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Old 02-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Proper Tasting Techniques - Opinions

Hey Guys,

This may sound stupid, but I am really curious about the different suggestions/techniques that everyone might have regarding the best part of home brewing: tasting.

I've been really into different styles of beer for quite some time now and have noticed how different a particular beer can taste when put in different environments/conditions.

For example, I might drink a beer before dinner and it tastes fantastic. Yet while I'm eating, the same beer will not taste anywhere near the same. I know that anything put on my palette will alter anything after it, and I know that certain beers pair very well with certain types of food.

However, what I am looking for is the proper way to prepare your palette before sampling your beer so that I have a baseline and I know that I haven't altered my palette into disliking something that I actually might like.

Sounds pretty stupid, but I am very excited about brewing my own beers and I want to make sure that I sample correctly.

Is it best to sample on an empty stomach? Should I eat crackers to cleanse my palette before drinking? Etc.

Just curious as to what a beer judge might do before and in-between samples.

TIA

Justin

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:10 PM   #2
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I try to use animal crackers to "cleanse" the palate...I feel it works relatively well. I am no expert lol. Aside from that I am interested to hear what a beer judge may say. Hopefully someone responds to your question.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Personally, I don't care for crackers between samples. They are usually Saltines and the residual salinity on the palate alters the flavor of teh sample. Sometime good sometimes not.

I prefer water between but, that's just me.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Protocol for competitions is to have water and matzo or neutral bread (ie french), available for palate cleansing between beers.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
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I've heard the correct glass can alter taste quite a bit. I've never put it to the test. In a way, it makes sense. I think it is mainly due to aroma. The correct glass will deliver more of the aroma to your nose which, by all accounts, affects taste.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Personally, I don't care for crackers between samples. They are usually Saltines and the residual salinity on the palate alters the flavor of teh sample. Sometime good sometimes not.

I prefer water between but, that's just me.

I know that you can get the saltine type crackers without the salt. I would assume that this would be a good alternative to the bread suggestion and this is what I might try first.

Mojotele,

I've heard good things about the Sam Adam's glass. However, it could just be marketing hype.

Anyone ever tried the Sam Adam's glass?
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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I have a set of four of them, they are great. They combine the standard "pint" glass with a rounded belgian beer glass, they feel great in your hand and on your mouth

Theres a couple videos out there about tasting practices, one of the things I remember is a guy who will take a big inhale through his nose as he sips his beer, since aroma and flavor or taste are nearly indistinguishable.

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Old 02-02-2010, 10:09 PM   #8
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Bread is a good palette cleanser maybe for wine, but it makes little sense to cleanse your palette with something that has flavors similar to what you are tasting. A little common sense would have prevented falsely and blindly adopting that practice from wine tasting.

Water works fine for palette cleansing.

Flavor is mostly aroma and aroma varies with temperature and glass shape.

Try swallowing and then exhaling your your nose (while keeping your mouth closed).

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Old 02-02-2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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I haven't tried it for beer but, inhaling fresh ground coffee cleanses the sense of smell between samples of perfume, or so my wife says. I only ever liked one brand of perfume she bought. I think it was called "Justifiable Rape".

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Old 02-02-2010, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
Try swallowing and then exhaling your your nose (while keeping your mouth closed).

That technique actually works very well for me. I've been doing that for years now and is just something I started doing after trying so many different beers.
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