Winter 2019 Sensory Training

Back in January, the Club ran a sensory training workshop over 2 session. The sessions were held in Wellington Brewery‘s beautiful tap room – the Iron Duke House. Each session consisted of being blindly served Welly’s Helles Lager, with 6 different flavour spikes. Our Competitions Director Jamie Fowler instructed the sessions.

Our sensory kit came from the Siebel Institute via the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). BJCP subsidizes the costs of up to 1 sensory kit per year for active judges, to encourage continued training and education of its judges. We took advantage of this offer for this event. We took advantage of another BJCP incentive, which was offering non-judge points to participants that were active judges through BJCP continuing education.

The 12 total flavour spikes included common off-flavours as well as some ingredient or fermentation derived flavours – which are not necessarily considered off-flavours. Specifically, we trained on the following compounds:

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Butryic Acid
  • Diacetyl
  • Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS)
  • Geosmin
  • Ethyl Acetate
  • Ethyl Hexanoate
  • Geraniol
  • Indole
  • Isovaleric Acid
  • Trans-2-nonenal
  • Eugenol

Each compound was usually dosed in the helles to a concentration 3x higher than what is considered to be the average human detection threshold. The point of this training to develop strong flavour memories which help in flavour identification in critical beer assessment.

This was the first time True Grist has arranged sensory training of this kind, and we look forward to doing it again in the future. A huge thank you to Wellington for providing the beer and great space for our training.

Wellington’s Iron Duke House was the perfect location to hold the sessions!
12 flavour spikes from the Siebel Institute via BJCP
Helles was mixed with each flavour spike in a 1l measuring cup, and the resulting liquid was split approximately 20-ways by Jamie
Jamie’s presentation was split over 2 sessions. The most offensive flavours were saved for the end of each session.
6 flavours per session. At the end some of us diluted our samples further to see if we could find our personal thresholds for some compounds.