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Mustangfreak

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I only entered 1 beer, and it was a spice beer. I didnt win anything, but I didnt expect to either. All I wanted was my score sheet to say it was good at best.

Well, that didn't happen. I got an average score of 17. :( 2 score sheets, and 1 judge said it was infected. I guess I need to take a look at my cleaning process. What is a good cheap cleaner that I can use before StarSan? I have PBW, but that is $$$$.

He also said it fermented at too high of a temp. IIRC, it was in the low 70's. How can I keep the beer fermenting at a lower temp with out buying a mini fridge?


I know I shouldn't be upset about it, but I can't help but feel a little sad. I liked the beer and thought it was great, but I've been brewing only for 1.5 years so I know I'm still really new to this.
 

Joos

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If you like it thats all that counts.Personaly I wouldn't want to have to sacrafice my brews just for someone to take a sip and judge it.
 

jds

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I only entered 1 beer, and it was a spice beer. I didnt win anything, but I didnt expect to either. All I wanted was my score sheet to say it was good at best.

Well, that didn't happen. I got an average score of 17. :( 2 score sheets, and 1 judge said it was infected. I guess I need to take a look at my cleaning process. What is a good cheap cleaner that I can use before StarSan? I have PBW, but that is $$$$.

He also said it fermented at too high of a temp. IIRC, it was in the low 70's. How can I keep the beer fermenting at a lower temp with out buying a mini fridge?


I know I should be upset about it, but I can't help but feel a little sad. I liked the beer and thought it was great, but I've been brewing only for 1.5 years so I know I'm still really new to this.
Ouch. Sorry to hear.

As for cleaners, I like Oxyclean Free from the grocery store. I hear you can find generic types at the dollar store for less.

For keeping temperatures down, try putting your carboy or bucket in a garbage can or other large container with 3-4" of water in it. Drape a t-shirt over the fermenter and into the water, and point a fan at it. Voila! Instant cooling.

To go colder, take several 1 or 2l plastic bottles about 80% full of water and freeze them. Add them to the water in the garbage can/container to cool the water down more. Refresh with other frozen bottles 1-2x daily.
 

SilverKing

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I would enter it into another comp and see what feedback you get.

as for cleaning, I just wash everything with soap and water and follow with StarSan and never had an issue. easy and cheap.

If things need a soak, then Oxyclean does the trick.

as for cooling. I immerse my primary in a large cooler. The water level sits all the way up to the 5Gallon mark on the bucket. I just keep putting frozen water bottles to keep it cool. It's easy to manage whatever temp you need. I usually hover around 62 for most of my beers..... but I'm trying something different and have it down to 59. It's really easy to keep up with and I could go even lower. 2 frozen 20oz bottles twice a day.

This method has been good enough to score several medals, including one at MCAB...so i guess it works :rockin:

and when I'm not fermenting anything, the cooler goes to the beach with me.
 

Homercidal

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Both great methods for cooling that I need to try myself.

I would not take one contest results too hard. If you think you need help improving your process, then accept the critique for what it is, and try to learn from it. We are all here to learn how to improve our process (unless we are some of the ones who are on here to help others improve their brews).

Did the judge mention what kind of infection he was tasting? That might help you know not to create a siphon with you rmouth, fer instance.

High temps is a common problem. No matter how many times I brew, I can never seem to remember to make sure my temps are right and consistent for the fermentation. It always seems right to start, but our temps have varied 40 degrees around here, not including the day/night cycle, the past 2 weeks.
 

DtownRiot

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check out the wow what a difference thread. We have been discussing about cooler fermenting temps bringing about more desirable flavors. Most of the responders have stated that the best temp to ferment an ale is at about 60-62 degrees. I agree. I had some off flavors in my first batches due to a high ferment temp. Cool it down and you wont believe how much of a change in flavor you will get!
Good for you in getting your beer judged. I would like to do that sometime as well. Instead of being discouraged, see it for what it was. You gained insight into your brewing.
 
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