Sunday, February 13, 2011

First time being a beer judge..

So, I attended my first homebrew judging / competition yesterday.

they let me tag on as a novice judge, to help in the Stouts category.

Our panel of 3 judged 11 different homebrews. From sweet stouts, to American stouts, to Russian Imperial stouts, and everything in between.

Holy hats I learned an incredible amount! Some of the beers were awesome, some just good, and others virtually undrinkable. I got a chance to taste firsthand some of the more common off flavors seen in homebrews. (Esters, Fusel alcohols, Diacetyl, too much Lactic acid, etc.. ) One stout tasted straight up like Banana, and green apple! (Esters produce these flavors).

It took us nearly 4 hours to judge the whole flight of 11 beers (12, if you count the first commercial, or "Calibration" beer we started with).  Sadly, I had to leave shortly before the judgments were handed out, but I will get the judging sheets in the mail for the IPA I had entered.

Overall, a great time. A wonderful meet n' greet experience, and a genuinely awesome learning experience. With the tools I started learning yesterday, I can now judge my own beers with a much more objective, and critical eye. This is how we make better beer!


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