Published on January 15th, 2016 | by mundohr0
Sensory Analysis, another tool to guarantee quality
One of the priorities for the Quality Department is to ensure that the beer that leaves the brewery has no flaws and that it fulfils sensory expectations: its characteristic bitterness, its hops and malt nuances, among others.
Sensory analysis is a key component in the daily evaluation of our products, and its key tool is the tasting panel, i.e. the group of people that work assessing the sensory (organoleptic) properties of a product, in our case, beer. At Hijos de Rivera, we have a trained panel that works mainly to guarantee the sensory quality of our beers. In order to do so, they carry out a daily assessment of the products that are bottled, but they also test “trick” samples that have been modified to contain flaws and that serve to guarantee that the panel is working well.
WHO IS ON THE PANEL?
The internal panel is made up of staff from different areas of the company. The most important factor is that the people that are on it are available, are enthusiastic and interested in what they do. Once they have met all these requirements, the training begins, and all those who complete their training successfully go on to form part of the panel.
The aim of the training is to help the tasting panel to identify and quantify, via a number of scales, all the properties that a beer has and that can be detected by using the senses, for example, if it smells of hops or not, if it has a fruity smell, how intense these aromas are, how bitter or sweet it is, and so on.
DAILY TASTING SESSIONS
One or two tasting sessions are organised on a daily basis. The samples are presented in random order, and served at a specific temperature. When the tasting has taken place, a number of questionnaires have to be completed and, once the data has been collected, the quality department analyses and interprets the results.
As a result of the beer’s descriptive analysis, we obtain what is called its “flavour profile”, i.e. a quantification of the sensory properties that define this beer, a detailed description of it which helps to identify it and differentiate it from others.
These results allow us to compare beer and even batches of the same beer, enabling us to detect possible variations related, for example, to raw materials, or the production process. So far, the results have helped us to guarantee the sensory quality of our beers.
This post is also available in: Spanish