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Beer Dictionary
©2007, Bob Ostrander

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AAU - (alpha acid units) - A measurement of the amounts of alpha acid (humulone) in a batch or strain of hops, which may vary from year to year. This reflects the amount of bitterness from the resin in the hops and is actually the percent of alpha acid compared to the weight of the hop flower.

AAU reflects the potential bitterness in hops. The AAU of stored hops diminishes with time which is why hops are usually stored frozen or refrigerated.

Some typical AAU: Saaz - 3%. Fuggles - 4.6%. Cascade - 5.5%. Some varieties vary widely in their AAU such as Chinook which can be 8 to over 12.

See HBU and IBU.

ABV - (alcohol by volume). The standard measure of alcoholic strength in a beverage.

ABW - (alcohol by weight). Different from ABV because alcohol is lighter than water. Also complicated because the density is altered by other substances in beer other than water and alcohol.

The formula to convert the two is (very close to) [ABW = ABV * .8]

acetaldehyde - (C2H4O) - A compound that tastes like green apples. Produced by yeast while making alcohol. Also thought to be involved in hangovers.

acetone - (CH3COCH3) - A chemical compound that tastes like medicine or solvent. Think nail polish remover.

acidic - Sharp flavor. Can be perceived as tart or sour on the side of the tongue. Caused by vinegar, citric, or lactic acids or bacterial contamination.

acidification - Lowering of the pH of wort. Typically the pH of brewing liquor is between 7.0 and 7.5. Water more alkaline that that may be treated with calcium or rarely magnesium.

acid rest - A process of holding the mash at about 95°F to lower the pH. Helps yeast fermentation.

acrospire - The small barley sprout that grows inside the husk during the germination phase of the malting process.

adjunct - Non-grain additives to give wort additional sugars and flavors. Belgian Candi Sugar, Honey, Molasses, and Lactose are used for flavor in many styles. Corn sugar, invert sugar add fermentables and very little flavor. Grains like oatmeal and wheat aren't considered adjuncts since they affect the nature of the beer greatly.

Grains like rice are considered adjuncts since they act much like plain sugars. Grains like corn are used in many styles of beer but when used in lagers by mega-breweries are considered adjuncts by the beer-drinking public.

adsorb - Similar to absorbtion but material is deposited on the surface rather than within the media. This is what takes place during fining.

aeration - Adding oxygen. Normally to wort to help initial fermentation. Aeration can be done with tanked oxygen and an air stone which produces small bubbles with a higher total surface area than can be attained by bubbling through a tube. Homebrewers often aerate wort by shaking the carboy when yeast is added.

aging - The storage of beer in vats, casks, or kegs to improve the flavor.

AHA - (American Homebrew Association) - The major national organization for homebrewers in the US. Founded in 1978 by beer writer Charlie Papazian. Based in Boulder, CO, the AHA is now part of the Brewers Association. web site

airlock - (fermentation lock) - A device that allows carbon dioxide to leave a fermentation vessel but will not allow oxygen to enter. Popular styles are the 3-piece airlock and the S-bubble airlock. Both work by allowing carbon dioxide under very little pressure to bubble through water.

alcohol - The intoxicant in alcoholic beverages. It is created by fermentation. Alcohol in beverages is ethanol, aka ethyl alcohol, aka grain alcohol, aka hydroxyethane. C2H6O.

The most robust yeasts will produce at most about 25% ABV

Alcohol content is expressed as a percentage of the volume (ABV) or, sometimes, weight (ABW) of the beer. Typical

alcoholic - A warming sensory perception of alcohol that can be sharp. Often occurs in the aftertaste of a beer.

ale - Top-fermented beer brewed with Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. Ale is fermented at temperatures above 55° F, warmer than for lager. Ales include Pale Ales, Brown Ales, Porter, Stout, Scottish Ales, Belgian Ales, Kölsch, Alt, Saison, Lambics, and most Wheat Beers.

