Formal trainings are instructor-facilitated and guided. The instructor will walk through each compound one by one as the group tastes together. Often this includes presentations or discussions about each compound at the time of tasting. Here are some tips for traditional sensory training:
Each vial contains one ml of liquid with a concentration calculated to spike 1L of beer. It is recommended to use one ampule for up to 10 tasters. This will allow for 100ml(3.381oz) per taster. Some people find they can use smaller sample sizes and incorporate more tasters with success.
Ideally, the best beer to use is a “drinkable” light lager with no major flavor characteristics. We generally recommend a mass-produced lager since 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.
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.
Set up for each taster should include a control as well as one of each spiked sample. It is recommended, if possible, that someone other than the tasters prepare the samples. Under our “videos” link you will find links to each compound where you can learn how to detect/recognize the compounds.
When conducting sensory analysis of beer or other beverages, it is important to standardize the tasting process. This video shows a common procedure used by professional tasters in evaluating beer.