Results are in. The beers did OK.
The Amber scored ‘Good.’ I didn’t like this beer as I think it had too much roasted malt, but the improved version wasn’t ready. A lack of carbonation was noted by both judges. Actually they said this beer was more Octoberfest in style.
The American Pale Ale scored ‘Good.’ Flavors and aromas need to be more. Carbonation issues were noted too.
Oatmeal Stout scored ‘Good.’ Odd that one judge felt that no oatmeal was present…I used 10% and it was about the max I could as lautering was difficult. Both judges mentioned the beer needed more body – it was too thin and not sweet enough.
The Witbier just made it into the ‘Very Good’ category. They thought it was filtered (which is was) – style must be generally unfiltered. Mentioned carbonation could be a little higher. It actually got a ‘Nice Job! A very good example of this style.’ comment.
The ‘Light in the Pumpkin’ lager scored ‘Good.’ They
liked loved the aroma. They would have liked to see more malt flavor. I agree, as the first pumpkin, it smells great, the body is on the lighter side. I actually did NOT take an original gravity at pumpout. Though I had no problem drinking it, one of my most favorite, easy drinking beers to date. “Fantastic nose. Smells just like a pumpkin pie.” One other interesting thing abou this beer is that it was filtered into two 5 gallon kegs…and they both taste different. I am wondering if the one that had more pumpkin taste was from the keg that was closer to the bottom of the fermentor and it picked up more pumpkin sediment that got filtered (squeezed) hence more flavor.
The Christmas Ale just eeeked into the ‘Very Good’ category. They commented that this beer didn’t seem that ‘fresh’ – it was made late October…so over 3 months old. Currently it still tastes decent on the tap. They commented that it was very well balanced in spices, hops and malt.
SO WHAT CAN BE LEARNED?
There is an issue with bottling. It may be time to invest in a counter-pressure bottler. More carbonation could effect/improve many categories that we were scored on. This was a consistent theme across many different judges and beers.
One thing that I DIDN’T like on the judging was that American Pale Ales and American Ambers were lumped together resulting in 43 entries. They should have been split out. Two totally different style of beers. Likewise with Winter/Specialty beers and Spiced/Vegetal beers with 50 total entries. Subcats should have been judged on their own. I could almost make the case with Stouts too (30 entries).