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How do you rate your homebrew?

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aliu630

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Hey guys,

How do you guys judge if your homebrew turned out well? My friend and I recently got into homebrewing and we let our friends try some of it during our bbq. Everyone seemed to give positive feedback which was great. One of the batches I made was almost gone by the end of the night which was awesome :D It got me to wondering how I can critique my own beer to improve it even more. I wanted to know how you guys judge and rate your own beers?
 

PseudoChef

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I am just my own worst critic. I have let it be in aide in palette development. I may not be able to tell if it's the end-all-be-all just yet, but I know when it's good and when it's not as good and when I should have dumped something :)
 

cd2448

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That's tricky, and I think you need to be your own critic or have another home brewer sample your stuff, maybe get involved in the beerswap thing?

The trouble with trusting my friends to provide feedback is that they will drink anything that isn't nailed down, and doubly so if it is "free". Although there is definitely some satisfaction in seeing people work through a batch and at least give the outward appearance of enjoying it!

Just before xmas, I took the last few bottles of my second batch to a party, and when they were gone, we had to move on to Blue Moon. The Blue Moon was just too sweet for my taste and I stopped drinking, although I definitely would have drank a few more homebrews. I'm not saying my beer was "better", far from it, but I think it was just more suitable for that time and mood.
 

shbrewer

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I also am my worst critic. I did convert a Vodka only drinker with my spiced pumpkin ale and chocolate stout (not in the same glass, in the same sitting). Most of my other friends are bud light drinkers ONLY. How do I get involved with such short sighted people...
There have been many times I was very excited by a beer I brewed, and was disapointed in the results. I let my cousin try some of a cherry wheat that I brewed and he loved it...so I found that for the most part RDWHAHB.
Leo
 
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aliu630

aliu630

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PseudoChef said:
I am just my own worst critic. I have let it be in aide in palette development. I may not be able to tell if it's the end-all-be-all just yet, but I know when it's good and when it's not as good and when I should have dumped something :)
I get biased towards my own homebrews and feel they are always at least decent because I made them myself :p. So everytime I drink one, there is that sentimental or whatever satisfication. I usually will drink and enjoy anything, so its hard for me to critique my own beer. I should be try to be more objective haha.

cd2448 said:
That's tricky, and I think you need to be your own critic or have another home brewer sample your stuff, maybe get involved in the beerswap thing?

The trouble with trusting my friends to provide feedback is that they will drink anything that isn't nailed down, and doubly so if it is "free". Although there is definitely some satisfaction in seeing people work through a batch and at least give the outward appearance of enjoying it!

Just before xmas, I took the last few bottles of my second batch to a party, and when they were gone, we had to move on to Blue Moon. The Blue Moon was just too sweet for my taste and I stopped drinking, although I definitely would have drank a few more homebrews. I'm not saying my beer was "better", far from it, but I think it was just more suitable for that time and mood.
I will look into this beerswap thing. My friends are the same. They'll drink anything. I gotta agree about the "time and mood" thing. When I used to drink BMC, I thought it didn't really matter. But after opening my eyes to all the other beers out there, I would prefer a certain beers on different occasions.

shbrewer said:
I also am my worst critic. I did convert a Vodka only drinker with my spiced pumpkin ale and chocolate stout (not in the same glass, in the same sitting). Most of my other friends are bud light drinkers ONLY. How do I get involved with such short sighted people...
There have been many times I was very excited by a beer I brewed, and was disapointed in the results. I let my cousin try some of a cherry wheat that I brewed and he loved it...so I found that for the most part RDWHAHB.
Leo
A lot of my friends are BMC drinkers too lol. Back in the day I would prefer a bud light over the other choices. Now I'm slowly trying to get my friends to try out different beers to help them see the light :rockin: .
 

kinison_fan

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I guess I'm a beer whore-not picky at all.
I haven't bought commercial beer since I started kegging, but if I'm out, or at a friends house, I'll drink whatever they have.

