Hamburg Vergällen Part 3

Well some time has past since posting Part 1 of my first Berliner Weisse and the results are in. I have to say that regardless of fact the beer missed a little on the style guidelines of not being tart enough, I just love this beer. Simple, clean and really a crowd favorite.

Now on the judging.  I submitted this beer to the 2011 Orange County Fair “Homemade Beer Competition”. The 3 judging scoresheets that were returned scored the beer 30/30/27.  All the judges had the same 2 general comments “Good Base Beer” & “Lacked Tartness/Sourness”.

I’m very pleased that the judges liked the beer for overall quality. In addition, I would have to say I agree 100% with the comments that it lacked in tartness/sourness, because it did. Knowing that I have a solid base beer it really allows me to play with souring.  In fact, I just bottled the second version of this beer and I’m really happy with the level of souring on this batch.

Getting back to the judges comments that really hit home for me.

“No Off Flavors” “Refreshing” and my favorite “Great drinkable wheat, effervescent. Lacking in sharp sour character of a Berliner, but hits every other point. If this beer had a lactic character, it would be a 40+ points”

This was the first time I had ever entered my beer in this type of a competition, and I’m really glad I did.  I entered a total of 4 beers; American Wheat, IPA, American Brown (3rd place) and the Berliner.

Regardless of what you think your beers are, I would encourage all homebrewers to enter at least one competition. Why I waited so long…I don’t know, but I’m already working on ideas for upcoming events. Cheers!

 

About Robert French


Native to Southern California, I did my first homebrew with a good friend back in 1995 and have been brewing off and on ever since. I started homebrewing because I really like big beers, big hops, and big robust flavors. Back in 1995, it was not that easy to find those types of beers. What I like most about homebrewing is learning and experimenting. I (for the most part) don’t brew clones and I try to make every brew my own. One of the driving forces that keeps me homebrewing is the sharing. I get far more enjoyment from sharing one of my brews than I get from just having a pint at home. Right now I’m in the process of building my single tier brew stand (I'm so close, really) and I hope to be brewing 10 and 12 gallon batches very soon. My favorite style of beer(s) is robust porters and Imperial stouts, both of which I find very challenging as homebrews. This may be due my love of the style and being a little over critical of own recipes.

Comments

  1. Billy Broas says:

    Nice work Robert. “No Off Flavors” always puts a smile on my face.

    You got some useful feedback and it sounds like it won’t be too difficult to boost your score and put this beer in medal-winning territory. If you have any of these ready for GABF I’d love to try it.

  2. Robert French says:

    Billy, I just might be able to work that out.

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