Author Topic: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors  (Read 303 times)

Offline copachino

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My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« on: June 02, 2021, 02:58:16 AM »
well i got into a competition near to me, i was ment for Hombrewers only, but all judges were all BJCP certified or recognized at least, so they destroyed me completely on their reviews but they are right on the point on my mistakes,

i got 4 entries, the fiest one was a cream ale, and the feedback wasnt bad:

scored 23.3 points, most remarks were, sulfur smell, lack of alcohol heat, fusel, medicinal and plastic, also some notes of chlorophenol also one judge felt isovaleric acid he siad maybe form old hops.

the traditional mead score was 21.3:

one judge felt "fast legs" on texture but more remarks were on lack of balance and wattery, it was a 1.01 mead, so i believe it should be thin on body, another remark was on the acidity, he said that i need to find a balance in PH from the water and the honey acidity, maybe i used too much tartaric acid on this one, maybe the body thin and the watery taste can be solved with tannis? i did add tartaric acid but not tannins in any way.

i got a Weissbier with 16.5 this was a bad taste too acidic due maybe infection, that was the lower one and the most hated of my entries.


finally a braggot i did submit a braggot at 8% abv it scored 19.7 this one had DMS, sulfiric smell, one said something that translated should be something like "stagnant water", legs semi fast and some sort of infection was remarked by the 3 judges so i need to clean all and maybe buy need plastic things like siphons or any other pastic equipment.

i would to get some pointers about how to improve all this flaws in my beers or maybe some direction to what not to do, im thinking on a RO system and a better cleaning

Offline Big_Eight

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 03:58:06 AM »
Take it as great feedback and tweak your stuff. I need to get in to entering competitions just for the critique as I think it's good info to improve our brews.

I would also recommend looking in to some campden tablets if you use tap water as that will get rid of the chlorine/chloramines alleviating the medicinal taste. It did wonders for me.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 04:00:12 AM by Big_Eight »

Offline fredthecat

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 05:16:54 AM »
what country are you in?

Offline copachino

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 03:19:57 PM »
Take it as great feedback and tweak your stuff. I need to get in to entering competitions just for the critique as I think it's good info to improve our brews.

I would also recommend looking in to some campden tablets if you use tap water as that will get rid of the chlorine/chloramines alleviating the medicinal taste. It did wonders for me.

i did used K-meta (powder version of the tablets), but i didnt take out all the cloramines on the water as it seems, im trying to look for information on how to solve most of my mistakes in this competition but i think my biggest enemy its sanitization, i need to improve too much on this part

Offline copachino

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 03:21:03 PM »
what country are you in?

hi, i live in Honduras but this competitons was hold in El salvador and all the contries of central america were in, including some BJCP judges from Argentina and Mexico

Offline pete b

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 04:15:48 PM »
I would highly recommend doing a lot of reading on the subject. I think the fact that you have a few brews done already will help everything you read make sense. Good places to start are How to Brew by Palmer and the Compleat Meadmaker by Schramm.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 04:43:27 PM »
Looking over the comments coupled with the comments you have made: Be sure to CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN everything.

CLEANING > Sanitation. Sanitation is important, but it is more of an assurance. You can't sanitize dirty. You'd be better of fermenting in something that is completely clean and unsantized as opposed to something that has been "sanitized" but is still a little dirty. This is, of course, post boil/cold side. You don't need to sanitize on hot side

Fermentation temperature control - fusels and alcohol heat ($20 says the "lack of alcohol heat was a typo) scream hot fermentation to me.

Isovalaric acid is a problem if you have old hops, hops that haven't been sealed or stored properly. If possible store all your hops i the freezer. If you can vacuum seal them all the better. I've had hops start to smell cheesy after opened very quickly, even if they have been stored cold.

Offline nateo

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 08:58:07 PM »
Tropical climate and lack of fermentation temp control sounds like a good candidate for kveik yeasts.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline copachino

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2021, 10:38:32 PM »
Tropical climate and lack of fermentation temp control sounds like a good candidate for kveik yeasts.

thank ypou all for your comments, well i do ferment in a 15CU chest frezer with a Kegmenter, but maybe im not lowering the temperature too fast, since my tap water its about 85 to 90 F its really hard to use a immersion chiller also im planing to invest on a pump, im transfering the cooled wort with my autosiphon and maybe its moving too low and allowing to some wild yeast to attack the wort.

i did tried the kviek voss and its a really nice one, the one thing that bothers me its that i cant figure out the right amount of nutrients for this yeast, but im believe its quite competitive since im using this yeast about 2 batches o 3 i have never had a problem with tart or infection on the beers, but the taste of this yeast at about 38 C its quite imposing to try it for meads at least for my taste

Offline majorvices

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2021, 10:51:34 PM »
Tropical climate and lack of fermentation temp control sounds like a good candidate for kveik yeasts.

thank ypou all for your comments, well i do ferment in a 15CU chest frezer with a Kegmenter, but maybe im not lowering the temperature too fast, since my tap water its about 85 to 90 F its really hard to use a immersion chiller also im planing to invest on a pump, im transfering the cooled wort with my autosiphon and maybe its moving too low and allowing to some wild yeast to attack the wort.

i did tried the kviek voss and its a really nice one, the one thing that bothers me its that i cant figure out the right amount of nutrients for this yeast, but im believe its quite competitive since im using this yeast about 2 batches o 3 i have never had a problem with tart or infection on the beers, but the taste of this yeast at about 38 C its quite imposing to try it for meads at least for my taste

Don't pitch that temp. It's OK to let the wort cool down to picthing temps. You easily have a 12 hour window. BTW that is "Industry Standards" on  the commercial side. I personally feel you can go 24 without issues.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 04:25:04 AM »

hi, i live in Honduras but this competitons was hold in El salvador and all the contries of central america were in, including some BJCP judges from Argentina and Mexico

i meant to reply earlier, but i was busy. i was guessing you were in central america.

i wouldnt worry about submitting to competitions until you really start enjoying your beers and nailing down recipes after repeated tries.

people already said, but from what i would expect:

1. fermentation temperature and storage temperature
2. yeast / grain / hop freshness. i would rather get the freshest yeast / grain / hops of almost any type over a certain variety i imagined i wanted if it seemed old or stale.
3. use RO or spring water on your next brew as a control for the clorophenol/medical taste issue. if you can get minerals, add some gypsum and CaCl
4. physically scrape down the inside of your equipment as much as possible, wash it very thoroughly. i use iodophor for sanitizing as i find it more foolproof than starsan.

don't consider them as "destroying" you. i have never had my beer officially judged even after ?? 70 batches or so. i rarely even get feedback from average people other than "its good".

really RDWHAHB and focus on making a good beer next time.

Offline chinaski

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Re: My first Beer and mead competition got exposed many errors
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2021, 01:26:02 PM »
Sounds like you have the right attitude about competition feedback & how you can use it to improve!  Another to do is be sure to taste those entries (if you still have some) while considering the comments on the scoresheets.  It will help you find out how to identify faults and strengths in your beers for yourself and tell you if/when you aren't able to perceive certain faults.