The compounds are very stable. We place a minimum shelf life of 2 years from production and one year from shipment for each kit, but many of the compounds are stable for years after.
Each compound has corresponding information in the Sensory Kit Leaflet that is provided both online and with each kit order. A flavor threshold indicates when the average taster begins to detect the compound. This can vary from taster to taster for several reasons.
Ideally the best beer to use is a “drinkable” light lager with no major flavor characteristics. We generally recommend a massed produced lager due to the fact that there will be consistency in flavor from case to case purchased. For breweries/panelists looking for intermediate level training, spiking different styles of beer could also be recommended, as well as spiking the beer served at that particular brewery to train staff on a beer thumbprint/when it is servable or should be recalled. It is recommended for beginners to use light lager.
Each vial contains one ml of liquid with a concentration calculated to spike 1L of beer.
For extended shelf life it is recommended to store the sensory kits in a refrigerator or cooler. Though the kits will last in room temperature to their expiration date.
Once opened it is recommended to use the entire contents of the ampule. Sometimes if using a pipette to spike individual bottles, the bottles can be resealed and last an additional day or two, but generally you want to open then use the entire content of the ampule.
It is possible to prepare spiked and resealed bottles the day or two before a tasting, though it is not recommended to go much longer due to oxygen contact. Try to limit oxygen contact when spiking samples to be resealed.
If ordered direct… once processed, the kits are air shipped from Germany- depending on your location the kits can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 week for delivery.
It is recommended to use one ampule for up to 10 tasters.
I recommend starting with the regular or essential off flavor kits if you have not participated in sensory training before. It really depends on what you are hoping to achieve.
In order to avoid fatigue it is suggested that tasters taste a maximum of 4-6 compounds in each sitting. If tasting more it is important to think about the order of the flavors being presented. Start with the least strong/offensive flavors and work your way up.
There is a guide in the leaflet (page 12.) The procedure can be summarized as follows: visual inspection, “drive by” the nose, short sharp sniffs, sip and swallow, exhale through nose.
Shipping is set at standard global prices from Germany and is as follows:
• 1-4 kits $29
• 5-8 kits $58
• 9-12 kits $79
• 12-15 kits $99