THE KEY TO TASTE IS TESTING
Its like following a recipe but much more involved. There are many variables. For example, if you alter the gravity it can affect the alcoholic content, or if the power fails, then the temperature changes affecting fermentation (yeast will not act on sugar below eight degrees). You need to know when to halt the fermentation process, either by fermenting until there is no sugar or yeast left, or by cooling the beer. This is the process by which the alcohol by volume of the finished product is set. Testing is paramount in this job and a precise, scientific approach is the key to brewing. Carbonation and sugar levels can be checked using equipment such as ebulliometers and hydrometers. Computer software programmes are used to chart and track statistical control and conduct quality analysis. The most important tool though, is the brewer's tastebuds. But before you get too excited by the prospect of tasting beer all day long, be warned, the novelty can wear off! If you are continually tasting the beer at every stage in the business, tasting the wort from the time it leaves the brew house until it is packaged, the novelty does wear thin. For an experienced taster there can be eight or nine tastings in a week and this becomes an important and necessary part of the job.