Having just completed a sensory class using a Siebel Kit, I think many in attendance found the session useful. I did notice some vials were very light in character while others were over the top. The BJCP provides the kits for free to registered exams and defrays much of the cost for judges who want to do the training on their own. The kits were $50 for judges and now are $80 which is a big savings compared to the Siebel price tag of $250.
The characteristics in the kit are:
- Ethyl acetate
- Ethyl hexanoate
- Isoamyl acetate
The vials are added to a liter of neutral beer and then shared with the group. Supposedly the kit is for 20 people, but will easily serve 30-35 and could be stretched further if samples are poured carefully. Figuring you’ll need $100 in beer, pitchers, cups, unsalted crackers, etc. to hold the class in addition to the sensory kit it is not an inexpensive evening, but costs could be split among those in attendance. Plan on a slow-paced session taking about 3 hours to go through all the samples and if possible assign the research of a particular vial to each person. There are some documents which may prove helpful on the BJCP website. If you would like a copy of the presentation we used for our class, let me know in the comments below and I will be glad to provide it to those interested.