nice scores! I think competitions can be helpful in reinforcing your own feelings about your own beers.
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Since you bottled after 9 days, part pf the bitterness you're experiencing could be yeast that's still in suspension. On your next batch, leave it in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks. That will promote a cleaner beer.+1000 patience in this area will reward you with better beer. Even if the gravity doesn't drop after 9 days, the yeast are still doing some clean up work.