Currently, there is a wide variety of craft beers available in the market, each with its own distinct color and flavor profile. To fully appreciate the taste of beer, it is necessary to follow two steps. Firstly, take a sip of the beer while holding your breath, allowing it to fully interact with your tongue before swallowing. During this step, pay attention to the actual sweetness, acidity, and bitterness of the beer. Then, take another sip while inhaling through your nose, and observe how the aroma influences the perception of sweetness and bitterness.
1. Authentic Sweetness, Bitterness, and Acidity
The true taste of beer can be described using the following scale: low (almost no sweetness), medium to low (subtle or barely noticeable sweetness), medium (distinct but not overwhelming taste), medium to high (prominent taste), and high (strong and pronounced taste).
2. Perceived Sweetness and Bitterness
There may be variations between the flavors experienced by the taste buds and the aromas detected by the sense of smell, and these sensory inputs can interact with each other. For example, fruity, spicy, and caramel flavors can mask bitterness and sourness in the mouth, while roasted aromas can enhance bitterness and sourness. Conversely, sweetness perceived in the mouth can enhance the fruity aroma. Individuals may have different sensitivity to sweetness or bitterness. The same scale as mentioned earlier can be used to describe the perceived taste in conjunction with the sense of smell.
ACE Micro Craft Beer Brewing Equipment
3. Salty, Fresh, Spicy
In general, salty, fresh, and spicy flavors are not commonly found in beer. If you encounter these flavors, it could be due to the water used in brewing, which may be high in sodium or supplemented with salt, or the addition of pickled ingredients. Freshness can result from the aging process of yeast, wherein amino acids are released into the beer, creating umami flavors. Additionally, seaweed or mushrooms may be added to enhance umami. Spiciness is typically found in beers that have been infused with chili peppers.
In beer, attenuation refers to the difference between the original sugar content of the wort before fermentation and the amount of residual sugar remaining after fermentation. It does not directly indicate the sweetness of the beer. Here, “attenuation” refers to inferring the change by assessing the balance between alcohol content, body, and carbohydrates.
The sweetness in the beer dominates over the alcohol, giving the impression that fermentation is incomplete; more refreshing than thirst-quenching.
Significant residual sugar, but a good balance between body and alcohol; more refreshing than thirst-quenching.
The sweetness in the beer is appropriate, with a well-balanced combination of body and alcohol; low-alcohol beers are particularly thirst-quenching.
The sweetness seems insufficient to maintain balance with the body and alcohol; low to medium-alcohol beers are more thirst-quenching.
The sweetness is lower than the body and alcohol content, resulting in an unbalanced taste; low to medium-alcohol beers tend to be too dry.
5. Changes in Aroma
There is often a disparity between the aroma and the taste experienced when consuming beer. It is useful to describe any differences observed, such as the presence of new aromas or changes in specific aromas.