Author Topic: Which Category: Specialty or Dark Lager?  (Read 796 times)

Offline mightybrewmouse

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Which Category: Specialty or Dark Lager?
« on: February 18, 2012, 02:13:24 PM »
I'm a new AHA member and plan to enter the AHA competition for the first time this year. One of my prospective entries is a dark lager, except that I primed it with honey (didn't realize I had run out of corn sugar until the middle of the bottling process...oops.). After four weeks of bottle conditioning, I'm amazed at how strong the honey flavor is given that I used it only as a priming sugar. I think this is a testament to the fact that I did a decent job creating a well-attenuated dark lager (which is also well carbonated) with minimal roast flavors. But now the beer no longer seems to fit the dark lager category because the honey is very noticeable -- though not unpleasant.

Thus, I'm wondering whether this would be a suitable entry for a specialty beer. I hesitate to enter it as a specialty because I don't think of specialty beers as being defined by a priming sugar. Any of you experienced AHA competitors have any advice? 

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Which Category: Specialty or Dark Lager?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 03:15:21 PM »
It's a specialty if you can taste the honey.

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Which Category: Specialty or Dark Lager?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 11:09:56 AM »
Like he said.

But, it's still a few weeks until the deadline for the first AHA competitions. Taste your beer just before you enter it. If the honey character has vanished or has dropped to minimal levels, then you're better off entering your beer in Category 4 and not mentioning the honey priming sugar. If you're lucky, the judges either won't notice it at all, or will just take it for base malt sweetness. If you're not so lucky, they'll take it for yeast-derived esters and knock down your score accordingly.