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ACETALDEHYDE Associated terms


• Aldehydic
• Bruised apples
• Emulsion paint

Present in all beers. Off-flavour at high


concentrations. Positive contribution to
the flavour of some beer styles.

Produced by yeast during


fermentation. Indicative of high O2
levels in packaged beer. Can also be
formed by contaminating bacteria

Typical concentration in beer 2 - 15 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 5 - 15 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0150

ACETIC Associated terms


(acetic acid) • Vinegar
• Acidic

Present in all beers. Off-flavour at high


concentrations.

Produced by yeast in beer during


fermentation. High levels can be
produced in beer by contaminating
acetic acid bacteria

Typical concentration in beer 30 - 200 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 130 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0910
ALKALINE Associated terms
(sodium bicarbonate) • Detergent-like
• Caustic

Taint in beer. Increases in beer pH value


also affect beer flavour indirectly, by
altering the flavour activity of many
flavour compounds.

External contamination of beer with


caustic (usually alkaline cleaning
agents).

Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 200 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 1310

ALMOND Associated terms


(benzaldehyde) • Marzipan
• Bitter almonds

Occasional off-flavour in beer. Flavour


impact character in some fruit beers.

Can be formed in beer during storage.

Typical concentration in beer 1-10 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 1 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0224
BROMPHENOL Associated terms
(…...........) • Inky
• Old TV set
• Museum like
• Electric fire

Taint in beer.

…...

Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 1,3 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number ???? ergens bij 0500

BUTYRIC Associated terms


(butyric acid) • Rancid
• Baby sick
• Putrid

Off flavour in beer.

Formed by bacteria, either during wort


production, or in sugar syrups during
storage. Occasionally formed during
bacterial spoilage of packaged beer.

Typical concentration in beer 0.5 - 1.5 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 2 - 3 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0614
CAPRYLIC Associated terms
(octanoic acid) • Goaty
• Waxy
• Tallowy

A desirable flavour character of some


pale lager beers. Off-flavour at high
concentrations.

Produced by yeast during conditioning


(cellaring) of beer.

Typical concentration in beer 2 - 8 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 4 - 6 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0611

CATTY Associated terms


(p-menthane-8-thiol-3-one) • Blackcurrant leaves
• Ribes
• Tom-cat urine

A catty flavour can often be found in the


early stages of oxidation. It is generally
considered to be an off-flavour.
However, it is part of the normal flavour
profile of some ales.

Contamination of raw materials with a


precursor of catty aroma.

Typical concentration in beer ? mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 15 ng/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0810
CHLOROPHENOL Associated terms
(2,6-dichlorophenol) • Mouthwash
• Antiseptic
• Hospital-like

Taint in beer.

External contamination of brewing raw


materials and/or packaging materials
with chlorophenols. Contact of beer
with chlorinated liquor.

Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 5 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0504

DIACETYL Associated terms


• Buttery
• Butterscotch
• Milky

Usually an off-flavour, especially in


pale lager beers. Positive contribution to
the flavour of some
ales and stouts.

Formed in beer from a precursor


produced by yeast during
fermentation. Can also be formed
by contaminant bacteria when
hygiene standards are inadequate.

Typical concentration in beer 8 - 600 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 10 - 40 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0620
DMS Associated terms
(dimethyl sulphide) • Sweetcorn • Tomato sauce
• Creamed corn • Sea vegetable
• Cooked vegetable

Desirable characteristic of some pale


lager beer styles. Off-flavour in some
beers.

Formed from a malt-derived precursor


during wort production. May also be
produced by contaminant bacteria
during fermentation.

Typical concentration in beer 10 - 150 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 25 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0732

EARTHY Associated terms


(2-ethyl fenchol) • Damp soil
• Freshly dug soil

Off flavour in beer.

Produced by microorganisms in water.


Can also migrate into beer after
microbial production in the walls of
damp cellars

Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 5 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0841
ETHYL BUTYRATE Associated terms
• Tropical fruits
• Mango
• Tinned Pineapple

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Typical concentration in beer 0,05-0,25 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0,4 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number ???? ergens bij 0130

ETHYL HEXANOATE Associated terms


• Estery
• Apple
• Aniseed

Present in all beers. Plays an important


role in overall flavour balance.
Concentrations vary considerably from
beer to beer. Off-flavour at high
concentrations.

Produced by yeastduring
fermentation.

Typical concentration in beer 0.07 - 0.5 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0.2 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0132
FRESHLY CUT GRASS Associated terms
(cis-3-hexenol) • Leafy
• Crushed green leaves
• Hedge cuttings

A desirable character of some beers.


Off-flavour at high concentrations.

