Author Topic: Swift kick to the nuts!  (Read 3737 times)

Offline cheba420

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Swift kick to the nuts!
« on: April 22, 2012, 10:49:02 AM »
I recently entered my first competition. I've been brewing for several years without objective feedback from those who arent directly connected to me in some way. I wanted to enter the competition to learn more about brewing and to get honest feedback from others. Check and double check! I certainly wasnt expecting to win but man, I got a swift kick right to the nuts. Makes me want to dump everything in the fridge and start fresh. I'm grateful for the feedback but now have some ego repair to do and some major tightening of my brewing process. Major flaws were DMS and Diacetyl. I boil hard, cool fast and I ferment in a temp controlled extra fridge. Any suggestions on how to get these two animals out of my brew?
Matt
Mesa, AZ.
#197645

On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 10:52:40 AM »
I've been brewing for several years....

More important, how do you feel about your brew?
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline nateo

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 10:57:15 AM »
I've gotten some really useful critiques from contests, and some really godawful critiques from contests. At one comp I had like three judges tell me my Belgian Dark Strong (80% pils, 20% D2, fermented with 3787 @ 70*) was mis-entered, and should have been entered as an English Barleywine. So, don't expect judges to always know what they're talking about.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline cheba420

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 10:58:22 AM »
I've been brewing for several years....

More important, how do you feel about your brew?
I agree, Tubercle. I brew for me and those around me. But these results cant be ignored. I have pride in what I do and will always be looking to improve. I take the feedback as a positive because it will help me improve my craft. Just hard to swallow that ego pill....ya know?
Matt
Mesa, AZ.
#197645

On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
On Deck: Flanders Red, Berliner weisse, Punkin Saison, Saison Brett

Offline cheba420

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 11:01:11 AM »
I've gotten some really useful critiques from contests, and some really godawful critiques from contests. At one comp I had like three judges tell me my Belgian Dark Strong (80% pils, 20% D2, fermented with 3787 @ 70*) was mis-entered, and should have been entered as an English Barleywine. So, don't expect judges to always know what they're talking about.
Thanks for the kind words. The beers I entered were a Vanilla Porter and an American Brown. I entered the Vanilla Porter in the wrong category, so again, wasnt expecting to win but this beer gets RAVE reviews in my garage by everyone who's ever tried it. Just surprised by the comments. I dont taste or smell the DMS or Diacetyl...... but that doesnt mean its not there.
Matt
Mesa, AZ.
#197645

On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
On Deck: Flanders Red, Berliner weisse, Punkin Saison, Saison Brett

Offline tubercle

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 11:21:39 AM »
I dont taste or smell the DMS or Diacetyl...... but that doesnt mean its not there.

 Kind of like when the tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it...does it make a sound? To me if I can't taste it of smell it then it is non-existant.

 I once had a brewing aquantance that made a very good beer and by his own admission it was the best he ever made and was the very best beer he had ever tasted...ever. He gave me one ( it was a porter) and it was very, very good. He enter it into a contest and got a poor review. As a result he un-capped the remaining ones and poured them out citing how bad they must be. I said he "once was" as brewing aquaintence. I no longer associate with him. He needs to let a life.

  I admire you desire to improve and make the best you can; every brewer should strive to do the same, but don't let a complete stranger decide what you like. I'm pretty sure no one one this board would like my "7% lawnmower beer" but thats OK. I'm the only one that has to suffer through 50 gallons a year of it.

 Bottom line is if you are after a ribbon then go for it. If you are trying to please you own pallet, then do that.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline bo

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 11:24:09 AM »
You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself.

