Author Topic: Swift kick to the nuts!  (Read 4423 times)

Offline cheba420

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2012, 12:40:19 PM »
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.
You nailed it. I'm just looking to improve and make the best beer I can. Thats why I entered. I'm not going to hang my hat on the judges comments just looking for more direction here on the board. You guys have always pointed me in the right direction and the advice is invaluable. If I cant taste the DMS or Diacetyl but others with a more trained pallet can, I want to learn as much as I can about how to eliminate those flavors.
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 #16 on: April 22, 2012, 12:41:32 PM »
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.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Good perspective, Denny. Thank you.
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 ccfoo242

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2012, 12:57:02 PM »
Did all score sheets note diacetyl or just one?

Also do you think if you entered the exact same beer 1 or 2 years ago you would take the results differently?  I'm new to this and I expect to get dinged.  Don't take that the wrong way...just suggesting it may take a shift in perspective.

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline euge

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2012, 01:22:02 PM »
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.

+10 I have a non-brewer friend with a sensitive and educated palate who picks my cuisine and beers apart and uses the right language. He'll complement me on my brews but also tell me when he doesn't care for them and points out his perceived flaws. I don;t always agree with him as our tastes diverge widely. However he is a good sounding board and I value his critique.

As an artist I've had to learn to accept critique from day one. You have to develop a thick skin and learn that negative criticism can be constructive if valid. If the opinion expressed is off-mark I step over it and not in it and continue on my way. ;)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline jeffy

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2012, 06:21:02 PM »
One thing that I noticed in this discussion was that you said you entered a vanilla porter in the wrong category.  If you entered it as a porter, then the judges probably had no idea you brewed with vanilla and were looking for the reasons why it tasted as it did, therefore the DMS and diacetyl comments.
Dd they mention your specific addition on the score sheet up at the top under special ingredients?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline cheba420

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2012, 10:06:50 PM »
One thing that I noticed in this discussion was that you said you entered a vanilla porter in the wrong category.  If you entered it as a porter, then the judges probably had no idea you brewed with vanilla and were looking for the reasons why it tasted as it did, therefore the DMS and diacetyl comments.
Dd they mention your specific addition on the score sheet up at the top under special ingredients?
No, they didnt. I could see that being an issue. For next time, should a Vanilla Porter go into the herb, spice category or the specialty category?
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 thomasbarnes

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2012, 02:48:09 AM »
No, they didnt. I could see that being an issue. For next time, should a Vanilla Porter go into the herb, spice category or the specialty category?

SHV - unless there's something else about the beer that kicks it into specialty (e.g., fruit, unusual fermentables, like honey).

Also, if you do enter it into competition, state the intensity level of the vanilla in the aroma and flavor, but don't necessarily state the exact type of porter unless the base beer absolutely nails one of the three recognized styles of porter.

For example, "Porter with light vanilla aroma and moderate vanilla flavor" would be a good description for a porter which sort of straddles the line between brown porter and robust, and doesn't have a whole lot of vanilla aroma.

The idea is that you want to tell the judges what to expect, and what NOT to expect, rather than making them guess.

As to your feedback in competition, other folks have mentioned possible causes for diacetyl. I'll add another tip: start your fermentation at the lower side of the preferred temperature range and let it rise a bit as fermentation finishes. Diacetyl gets produced during the initial phases of fermentation and gets scavenged up at the end. Cooler starting temperature = less diacetyl, warmer finishing temperature = more energy to clean up diacetyl before the yeast floccs.

Diacetyl and DMS together could be a sign of infection, but often you'll get other off flavors as well - sour, smoky or plasticy. If you're doing everything right with sanitation, it's probably not an issue.

Otherwise, if you're doing everything right by your yeast beasts, using a relatively clean-fermenting yeast strain, and getting good beer, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Sometimes certain hops and yeast strains can throw sulfur notes which can be mistaken for DMS, especially at low levels. In addition to a 90+ minute, full, open rolling boil, quick cooling and vigorous fermentation will also drive out DMS.

