How long does it take to reset your palate from "lupulin shift"?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Lucular, Aug 10, 2018.


Avoid hoppy beers for a minimum of ___ to "reset" your palate?

  1. I've done this and it works

  2. I've done this and didn't notice much or any difference

  3. 2 weeks or less (guess)

  4. 2 weeks or less (from experience)

  5. 4 weeks (guess)

  6. 4 weeks (from experience)

  7. 6 weeks (guess)

  8. 6 weeks (from experience)

  9. 2 months or longer (guess)

  10. 2 months or longer (from experience)

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  1. Lucular

    Lucular Poo-Bah (4,497) Jun 20, 2014 Maryland
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    I'm just over 2 weeks into an "IPA fast" - no pale ales, (I)IPAs, barleywines, etc. I'm planning on going 4 weeks without hoppy beers and I'm curious to hear what the experience of other BAs has been with "lupulin shift" and palate reset. Is 4 weeks long enough? Will IPAs really taste any different? What kind of hoppy beer should I go for first after my "fast"?

    Note on the poll: Please vote whether you've done this before - select either one of the "guess" or "from experience" options. Cheers!
  2. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I did it and did notice any difference. I didn't do it to reset my palate. Had to do it because I was on meds for 30 days. I'm not a hop head but I drink a lot of hoppy beer and they tasted the same se before.
    pat61 likes this.
  3. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (246) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I've gone 36 hours and that ends at 5pm. Cheers!
  4. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    About as long as it takes for my next beer to arrive.
    dcotom, LarryV, winehead247 and 7 others like this.
  5. LiquidAmber

    LiquidAmber Poo-Bah (8,839) Feb 20, 2009 Washington

    This survey has a lot of choices for weeks and months, but none for less than a week, which is odd. If I am reviewing, I try to alternate days with IPAs (IPA first day, non-hoppy beer the next, then back to IPA), which seems to be fine for me. If I have an IPA that is tongue searingly hoppy, I might wait a few days. Unfortunately, for me it appears that natural random changes in taste overwhelm any clear estimate of lupulin taste changes.
    There is a practical aspect too: there are a lot more IPAs coming on the market now (see recent IPA proliferation thread). Waiting a week or more to review a new IPA is simply not possible. And that's having largely given up on NE hazy IPAs, which seem to have new ones out hourly.
    pat61 likes this.
  6. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,657) Aug 12, 2007 California
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    I've gone 120 days before. It accomplished nothing. I do believe there's no hope for a select group of folks. When you drink IPAs the way I do, the damage is irreparable.
    dcotom, magilldm, winehead247 and 8 others like this.
  7. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (789) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Consistently taking 3-4 days off during the week keeps the palate fresh for me.
  8. deleted_user_1007501

    deleted_user_1007501 Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2015

    Seconded. Definitely taking a small break from beer all together helps reset much faster than if you were to just drink non-hoppy beers.
  9. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    If I drink a very hoppy beer followed by a less hoppy one I notice the difference so my reset lever is pretty quick.
    beergoot, Lahey, pat61 and 2 others like this.
  10. Lucular

    Lucular Poo-Bah (4,497) Jun 20, 2014 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Seeing the votes and comments so far, I wish I had included shorter time frames!
    Interesting. Last week I took 4 days off from beer entirely so I guess I checked that box too.
    I'm curious what this means in practical experience. Does a beer like SNPA have no hoppiness to your palate? On a certain level I suppose that's true for virtually all of us - at one point our palates were exposed to the first time to hops and over time we've gotten used to them, so we'll never experience that first reaction to strong hop flavors again.
  11. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (3,001) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    It all depends on how 'far gone' you are :wink:, I guess, but for me I've done a couple of weeks and I've felt a definite reset. This is usually after a vacation out of the country or something, but yeah, the hops seem more vibrant and distinct afterwards.
  12. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,932) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    I drink mostly IPAs and recently, I’ve stopped drinking beer during the week, no change in my tastes at all
  13. Dan411

