Questioning Traditional Palate Cleansers in Competitions

Hi, My name is Mirella and I’m a Craft Beer and Sensory consultant in Toronto. I’d like to share with you one of four things I think we should let go of as an industry. The below is a transcript of a video I originally posted on Youtube. If you’re interested, you can find the original video, as well as the other three topics on YouTube.

Transcript: Questioning Old Beer Habits Part 1

It’s time we reconsider using crackers (or bread) on the table during beer tasting and judging sessions.

Like most of the things I’m questioning, this custom was adopted from wine.The idea is to have some plain bread or unsalted crackers as a palate cleanser between beers.  Here’s the issue: there are number of beers that have a bread or cracker-like note. It would be the equivalent of using apple slices as a palate cleanser for wine. The reason bread and crackers work as a palate cleanser, in this instance, is that there are no bread-like flavours in wine; it’s fruit based.

Beer, on the other hand, is grain based. And, yes, it’s for the most part a different grain (we’re talking barley versus wheat) but the flavours are quite similar and I’ve found especially with light golden beers, that the cereal grain note in the crackers is stronger than the one in the beer and it impairs the evaluation process. Regardless of style, bread and crackers aren’t really ‘cleansing the palate’ between beers. The whole idea of a palate cleanser is to provide a sensory break, which doesn’t work when you’re presenting a food with similar flavours.

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The impact of COVID19 on my brewery


On Monday morning this week, I woke up and prepared myself to shut the business my husband and I have spent 5 years and all of our savings to build. The dream we had to create something lasting for ourselves and our community was potentially coming to an end. Last year, we leveraged our early success to build a second production facility and expanded our sales into New York and Pennsylvania using distribution partners in those states. We overcame a government shutdown that halted our plans, but not our expenses, and we opened that facility in July. We sunk more of our savings into this expansion and took on more debt to make it happen. We knew it would be worth the risk. The American Dream is ALWAYS worth the risk.

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Beer Profile: DS9 Wild Things, Superstitious Pigeons

Profiled by Ken Carman

Hazy golden yellow with almost no head. This head fades quickly probably due to sour, peanut butter, raspberries. Very tiny bubbles. Yellow in color. Clarity low due to haze.
Aroma:lactobacillus dominant, no peanut, hint of raspberries at best. Slightest sour. No malt or hop aroma. No hops.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, slightly carbonic. Medium body. Tingles and tangles up the tongue with the sour combined with carbonic carbonation.
Flavor: lacto first, lacto dominant. Almost no peanut butter, almost no raspberries, lacto aftertaste. Everything takes the most backseat in the theater to the lacto. As it warms I got a hint of peanut: like it sltightly touches the tongue then goes away.
The mouthfeel is solid with a medium body, but any sense of that body otherwise vanished with lacto. Carbonation a very light tingle and quite low.
The balance here is off. If one seeks a solid lacto dominant beer this might be it, but the rest is lost. Please back off on lacto, find the fruit, find the peanut butter. The malt is there, but even that is severely subservient to the lacto. No hops.

3.9 BA
3.74 Untappd
3.83 Rate Beer

3.5

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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_____________________Beer HERE

Profile: Saranac Bee Catcher

Profiled by Maria Devan

Golden amber color with an eggshell white head of foam that fell clinging leaving some bubbles and a light film.

Nose is grassy hops with a touch of mint and a sweet breeze from honey. Light lemon backing to these hops give a delightful nose. Clean, no diacetyl. No acetaldehyde, no fruity esters from yeast.

Malt is a sweetened cracker without any fruity scents of its own to offer. Drinks with moderate carbonation and surprisingly bready flavor. The taste of honey permeates but doesn’t dominate. Moderately strong carbonation and a balanced bitterness to leave some of that sweet honey flavor behind. Delightful beer. This beer will pair with my Mexican style lamb chops and cumin rice.

4

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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___________________________Beer HERE

Lupulin Powder vs. Pellets Experiment

Lupulin Powder in the Hop Stand

Intense juicy and resinous hop flavor and aroma, less astringent vegetal flavors while using half the amount of hop material–I’m interested! In this article, I look at some of the research surrounding hops, proteins, and clarity and how those might apply to using a new product called lupulin powder. I brew an experimental side-by-side Mosaic pellet to Mosaic lupulin powder beer and reach out to two breweries who have been included in the testing stages of LupuLN2 to get their opinions and results.

