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Wino24 11-03-2009 11:48 AM

Is my palate shot
Hi all....last night I bottled up an american brown ale. So, I do the normal thing, I fill up the hydro test jar, take a reading, and then drink about half the sample. I thought is was pretty good...it had smoothed out some from brew day and I'm hoping it smooths out a little more in the bottle.
Anyway, I give the rest of the sample to the Mrs. to get her opinion. She takes a sip..swallows...ponders a second or two and then the faces start...then the tongue comes out..then "bleck..bleck....ptooy!!" "Holy crap, that's too bitter!!!" she says...
I thought it tasted great...not bitter at all......now I know everyone has different tastes, but I didn't expect that. Could my palate be that messed up??

Hammy71 11-03-2009 11:59 AM

One man's IPA is anothers "bleck...bleck...ptooy!!". Everyone has different taste...but it also has to do with other factors. I've had some beers that taste great with food...but alone....Nasty....and others just the opposite. Hey....if she don't like it...That's just more for you!!!!

StunnedMonkey 11-03-2009 12:00 PM

Interesting question, and I've occasionally wondered the same thing. Not so much a palate "being shot" but whether different palates simply detect things at different thresholds. So maybe one person tastes a beer of 25 IBU's and perceives the same level of bitterness that I'd perceive from 50 IBU's.

I seem to like everything over the top. If some dish is said to have "a hint of whatever" I guarantee that I'll not be able to taste it. When I have a recipe (no, not beer) calling for one diced jalapeno, I add six. Do I simply enjoy the burn more than other people, or do I simply not perceive the heat the way that they do? Maybe they perceive the same level of heat from one pepper that I get from six. Maybe to some people a Newcastle seems as bitter as Dreadnaught does to me.

Or, more likely your Mrs is simply a wuss.

mitch171 11-03-2009 12:22 PM

I think it has more to do with context of what you have tasted semi-recently. Think loud stereo, after a while it doesn't seem to loud. Most cases you haven't caused long term damage and after a while away from the sound you will hear at full capacity again. Taste buds work in the same fashion. If you always drink a high IBU beer you will become less sensitive to it for a time being.

adamjab19 11-03-2009 12:29 PM


Originally Posted by Hammy71 (Post 1651729)
I've had some beers that taste great with food...but alone....Nasty....and others just the opposite.....

Rogue Chipotle Ale comes to mind for me. With BBQ, THE BEST!!, without nauseating!

With hydro samples I am just usually trying to taste for off tastes not the actual taste of the beer which is usually bitter. Maybe you are doing that subconsciously knowing what you are looking for, where as she is just like woah!

craigd 11-03-2009 12:38 PM

It's interesting how our palate evolves. I have gone the other way actually. I liked bitter IPAs a lot more a few years ago than I do now. I now like beers with different or more complex character. I still like bitter beers but given the choice I will opt for a complex stout or a Belgian Dubbel. My wife couldn't handle anything with hop flavor or bitterness at all a year ago and now she has moved to liking more balanced beers and even likes a double IPA or 2. So, I'd say not "shot" but evolving - for both of you maybe.

chefmike 11-03-2009 12:39 PM

There are documented supertasters out there who experience more intensity in taste. I had one working for me and she had a lot of difficulty with hop bitterness. It was SUPER bitter in low levels to her.

And other factors can change taste perception as well. If I take advil (Ibuprophen), taste perception changes. Specifically, saltiness becomes highlighted. Dangerous in my line of work!

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