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Author Topic: "Grassy" flavor  (Read 7565 times)

Offline James K

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2018, 06:21:01 pm »
Do,you know if the other judges were certified bjcp or just judges?

American pale ale guidelines say “Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.” For flavor and aroma. 

I wonder if those judges  thought the dry hop addition was excessive, or maybe if they didn’t know the style, thought it was a fault in the beer. Personally I wouldn’t be concerned, it sounds like you did well and the two judges who didn’t score your beer that well were either unfamiliar with the style, or, they just gave you an average score to give you an average score.

Last question, what would you score the beer and why?
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Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2018, 05:45:53 am »
Always, always, always, first ask yourself the question: Are the judges full of crap?!  I would say that about 60% judges put out an unfortunate high level of crap.

Only after you answer that question can we answer any other questions.

That is a very good point as well and I agree it is the place to start....

- You said your beers scored well, so were the judges criticizing the "grassy" or just describing the perception of the hops?

- Grassy is a "descriptor" for some hops that is not inherently bad.  Some hops are not "fruity" or "Citrusy" - they are "grassy" or "earthy" or "spicy."  So, if it was conveyed in a way that did not specifically say it was a negative, it could simply be that.

-Most importantly  - do YOU find it "grassy?"  Do YOU find it to be negative in that regard? Do your friends find it grassy (in a bad way)? If not..... Don't chase a problem that is not a problem to you.

Yeah good point... I find it a little on the sweet side, or not bitter enough for the style. 2 of the 3 judges found it grassy and rated it a 34 and 35 out of 50. The other judge (owned the brewery pub we were at) rated it 41/50 and had no mention of it being grassy. I don't find it necessarily grass, but I know my palette isn't the best. :)

One more thing - do you know how the comnpetition bottles were shipped or stored vs the bottles you kept.  Some beers come into competitions quite a bit damaged.

I physically brought the bottles to the competition. They were in good shape. It was a small competition (maybe 20 beers total) and 3 judges. We were all in the same room while they were tasting.

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2018, 07:41:30 am »
Do you know the specific ranks of the judges?  Apprentice, Recognized, Certified, National, etc.?  If none of these boxes are checked then they are unlikely to know what they are talking about.
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Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2018, 09:12:43 am »
Do,you know if the other judges were certified bjcp or just judges?

American pale ale guidelines say “Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.” For flavor and aroma. 

I wonder if those judges  thought the dry hop addition was excessive, or maybe if they didn’t know the style, thought it was a fault in the beer. Personally I wouldn’t be concerned, it sounds like you did well and the two judges who didn’t score your beer that well were either unfamiliar with the style, or, they just gave you an average score to give you an average score.

Last question, what would you score the beer and why?

Thanks for your response. Dry hopping was 2oz for 5 gallons, so I wouldn't suspect it to be too much. In fact, I wanted to double that to 4oz for the next round. Overall, I like the beer, but I know it needs improvement. I would score it similar to the others, but probably closer to the owner of the brewery. My main concern is why is it grassy, and how can I reduce/fix that taste. I appreciate the insights from everyone.

Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2018, 09:13:54 am »
Do you know the specific ranks of the judges?  Apprentice, Recognized, Certified, National, etc.?  If none of these boxes are checked then they are unlikely to know what they are talking about.

Honestly not sure what the credentials are. Definitely not trying to slam them, just trying to understand where the grassy taste would be coming from and how to correct it. I appreciate everyone's insight!

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2018, 10:11:18 am »
Sorry I sound so skeptical about judges.  But I am one, and I know how some are, so...

The big point you need to keep in mind is, sometimes hops are grassy.  They just are sometimes.

Dry hopping will give you more grassy flavors than boiled hops.

Also some crops will be more grassy than others.

Certain varieties such as Saaz are known for being more grassy than others.

Also, hops that are not ripe and/or not sufficiently dried will taste grassy as well.

Lots of factors.

Without tasting the beer myself, I am skeptical when judges of unknown qualifications throw out terms like "grassy", because... I just am, based on experience.  I haven't experienced a huge lot of beers that are indeed grassy, and one judge didn't even notice or care, which makes me all the more skeptical.  But if it's truly grassy, then see above.

Okay I've said everything multiple times now again and again over and over so I'm done now.   ;D
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Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2018, 01:06:45 pm »
Sorry I sound so skeptical about judges.  But I am one, and I know how some are, so...

