When we talk about training the palate, we are—for the most part—talking about learning to identify off-flavors. Whether you’re tasting or brewing beer, understanding off-flavors can help you appreciate well-made beer or identify flaws in your own.
There are a couple of ways to go about training your palate:
- Take a beer-flavor traing class. This is the most systematic and is probably the route to take if you are interested in becoming a beer judge or cicerone.
- Set up your own off-flavor training kit and training plan. There are simple ways to introduce off-flavors into beer. For example, you can use imitation butter to spike diacetyl into your beer or you can use vodka to spike hot alcohol flavor into your beer.
In Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine’s online course, Introduction to Evaluating Beer, Josh Weikert covers the ins and outs of beer evaluation and shows you how to become a better brewer through learning to evaluate beer—both yours and that of other brewers. Sign up today!