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Old 02-07-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
Haarkon
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Default New brewer developing his palate

I've been reading John Palmer's "How to Brew" and it's clear I need to start developing my taste palate to be able to move passed pre made brewing kits. Right now, I have only the most basic understanding of where different, specific beer flavors and notes come from (hops, yeast, mash, etc.). Any suggestions about how to start developing a deeper understanding of this area?

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Old 02-07-2014, 10:41 AM   #2
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I don't think you need to develop your palate you moved beyond kits, even a modest beer drinker will be able to decern the quality difference between a Kit and even a basic extract with proper hops and a bag of steeped grain. Understanding flavours that ingredients give is important if you want to design or adapt a recipe or judge, even following an all grain recipe you don't need a developed palate, after all most people drink commercial beer all day without one.

If you want to develope your palate drink more beer, specifically those that champion a style and whose ingredients are well documented, including single varitey beers.

You can then of course play around with smash recipes as well.

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Old 02-07-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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Make what is called a SMaSH.

Single Malt and Single Hop.

A little more difficult unless you brew BIAB or all grain; most extracts are a combination of malts, but it can still be done.

That way you lean the flavor and characteristics of an individual ingredient.


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Old 02-07-2014, 01:14 PM   #4
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There are other ways to experiment with flavours. Try substituting something, like a hop, in a recipe you have tried before, it might help you identify the flavour missing, and the flavour added. Taste your beer at various stages, like whenever to take a gravity reading. The notes change as the beer ages. Some flavours might be amplified in young beer and others hardly noticeable, and both might change in your finished product. Another more complicated process might see you split your wort and ferment or dry hop or age the different batches in different ways.

Alexander Keith's has a very interesting brew called "Hop Series." Basically their IPA dry hopped with three different hops. If you're in Canada, you might try those for a bit of a lesson in dry hopping.

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Old 02-07-2014, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
Make what is called a SMaSH.

Single Malt and Single Hop.

A little more difficult unless you brew BIAB or all grain; most extracts are a combination of malts, but it can still be done.

That way you lean the flavor and characteristics of an individual ingredient.


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+100 on this. Its how I learned how to formulate my own and adjust others recipes to my own liking.
Some of my best batches honestly were some of the SMaSH batches I did. I usually did the SMaSH batches in 3 gallon sizes instead of doing them full 5 gallon ones.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #6
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Developing a palate or taste for beers is a process that is very individual and learned by trial and error over a period of time.

Once you have learned what types or styles of beer you prefer then the different recipes dealing with grains, adjuncts, yeasts and methods of the brewing process come into play.

If you already know what styles, hoppiness, ABV's, carbonation levels and just about everything else that rings your bell you can search through the tons of recipes and methods offered by forum members to get to the ideal beers for you. (Never forget that your tastes will change and the tweaking of recipes and methods will change accordingly.)

If you really want to define your taste or palate go out and get a variety of different styles offered by different craft breweries.

Which style did you like the best?
What was it that you liked?
More or less bitterness or aroma and what about the bitterness or aroma did you like?

Zero in on the best things about the beer and search out some clone recipes, whether they are extract or all grain or anything in middle.

What Brewkinger and Bbohanon stated above is fantastic advice and tweaking your beers is always easier when you start with basic well known recipes.

Best of luck in you future brewing.

OMO

bosco

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Old 02-07-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
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In the two+years I've been brewing, I've found that I actually try much more different varieties/styles of commercial beer. If you have a packie in the area that has a 'create your own 6 pack' section, take advantage of it. Try different beers, see if you like them. If you do, go search for a recipe.

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Old 02-07-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
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Taste a lot of different beers. If there is one you like, look it up on the brewery website or look for a clone recipe to give you an idea of the ingredients.

It is a lot like cooking. After a while you will get a good idea of what each ingredient adds to the flavor.

Something like Bell's Two Hearted Ale which uses all Centennial hops is a good beer to get to know what centennial hops taste like. There are many more that you can try to help develop your palate.

I call it research.

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Old 02-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #9
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All of the above. Just keep learning.Brewing a SMASH is a good idea. Keep it simple at first.

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