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We normally use a light relatively flavorless beer that was free of original defects. usually Carling Black Label. It is cheap, and of the 8 or so comparable cheap beers (why trash good stuff) it is the most defect free. The importance of a fresh beer to doctor can not be stressed enough. Remeber to keep undoctored reference samples for side-by-side comparison during the session.
Non-drinkable samples are made with non-food grade chemicals. If you have access to FDA approved additives, these if added in appropriate quantities (we make no guarantee of the toxicity of the specified levels, you'll have to check this out and take responsibility on your own) are probably drinkable.
You'll need one bottle of doctored beer for every few people (assume 2 - 3 oz per person). You'll need bottle caps to recap after adding substances. All substances should be added less than 24 hours before, except for skunky and oxidized which need advance prep as indicated. In addition to beers for doctoring you'll need 8-16 oz reference beer for each person.
Prepare samples as noted. The order listed is the serving order we've been using. The idea is to do the strongest nastiest ones toward the end.
Splitting this into 2 sessions is not a bad idea as the palette can get saturated and tired. The full range of samples takes 2-3 hours. Be sure to have some type of plain munchy like french or italian bread and water (hopefully not skanky water) for palette cleansing. Basically you can proceed similar to competitions or other tasting events.
It is a good idea to serve these blind. Let people try to guess what they are tasting then after a minute or two tell them. Many people will pick this up. Stress the fact that flavor perception is devoid of the additional cues like sight that allow perceptual recognition. The idea behind doing this is to train and refresh (strengthen) the cognitive association between sensing and being able to assign (correctly) a descriptor to that sensation.
Feedback is encouraged. It will help us revise this program. Good Luck.
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