I'm an obsessive home brewer. So I'm always trying to critically evaluate the flavour of beers I make with a view to constantly improving their quality. In particular I am searching for off-flavours, like by-products of fermentation, or is some-ingredient too prominent in the flavour profile.

However I find that if I eat certain foods (like flavoured chips/crisps), before drinking beer, some parts of the malt taste profile (or the yeast?) flavours go weird, the sweetness becoming kind of saccharine (maybe).

Some foods do not prompt this at all, e.g.: unflavoured corn chips/crisps, salted peanuts.

Is this a known phenomenon?
Is there a way to "reset" one's palette?

Maybe I should post this to the alcohol section. But this is really a question about food & flavours. I'd like to prepare meals (and snacks) that don't make beer taste weird.

EDIT: Cross-posted to Homebrewing

EDIT: I tested this out over the weekend. I tasted beer - it's good, ate "Cheese & Onions Chips" (crisps), beer then tastes weird.

  • Rinsing my mouth with lots of water alleviated it quite a bit.
  • Drinking Milk didn't seem to do anything.
  • Eating plain bread (suggested elsewhere) didn't seem to do anything.

I will try the High Salt rinse next.

  • 4
    Some flavor agents bind tightly taste receptors; Stevia, Saccharin or aspartame for example. Chemicals other than sweeteners can do it well. Tight binding means that once they get bound, it can take a long time for them to come off, minutes to an hour or more. During that time period, the flavor agents in your beer won't be able to bind to those already filled sites. -That makes it taste different. A high salt rinse might clean things out. Some swear to dairy as the cure. It depends on the mechanism of the binding. Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 3:32
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    @WayfaringStranger - I'll try both salt & dairy. Many thanks.
    – Kingsley
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 3:58
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    @WayfaringStranger if that was an answer I'd vote for it. (BTW I think this is perfectly on topic here)
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 7:54
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    Hello Kingsley and welcome to Seasoned Advice! Please don't post the same question on more than one SE site. Please decide where it's the best fit, leave it on that site, and delete it from any others.
    – Cindy
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 9:31
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    Should also be noted that salts block bitter flavors (try adding a pinch of salt to your coffee next time...) so salty chips might well be doing this. I would expect that drinking some water or something similar would alleviate this effect, so it's probably not completely down to the salt, as others have noted. A salt wash would have the same effect, so you probably want to rinse with water afterwards.
    – bob1
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


Even sugars can affect the flavour of the next mouthful or two. This includes the dextrose added to quite a lot of savoury snacks (and similar foods, often before cooking so it caramelises), which might explain why some crisps (chips) have this effect and others don't. I find that a couple of small sips are enough to restore taste to normal.

Without rigorous testing I find that this reduces the flavour of a malty beer. More hoppy beers tend to taste more bitter after certain foods, but mainly sweet foods, so I've always put that down to the contrast in flavours. Again this is a short-lived effect.

  • I haven't mentioned the tight binding flavourings that appear in the comments, as I'm hoping WayfaringStranger will post their own answer on that aspect.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 7:56

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