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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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


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 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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Bend, The Rules: America’s Stylistically Liberated Beer City

Written by Stephen Body

Bend, Oregon…no matter what anyone says, my vote for the mythical (and mostly bogus) title of “Beer City USA” – besides the presumptive winner, San Diego – would have to go to this explosive brewing mecca, out there in the arid middle of Oregon’s High Desert. It is certainly, even including SD, the most per capita great brewery nexus in the country and the only real challenger is the far more tiny Hood River, Oregon, about 150 miles up Oregon Route 97. One quick scan of the breweries located in Bend makes the case eloquently…

Deschutes Brewery

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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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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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Video Tip: Thinking of Barrels as an Ingredient

Cory King, owner and brewer at Side Project, talks about formulating a barrel-aged imperial stout recipe with the barrel in mind, and being patient enough to allow the beer and barrel character to meld.

Side Project Brewing in St. Louis, Missouri, has made its name on barrel-aging and blending—not only for its widely acclaimed range of mixed-fermentation beers, but also for decadently rich imperial stouts such as Derivation and Beer: Barrel: Time.

In the full 86-minute video, Founder/Brewer Cory King digs into deep technical detail on how Side Project brews, ferments, ages, and blends those huge barrel-aged stouts. Among other topics, he covers:

water and the importance of mash pH
grain selection for body and character, from oats to Carafa
the challenges of mashing very high-gravity beers
long boils and long aging
choosing (or not choosing) adjuncts

And much more.

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