Offline nateo

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 11:25:34 AM »
Blind tastings are notoriously hard, even for trained tasters. Black food coloring in a pilsner can fool a lot of judges into thinking it's a stout. I believe in getting as many different opinions about my beer as possible.
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Offline tom

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 11:27:24 AM »
I'm pretty sure no one one this board would like my "7% lawnmower beer" but thats OK.
Spounds great! an Imperial Cream Ale?  Care to share your recipe?
TIA, Tom
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 11:32:44 AM »
DMS is normally caused from using pils malt and not boiling long enough, or boiling with a lid on. If you use pils malt it is  a a good idea to boil for at least 90 minutes.

Diacetyl will depend on a lot of factors. It is generated during fermenentation but the yeast tend to clean it up after the other forms of nutrients are gone. Some strains throw more than others and some strains do worse job of cleaning it up than others. strains that are highly flocculative tend to not clean up the diacetyl. Pitching warm can also be a factor in dicetyl, especially pitching warm and then cooling the active fermentation. diacetyl can also reform in the finished beer if it is oxidized during racking. It can also be from contamination.
Keith Y.
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Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 11:45:23 AM »
Diacetyl cam also be a sign of an infecetion. 

I take a bit of issue with the "if it tastes good to you, it is good" theory.  I've had judges find flaws with beers that I thought were great.  Bit after receiving their comments and
reevaluating the beer with the comments in mind, I found that the judges were right.  I was able to fix a few things and make what I had thought was a great beer even better.  So, even if you love the beer, don't discount what someone else tells you.

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Offline tubercle

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 11:50:03 AM »
I'm pretty sure no one one this board would like my "7% lawnmower beer" but thats OK.
Spounds great! an Imperial Cream Ale?  Care to share your recipe?
TIA, Tom

 Just a basic cream ale w/ 2-row and corn targeting 5 -5.5% and kicking it up to ~7% with sugar. Carbonate on the high side. Great for grillin'. ;D
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline tubercle

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 11:59:33 AM »
I take a bit of issue with the "if it tastes good to you, it is good" theory. 

Let the Tubercle clarify previous statements.

 There is nothing wrong with using constructive comments to improve the process or ingredients in the quest to make better and better brew. But, just because someone else doesn't like carrots doesn't mean I'm going to leave them out of my chicked pot pie.  :)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 12:27:09 PM »
Your beer may be good tasting to you.  If your Diacetyl threshold is high, a judge with a low threshold will ding you for it.  Same for DMS.

One technique I picked up from the guys in the club is to bottle more than you need for a comp.  When you get the scoresheets back that indicate a problem, open one of those bottles and go over the flaws listed, and see if you can taste those flaws.  A club is also a great way to solicit advice from folks who are BJCP, and see what they can tell you. If one says Diacetyl, and you don't taste it, consider that your palate may have a hole in it for Diacetyl - in fact there are a fair number of people that are taste blind to Diacetyl.

The friends in my garage are drinking free beer and I do not value thier opinions highly as they don't brew or judge.  They always say it is great beer.  There are some guys in the club that I seek out opinions about my beer, and that is valuable feedback. Scoresheets I will look through and often agree with and sometmes not at all. 
Jeff Rankert
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Offline cheba420

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 12:36:52 PM »
DMS is normally caused from using pils malt and not boiling long enough, or boiling with a lid on. If you use pils malt it is  a a good idea to boil for at least 90 minutes.

Diacetyl will depend on a lot of factors. It is generated during fermenentation but the yeast tend to clean it up after the other forms of nutrients are gone. Some strains throw more than others and some strains do worse job of cleaning it up than others. strains that are highly flocculative tend to not clean up the diacetyl. Pitching warm can also be a factor in dicetyl, especially pitching warm and then cooling the active fermentation. diacetyl can also reform in the finished beer if it is oxidized during racking. It can also be from contamination.
Thanks! I used domestic 2 row in this one and 001 for the yeast. I usually get good results from both. I cool my wort down to below 70* before I pitch and I always use a good size starter. Looking back through my notes, fermentation was noticeable in 6 hours. 
Matt
Mesa, AZ.
#197645

On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
On Deck: Flanders Red, Berliner weisse, Punkin Saison, Saison Brett