Ale Conner - An obsolete English community position of official government ale taster. Duties also included ensuring full measure and fair price. London had a figurehead post of Ale Conner until the early 1900s.

all-grain - A homebrew term for beer made entirely from grains rather than malt extracts.

all-malt - Beer produced exclusively from barley malt without other grains such as corn or rice.

amino acid - Organic chemicals that form the building blocks of protein.

amylase - The class of enzyme mainly responsible for breaking down starch to fermentable sugars during malting. Mainly beta-amylase if anyone cares.

anaerobic - An organism that lives without oxygen. Yeast, for instance. Whoops, let's look at that more closely. Yeast can live fine with oxygen but when they don't get any oxygen they then do their fermentation magic.

appellation d'origine contrôllée - International protection for a product so it can be produced only in a set territory. The best known example is Champagne. Examples in the beer world include Berliner Weisse, Kölsch, Trappist, and Newcastle Brown. Note that Anchor Brewing claims trademark on "Steam" which is another thing entirely.

aroma - The part of beer flavor that is immediately noticeable through smell before drinking or sipping.

aroma hops - Hop varieties, often with lower AAU, that give aroma properties to beer. Often used in dry-hopping.

ASCB - American Society of Brewing Chemists. Professional brewers organisation that does studies of beer and sets standards. web site

astringent - Compound that gives a dry, puckering sensation in the mouth. In fact, an astringent does shrink body tissues. Often caused by tannins.

attenuation - The amount (usually percentage) of sugars that have been converted to alcohol by the yeast during fermentation. Less attenuation of a finished beer means more residual sugars. More attenuation results in higher ABV and a thinner body.

apparent attenuation - (OG - FG)  * 100
                                 (OG - 1)

autolysis - When dying yeast cells give off enzymes causing a rubbery taste to beer. Normally only happens when beer remains in the fermenter for more than 2 or 3 weeks.


BAC - (blood alcohol content, blood alcohol concentration, breath alcohol concentration) - A measure of the percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream. Usually measured by electronic examination of breath vapors. Currently .08% is the legal BAC limit for legal driving in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, UK, and the US. A .05% limit is in place in Australia and most of continental Europe. In Japan it's .15%. Other countries, like your results, may vary.

bacteria - One-celled organisms that are normally not wanted during fermentation. Some bacteria are purposely added to wort such as lactobacillus which gives a sour note (the same as the bacteria that produces yoghurt) or brettanomyces bruxellensis, predominately used in making Lambic and Berliner Weisse.

bacterial - An off-flavor description that includes moldy, musty, woody, or vinegary. Normally caused by bacterial infection.

balance - The marriage of sweet maltiness and bitter hoppiness in a beer. Face it, you could be married to June Cleaver or Rosanne Conner but you'd rather be married to Laura Petri.

Balling - see Plato

bar - US: Any on-premises establishment that sells alcohol.

UK: One of usually several rooms in a pub. Public bar, saloon bar, private bar, etc.

All: A counter where beer and drinks are poured. Often with seats or stools for the public's use.

barley - A cereal grain used to provide the fermentable sugars in beer. Barley must be malted before it can be used.

Two basic families of barley are 2-row and 6-row. 2-row is the typical barley used for brewing. 6-row has smaller kernels, less starch, and gives the final beer a more grainy character. 6-row, though, does have more diastatic power which means it is better able to help other starch sources (adjuncts) convert to sugar.

barleycorn - A single seed of the barley plant.

barm - Foam on the surface of fermenting wort. This foam protects the wort from the presence of oxygen, so helping yeast do it's work.

barrel - A container for beer made of stainless steel or wood.

barrel - (bbl) - A unit of measure which, in the US, equals 31 US gallons (26.25 imperial gallons, 117 liters). This is determined by the federal tax collectors.

pin = 1/8 bbl
firkin - 1/4 bbl
kilderkin - 1/2 bbl
hogshead = 1.5 bbl

English barrels equal 36 imperial gallons (163 litres).

beer - A fermented beverage made from malted cereal grain. Yep, pretty broad definition.

