Acceptance of off-flavors in beer by common consumers

Sensory Session
Moritz Krahl, Radeberger Gruppe, Frankfurt, Germany
Co-author(s): Stefan Hanke, Bitburger Braugruppe, Bitburg, Germany

ABSTRACT: In recent years the global beer market has experienced a substantial consolidation in market share, and simultaneously a rather standardized type of beer emerged. Common off-flavors like diacetyl, dimethyl sulfide, and stale flavors, as well as microbial infected beers, have become rare due to technological improvements, as well as to high quality standards set by global brewing companies. On the other hand due to globalization and a prolonged distribution chain beer faces a certain amount of aging before it reaches the consumer. This work shows the results obtained by a preference tasting, including several off-flavors (diacetyl, dimethyl sulfide) and forced aged beer, as well as linalool. Linalool was included as a flavor in the tasting trial because it is known as an indicator substance for late hopped premium beers. Additionally concentrations of linalool are sub-threshold in the standardized beers mentioned above. In the trial each volunteer was presented a set of two beer samples. One was a traditional commercially available Bavarian style lager; the other was the same beer spiked with a specific pure flavor or forced aged, respectively. Tasters were asked to state which beer they preferred. The results show that fresh beer samples were not significantly preferred by consumers. Addition of off-flavors resulted in a significantly lower preference for the beer samples. Also the addition of linalool resulted in decreased preference. In conclusion this work shows, that consumers seem to be used to aged beer. However a differing flavor profile resulted in a lower preference.

Moritz Krahl was born in Schwetzingen, Germany. After passing the German Abitur (A levels) in 2000, he began studying brewing and beverage technology at Technische Universität München in Weihenstephan, Germany. In 2004 he graduated with a B.S. degree and in 2005 with a Dipl.-Ing. (graduate engineer) degree. From 2005 to 2010 Moritz worked on his Ph.D. on “Functional Beverages Based on Malted Cereals and Pseudocereals” at the Institute for Brewing and Beverage Technology in Weihenstephan. Form 2010 to 2011 he worked as head engineer for plant and process optimization for MEG. In October 2011 Moritz joined the Radeberger Group with key responsibility in product and process development for new beverages.