That vodka probably extracted some of the flavor so good move.
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OTOH, my non LODO beers look like that.That's what I was saying. I do use SMB for chlorine/chloramine removal but not in the amounts needed for LODO.
To me there is something about using the extract itself to do the work.Reinheitsgebot?
Looks like you've got nice hot break in there. I started getting that when I switched to low oxygen. Egg drop soup, huge white clumps of break material. Never had that before.
What could I do next time to make a little more fermentable but maintain the flavor I have achieved. I am pretty happy with how it taste and it fits to the style.Consider using Munich malt in place of the crystal malt. Also, I find that Marris Otter gives enough biscuit and nutty flavor on its own. I don't use victory with MO. I try to keep specialty grains around 10% of the total grain bill unless I have a specific reason for more. Also, mash lower but you know this. Get a decent digital thermometer for about $20 to track your temps.
I think diacetyl is a misunderstood boogeyman for many beer tasters, judges or not. I wonder if they keyed in on the beer tasting "different" due to the use of Munich in the grist...couldn't identify what it was so it "had to be diacetyl."^This what immediately came to mind before reading your comment Phil. The judge tasted some of the caramel from the Munich malt possibly combined with the fruitiness of the Kolsch yeast gave the judge a flavor he/she didn't recognize. The judge probably immediately thought, "Off flavor!"
Too soon?Maybe. Or the new challenger to deep fried turkey fires.I thought there was a NASA reference in there :-/
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit.While I basically agree I rack to secondary for my dry-hopped beer. I dry hop in primary after fermentation is finished then rack to secondary after a few days to prevent hop trub from clogging my keg. But as a general rule I don't rack to secondary. The instructions that come with many kits say to rack to secondary but I believe that is out I tradition.
Are you making sauergut ?I'm assuming OP is making a quick-soured American Sour Ale.