In December of 2008, I brewed Buddy's Amber for Nationals. It turned out really well, and even scored a 39 in the first round of The Bluebonnet Brew Off in March of 2009. However, the beer only lasted for about three months before it went south. Hell! It turned between the first and second round! At Nationals, my once 39-point beer became acidic and nasty, and only scored 17 points. I sampled each of the bottles I was holding for the second round, and sure enough, it was bad. So I assumed the beer had a shelf life of three months.
I haven't rebrewed the beer for a number of reasons, not the least of which are: my tendancy to get easily distracted (Ooo! Look! A new shiny thing!); a desire to brew different things; and a fundamental dislike of American Amber Ales. I find them to have a prickly, spicey, brushy flavor, with metallic notes. I've read the BJCP guidelines for American Amber Ales and haven't found those descripters being used, but almost every amber I have had tastes like that. So, as a general rule, I don't drink Ambers.
But the highest score in a competition I've ever gotten was for the Amber. Go figure.
The reason I bring it up, it's time to think about Nationals again. If I brew Buddy's Amber, I need to brew it as close to the entry deadline as possible to give it 2-4 weeks to age. Since the deadline is April 1, I need to brew around March 1. And if the shelf life is three months, I might have to brew it again should it advance to the second round.
Then I have to drink the rest of the keg. . .
Labels: Nation Homebrewing Contest
posted by Jeff Holt at 06:37