Has homebrewing made you more sensitive to the taste and the smell of beers? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
Aug 2009
Posts: 62
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Certainly was the case for me.

I can smell and taste the things that I was not able to prior to homebrew, after about 3 batches, I'm able to roughly tell what kind of malt, adjunct was used.

Wondering if it has been the same for others too.

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Old 10-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
Apr 2009
Richmond, VA
Posts: 691
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

That's like asking if going to culinary school will make you more aware of what's in your food. Of course!

I think the understanding stems from knowing what each of the ingredients smells and tastes like. I always eat some of the grain I'm brewing with just to understand the flavor and aroma. The surprising thing is how much the final product can smell exactly like the ingredients. Russian imperial stouts are a great example of a beer that tastes just like the grains you put into it.

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Old 10-21-2009, 07:19 PM   #3
Aug 2009
Posts: 836
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Thinking way back to when I first started homebrewing, it did make me more sensitive. I moved from BMC in to better beers after my first (German) Octoberfest and started to homebrew after that trip. Microbrews were basically non-existent at that time in the U.S., but the AHA was starting to take off.

But I think I got a whole lot better at tasting after going to alot of Beer tastings and Fests. I always pick out one style of beer, like IPA, and taste only that. After a while I could tell them what hops they used 95% of the time. It was those fests, for sure, that got me into all-grain. I wanted enough control to get those high end flavors and aromas into my own brews.

So the short of it is, brewing makes you appreciate (and buy) better comercial beers; drinking better commercial beers make you want to brew better beers!

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Old 10-21-2009, 09:22 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,597
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Yeah, it's gotten so I can tell when Mark changes something in one of his beers, although the Pilsner with 40 IBU of Saaz threw me. I can even tell if their chili was made with Muddy Flats stout or Black Panther.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

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Old 10-21-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
McKBrew's Avatar
Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
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I'm not as good as David_42, but I definitely pick up more flavors in beer than I used to. I also can pick up quite a few flavors in Diet Coke, that I never knew were there before.

It also depends on what I've eaten before, or even the last beer I've had. For example, just had the 2009 Jubelale recently. The first bottle was after I had ate something (can't remember what) and drank a different beer. Wasn't too impressed. The next day I had it on a clean palate and it was a totally different beer.
Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 10-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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TexLaw's Avatar
Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,670
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Oh, I'm certainly better at it than I used to be. Thinking while drinking helps, too.

Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

Drinking Frog Brewery, est. 1993

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Old 10-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
May 2008
Posts: 160

Just by sticking my nose in the mylar bag and smelling the hops during my first few brews made me realize/appreciate what they contribute to a beer.

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Old 10-22-2009, 04:55 AM   #8
wolfstar's Avatar
Apr 2009
Hidden Valley, Arizona
Posts: 481
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I am a professional cook, so naturally, when I started making beer my palate was put to use. I am definitely more in tune with the flavor components of beer since I started brewing, and what it takes to achieve the flavor profile I am seeking. Absolutlely one of the most rewarding hobbies/obsessions I have yet to encounter

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Old 10-22-2009, 04:58 AM   #9
Scut_Monkey's Avatar
Jan 2009
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,656
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Definitely has helped me to appreciate beer on a different level now. I wouldn't say I'm BJCP worth yet but a lot closer than I was before I started homebrewing.

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Old 10-22-2009, 04:59 AM   #10
BulldogBrewer's Avatar
Oct 2009
Out of My Mind, CA
Posts: 1,152
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Originally Posted by CaptYesterday View Post
Just by sticking my nose in the mylar bag and smelling the hops during my first few brews made me realize/appreciate what they contribute to a beer.
+1! The first time I did this it was like a revelation. "So THAT'S what hops are!" I would say that was a real "beer awakening" for me.

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