mash temperature and cut back on the spices/bittering hops. I tried a beer and reviewed their scores and I completely agree. The bitterness of the beer isn't overwhelming but it takes away from the beer.
I believe I may have made a mistake while brewing the beer. The kit came with corriander seeds. I placed them in a plastic bag, laid the bag on a wood board and carefully pounded the crap out of the seeds with a small hammer. I was under the impression that the seeds needed to be ground before going in but should I have just put them in whole? Additionally BeerSmith thinks that hop additions increase the IBU's out of the witbeer category....
Also, how should I go about increasing the mash temperature? I use BeerSmith and mashed in at 154F for 60 minutes.
Here is a link to the Northernbrewer witbeer kit: A ProMash Recipe - Witbier - AG
Looking over BeerSmith....why would the Northerbrewer kit be 7.5 IBU's out of the top range for this beer...