"The origin of the word "beer" is uncertain. Etymologically, some linguists believe that there is a connection with the Latin "bibere", which means "to drink". The primitive form of the word was probably either beura or beuza, which again bears a close family likeness to the word beuwu (barley). A further hypothesis adduces the early Sumerian word ‘bapir’, which means beer with a basis of bread."

beer bong - A funnel and a length of tubing.

beer cans - Originally steel with an inner coating , now aluminum. An active collector's association, the BCCA (Brewery Collectibles Club of America) gives an idea of how popular this hobby is the the US. Historical variations of cans include flat-top, cone-top, pull tab but only stay tab cans are made now.

Originators:

Flat Top Gottried Krueger Brewing, Newark, NJ 1935
Cone Top G. Heilemann Brewing, LaCrosse, WI 1935
Pull Tab Pittsburgh Brewing (Iron City) 1963
Stay Tab Falls City Brewing, Louisville, KY 1975

beer engine - See hand pump.

beer pong - A drinking game requiring a bunch of cheap beer, glasses, and a ping pong set or just a table. It involves throwing or hitting ping pong balls into the glasses. The rest should be self-explanatory.

beerstone - A hazy calcium deposit that can be found on brewing equipment that hasn't been properly cleaned by chemicals.

Belgian candi sugar - Beet sugar that has been heated to give a bit of caramelization and crystallized for distribution. A bit of acid (often citric acid) is added during the boiling of the beet sugar to create invert sugar. Sold as light or brown candi sugar, the brown is heated more for more caramelization.

Belgian lace - A white latticework of foam that is left on the sides of a glass.

beta acid - A hop resin that is harsher than alpha acid but isn't normally soluble and very little becomes part of the final beer.

bine - The stem of the hop plant, with or without hop flowers attached.

bittering hops - Hop varieties, usually with fairly high AAU, that give a bitter taste to beer.

bitterness - A primary taste perceived by special receptors at the back of the tongue. Normally this taste is imparted by hop's alpha acids.

BJCP - (Beer Judge Certification Program) - An international association that certifies beer judges and sets style guidelines. web site

body - The mouthfeel of beer that incorporates thickness and viscosity. Proteins and unfermented sugars add body. The density and level of carbonation can also affect the body.

Bohemia - The historical region of eastern Europe now making up the western part of the Czech Republic.

bomber - US slang for a 22oz beer bottle, typically with a screw-top.

boozer - British term for a local pub.

BOP - (Brew on Premises) - A homebrew store that contains brewing equipment available for use by the public. Rare.

bottle conditioned - Beer that has been protected with the addition of a small amount of yeast when bottling. This creates a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The yeast in the bottom of the bottle may cause a sediment that drains out with the last drops of beer. This is not harmful in any way but usually hampers the beer's appearance.

bottom fermented - Lager. Referring to the use of yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum) that tends to drop to the bottom of the fermenting vessel because it resists clumping and releases carbon dioxide, staying heavier than the wort.

bouquet - (nose) - A fancy term for aroma.

braggot - A beer that is made with substantial amounts of honey providing the fermentables. Or a mead that is made with substantial amounts of malt providing the fermentables. A cross between beer and mead. Braggot is sometimes blended at the bar.

breathalyzer - A device for field-testing breath to (roughly) determine blood alcohol content. Some table-top breathalyzers use spectrophotometers but hand-held units use a fuel cells that create a chemical reaction with alcohol to produce an electric current. More popular lightweight models use semiconductor oxide technology.

brettanomyces - The wild yeast strain responsible for Lambic fermentation. Sometimes added to other beer styles to produce a horsey or leathery character.

brewer - A person responsible for brewing beer. The Head Brewer, or Brewmaster, is generally in charge of a commercial brewery. A female brewer was once called a brewster.
 