Several types of compounds impart


freshly cut grass flavours to beer. Their
presence is influenced by wort boiling
practice and hop variety.

Typical concentration in beer ? mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 15 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0231

GERANIOL Associated terms


• Rose-like
• Floral
• Flower-like
• Fruity

Geraniol makes an important contribution


to the flavour of some beers. It is partly
responsible for the floral component of
hop aroma.

Geraniol is imparted to beer via hops. It is


an important character of hop oil
(essential oil of Humulus lupulus). Its
concentration in beer is determined by
the hop variety, the hopping regime and
by wort boiling and fermentation
conditions.

Typical concentration in beer 0 - 100 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold One third of the population have a
threshold of about 18 μg/l. The remainder
have thresholds around 350 μg/l.
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0162
GRAINY Associated terms
(isobutyraldehyde) • Green malt character
• Green
• Harsh

In the main, an undesirable character,


but may feature at a low level in some
beers.

Imparted to beer by the use of barley


malt, and controlled by sparging and
wort boiling practices. Also associated
with use of malts that have not been
stored for long enough before use.

Typical concentration in beer <1 - 20 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold Approximately 10 μg/l (depending on SO concentration)
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0310

H2S Associated terms


(hydrogen sulphide) • Rotten eggs
• Sulphidic

At low concentrations, H S imparts a


desirable fresh flavour to beer. At
higher concentrations it imparts an offflavour.

Produced by yeast during


fermentation and sometimes during
maturation. Can also be formed by
contaminant bacteria when hygiene
standards are inadequate

Typical concentration in beer 0.001 - 0.2 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 4 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0721
HOP OIL Associated term
(?????) • Hoppy

Key flavour characteristic imparted to


some speciality beers by deliberate
addition of hop oil.

Essential oil of the hop (Humulus


lupulus) isolated by steam distillation.

Typical concentration in beer 0.05 - 3 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0.16 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0173

Indole Associated term


• Farmyard
• Jasmine

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ISOAMYL ACETATE Associated terms
• Estery
• Fruity
• Banana
• Peardrop

Present in all beers . Plays an important


role in the overall flavour.
Concentrations vary considerably from
beer to beer. Major flavour impact
character of some beers,
eg wheat beer.

Produced by yeast during


fermentation.

Typical concentration in beer 0.8 - 6.6 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 1.4 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0131

ISOVALERIC Associated terms


(isovaleric acid) • Putrid • Stale cheese
• Old hops • Sweaty

Off-flavour in beer. Flavour impact character


in some beer styles.

Flavour can be imparted to beer through the


use of old or degraded hops, or use of high
hopping rates.

Typical concentration in beer 0.2 - 1.5 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 1 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0613
KETTLE HOP Associated terms
(?????) • Late hop character
• Spicy

A desirable character of some pale


lager beers

Imparted to beer by the deliberate


addition of a portion of the hop grist
(usually 'aroma' hops) to the kettle late
in the boil. Alternatively, can be added
before packaging in the form of an
essence.

Typical concentration in beer 0.01 - 0.2 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0.04 mg/l (varies with source)
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0171

LEATHERY Associated terms


• hay-like
• mouth drying

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Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l in fresh beer


Approximate flavour threshold 10 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0830
LIGHTSTRUCK Associated terms
(3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol) • Skunky
• Sunstruck

Off-flavour in beer.

Formed in beer on exposure to either


daylight or artificial light. Beers that have
been bittered exclusively with chemicallymodified
hop bitter acids do not develop
this flavour.

Typical concentration in beer 1 - 5 ng/l (beers kept in the dark)


0.01 - 1.5 μg/l (beers exposed to light
Approximate flavour threshold 4 ng/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0724

MERCAPTAN Associated terms


(ethanethiol) • Drains
• Rotten vegetables
• Leek-like

Component of the sulphury character of


beer. Off-flavour when present in
excess.

Formed primarily by yeast during


fermentation. Also produced by yeast
autolysis during beer maturation

Typical concentration in beer 0 - 0.5 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 1 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0722
METALLIC Associated terms
(ferrous sulphate) • Inky
• Blood-like
• Tinny

Taint in beer. High concentrations of


metal ions in beer also affect foam
quality and promote the formation of
stale flavours.

Derived from contact of beer with


metal-containing materials (brewing
plant, raw materials). Metallic notes
can also be derived from lipid
oxidation products.

Typical concentration in beer <0.5 mg/l (ferrous ion)


Approximate flavour threshold 1 mg/l (ferrous ion)
Beer Flavour Wheel number 1330

MUSTY Associated terms


(2,4,6-trichloroanisole) • Damp cellar
• Fusty
• Cork taint (wine)

Taint in beer. Extremely flavour active.

External contamination of brewing raw


materials and/or packaging materials.
Chloroanisoles can migrate across
packaging materials to contaminate
process aids, raw materials and beer.

Typical concentration in beer 0 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 25 ng/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0842
ONION Associated terms
(dimethyl trisulphide) • Cooked onion
• Garlic-like

Component of the sulphury character of


pale lager beer. Off-flavour at high
concentrations.

Produced from sulphur-containing


amino acids during wort boiling.
Purged from beer during fermentation
by yeast-derived CO . Also found in hop
oil.

Typical concentration in beer 0.05 - 0.3 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0.1 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0736

PAPERY Associated terms


(trans-2-nonenal) • Cardboard
• Oxidized

Off-flavour in beer associated with


ageing.

Formed during beer storage.


Development of character depends on
time and temperature of storage, and
oxygen content of packaged beer.

Typical concentration in beer <50 ng/l (fresh beer);


>0.2 μg/l (aged beer)
Approximate flavour threshold 50 - 100 ng/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0820
PHENOLIC Associated terms
(4-vinyl guaiacol) • Spicy
• Herbal
• Clove-like

Usually an off-flavour. Major flavour


impact character of some products,
wheat beers.

Produced by wild yeasts or speciality


yeasts.

Typical concentration in beer 0.05 - 0.55 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 0.2 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0500

PLASTICS Associated terms


• burning plastic
• Polystyrene
• Styrene

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SALTY Associated terms
(sodium chloride) • None

Contributes to the overall taste balance


of beer.

Contributed to beer by both malt and


brewing liquor. Some brewers add salts
directly to the process stream, eg in
mashing or wort boiling.

Typical concentration in beer < 100 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 200 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 1100

SMOKY Associated terms


(guaiacol) • Smoked bacon
• Smoked herring (kippers)

A desirable character in some types of


beers, especially Rauchbiers (smoked
beers). Off-flavour in pale lager beers

Contributed to raw materials (malt,


adjuncts etc) by exposure to smoke.
Flavour is then extracted during
mashing or wort boiling.
Occasionally formed by bacterial action
during fermentation.

Typical concentration in beer 10 - 400 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 15 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0423
SOUR Associated terms
(citric acid) • Acidic
• Lemon
• Sour milk

All beers are acidic. In excess, this


imparts an undesirable flavour and
mouthfeel. Beer pH indirectly influences
the flavour activity of a number of beer
components.

Raw materials. Fermentation.


Bacterial contamination of product or
process. Poor hygiene control.

Typical concentration in beer 90 - 300 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 170 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0920

SPICY Associated terms


(eugenol) • Eugenol
• Allspice
• Clove oil

Off-flavour in pale lager beers. Impact


character in certain beers of high
alcohol content (>7% vol/vol).

Formed during ageing of beer.

Typical concentration in beer 10 - 30 μg/l in normal beer,


>40 μg/l in problem beers
Approximate flavour threshold 40 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0111
SULPHITIC Associated terms
(sodium sulphite) • Sulphur dioxide
• Striking match
• Choking

Associated with the presence of


sulphites in beer. Sulphites interact with
other flavour compounds in beer,
including acetaldehyde and carbonyl
compounds, to mask their flavour.

Sulphites may be added to beer as an


antioxidant or preservative. Lager yeasts
naturally produce sulphite during
fermentation.

Typical concentration in beer <10 mg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 7 mg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 0710

VANILLA Associated terms


(vanillin) • Custard-like
• Cream-soda
• Ice cream

Imparts a positive aroma to some beer


styles. Formed in some beers during
ageing.

Derived from breakdown of barley cell


wall materials. Can also be formed
from the breakdown of certain phenolic
flavour compounds produced by wild
yeasts.

Typical concentration in beer 10 - 80 μg/l


Approximate flavour threshold 40 μg/l
Beer Flavour Wheel number 1003
important factors:
– wort: gravity, PH, dissolved oxigen, yeast food
– fermentation : temperature, pressure
– yeast: strain, pitching rate, contaminants

increasing yeast pitching rate:


ethyl acetaat ++
isoamylacetate --
higher alcohols --

increasing wort oxygenation:


higher alcohols ++
esters --
SO2 --
acetaldehyde --
diacetyl --

increasing fermation temperature:


higher alcohols ++
esters ++
SO2 ++
acetaldehyde ++
diacetyl ++

increasing fermation counter-pressure:


less yeast growth
dissolved CO2 ++
acetaldehyde ++
diacetyl ++
esters --
higher alcohols --