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11

The only way to train your palate is through practice. You can read about, theorize upon, meditate over taste descriptions, but to really get to know them, you have to practice. You can learn the aroma of the different hops by smelling some in your hands repeatedly until you can blindly identify each one. That's a helpful practice, but to really get to ...


9

I've found nothing works better than a Dr. Beer (doctored beer) type seminar, where you have several participants (hopefully some more experienced) tasting a fairly neutral beer with specific flavors added to allow the participants to experience the single flavor, identify it and associate a name/description with it and understand how and why it might come ...


8

There may be a bit of tasting elitist that goes with smelling before tasting, but in my experience smell, aroma, and most importantly, oxygen is key to getting the full taste/experience. I'm not talking about smelling it, setting it back on the table, commenting to your buddy how you detect hints of cherries, then picking it back up and taking a big swallow ...


8

Not in my experience. I did a test where I used corn sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, honey and DME (maybe even something else) and also force carbonated a split batch. After 2 months of conditioning, none of the tasters in a blind test could distinguish one from the other, and no one exhibited a preference for any one method.


8

I would get hold of another sachet of yeast as a backup. If you have a local homebrew store, almost any type of yeast will work for this kit, but I'd recommend Safale US-05 if you can get that, since that will give you a cleaner profile. If they have liquid yeasts, then Wyeast 1056 or White Labs WLP001 will produce equivalent results. Once you've got hold of ...


7

Somewhat. Lack of carbonation can really alter the flavor, but you should be able to pick out major characteristics or flaws in the beer. But I wouldn't advise reaching any real conclusions until the beer is carbed and has an appropriate conditioning time. That time will vary from beer to beer.


5

A few possible reasons come to mind: If you have added the same amount of sugar to each bottle (as opposed to adding directly to your bucket) then you have different "gravities" and depending on how much it's fermented, different flavour profiles. If you have left a large headspace in the bottle during the carbonation phase, you might find that the ...


5

An biology take on it: Aroma: Perceived through your nose Flavor: Mostly perceived through your tongue although the aroma also helps your brain on forming the overall impression (think how things taste 'bland' when your have a flu and your nose is blocked)


4

Its not so much what others taste, its what you taste. Try putting your own words to a flavor descriptor first. Then compare it to some one elses notes. Maybe cherries aren't the best descriptor for your palate. But you do taste something, so what is it? Don't doubt your own palete and what its telling you. Taste is so subjective. And it takes ...


4

Sugar adds alcohol and lowers body. Small amounts of table sugar won't affect flavor much, but large amounts can yield a taste that's described as "cidery". Brown sugar will add some small amount of flavor, but not as much as you might expect. If you like your dark ales light bodied and high alcohol, go ahead and add some sugar. It's not, as far as I know, ...


4

Adding simple sugars like sucrose dextrose increases the alcohol content of the beer, but contribute nothing in the way of body or malt flavour. Beers brewed with a significant amount of these sugars are often described as "cidery", which might be similar to what you're calling "wine like". Next time, try brewing an all-malt kit, i.e. one that does not ...


4

Dry apple cider usually takes several months to a year in the bottle to smooth out. I would not concern myself much with how it tasted at 4 weeks. If you want a sweeter cider that is ready to drink in 4-5 weeks, take a look at my answer in this question: Sweet sparkling cider without pasteurizing, sulphites or lactose Make a "graff" which is a malted ...


4

MBT (more often referred to as skunking or light-struck) is an off-putting flavor and aroma characteristic that is intuitively named after the animal which is well known for dispensing what is considered to be the Satan's post-apocalyptic butthole of all off-flavors. The chemical composition and odor of MBT (3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol) is very similar to ...


3

You could try to just make a hop tea, either using a coffee press or just stirring it into the boiling water and letting the hops settle out. I think that should give you a good idea of the hop's aroma and flavor without any other hops or malts covering it up. Alternatively, just boil 2 quarts of water and add your hops. After 10 minutes, pour off a ...


3

What I did that really helped develop my palate was to go buy the beers listed as classic commercial example in the BJCP guidelines. Then I'd drink a beer while I read through the guidelines, trying to taste what was described. That really helps you put a name to what you're tasting.