Brewers Association - An organization that promotes craft brewing in the US. It incorporates the American Homebrewers Association. Puts on the Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference, and the World Beer Cup. web site

brewhouse - (brewery) - The location where beer is made or stored.

brew kettle - (copper) - The vessel in which wort from the mash is boiled with hops.

brew length - The normal amount of wort a brewery will produce in a single batch.

brewpub - An establishment which brews beer and sells it for consumption on-premise. Some brewpubs also sell their beer in kegs and/or bottles although this is prohibited in some jurisdictions. Most brewpubs contain a restaurant.

brewster - A woman who brews beer. Often in Europe the woman was the homebrewer of the household.

bridal ale - A (usually special batch of) beer served for a wedding. In some medieval cultures this beer was sold, raising money for the wedding expenses.

bright beer tank - (conditioning tank) - A vessel in which beer is placed after fermentation to mature, clarify and often carbonated through secondary fermentation.

Brix - see Plato

bung - The cork in the hole in the side (or end) of a keg of beer through which the keg is filled (or served). The hole is also referred to as a bung or bunghole. A shive plugs the filling hole. A tap goes in to serving hole.

Burtonizing - The process of adding minerals, notably calcium and sulfurs, to water to replicate the water found naturally near Burton On Trent, England. This water works best with British Ale Yeast to make Pale Ales.


CAMRA - (Campaign for Real Ale) - The British consumer organization founded in 1971 to promote cask conditioned ale. Presently with over 80,000 paid members. web site

carbohydrate - Organic compounds that include starches and sugars and provide most of beer's caloric nutrients.

Occasional fad diets call for people to reduce carbohydrate intake, leading them to drink "low-carb" watery beers.

carbonation - The amount of carbon dioxide in suspension in a liquid.

carbon dioxide - (CO2) - A gas created during the fermentation process. Carbonation gives beer its effervescence. Yeast farts.

carboy - A glass vessel, normally holding 5 gallons, used to ferment and condition homebrew.

carmelization - Boiling for an extended period to produce a sweet caramel flavor and a deeper copper color in the wort.

caramel malt - (crystal malt) - Malt that has been made by high temperature kilning in a moist atmosphere. This adds color, sweetness and extra body to the final beer. Crystal malt comes in varying degrees such as 10L, 20L, up to 120L (L standing for Lovibond).

carrageen - Irish Moss.
 

cask breather - A device that supplies carbon dioxide to a cask of beer instead of that cask drawing in outside air and therefore oxygen. Use of a cask breather is thought to extend the serving life of a cask of real ale from 3-4 days to 5-6 days, depending on who you ask.

CAMRA does not approve of cask breathers and will not list any pub that uses them in the Good Beer Guide. This policy has been debated by CAMRA members for many years.

cask conditioned - (real ale) - Beer served without forced carbon dioxide pressure. Notably popular in Britain. reference

caustic - Any of several dangerous chemicals used to sterilize brewing vessels.

celcius - A temperature scale where the freezing point of water is 0° and the boiling point is 100°. Developed by Anders Celsius of Sweden in 1742. Also known as the centigrade scale.

To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius: °C=(°F - 32) x 5/9
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: °F=(°C x 9/5) + 32

cellerman - A person responsible for the maintenance, preparation, and filling of beer casks or kegs. Often also involved in the bottling of beer. Large pubs may also have a cellerman to look after the stock.

centrifuge - (whirlpool) - The process of swirling wort as it leaves the lauter tun to help sedimentation drop out and stay in the vessel. Often special baffles are built into the bottom floor of the vessel to improve the efficiency.

cereal - Grassy plants that produce edible seed grains. These include barley, wheat, rye, and oats.

chill haze - A cloudiness that can form in beer served at low temperature. Caused by proteins and polyphenols (tannins) combining. Chill haze is more pronounced in beers with yeast such as Hefeweizens and some bottle conditioned beers. It usually disappears as the beer rises to drinkable temperature.

clarifiers - Agents used to remove yeast and other solids from beer, causing it to drop bright.

closed fermentation - Fermentation in a closed container that precludes or controls oxygen and contamination.

cold break - The coagulation of proteins that happens within wort immediately after the boil. To facilitate this process, wort should be cooled rapidly, usually using a wort chiller.

color - The visual appearance of beer. Measurement is on the SRM scale.

