Writing something on how wort smells and tastes is very very complicated or very very simple. Wort is filtered Mash moved into a Wash-Back, with Yeast added. Ones the Yeast is al done it is called Distillers Beer or Wash. So Wort is only called Wort while the Yeast is actively making alcohol.

Below are photo’s of wash back of the Bruichladdich Distillery.

On my Bruichladdich and Ardbeg Tour I had the opportunity to taste and smell the Wort.

On the Bruichladdich tour I blogged these notes:

“I cannot remember if I had the same reaction to the beer like smell that I got at Ardbeg. I’m sure it had. I’m sure it had fruity malty cereal banana beer-like notes. I just can’t remember as I am writing this weeks later (November 10th). Now I need to redo the tour and make notes! Darn!!”

On the Ardbeg tour I blogged these notes:

We were allowed to “smell” different stages of this process by putting out arms in the wash back and spooning the air. The smell sticks to your arm and this can be smelled better than just sticking your head in the wash back. It felt weird, but it worked.

It smelled fruity, peaty and malty. It also had a beer-like smell to it in a way. It’s great to experience this and let your nose do its job. I spooned the wash back as often as I could in an attempt to get as much smell in my brain as I could. Unfortunately you cannot bottle this. You have to be there. The wash backs are steam cleaned after use in preparation for the next batch.

To explain what the yeast is doing to the Wort I could explain in text alone, but honestly that would be a huge bore to have to read. Instead you can look at these video’s below that explain how sugars are converted to ethanol by yeast.

A second video explains the Krebs Cycle.

And a third video to wrap things up.

All video’s are part of a playlist : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTve54sz-eh-I4N1VmmskFrW9CS65iUiM part of an online coarse given by the University of Oklahoma.

To complete this blog about what Wort taste and smells like.

It tastes and smells like beer.

Without the hops.

That is about as useful as I can describe it. So if you smell something that reminds you of your favourite beer. Then describe it as such, or call it “Wort”.

I will naturally remind you that “Beer” or “Wort” is as non-descriptive as it gets. May as well say it tastes like “Wine” or “Cheese” of some other general descriptor like “Chocolate” or “Sherry” …..

Oh wait those are on the Flavour wheel too.

Guess thats ok then 😉