3

The "yeasty" taste is most likely due to the ester production of the yeast. Esters can impart a variety of flavors, including banana, pear, plum, fruitiness, bubblegum, apricot, etc. A number of factors control ester production: Yeast strain Different strains produce different amounts of esters Temperature Higher temp = more esters Oxegenation Lower ...


3

If you have a local homebrew club that has semi-regular meetings, they will often have tastings and such where you can hear other people describe the things that they're tasting. A lot of it is learning to be watchful for certain smells and flavours. You may taste them and not know it, or you may be more or less sensitive to certain flavours and scents. ...


3

Brew Strong made a great podcast about metals in beer. http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-09-29-08-Metals-that-Affect-Your-Beer It could potentially be some degrading or poor cleaning of your brew kettle. If your grinders blades actually touch that could definitely be it. You do want your grains to remain a little coarse. It ...


3

I had this problem when I first started. I found I was adding too much iodophor. I was told to add until "it looks like apple juice". Turns out my mental picture of apple juice is much darker than the LHBS guy's. To fix your problem: Either go with Brewchez's suggestion of half a box of baking soda and soak the bucket overnight, or fill it with HOT ...


3

One of the biggest pitfalls and arguments against plastic is the fact that it absorbs flavor. Most sanitizers we use in brewing have about a 30 second contact time. That means that after 30 seconds, the vessel should be sanitized. Note: Sanitizers only work if the thing you're sanitizing is already clean. You can't sanitize soil. Anyway, that could very ...


3

If you're not drinking beer for the smell, you're missing out. Hops provide bitterness, flavor and aroma. I love the smell of a good IPA, just as much as the flavor. Aroma adds a dimension to beer, and can also change the way it tastes (usually for the better). To take your analogy further, consider the aroma as DVD extras. Sure you can just watch the ...


3

"Many aromatics in beer are quite volatile and tend to dissipate rapidly. Quickly sniff a beer after it’s poured to detect these. Also note how the aroma changes over time." This is from the article written by Gordon Strong (BJCP President) on Beer Evaluation for the Homebrewers Association. To read the full article ...


3

The problem: As C4H5As said, the half-full bottle may have been under-carbonated due to having so much headspace. You also may have had more oxidation due having so much more air in the bottle initially. John Palmer has a list of Common Off-Flabors and says that oxidation causes "wet cardboard or sherry-like flavors". The solution: When I'm bottling, I ...


3

In terms of the basic senses, flavor comes from the sense of taste, which is primarily from the tongue. There are 5 types of flavor the tongue can detect: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and savory (the last one is a relatively new discovery.) Our sense of smell can detect an almost infinite number of different smells, since a single smell is really a combination ...


3

As you reduce the temperature you need to compensate with more yeast, just as you do when brewing a lager. E.g. for a 1.050 ale fermented at 60°F a 2 liter starter would be the minimum. Alternatively, if pitching from a smaller starter, increase the temperature slowly after primary fermentation is almost complete - e.g. 3 days or when you hit 75% of ...


3

Depending on the type of sugar that you added it will give different tastes. If you have used regular table sugar (cane sugar) this might be the cause of the "off" flavour that you have experienced. Normally in any brew it is normal to use malt sugars for beer, these are added from malted grains (such as barley or wheat) and are the cause of the so called ...


3

Sugar itself isn't the problem, but the amount of sugar might be. In general, you want sugar to be less that 25% of the total fermentables in your beer. A high percentage of sugar, combined with the high temps you fermented at, could very well be the cause of your problem. In the future, choose a kit that uses only a small amount of sugar, if any, and keep ...


3

It's tasting like wine because there are almost no sugars left in the cider. With no sugar, you really notice the acidity in cider which makes it taste more like wine. (I would say it's more like white wine than, red, but that's subjective). You could try sweetening the it to see if that makes it taste more like cider, and less like wine. Buy a can of apple ...


3

The smell is hard to describe, especially to someone who grew up where there are no skunks. It is not really useful for me to tell you it smells like skunk musk. I have heard some of those people describe it as the smell of burnt rubber, body odor combined with burnt popcorn, sour coffee, or certain strains of aromatic marijuana. You really have to try it ...


2

Many beers also taste different from how they smell, and so you get the full experience of the beer by smelling it first. That difference can be quite substantial in a sour beer or one fermented with brettanomyces (A sour/malty/goaty flavor combined with the scent of bad feet or good cheese). The smell of a beer can also be an indicator of quality. If ...



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