conditioning - Maturation usually done in the aging or lagering process and usually also results in the final carbonation of the beer. Also any method used to protect beer in its delivery vessel.

cold filtering - A process where beer is chilled before filtering in order to encourage the protein molecules to clump together for greater efficiency.

cone - The flower of the hop plant.

contract brewing - Making a specific beer brand at one brewery for another brewery that does not have the capacity to meet demand.

cool ship - A cooling pan used instead of a wort chiller. Notably used by Cantillion in Brussels, where, in an open environment, wild yeasts are exposed to the wort as it cools overnight.

cooperage - A business that makes wooden kegs.

copper - A vessel.

Actually copper is rarely used in brewing vessels because of harmful metal leaching into the beer when heated. For this same reason, iron kettles have disappeared in all but a few rural areas of Africa. Also, lead-free solders must be used in any area that contacts wort or beer.

corn - (maize) - An adjunct used in some mass-market beers and in Pre-prohibition Lagers. Sometimes up to 40% of the grain bill will be flaked maize. Flaked maize is made by a process of partial cooking and shaving. Note this is not sweet corn that people eat, it is field corn normally fed to cattle or used to make Bourbon whiskey, both better uses.

corn sugar - Dextrose or glucose simple sugar. Named such because it is normally derived from corn.

Cornelius keg - (Corney keg) - A stainless steel tank developed by the IMI Cornelius Company to hold soda syrup. Normally holding 5 gallons. Used extensively by homebrewers and by commercial brewers to hold test batches and even yeast.

craft beer - Beer produced by smaller breweries, usually without objectionable adjuncts.

crown cap - The common ordinary bottle cap. Invented by William Painter in 1892 (US patent 468,258). The bottle opener was invented very shortly thereafter. reference

crystal malt - caramel malt.


decoction mash - A multi-stage mashing that involves removing some of the liquid, boiling it, and returning it to the brew kettle. This process produces a beer with a stronger malt flavor. Used mainly for European lager such as Pilsner, Märzen, and Bock. This may be done numerous times for a "double decoction" or "triple decoction". The purpose is to make the sugar extraction more efficient and create melanoidins for a more color and malty character in the finished beer.

density - The weight of a solution compared to the weight of an equal volume of pure water. Measured in Gravity (as in OG, FG), Balling, or Plato.

dextrins - Non-fermentable carbohydrates in malt that give flavor and mouthfeel to beer. Note maltodextrin is extremely sweet and normally is derived from corn starches rather than barley malt.

diacetyl - (butanedione) - A chemical given off by yeast that can impart butterscotch flavor not usually wanted in beer. Avoided by cooling the wort slowly with a "diacetyl rest" to let the chemical be reabsorbed by the yeast. Northern Brown Ales and Chardonnays are the alcoholic beverages most often associated with diacetyl taste.

diastatic power - The ability of the enzymes in a grain to not only convert their own starches into sugars but to extend to convert other grains (such as wheat, rye, or unmalted oats or barley) into sugar.

diatomaceous earth - Filtering material made of silica from single-cell fossils.

dip tube - A tube running from the fitting of a keg down to near the bottom in order to draw all the beer out of the keg.

DMS - ((CH3)2S, dimethyl sulfide) - An aromatic compound that gives a creamed-corn or other vegetable smell. Usually evident more in lagers than ales. Caused by bacterial infection or in condensate in the wort when it is not allowed to escape during boiling.

doughing in - The gradual addition of water to malt in the mash tun to uniformly moisten and prevent dry spots.

draft - (draught) - A method of serving beer by the glass from a keg or cask.

drop bright - The process in which yeast will clump together (settle) in wort creating a clear beer without filtration.

dry - A sharp, unsweet, finish to a beer. Including but not necessarily bitter.

dry hopping - Introducing (additional) hops into a beer anytime after the boil, usually in the secondary fermentation process. Affects the aroma of the beer more than the bitter flavor.

dry malt - Malt extract packaged in dry powder form.


