When it comes to brewing formulation, you can't beat a good nose, claims drinks design company FlavorActiV.
The formulation company designed a set of beer flavour standards seven years ago for use by tasters to learn to recognise and name 33 important flavours associated with beer.
'It is somewhat ironic, given the sophistication of today's modern brewery operations, that tasting and smelling of beer remain as important today as ever. In this area at least, man has not been replaced by machine,' said the company.
The standards cover a range of beer flavours including hop-derived characters (hop oil, kettle hop, isovaleric), malt-derived characters (DMS, grainy, vanilla, smoky), yeast-derived characters (isoamylacetate, ethyl hexanoate, caprylic, H2S, mercaptan) and flavours associatedwith transport and storage of beer (papery, metallic, lightstruck, almond,spicy, acetaldehyde).
In addition they provide a variety of off-flavours and taints (includingdiacetyl, musty, alkaline, catty, earthy, phenolic, chlorophenol andbutyric).
The flavours are provided in unit-dosed capsules, each containing enough toproduce 1 litre of flavoured beer. According to the company this is sufficient to train a group of 10 assessors.
Among a myriad of other reasons, FlavorActiV claims that the advantages of using microencapsulated beer flavour standards include that they are easy to use, environmentally-friendly, no extraneous smells are released into the environment and they pose no health risks to users.