    Dan411 Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2017 Missouri

    Really for me, just a work week does it just fine to reset. I can drink a Kolsch on a Friday, after no beer for 4-5 days, and I can pick up on the subtle hops. Now, give me a IPA of at least 60 IBU's on a Sunday of a three day weekend IPA bender, and it's pretty blah.
    pat61 likes this.
  14. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,657) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Society Trader

    Yes. I can only speak for myself, but I think the "hunt" ruined me. I feel like the newer, juicy IPAs hold for the most part; the classics that I used to love, i.e., Stone IPA (original version) & Bell's Two Hearted just don't have that pop that used to wow me. A lot of them feel bland and devoid of hop flavor. I feel like this is a natural part of the process, but it sucks. I also feel like it depends on your consumption level. A casual IPA drinker might be able to cleanse their palate in mere weeks; whereas, for me... all hope is gone. Cheers.
  15. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Ever just frame it as, "these are two different types of beer"?

    It's like trying to compare a hoppy Pils and an NEIPA. Both are very hop forward, just in very different ways. It makes neither less good, however.
  16. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,657) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Society Trader

    I only frame things that require it. Get the picture? :wink:

    In all seriousness, both styles incorporate hops & both have IBUs. I think my point holds well no matter how you slice it. Someone like me has obviously been impacted by the obsession of trying new stuff. Cheers, brother.
    LuskusDelph and winehead247 like this.
  17. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I have needed to do it about five times. There was no choice for 3 weeks in the poll, but that is what it takes to get me back to "normal". No hoppy beers, including stouts, for three weeks is what it takes to reset me. Nowadays I switch up constantly since so many styles of great beer are so easily available and I don't get LTS.
    LuskusDelph, dennis3951 and TongoRad like this.
  18. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (3,001) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    That's the real key, right there.
    LuskusDelph, drtth and cavedave like this.
  19. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (234) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    The shift isn't infinite. If the analogy is spicy food then I'd need to just spray pepper spray directly into my mouth now based on my eating of spicy food to feel any heat. I've reached a plateau in my spicy food shift and I'd expect that I've hit a plateau in my hoppy beer drinking. I don't need to reset my spicy tolerance and I don't need to reset my hoppy tolerance. Indeed I don't perceive much hops or bitterness in say SNPA but who cares? I still taste the hops and bitterness in higher hopped beers. They taste great as they are and there's no need for a reset. I think people are expecting miracles by taking a break from hoppy beers that I don't think is there.
  20. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,678) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    I took a 2 week break from all booze earlier this summer, and definitely accomplished a palate reset.

    I’m still avoiding most of the big IPA’s, preferring to enjoy the nuanaces of pilsners and lagers for now.
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I have reached points where the hoppiest beers don't taste hoppy at all, and the beers become unenjoyable.

    My guess is not everyone gets LTS, but I have no info on that.

    I can tell you that after no hops at all for three weeks my palate was reset like trying hoppy beers for the first time. YMMV
  22. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    Usually a few days does the trick for me for about any style. Long periods in my experience did not offer any greater benefit than say 2-3 solid days. Probably comes down to how much you drink, your lifestyle regarding exercise/diet, etc. We are all different and our bodies will adapt as such.
  23. pat61

    pat61 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    If I am reviewing beer, I go from the lightest flavored to the most strongly flavored. I switch it up fairly frequently. I have a bunch of old standbys for when I just want to drink a beer and not screw around with a review and these range from Belgians to various forms of IPAs or anything I can get my hands on. If I am grilling and need something for pasting, I might even drink an industrial lager. I have spent too many years destroying my palate with a variety of substances where I wouldn't notice a reset if it happened. I am more in need of a reset after a night of chili peppers.
  24. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    There is a similarity between taste buds and muscles.

    If you use a hand held dumbell weight and do a set of 10 reps of a one arm curl you'll have a different impact on the biceps muscle and it will have a shorter recovery time than if you do a set of 30. Thirty reps will have a different impact and shorter recovery time than if you do a set of 100 reps. etc.

