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The science of alcohol
The science of alcohol

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Week 3: Taste and smell


This week you will read about the senses of taste and smell, and how they are key to our enjoyment of an alcoholic drink.

This is a photograph of a man drinking a pint of beer.

In Week 2 you came across the key components and methods used in the brewing process. There you will have learned about how each component affects the beer.

Now you will look at the biological processes that occur in taste and smell, the two senses that you can link most with what you consume. You will then learn about the different flavours within beer, what makes these, and what happens when beer is spoiled; and explore some of the chemicals associated with this.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • provide insight into what makes a champion beer
  • discuss the biological process behind taste and describe the different categories of taste
  • discuss the biological process behind smell and explain what volatiles are
  • explain what happens when a beer is spoiled.