Sunday, April 12, 2015

Entering A Competition

I've entered my first competition. The Siciliano's 12th Annual Homebrew Competition will be my first home brew competitions without a crazy ingredient, or a interesting premise. I've submitted a peach pLambic for their consideration.

This beer was laid down on top of fresh peaches over the summer. At bottling time the paech flavor had faded some from the first tastings, but it still had enough peach flavor to be great. It passed the all important Fiance test and that gives me hope for the judging.

(please see more after the break.)

Speaking of judging, the BJCP has this to say about the fruit Lambic.
Aroma: The fruit which has been added to the beer should be the dominant aroma. A low to moderately sour/acidic character blends with aromas described as barnyard, earthy, goaty, hay, horsey, and horse blanket (and thus should be recognizable as a lambic). The fruit aroma commonly blends with the other aromas. An enteric, smoky, cigar-like, or cheesy aroma is unfavorable. No hop aroma. No diacetyl.
Appearance: The variety of fruit generally determines the color though lighter-colored fruit may have little effect on the color. The color intensity may fade with age. Clarity is often good, although some fruit will not drop bright. A thick rocky, mousse-like head, sometimes a shade of fruit, is generally long-lasting. Always effervescent.
Flavor: The fruit added to the beer should be evident. A low to moderate sour and more commonly (sometimes high) acidic character is present. The classic barnyard characteristics may be low to high. When young, the beer will present its full fruity taste. As it ages, the lambic taste will become dominant at the expense of the fruit character – thus fruit lambics are not intended for long aging. A low, complementary sweetness may be present, but higher levels are uncharacteristic. A mild vanilla and/or oak flavor is occasionally noticeable. An enteric, smoky or cigar-like character is undesirable. Hop bitterness is generally absent. No hop flavor. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body. In spite of the low finishing gravity, the many mouth-filling flavors prevent the beer from tasting like water. Has a low to high tart, puckering quality without being sharply astringent. Some versions have a low warming character. Highly carbonated.
Overall Impression: Complex, fruity, pleasantly sour/acidic, balanced, pale, wheat-based ale fermented by a variety of Belgian microbiota. A lambic with fruit, not just a fruit beer

The Overall impression sticks with me after reading all of that, "A lambic with fruit, not just a fruit beer." this is where my Cherry Lambic fell down, the cherries were far too dominant, and also it was weird because it was sour, and tart where there was cherry flavor. We're talking about my peach beer though and so I wanted to review that myself like it was a beer I'd never heard of or tasted before.

Samples With Friends:

I had my pal Ryan over for some BBQ and beer and instead of a heavy Russian imperial stout I surprised him with a fresh, light, sour. 

His reaction was as hoped: a beer geek loved my beer. "Most people's home brew sucks, but yours tastes like a beer i'd pay for" he complemented the balance of sour and other flavors. He was close on the fruit, he'd guessed apricots prior to my telling him that it was white peaches.

I too was impressed; it had a bunch of that pilsner malt flavor, and then it layered on the sour  and fruit flavors. In my mind this is probably as good as this sour base could be. When I originally took a sample I thought that it was a one note base without much depth, but the fruit and second sour fermentation fixed that. Time once again worked it's magic on this beer.

My Review:

Aroma: Sour Fruit, Fruit, and Funk. Not a bad start...

Appearance: Clearish, Bright, Bubbly but not obnoxiously so like a budwiser.

Flavor: Pilsner Malt, acid, more acid, peaches(fading from prominence into a supporting role), funkiness is all over in the gaps.

Mouth: Not dead, nor lively, the acid pricks at your mouth.

Overall: Dy-NA-mite boys, Dy-NA-mite. I'm thinking conservatively middle of the pack, but if the judges appreciate finely crafted flavors and sour beers I might have a chance.

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