    Similarly, the harder and more often you stress your tastebuds with intense bitterness the more they will lose their ability to recognize bitterness and the longer it takes for those tastebuds to recover.
  25. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    While accommodation certainly happens in all of the body's systems that are governed by the nervous system, the special senses accommodate a little differently than do muscles after they are stressed by resistance, as accommodation happens due to an altered threshold for an action potential, while alterations in muscular endurance occur due to changes within the muscle itself, like hypertrophy, and not a change in the neurophysiology of the myoneural junction.
  26. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes. But analogies are not meant to be identities.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  27. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,911) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    3 weeks in Bavaria drinking malty lagers did it for me.
    LuskusDelph, drtth and cavedave like this.
  28. SouthernSips

    SouthernSips Initiate (106) Aug 7, 2018 Mississippi

    I'm forced to beer-fast six months a year. They taste the same when I get home as when I left, but man is it sure cheaper to catch a buzz!
  29. Lahey

    Lahey Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I feel like a hearty sammich would reset my palate most days. I get worn out on styles from time to time, but I never feel like the flavor isn't strong enough. Rather, I've stepped down from mostly 7%+ ipas to more in the 5.5-6.5% range and am enjoying the crisp lightness. The flavor is still full to me. I also switch between hoppy and malty for the most part when I drink, so maybe that has an effect on it.

    Upon further thought I did have a week this spring where some ipas tasted maltier than normal, less hop flavor. I attributed it to cutting the lawn messing with my palate, but maybe it was too much hops in my diet.
    #29 Lahey, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  30. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I need to give this question some more thought. Guess I'll just have to cycle back through a lot of beers but I'm game and take my duties seriously.
    LuskusDelph and Lucular like this.
  31. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,514) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    I have no idea. I don't think I've gone more than a week without an IPA since I started drinking them. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    Sometimes I consider temporarily quitting IPAs, but I never can for long. They're my favorite style of beer, why would I want to stop drinking them, dammit?!?
  32. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Last time into Vt I OD on hops, I returned home with a ton of beers and traded or gave most away. The thought of an ipa made me gag and even a Miller Lite was too much for awhile. I went to wine or Bourbon for over two months. It’ll never happen again, I still love them but I rarely drink them, I just resist most average ipas not worth the palate assault. Mostly Pils and the like now. Now if I come across a really great ipa it’s really a treat.
    GuyFawkes, Lahey and LuskusDelph like this.
  33. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (234) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    I'd assume most if not everyone would have some sort of LTS. As far as I know everyone has a different intrinsic threshold to capsaicin in spicy food and that threshold moves based on capsaicin intake. Likewise in hoppy beers you have a different threshold to lupulin and that threshold most likely moves based on intake. While the effect is similar the biological processes are different. As I understand it capsaicin affects any tissue it comes in contact with whereas bitterness and hoppiness affect your taste receptors and related senses. Other foods you consume will affect your threshold to bitterness so just removing hoppy beers from your diet aren't going to necessarily change your perception of bitterness.

    I'm not doubting that people notice a change in taste of hoppy beers if they take a break from them. My point was more along the lines of the expectation of what will happen if you take a break. Its going to be a different experience for every person who does this and other things such as intake of other bitter food or drinks will affect it as well (as you said YMMV). I think your experience is probably on the extreme side since your shift makes even the hoppiest beers become unenjoyable without a break.
    cavedave likes this.
  34. MikeyBadnews

    MikeyBadnews Initiate (197) Dec 10, 2013 Massachusetts

    I don’t get it at all. It used to be if I was doing a judging I would lay off anything substantial for a week but in the end I found as long as I don’t get ripped late into the night before my palate was pretty much where I needed it to be
  35. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (3,110) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I avoid them only for as long as it takes to get my hands on the next one.
  36. LarryV

    LarryV Poo-Bah (3,409) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts

    I haven't felt the need to reset my palate - hoppy beers are what I enjoy. There's subtle nuances that stand out with each different IPA and I'm happy to experience them. I do drink other styles as well, but inevitably I return to the land of hoppiness.
    dcotom likes this.
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