Author Topic: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong  (Read 789 times)

Offline raventor

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New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« on: August 24, 2016, 05:26:10 AM »
OK...to start, all my friends d love this beer. Infact, they ask me to give it as a holiday gift each year. Entered it into my first competition and it only scored a 9...notes include "worst attempt at a beer ever" and "never do again". I knew the cretice would be hard, but....

Anyway, can someone tell me where this recipe is so bad for an Oatmeal Stout please???

Altitude: 8,000ft, so boil is at 197
OG: 1.075
FG: 1.025

5gl Batch
6lbs British Pale Malt
2lbs Flaked Oats
.75lbs Victory Malt
.5lbs Black Malt
.5lbs 80L Crystal Malt
6oz Chocolate Malt
6oz Pale Chocolate Malt
3oz East Kent Goldings - 60min
.75oz Chicory Root - 15 min
2tbls Irish Moss - 15 min

Bring 6gl of water to 130, add oats and let stand for 30 min
Bring to 148 and add rest of grains, using a pump, recirculated for 45 min
Bring to 158 for 45 min with recirculation
Sparge at 171 for 20 min

Normal 60 min boil

Pitch Wyeast 1028 at 70

Ferment for 8 weeks at 60

Thanks for the help...no one to figure this out with!
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Offline santoch

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 06:04:20 AM »
Ok, first, I'm angry that these judges were downright hostile to you.  As a (prior) officer of the BJCP, I assure you that we do not teach judges to ridicule the entries that way.  If they can't offer constructive criticism, they shouldn't be judging.  We want the contestants to see the competitions as a worthwhile experience overall. That may include reward for winning or learning what an impartial panel has to say about your entry.  If there are things that they find that are not true to the style, then they should point you towards methods that may fix it or at least show you what you should be aiming your research/trials towards in the effort to improve.  None of that should ever include ridicule.

There are a couple things that pop out at me that seem somewhat irregular to me.

1) I know that chicory adds coffee-like flavors and bitterness.   I can't say that I've tasted it in a stout before, so it may or may not be over-bittering it and/or adding a coffee-like flavor that isn't quite coffee-like enough.

2) I don't know what good soaking the oats for 30 minutes does.  There are no enzymes in flaked oats, so while it allows the starches to become soluable, that can be achieved much faster than 30 mins.  This really shouldn't impart any off flavors, though.  I think it's just a waste of your time.  You could stir the oats in, getting them wet with the rest of the grist, and things would be the same.

3) You seem to be using the full 6 gallons of water for your mash.  Are you treating the water at all, or is it just straight up heated with no minerals?  If that is the case, I am wondering if all that water is pulling out tannins from the grains and especially the roasted malts.  This could cause a puckering, harsh astringency in the final product.
It also might pull harshness from the chicory, but that is only a wild guess.

If you really want, I'll pm you my snail mail address.  You can send me a bottle and I'll give you my honest opinion and see if I can spot what might be wrong, or I can get you in touch with another experienced judge who is more local to you.

HTH-
Steve

Mt. Si Brewing Society
Washington Homebrewer's Association (WAHA)
BJCP GM2/Mead Judge

Offline duboman

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 11:28:59 AM »
Was this a BJCP event? If so I would get in touch with the organizers and let them know, comments like that are totally uncalled for and not productive in the least bit. Goes against all judging policies set forth in judging guidelines.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 11:37:27 AM »
Could it have been a bad bottle? That has happened to me.
They couldn't tell you what they didn't like, just that they didn't like it? I try to do better than that.

How do you like the beer?
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 01:36:05 PM »
I've never seen a competition give a score that low even when the beer was truly undrinkable.

To get even close to that kind of score I would expect to see a really rough infection. Possibly a bad bottle? Was it the last bottle of the batch?
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 01:42:00 PM »
Never having brewed with chicory root, I can't speak for its impact or the quantity used. But if the beer were overly bitter I'd think they could've used that as a critique pretty easily. I agree that an infected bottle makes a lot more sense. Regardless, shame on them for being unprofessional a-holes while offering nothing as constructive help to boot.
Jon H.

Offline Scot (one T)

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 05:59:33 PM »
No excuse for those remarks.   Moving forward....I make a stout that uses Cafe du Monde coffee.  The coffee contains chickory and imparts a great flavor.  I do a cold press and add to the secondary.  Straight chickory may be a touch harsh. 
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 09:50:38 PM »
Even if it was an infected bottle, judges should still be trying to identify the infection and provide feedback to help mitigate that (ie - check sanitation, watch yeast handling, etc). A "9" seems unreasonably low too. I remember getting some pretty low scores, but that beats me. I think a 13 was my lowest when I sent in an infected bottle of saison years ago.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 09:58:38 PM »
I remember getting a 19 on something (long time ago), but the comments were at least helpful. And in hindsight, correct. That score pissed me off and helped make me a better brewer.
Jon H.

Offline santoch

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2016, 02:55:37 AM »
I am still ticked off about this.  Send me a bottle or two and I'll even pay for the shipping.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: New Orleans Stout - Where did I go wrong
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2016, 09:53:00 PM »
I am still ticked off about this.  Send me a bottle or two and I'll even pay for the shipping.

Take the man up on his offer. I am sure you won't be disappointed. He might even send you a naked picture in return... :o