Carrot and other Judging Comments

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tagz

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Entered a recent IPA in a contest to get some feedback. It was on the low end for bitterness and gravity, but too high for APA so I went for it. Got a "good" rating from the three. Had some questions on the comments. Here's the recipe:

6lbs Light DME
.5 lbs Carapils
.5 lbs Crystal 20

.5 oz Magnum 60
1 oz Cascade 60
1 oz Cascade 15
1 oz Cascade 10
1 oz Cascade 5
.5 oz Cascade Dryhop (6 Days)

*Cascades = Homegrown

So the one comment that I got in two of the judges comments, which struck me a strange, was "carrot." What could this be due to? I don't taste it, but any ideas what I can do to address this?

They also said that the hop bitterness was good, but suggested more flavor and aroma hopping. Now, are my homegrown hops just weak on the flavor? I figured 3 ounces in the final 15 minutes would be enough to get some serious flavor. Thoughts?

Finally, they all said that it could use more malt profile. I'm still extract brewing - what would you suggest steeping to build up the malt a bit more?

Thanks.
 

DeathBrewer

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First Wort Hopping will give you some great hop flavor. My buddy has done it in quite a few brews now and it always turns out great for pale ales and IPAs.

I'd suggest partial mashing for grain flavor. Just steep 3 lbs of munich malt in 1 gallon of water at 154°F for 30 minutes. That will give you a good malt backbone.

Get a bag and use my partial mash method (check my sig) or even do a no-sparge.
 

Edcculus

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I'd steep some higher lovibond crystal. Some 80 or even 120 wouldn't be bad.

As for carrot...I've never heart that as an attribute, good or bad. No idea of what to make of that.

The flavor and aroma hop comment may be the judges personal taste. You also may be a little low. If you don't know the IBU's its kind of hard to tell.
 

DeathBrewer

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Gonna have to disagree with you, Edcculus. The IBUs don't really have much to do with flavor and certainly not aroma.

Crystal malts won't give you malt flavor, either. They add "sweetness", and the higher lovibond are more nutty...possibly "caramelly" as well, but not malty IMO.

EDIT: Not sure about the carrot thing. Maybe your judge was a bit of a stinker.
 

GreenwoodRover

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In my limited (read one competition) experience and coupled with what others have said re: comps, the IPA category is very tough. Mostly becuase you'll never get it hoppy enough for some guys and by pushing the limit you'll just alienate the others. Really it's a trick bag.
 
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tagz

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I like the bitterness level, and I would agree that more citrus flavor would be good. It tasted fantastic the first few weeks, and while it has good hop flavor now, it doesn't have the flavor it first had.

I'll probably give the PM a try next time round. I've read up on the bag method and I think I could give it a go. I want to get a cooler at some point but I haven't had the time to put in. I like the lighter crystal. I've done 80 and 120, but I wasn't too fond of the raisiny flavors that came through. I've been tempted to experiment with munich or victory because I see it in a lot of recipes, but I'm wary of doing it until I can do it right.

Anyway, thanks for the input... more is definitely welcome. Cheers.
 
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