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Seeing the World through Beer Flavoured Glasses

Published on May 21st, 2019

In some ways the experience of a beer (or mead or wine) is very much like standing in front of a framed photograph on a gallery wall. About 90 per cent of what the person experiencing that beer (or photograph) takes away from their encounter involves what they brought to the table as baggage. Think about that for a minute, because I didn’t just pull the idea out of thin air. Why do you think we all have different preferences, likes and dislikes, when it comes to food and drink? Why do two people looking at the same photograph see divergent pictures?

With food and drink, taste plus aroma equals flavour. Added to that, biological differences at the individual level make some people more able to taste specific off flavours; even certified beer judges can be unable to detect obvious flavour flaws in their glass. And one would expect this extends beyond off-flavours into the realm of experiencing complex flavour interactions in a given beverage. Supertasters are an obvious example. After all, why should this sensitivity difference only relate to off-flavours or errors? It doesn’t.

Flavour and preference have a cultural context – the foods and flavours you were exposed to from the womb until this time of your life impact your personal preferences. The World around us shapes our perceptions of good and bad flavours based on exposure and cultural reinforcement. For example, I gag eating herring that another person might savour and crave. Some of us appreciate wine, others don’t.

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Anti-Vaccination & the Social Contract

Published on April 30th, 2019

It’s fine to say that we live in a Free Country, like that idea somehow means everybody around us are living their lives to self-determined whim without limitation. But, deep down, we all know that isn’t the case. Between taxes, police forces, rules and regulations, there is a minefield of moral and social constraints – the country, any democracy, is not free in the sense those people claim. It is free in a far more general sense.

The way our country is free would be more in the way of a social contract. We are allowed by government to self-determination as individuals in a greater sense. Nobody pulls your child out of school and says “You will be a plumber!” … nobody taps you on the shoulder and says “You are now in the army!”

However, we do have things like picture identification, tax file numbers, business numbers, standards, licensing, accreditation, criminal databases and a whole bunch of other things that strike a balance between you and how far your freedom extends. You are free to operate within the constraints of societies limitations.

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Viking Blod Mead & Flavour Profile

Published on March 25th, 2019

I’ve been making mead for a decade and the way that I’ve made mead has changed over time. What we know about mead and the processes involved has expanded to a point where you can turn a good mead around in three months from honey-to-glass without that traditional patience of waiting for fruit to drop and months-to-years ageing in the bottle. A really nice mead to make this way is called Viking Blod.

What the Hell is Viking Blod?

You’ll see a lot of Americans, in particular, calling cherry mead a Viking Blod. And that’s fine. But the Viking Blod mead that I’m talking about is that one based on the 1700s Danish recipe with hibiscus and hops. I use a 1-to-4 ratio of hops-to-dried-hibiscus and I probably put a lot more hibiscus in there than the Danish version (and, naturally, the same goes for hops). I believe their Viking Blod is pink, while mine is vibrant red. I would guess their Viking Blod is less fruity and bitter, as well.

The quantities depend how red and vibrant you want your mead; also, how much you like the taste of hibiscus, because it tastes like a citrus and cherry blend. The noble hops you employ should balance accordingly. That 1-4 ratio is a good starting point.

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More Articles on StevenClark.com.au

  1. Groups Killed my Passion for Film Photography
  2. Session Beers (Book Review)
  3. Seeing the World through Beer Flavoured Glasses
  4. Anti-Vaccination & the Social Contract
  5. Viking Blod Mead & Flavour Profile

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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