How to Taste – Taints imparted through packaging.

Taints imparted through packaging

Not all taints are formed during the fermentation process and can be the consequence of external factors affecting the beer. How the beer is packaged and stored is important and can play a fundamental role in how the beer tastes. Whilst the majority of these flavours don’t appear in beer, often they are still a significant taint and expensive to correct.

Tasting for taints imparted through packaging

There are several methods to taste for taint flavours that have been imparted through packaging and storage which can be divided into the following:

To taste for Plastics, Acetaldehyde, Butyric and Lactic flavours imparted through packaging, cover the beer with the hand and swirl the glass to release the aroma. Remove your hand and take a long single sniff.

To taste for Chlorophenols, Bromophenols, Papery, Earthy and Musty flavours imparted through packaging, swirl the glass to release the aroma. Take short sniffs whilst holding the beer near to the nose.

To taste for Metallic flavours imparted through packaging, take about 20-25ml of beer into your mouth and move it around with your tongue before swallowing. Alternatively dip your finger into the beer and rub it on the back of your hand and then smell your hand.


What does the flavour indicate?

Given that many of these flavours are not detected in normal beer, their presence indicates problems with the beer and can effect its flavour. Detection of these flavours indicates that the beer has been effected from the packaging or storage of the beer and the problem must be addressed to prevent other beers from becoming tainted.