Saturday 1 May 2010

Flavour Compound of Last Week - Ethyl hexanoate

I have tried to alternate between flavour compounds which are regarded by (most) brewers as acceptable and those considered to be off flavours. Such is the world of brewing that I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for good flavours and still have list as long as your arm of bad ones. I suppose if you are trying to make a drink appealing to people, the first place to start is the control of flavours likely to disgust. There’s little point spending money on the best perfume if you’ve got a face like a sack of chisels.

This week we are looking at the ester Ethyl hexanoate. Ethyl hexanoate is an apple-flavoured ester. I say apple flavour but it smells more like those sweets which are supposed to taste like apple but just taste like apple-flavoured sweets. Although it does smell more like apples than Magners Cider. I have often wondered which is smallest in magnitude, the number of Irish apples in a bottle or brain cells in the head of the person who believes Magners is made naturally and from Irish apples. Maybe the marketers are trying to obliquely infer that there is just something quintessentially Irish about paying £4 to drink 500ml of pink, fermented glucose with 500 grammes of frozen mains water? (no offence to my Celtic cousins intended)

More digression. Ethyl hexanoate seldom contributes much to the aroma of most beers because its typical concentration is not much greater than its flavour threshold. It is more likely to be an instrument in the aroma orchestra. As with some of the other esters, ethyl hexanoate is an insect pheromone. The accursed fruit fly Drosophila is among the insects which get the horn when in the presence of the ester. I hate them. I hate them so very, very much.


Post a Comment