Monday, February 12, 2007

Beer & Brewing Terminology (3 parts)

This post is for Casey. On second thought, I guess it's for anyone else who may find beer & brewing terms read more like a foriegn language.

Part 1: Basic Beer Terminology

Beer –
· A fermented beverage made from barley, hops, water, and yeast, and sometimes additional ingredients like oats, rye, rice, corn, fruit and honey
Ale –
· A general name for beer made with a top fermenting yeast
· Ales ferment at warmer temperatures and more quickly than lager yeasts
· They convert less of the sugar into alcohol (giving a sweeter, fuller body)
· They produce more aromatic compounds - esters (fruity notes)
Lager –
· lagern ("to store")
· Bottom fermenting yeast strain undergoes cooler temperature ranges
· During the long secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows
· Cooler fermentation produces much lower esters & makes a “crisp/mellow” taste

Barley –
· A grain cultivated since prehistoric times; grown for forage and grain
· A grain malted for use in the mash in the brewing of beer

Malt –
· Malting is a process applied to cereal grains, in which the grains are made to germinate and then quickly dried before the plant develops
Mash –
· The process by which crushed malts and other grains are placed into a vessel and steeped at various temperatures in order to convert the starches in the grains into sugars
Wort –
· The liquid extracted from a mash of malt or malt and adjunct
· Fermented wort equals beer
Hops –
· Hops are the cone-like flowers of the perennial female hop vine
· They are used to balance the sweetness of the malts with the bitter qualities of hop resins
Yeast –
· A single-cell organism with numerous species in nature
· Specific strains of yeast are used by brewers to ferment wort to produce specific beer styles
Fermentation –
· The process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide

The definitions of the previous terms were gathered from various sources including some sources in "Part: 3"

Part 2: Listing of Technical Brewing Terms (for definitions, please refer to the links below)

Primary Fermentation
Secondary Fermentation
SG - Specific Gravity
OG - Original Gravity
FG/TG - Finish/Terminal Gravity
ABV - Alcohol by Volume

Hop Utilization
AAU - Alpha Acid Units
IBU - International Bittering Units
HBU - Homebrew Bittering Units
Bittering Hops
Flavor Hops
Aroma Hops
Dry Hopping

Mash Efficiency
Mash Tun
Decoction Mashing
Infusion Mashing
Immersion Wort Chiller
Lovibond (L)
SRM - Standard Reference Method (3=pale/straw to 35 = black)
Bottle Conditioning
Chill Haze

Part 3: Online sources for beer and brewing terminology

Beer Advocate

Enter any term into the Siebel Institute site

Mike's Big Brewing Glossary! A great site for just about every homebrewing term (very specific long list)

In-depth descriptions of beer styles at the Beer Judge Certification Program site

“The Brewery” has tons of information about home brewing

Hope all of this helps!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good idea Ted, putting down the common terminology and resources. Really valuable stuff to have on hand (especially for a newbie like myself).