I tend to brew the styles I like, but I also enjoy trying new recipies and styles.
I always appreciate positive feedback on my brews, but it is not to everyones taste.

I have an uncle that always tells me "Bud has nothing to worry about from your beer", which is fine with me-he always drinks Bud or Lite, so nothing that I make would be to his taste. I took some light honey lager to Thanksgiving dinner, and everyone really liked it (except my uncle).

My Dad also used to shy away from my beer when I bottled-it gave him gas. Since I've been kegging (about six months), he's been enjoying my brew without complaints of that side effect.
 
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Like others, I am my own worst critic. I rarely (if ever) have a beer turn out EXACTLY as I want it, and there's almost always something I'd change for the next time I brew. However, if I find myself pouring pint after pint of the same beer, then it's got to be a success!

I don't take my friends opinions very seriously. Few of them have very refined palates when it comes to beer, and they usually make some amusing comments about some of the unique flavors they're tasting. One said, "Wow! This is really hoppy! I like hops!" about my Scotch Ale (22 IBUs, single bittering addition, somewhat high FG - probably the maltiest beer I've ever made). Another said, "Hmm...you really spiced this one up with holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and stuff, huh?" about my Lake Walk Pale Ale (zero spices, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Cascade hops). Most of them try to compare my beer to BMC if it's light colored or Guinness if it's dark. I do take their compliments well, though, and if it's popular with my friends, then I also consider the beer to be a success.
 

HenryHill

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If you think it's good, it's good.

If THEY don't think it's good, it's all in how you suffer fools. :D
 

Fingers

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Yuri_Rage said:
I don't take my friends opinions very seriously. Few of them have very refined palates when it comes to beer,
I feel the same way. Most of my friends have never had a beer beyond the usual American Light Lager so they wouldn't know if what I've made is good or not. They usually say, "Wow, that's bitter."

As far as judging whether my brew turned out good, I've been on a clone kick for the last little while so it's pretty easy. Now that I've honed my skills somewhat and refined my own pallette I know what's good and what's not. I rarely have a batch I won't drink.
 

joshpooh

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I listen to what anyone says about my brew, but unless the person truly enjoys whatever style it is (or at least a style that is similar) I don't think much about it one way or the other. I mean come on it is unrealistic to think that a bud light drinker will like your best IPA or stout, but I always hope they'll like some of the lighter/less hoppy beers I make. I also know who I can count on to tell the truth and who I know will just say they like it no-matter what b/c they don't want to hurt my feelings.

My true measure of success though is if the beer tastes how I thought it would when it is finished its a success, if it doesn't its not a success. I never feel that it is perfect, but I'm usually satisfied overall.
 

boo boo

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My tastes have evolved a bit so I can now find most faults that appear in my brews.

The best way is to enter competetions that are judged by qualified BJCP judges. Most of them will tell you what if anything is wrong with you brew and usually how to correct it. Contests do revolve around specific styles, so take into account any comments related to off styles of the beer.

I am my own worse critic also, but most all of my brews are great IMO.
 

runhard

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One of my failures in my opinion is the beer that some of my friends ask me to brew even 12 months later. Not too surprisingly is was similar to BMC megaswills. I haven't wanted to replicate it nor could I exactly replicate the recipe due to the problems I encountered.

Oh, and these guys are ones who love drinking LoneStar which is Texas' National Megaswill; shows what they know.
 

Joker

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I have never brewed a clone so I have not had anything really to rate it against. If it tastes good to me it was a success. If others like it (especially without knowing I brewed it) then that is off the chart success.
 

Jekster

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orfy said:
Yup,,,,]

And it's backed up by others.
They take it over Micro's.
Yup, that's the true test there. If I find myself hitting up my kegerator instead of the micro's I have in the fridge I know I made a good brew. ;)
 

david_42

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I find HB clubs are the best source of feedback. I also try to makes notes on the flavor as I work my way through the keg. Once it was "Drink this in under 5 months, gets weird."
 