Ultimately, learn to troubleshoot on your own so that you can fix your own problems without having to rely on judge evaluations in competitions. Since you don't have to guess about ingredients and techniques, your evaluations can be much more accurate.

Alternately, hook up with a local HB club, find people in the club whose opinions you can trust and have them evaluate your beer face-to-face. That way, they can ask questions as they taste. If they're BJCP judges, so much the better, since they'll be able to give you tips on what makes a beer competitive in competition.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2012, 06:21:32 AM »
1.  enter the beer somewhere else, or see if you can get some other judges to take a taste.  i would not get hung up on it not meeting a style.  it is the "percieved" flaws you are chasing

2.  everything with a grain of salt:  when i was in the navy taking an evaluated watch, we ran a back emergency drill.  two of the instructors said it was the best back emergency drill they had seen.  the third said i had no control of the throttleman during the back emergency and failed me.
Don AHA member

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2012, 06:33:26 AM »
How long are you leaving your beer on the yeast?  Sometimes an early racking to secondary makes things stall and the yeast don't clean up the diacetyl.  You might even try ramping the temp up towards the end of the active ferment, just to help the yeast stay active.  They aren't kicking out esters at that point.

Sometimes a caramel aroma/flavor is mistaken for diacetyl.

As for DMS, sometimes a late hop addition will bring a little vegetal character especially if the hops are a little older.  This can be mistaken for DMS which can have a variety of aroma/flavor notes depending on the concentration and what else is in the beer.

I've been a judge for a little over a year now and have done a half dozen contests.  I'm far from infallible, especially when there are 12 beers in a flight and two flights in a day.  I do my best and figure its up to the contestant to decide if what I am perceiving is really an issue.  As for winning one of these things, its a bit of a crap shoot although if you have a sound process then you have a better chance.

Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2012, 07:20:27 AM »
If you and your friends think it's great, screw what some judge thinks.

My second batch (English-ish IPA) was great.  My friends loved it.  I loved it.  It looked good and smelled good and tasted good, even though it was less than perfect.  I doubt it would have been judged highly in a contest, but honestly, I could care less if it got a 48 or a 3 if someone "judged" it.  I would still drink it, share it, brag about it and brew it again. 

Offline bo

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2012, 07:24:56 AM »
If you and your friends think it's great, screw what some judge thinks.

My second batch (English-ish IPA) was great.  My friends loved it.  I loved it.  It looked good and smelled good and tasted good, even though it was less than perfect.  I doubt it would have been judged highly in a contest, but honestly, I could care less if it got a 48 or a 3 if someone "judged" it.  I would still drink it, share it, brag about it and brew it again.

I like your way of thinking. I also know that more times than not, I prefer my PA to the ones I have gotten at breweries, Stone being the exception.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2012, 07:56:31 AM »
I agree.  But I also agree with Denny.  There's always room for improvement, even if you beer is good.

I'd like to think my beer keeps getting better as I continue to learn.

Sometimes my friends love a beer I don't really care for and know I can improve.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2012, 08:24:34 AM »
Well don't feel too bad! I entered a beer in a local comp last year and was stoked to see that one of the judges was a Grand Master. He gave my American Amber, a beer that I thought was pretty good, a 13!! A 13!!  >:(  I literally could of pissed into the bottle and gotten the same score!!  After a cool down period..I realized that something else must of have happened. Either the bottle got infected or there was a mix up.

Offline bo

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2012, 10:46:01 AM »
I think there's always room for improvement with anything, but I sure wouldn't panic over one bad comp score. There are too many similar stories in here about bad judging and inconsistent scores. If I didn't taste it myself, then I'd want several more opinions before I started changing recipes, procedures, etc.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Swift kick to the nuts!
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2012, 11:47:23 AM »
I generally pay no attention to the drunks in my garage-they'll never insult the guy providing them with free beer.  But I used to have the best possible situation-a pro brewer who enjoyed drinking in my garage.  I could always count on her for an impartial, no holds barred critique of my beer.  She once noticed a hint of lactic sourness in a kegged beer and that helped make me take a second look at my sanitation.  She was always willing to give me tips, and she never failed to compliment my beer when it was justified.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico