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Publication Title | Possible impact of hops on taste and drinkability of beer

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EBC Symposium Edinburgh DRINKABILITY 2006 Possible impact of hops on taste and drinkability of beer

D. Kaltner *, W. Mitter

* Dr. Dietmar Kaltner, Simon H. Steiner, Hopfen GmbH, Auhofstr. 18, D-84048 Mainburg

Email: dkaltner@hopsteiner.de

Descriptors: beer, drinkability, hops, sensory evaluation

SUMMARY

Drinkability can be used as a benchmark to characterise a beer. However, there appears to be no clear answer to the impact of sensory factors on beer drinkability. Hops can make positive or negative contributions to the taste and aroma of beer. The sensory evaluation of quality and harmony of the hop smell and the hop taste of a beer can determine whether the drinker will be inclined to drink more. The beer matrix plays a key role in the effect of single hop components on the sensory character of a beer. There are some indications that less known aroma and bitter substances and also polyphenols can influence beer flavor, but further investigation needs to be carried out. In order to understand the influence of hops on the taste and drinkability of a beer, it is necessary to assess the taste thresholds and the taste value of important taste components in hops in different beer types.

INTRODUCTION

The impact of single substances derived from raw materials on drinkability is still unknown. Hops can make positive or negative contributions to the taste and aroma of beer. An objective sensory evaluation method was developed to assess quality of smell and quality of taste of beer. With the help of this instrument quality & harmony of hop smell and hop taste of various beers have been ascertained.

SENSORY EVALUATION SCHEME

A software-based sensory evaluation scheme was developed. Sensory attributes are focused on flavour impressions related to hops. Tasters have to score their personal flavour impressions of smell, taste and bitterness for a named beer type. Categories smell and taste have the same composition. Intensity and quality of hop character have to be appointed. Furthermore they have the option to score hop flavours like fruity, floral, citrus, fresh-grassy, hop-spicy or others (not typical for hops). Seven diagrams of the course of bitterness are given for an assessment. Bitterness of the beer has to be estimated. The perception of bitterness is separated in intensity and harmony. Absorption is divided in three phases: before, at and after swallowing. A summary of all impressions is given in spider plots. This tool enables the comparison of different brewing trials.

POLYPHENOLS

Narziss stated the role of polyphenols as still unclear (1). Xanthohumol and iso-xanthohumol were investigated by Fritsch for their impact on beer taste. Especially iso-xanthohumol occurs

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