Personally, I think Feedback is the most important aspect, especially in the broader sense of completing score sheets for entrants in competition.  It’s predominantly why entrants pay the $10.00……..they want feedback (from you) on how to improve, at whatever level they may be. The experienced brewer who regularly scores a 36 on his brews is looking for concrete and direct tips to break out and reach 42.  That brewer wants to win 1st Place and get beers on the BOS table more often.

Conversely, if the beer is sub-20, then you should have written a lot of helpful feedback beyond just “watch sanitation.”  Every brewer thinks they are already following good sanitation techniques, so give them something concrete to do, such as “replace any aged tubing, and take apart and clean any ball valves.”  Or “Soak fermentor with hot PBW.”

On the exam, it’s vital to provide Feedback on every item you Perceived and Described as less than perfect for the style.  Even simple stuff like “Flat, poorly carbonated.”  You should include Feedback to get carbonation to the appropriate level for that style.  And even Excellent beers require fine-tuning according to the Scoring Guide, so provide ‘fine-tuning’ types of Feedback that would help this brew reach Outstanding.  Make actionable suggestions such as “increase malt complexity with Vienna/Munich” or “increase the late hops to make the hop aroma more aggressive.”  Importantly, your Feedback must follow the style guidelines. For example, if you say “Could use more hop flavor” and the Guides say that hop flavor can be “low to none” then you are wrong and it will be a deduction.  Also, if you mention “oxidation” without offering cures in your Feedback, that will likely cause a deduction.