Sensory Analysis of Brewing

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Sensory Analysis of beer

Originally published in the May/June 2007 issue of Zymurgy magazine. A beer can be compared to the performance of a symphony orchestra. We are the conductor, the recipe is the sheet music, and the instruments are the ingredients with which we work. A beer can be brewed rigorously to a recipe just like music can be played mechanically to the score. The difference is in the performance. Everything we do in the brewing process affects the beer we make: the mash, the boil, the equipment we use, the decisions we make to cope with the brewing environment; all is manifest in the flavor of our beer. As brewers we can shape this performance and pull nuances from the ingredients that make a beer truly memorable. First let’s look at the sources of beer’s flavor—the ingredients. Most of the…

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