The big point you need to keep in mind is, sometimes hops are grassy.  They just are sometimes.

Dry hopping will give you more grassy flavors than boiled hops.

Also some crops will be more grassy than others.

Certain varieties such as Saaz are known for being more grassy than others.

Also, hops that are not ripe and/or not sufficiently dried will taste grassy as well.

Lots of factors.

Without tasting the beer myself, I am skeptical when judges of unknown qualifications throw out terms like "grassy", because... I just am, based on experience.  I haven't experienced a huge lot of beers that are indeed grassy, and one judge didn't even notice or care, which makes me all the more skeptical.  But if it's truly grassy, then see above.

Okay I've said everything multiple times now again and again over and over so I'm done now.   ;D

Haha, no problem. I appreciate your insight. I've tasted what I feel is "grassy", but it was definitely due to dry hopping cold. That was the first time I ever dry hopped, and it was very noticeable.

Offline denny

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2018, 03:04:09 pm »
Haha, no problem. I appreciate your insight. I've tasted what I feel is "grassy", but it was definitely due to dry hopping cold. That was the first time I ever dry hopped, and it was very noticeable.

That's interesting, because I always dry hop cold and have never experienced grassiness.
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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2018, 04:34:38 pm »
I think it really has the most to do with picking them underripe and/or not drying them enough.  If one were to pick hops in July that aren't ripe until September, and not bother to dry them very well, that will taste like grass.  Me, I'm lazy and don't pick mine until they're overripe, then I dry them in a low oven for a few hours, which avoids grassiness completely but perhaps hurts them in other ways.  But I use all mine for full boil only so I guess I don't much care about losing the aroma.  Perhaps sometime I should just air dry them like normal people.  Maybe this year.  Maybe.
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Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2018, 05:47:54 pm »
Haha, no problem. I appreciate your insight. I've tasted what I feel is "grassy", but it was definitely due to dry hopping cold. That was the first time I ever dry hopped, and it was very noticeable.

That's interesting, because I always dry hop cold and have never experienced grassiness.

Interesting as well....I only tried dry hopping cold once. I got a very distinct grassy, vegetative flavor to the beer. Although it could have been what settled to the bottom.
I found some information that suggested cold dry hopping could give the beer the grassy/vegetative taste, so I stopped doing it. I really don't taste it in this beer, but again, my pallet isn't the best. :)

Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2018, 05:49:23 pm »
I think it really has the most to do with picking them underripe and/or not drying them enough.  If one were to pick hops in July that aren't ripe until September, and not bother to dry them very well, that will taste like grass.  Me, I'm lazy and don't pick mine until they're overripe, then I dry them in a low oven for a few hours, which avoids grassiness completely but perhaps hurts them in other ways.  But I use all mine for full boil only so I guess I don't much care about losing the aroma.  Perhaps sometime I should just air dry them like normal people.  Maybe this year.  Maybe.

:) I'm using commercial hops, not home grown, but yeah maybe what you suggest does contribute to the grassy flavor.

Offline kramerog

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2018, 06:50:54 am »
My experience with grassiness in my home brews come mostly from using wet hops and from oxidation.  As to oxidation, the fresh hop  quality had faded  allowing the grassiness to become apparent.

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Offline Kirk

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2018, 02:51:37 pm »
My experience with grassiness in my home brews come mostly from using wet hops and from oxidation.  As to oxidation, the fresh hop  quality had faded  allowing the grassiness to become apparent.

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Thanks for the info. Would dry hopping with an old /oxidized hop contribute more to the grassy flavor than one used for primary bittering? Seems like dry hopping would be the dominate factor?

Offline denny

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2018, 09:42:33 am »
My experience with grassiness in my home brews come mostly from using wet hops and from oxidation.  As to oxidation, the fresh hop  quality had faded  allowing the grassiness to become apparent.

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Thanks for the info. Would dry hopping with an old /oxidized hop contribute more to the grassy flavor than one used for primary bittering? Seems like dry hopping would be the dominate factor?

Oxidized hops probably wouldn't press t a grassy character
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Offline RC

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Re: "Grassy" flavor
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2018, 11:14:58 am »
I've always gotten a grassy character when I've dry hopped with cascade, sometimes to the point of having to dump the beer. So I don't dry hop with it anymore.