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Old 12-21-2012, 01:46 AM   #1
Evan_L
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Default Help me learn flavors

Coming soon it will be time for me to start experimenting with recipes. Given the overwhelming array of malts and hops available, it is a daunting endeavor. In a perfect world my analytical/methodical side would take over and I would spend the better part of the next decade brewing SMaSHes in an effort to learn the flavor profiles of the different ingredients. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that my impatient side will win. I'm sure I've tasted most of these before in commercial brews but had no idea what it was specifically.

Can we start a list of commercial brews that do a good job of highlighting certain flavors that are attributable to a specific ingredient(s) ie. this flavor which is prominent in this beer is a great example of the qualities that XYZ malt or hops will add to a beer. Just reading a description sometimes doesn't do it, and having a beer that I have tried or can try would help.

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
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One thing that I did when I started brewing beer was to actually try the grain. It gives you a sense of what may come out in the beer.

Other than that I would suggest to start making a journal of all the beers you drink and attempt to identify the characteristics of that particular beer. Then go online and check what professional tasters say and compare your findings to theirs. I used this method and it really does help but it does take a lot of practice. The good news however is that the practice involves drinking beer so it doesn't feel like practice at all.

This reminds me of a saying I always tell my football players:
"What is worse than practice? Sucking....sucking is worse than practice so EMBRACE THE SUCK."

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #3
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+1 for tasting the grain....you can also crush it and make a little mash...just a cup or so and taste the wort....you can do the same thing with hops by making a tea...I've even done it with oak cubes for the different toasts and types of oak in wine making.

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