YCH Hops was nice enough to send me samples of their Mosaic lupulin powder product called LupuLN2, which they describe as being a purified lupulin powder containing most of the resin compounds and aromatic oils derived directly from whole hop flowers. They create LupuLN2 with a proprietary cryogenic separation process that preserves the aromatic hop components and removes most of the vegetal leafy material.
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Imbibing Beer and Flemish Splendour in Ghent

Ghent

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Belgium’s compact size and its efficient transportation network make it a paradise for beer travelers. Say you’re staying in Brussels and want to head to Antwerp or Bruges for lunch and a few cultural excursions, followed by drinks in classic beer cafes. You can easily do that because you’ll be in each of these cities within an hour, give or take a few minutes.

But you wouldn’t be alone in places like Bruges. All the more reason to consider Ghent, a Flemish city home to languid canals, impressive Romanesque and Gothic churches, and quiet cobblestone streets lined with ornate facades. And beer, which is a solid enough reason in itself.

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Beer Profile: Oscar Blues’ Death by King Cake

Profiled by Ken Carman


Perfect clarity, golden quaff. Head is slightly off white and fades very fast into sides of the glass. Tiniest of bubbles. Yellow highlights in pure gold.
Mouthfeel is off dry with light carbonation. There’s the slightest harshness that clings to the roof of the mouth, like a bittering hop that popped through.
Aroma is vanilla and a slight sour. I do get slight cocoa nibs, orange peel, no cinnamon in the nose, no pecans. Balance in aroma differs from flavor.
To be honest the flavor is this is somewhat annoying. Unlike aroma orange peel is dominant: so much so, combined with vanilla, I get no malt, almost nothing else. Carbonation is medium and carbonic. It has a hint of a bite. Aftertaste is slight sour with orange peel, as well as in the finish. Very slightly dry, unlike King Cake. I have had King Cake. I have had the BEST King Cake: sour dough, not the coffee cake version. I think this was an attempt at the sour dough version of King Cake. An attempt. Not all that successful.
If I ordered this I’d probably give it to someone else after half a glass then order something I’d like better. It simply doesn’t quite work. The ale is indistinct, not that much of a base for what’s supposed to be King Cake. That would be OK if the King Cake were really King-ish. Missed that mark. A King Cake would be sweeter and the flavors more balanced. Same for aroma, except that balance is different.
The secret here would be in having it finish a little more sweet, balance out the spices, the nuts, and maybe just a hint more of the ale. Otherwise the only “death” here is the concept this is King Cake-ish at all.

untappd 3.5
BA 84%
RB 3.74

3.2

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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__________________Beer HERE

Beer Waste Saves Montana Town $1 Million On Water Treatment


As America’s craft beer industry continues to boom, the waste it generates can pose challenges for sewer systems. But if it’s used in the right spot, in the right amount, it’s potentially beneficial and can actually save wastewater treatment plants money.

In Bozeman, Mont., the Water Reclamation Facility treats more than 6 million gallons of water every day from sinks, showers, toilets — really anything that goes down a drain. That includes liquid waste from more than 10 breweries in this city of nearly 50,000.

Because it’s rich in yeast, hops and sugar, brewery waste can throw off the microbes that wastewater plants rely on to remove nitrogen and phosphorus. The two nutrients can cause algae blooms in rivers and kill off fish.

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Brew Files – Episode 80 – Chill Out Or Don’t


The Brew is Out There!

Since travelling to Australia last year and witnessing the ubiquity of no chill brewing, Drew decided to get over his objections and see if you really can skip the chilling step when brewing at a home level. In this episode Denny and Drew breakdown the benefits, the objections and Drew’s experiences brewing the no chill way.

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HERE!!!

A New Year with New Beer

Denny is on the right

Happy New Year! It’s time for a whole new bevy of beers and a world of new brews to be. In this episode, we talk our recent brewing efforts and new toys and new news and then we talk to Stephen J Porr of BrewTube fame about the SJPorr Challenge, a unique and logistically challenging homebrew competition that’s prepping for it’s next season!
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Please click…

HERE!!!