TexLaw

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I judge my beer in a few ways. First, I look for flaws that indicate a problem with my process, so I can correct them. Once I figure that out, I make some notes and forget about it until it's time to plan the next brew. After that, I figure out where this beer stands against the beer I intended to brew. I make some more notes and forget about it until the next time I want to brew that intended beer (if I ever do). Finally, I spend some serious quality time with the beer in my hand and try to figure out what I really have. I take it apart as best I can and see how all those parts really work together. Again, I might make some notes.

After all that, I just enjoy the stuff in whatever way suits me until it's all gone. :)

And, to answer the OP's question, I tend to fall in a range of "mighty fine" to "awesome." Sometimes, it's just an honorable mention, but I haven't dumped any portion of any batch in several years, and that was an infected batch. I've enjoyed all the rest through the last bottle or pour.


TL
 

EdWort

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I have SWMBO taste it. If she says it's good, then it's good.

Of course, it's been all good! :D
 

CBBaron

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I brew what I like so my opinion is the one the counts most. However I do listen to others opinions of my brew. I was however impressed when a friend who drinks Miller Lite only didn't open the ML case he brought until I ran out of my Wit/Dubble hybrid. That beer was one that just used up leftovers and I found it to not have enough yeast fruitiness or body. I guess the milder non bitter flavor suited him well. My imperial stout and oversized amber ale have also been popular. There have been a couple that have received less stellar reviews and I mostly agree with those also.
I hope to participate in some beer swaps and competitions this year in an attempt to further improve my beers.
Craig
 

rdwj

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Well, the first thing most people ask when they come to my house is "What do you have on tap?" So, I guess it's pretty good. Also, whenever I have parties, people rarely drink the bottled commercial beer.
 

zoebisch01

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I dunno really, it all depends on who is going to drink it. I mean honestly, what makes something the 'best'? Broad appeal? Style? There are so many factors that go into it not limited to but including the test subjects palate, experience, preferences..etc. The amount of compliments (from a good cross section of people) I got from my first batch of my 'house Ale' faaar exceeded my own judgement on it. I didn't find 'fault' in it (i.e. no off flavors, head was spot on, color good, etc ,etc), but it just didn't stand out to me as a better example of what I can do with a brew. Otoh, there is at least one beer I brew that I make and know is excellent but many people just don't care for it...go figure :D

I guess what I am getting at is, if you like it, who cares what other people think! However, don't let that ever be an excuse to not push your own expectations and skills as a homebrewer, but rather learn from your own experiences what makes a brew 'good', 'great', 'exceptional' or 'terrible'. Where general consensus does not always indicate truth, it can at times be useful in gauging your brew.

I say the best way to 'test' yourself is do this. Pick a style. Any style. (preferably something simple though, like an APA). Then go and get as many commercial examples of a that style that you can afford. Drink them at a good temperature range for the style, with no food or anything else, all the while homing in on the distinct characteristics of that style. It doesn't have to be all at once. Then start digging in to that style. Find recipes, look up the bjcp/etc guidelines. Formulate your own recipe. When you are convinced that you can brew that style spot on, with your own interpretation and others can agree, I think you are on track in the technique department.

Imho, becoming creative in your brewing is a whole other ballgame from brewing to style. I am not bashing 'brewing to style', (I have many beers that I brew 'in style') but what I am saying is you cannot allow consensus to limit your creativity which it could easily do.

There are some rather strong rules about homebrewing that once broken you can be assured you'll produce poor beer. Then there are some rules that can be stretched. And, there are some rules that are meant to be broken :D

/end brewing philosophy rant :fro:
 

WortMonger

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It depends, on one of my ales I think I have hit perfection. On everything else I brew, everyone compliments me on awesome beer that is never quite the way I want it and would change this or that next time. I do like the compliments though and simply say, "Well, then you have to try it the next time I brew it, it will be better, lol!!!"
 

Bobby_M

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I think we're immediately more critical of a beer if we know we brewed it. I wish someone would stash one of my own brews in a convincingly faked commercial bottle and offer it to me. That's when you'd really be honest with your opinion of the beer.
 
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