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Old 07-14-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
Jul 2008
Columbus WI
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A guy gives you three homebrew's.

first one taste like syrup, very little hops all malty and buttery and I bet it was in the primary 3 days and bottled 7 days after that. (like the kit instructions from Wind and Hops Shop state.

second one was just bad - vinegar with a LOT of head (nice lace though LOL)

third one is an IPA - have not tasted it yet.

So now I have to give the bottles back and he will want my critique.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
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Mar 2007
, New Jersey
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Honesty is the thing I’m looking for when I share my beers. How else do you get better?

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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You know, that's really hard. He's sharing homebrew with you, and he must think it's pretty good, or he wouldn't share it. Especially if you're a new-ish brewer, that puts you in a bad spot. I mean, you have to be honest. But, you don't want him to get the attitude, "Oh, yeah, well, let's see you do better."

I guess I would say that the first beer was not to my taste- that I don't really care for super malty/sweet beers. (What style was it? Maybe it's not too bad, according to the style). Now, it it's a cream ale, that's really a problem!

I would say that something "happened" to the second bottle. Sounds like a bit of infection, so you really can't judge the actual beer.

(Can you tell I've had a few bad homebrews in my time?)

I'd try the third ASAP, because I love IPAs, and maybe that one is a good one.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #4
Sir Humpsalot
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Nov 2006
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Yooper is a girl. She knows how to say things nicely. Listen to her.

Me personally, I'd just puke on his shoes.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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Mar 2007
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Be nice, be honest, but most importantly give feedback on how to make it better next time. And send him here if you can't convince him.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
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I appreciate honest criticism over disingenuous praise any day of the week, and one would hope that any brewer who's trying to become a better brewer would think the same way. If this guy can't take your honest opinion as constructive criticism and not an insult, then it's not worth your time to discuss his beer in the first place. The only way to tell is to be honest and see how he responds.

I think one good thing to do is not to just say "this beer was syrupy, I don't like it". Give him your honest tasting notes, being sure to point out any and all good things about the beer, along with the bad. Then, offer up your suggestions on how to fix the problems with the beers. This will show him that you actually care about helping him become a better brewer, and aren't just rippin' on his brews.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:54 PM   #7
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May 2007
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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+1 for honesty, with any complements you can muster up sprinkled in. "I thought of a couple things to help you dial in your process..."

Also, maybe share a bottle or two of your better beer with him so he knows what he could be making.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Find out what style the beers are supposed to be and fill out one of these It will help you focus your impressions.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #9
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Mar 2007
Evanston IL
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And I think it's important to differentiate what's "bad" from what "you don't like".

As others have mentioned, maybe the sweet maltiness of the first brew was appropriate for the style, but just too much for you? (though it sounds like there's a diacetyl problem -- you can help with that). And maybe the second was supposed to be some kind of sour beer?
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
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Mar 2008
Great Neck, New York
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If he/she is new to homebrewing you have to be honest. Offer some advise on making the beer better. If it was me that gave you the bad beer, I'd welcome any help.

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