While some get the opportunity to travel to exotic countries and attend fancy schools to understand the science of beer, others need to start small, specific and economical. Speaking of fancy schools and priced-right products, in January the Cicerone Certification Program began shipping a cool product for the up-and-coming brewer — high-class flavor training products designed with the small brewery in mind. The new kits provide a turnkey package for training and validation of an in-house taste panel for small brewers on a budget. Cicerone developed the new products in partnership with AROXA, an international leader in beverage sensory technology.
“Brewers can buy off-flavor standards many places, but once you receive the flavor standards, the real work begins, deciding how to use them effectively,” said Ray Daniels, director of the Cicerone Certification Program. “The resources included with this new kit walk brewers through program development, planning and instruction that would normally require many days of work. The kit also logs each taster’s results into a database to track their performance.”
The new Taste Panel Training Kit comes with two sets of 15 key brewery off flavors, but it also includes a suite of resources delivered through AROXA’s SensCheck software that allows any brewery to develop a working quality control program.
After training is complete, users can become validated tasters by using the Cicerone Panel Validation Pack to verify each taster’s ability to identify the off flavors. Cicerone will maintain a roster of validated tasters so that breweries have third-party verification of their taste panel’s qualifications.
“We have worked for years to help ensure good handling and service of beer and as a part of that, we began offering off-flavor training products to the industry,” Daniels said. “These new products extend our mission by giving small brewers access to all the tools they need to establish a quality control taste panel.”
What are we training on here?
The Cicerone Taste Panel Training Kit trains on: acetaldehyde, acetic acid, butyric acid, chlorophenol, diacetyl, DMS, ethyl acetate, 4-ethyl phenol, geosmin, H2S, isoamyl acetate, isovaleric, lactic acid, mercaptan and metallic.