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Homebrew contest scores?

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Hello fellow brewers, I brew partial mash and I was wondering if anyone could provide me with good tips that might help me reach scores of 40s or better if possible. I've entered quite a bit of contest in the past 3 years I've placed third place in a few of them and came in second place two years ago with a Pale Ale in the famous Texas Blue Bonnett Contest which to this day is my pride and glory hahaha. Anyhow it seems like im missing the mark on the Flavor charecteristics, my score tend to avg between 10 and 12 out of 20. If I could only swing 6 or 8 points more I would have some amazing brew since my avg contest scores hover in the mid 30s. I've ask various homebrewers at my local homebrew shop and I've heard better fermentation would help but I beleive there is probablly more I can do to get this right. Please advise.

Good God... I think about 99.9% of homebrewers would like the same answers to the same questions.  Myself included.  I think it's just an iterative process.  Keep on researching what you can do to improve, and then do it.  Over the years, your beers WILL get better and better if you learn from all the feedback from contests and from reading a lot.

It's hard to tell what will help without knowing what you are doing.  I can asume from your success to date that you have the most important factor down and that is of course sanitation.  The next area that I concentrated on was fermatation knowledge and TEMPERATURE CONTROL.  Since so many of the most common off flavors are a result of these two areas, that is where I figured I hade the best chance of not loosing potential points.  The areas that I am working on now are recipie formulation and balance.  This forum has been a great help thanks to Denny, Kai and all the other regulars that are willing to share.

Since it sounds as if you have the recipe part figured out due to your past performance, 1st thing to try is full boils which you may already do. 2nd is precise fermentation control. After those two, tweak the recipe to increase complexity of aroma and flavor.

Are there any comments are off-flavors that are appearing on scoresheets frequently? If there's a specific problem that you can correct, that would be one thing, but "how does one make better beer" is a pretty broad question.


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