What would you do?

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stratslinger

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I entered a local homebrew comp earlier this month, and scored pretty well. Among my entries was an American Stout I brewed earlier this year, and I got some interesting feedback on it - I'm curious to see what people here might do with this feedback.

Without getting too much into the specifics of the recipe or process, suffice it to say this was an American Stout that was brewed in mid February and entered into a comp in early June - so basically any late hop additions were pretty much gone. But this beer, in my opinion, was the best stout I've made to date, and I've gotten a lot of great feedback on it.

It scored a 37, which I was pretty darned happy with. Further, I spoke with one of the judges afterward, and he told me that it would have done better except it didn't have a pronounced roast bitterness or american hop presence. That said, his advice was to not change a thing about it - he said it was fantastic the way it was and he wouldn't touch the recipe. His exact words were "I would buy this beer" which, coming from a BJCP certified LHBS and small brewery owner, made me feel pretty darned good about my work!

Now, I know what I'm going to do with his advice. But I'm interested to see how others on HBT would take that advice. Would you take the judge's advice and keep the recipe as-is and continue to enjoy a really good recipe, or would you tweak it to try to get a few more points out of it in future comps?
 

masskrug

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Did it have any coffee in it? You might add a little and see what he says.
 
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stratslinger

stratslinger

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not necessarily looking for advice here. I'm really looking to see, I guess philosophically speaking, whether people would take the judge's suggestion in this case and keep the beer as-is, or whether they would attempt to tweak it for better scores.

I already know what I intend to do with it. Just curious to see whether others lean in the same direction or not.
 

dobe12

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he told me that it would have done better except it didn't have a pronounced roast bitterness or american hop presence.
If you want to enter this beer again in other comps, I would take this advice and tweak the recipe. Give it a shot and see what you get. You already have the original recipe to fall back on.
 

kh54s10

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Keep that recipe AND tweak it. You can always do it as is, and at the same time use it as the basis for something a little different.

Maybe enter the same beer AND an adjusted recipe in the same contest and see what happens. Especially if the same judge is in the contest.
 

mhurst111

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i see 2 options:
1. I'd just brew it as you did, but closer to competition date and see what score you get. You had 3-4 months of aging on the beer as tested. His comments on hops would be addressed by a fresher beer. single variable = time.

2. Tweak one of the other variables. Brew 3-4 months before the comp, but add more aroma hops or more 'roast' to the grain bill (since i don't know the grain bill, you could do that multiple ways). Again, just change one of the variables.

i'd do #1 - you know it's a good recipe, could just be a matter of timing.
 
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