« on: March 13, 2017, 09:03:25 PM »
It looks like there was more prominent malt aroma than hop flavors, in a style that demands hop presence.
Also, the cloudiness and under-attenuation noted by the first judge indicates that the yeast probably hasn't completely flocculated and in fact may still be working on the beer, OR they found the crystal to be a bit cloyingly sweet. Regardless, there's really no need for table sugar in this style. Folks use it in IIPAs to help make them drier and more drinkable, but that's because those beers are starting way bigger than this one is.
It will only add alcohol, which accentuates the bitterness but not the hop flavor, and even could present itself as an increased astringency/harshness. I agree with the likelihood of astringency due to the mash pH.
So, I agree you should drop the sugar, and also suggest you reduce the Crystal to 1/2 a lb, then target an OG more towards 1.051-54 by adjusting the amount of base malt as needed.
Hop wise, I would combine the 30 min cascade addition back with the 5, move the Willamette to 10, and add a couple more oz of late boil hops @ 15 and 0 mins for additional hop flavor. Even though the judges were saying the malt exceeded the hops, what they were really looking for was a more prominent hop flavor in the balance. The bitterness presents later in the swallow, so by reducing the crystal and getting rid of the sugar as above, adjusting to be more hop flavor prominent will actually balance this beer better, whereas adding IBUs at 60 will only add bitterness, leaving the
A good heuristic for an APA is a 66%-75% BU:GU, which means at 1.053 you'd target around 35 - 39 IBUs.
Compensate the IBUs by adjusting the 60 minute addition. If you end up with some insanely small amt at 60 (like 3/16th oz), then make it a 1/4 oz and it to 55 or 50 so that you can keep a 1/4 oz minimum.
Finally, absolutely listen to Martin on the water.