EBC - (European Brewing Convention) - A standards organization that has promulgated yet another scale used to indicate color. Used sometimes in Europe but SRM is more popular worldwide. web site

EBCU - (European Beer Consumers Union) - A consortium of European consumer beer organizations now making up member associations from 12 countries. web site

effervescence - The carbon dioxide or nitrogen bubbles in a beer. Large bubbles give a more effervescent feel while small bubbles seem more creamy.

endosperm - The starchy part of a barley grain that, in nature, feeds the acrospire. It's this starch that is converted to sugar for yeast's feast.

English hops - Hops strains developed in England. Notably Brewer's Gold, Challenger, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, and Northdown. Often notable due to their "earthy" qualities.

entire - On archaic term for beer brewed from first, second, and third runnings of the mash as opposed to parti-gyle brewing. Entire Butt was an example of this process.

enzymes - Proteins that cause bio-chemical reactions in other proteins. Important ones in the brewing process include:

  • diastase, dextrinase, glucanase - Classes of amylase enzymes that break the bonds that hold starch molecules together.

  • proteolytic - Enzymes that break down complex proteins into simpler forms.

esters - Organic compounds that give fruity flavor and aroma to beer. Some are identifiable as apple, banana, berry, or pear, etc. Formed by the interaction of acids and alcohol. Some yeast strains also produce esters. Can be an annoying flaw but some beer styles are enhanced by esters (German wheat beers normally have clove and banana esters).

estery - An aroma or flavor similar to a flower or fruit.

ethanol - (ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, hydroxyethane, C2H6O) - "Good" alcohol formed by yeast and sugar.

extract - Condensed wort packaged and sold to homebrewers. Extract brewing requires no handling of grains or mashing, just augmentation and fermentation.


false bottom - A plate or grid at the bottom of a lauter tun that sieves out solids from the mash. Similar in concept but more efficient than a "wort collection manifold, which is a system of perforated pipes.

fahrenheit - A temperature scale where the freezing point of water is 32° and the boiling point is 212°. Developed by Daniel Fahrenheit of Poland in 1724. The actual 0° and 100° points of his scale are lost in legend but it's possible the high end was supposed to be the normal temperature of the human body 98.6°F.

To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius: °C=(°F - 32) x 5/9
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: °F=(°C x 9/5) + 32

fermentation - The process of yeast converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

fermenter - A vessel in which fermentation takes place.

FG - Final Gravity - The density of the wort at the end of the fermenting process. See OG.


Frame filter from
Scott Laboratories.

filter - A system for removing yeast and other sediments from beer after fermentation and before conditioning. Beer is now normally forced through filter pads made of paper or paper coated with diatomaceous earth (a seashell-based product). This may be done in addition to using finings and centrifuging to roughly clear the beer. See also cold filtering.

finings - (clarifiers) - An agent added to wort at the end of fermentation to make solids such as yeast cells clump together so the beer will drop bright. Often Irish moss, isinglass, or gelatin are used.

finish - The lingering aftertaste after swallowing beer.

finishing hops - See aroma hops.

firkin - A Cask holding 9 (British) gallons. ¼ Barrel. 72 (British) pints. Often called a "nine". This used to be the same measure as a Puncheon and a Tertian but those terms aren't used much anymore, in fact Puncheon became a 70-gallon measure somewhere along the line.

first runnings - The liquid extracted from the first run of water through the mash. See parti-gyle.

flocculation - The process of clumping together of yeast into flocs. Changes in flocculation affect the performance of yeast while alive. When dead, yeast that is highly flocculated is easier to remove and the beer drops bright easier.

floor malting - A traditional malt house that spreads barley on the floor for germination.

foam- Head.

fructose - A highly-fermentable sugar that comes from fruit or sometimes honey.

fruit - Fruit or vegetable matter added to beer before or after fermentation to affect flavor. Sometimes whole fruit or fruit pulp is used, sometimes a fruit syrup is added, especially after fermentation.

fusel alcohol - A bad alcohol that that can form when fermentation occurs at very high temperatures. Fusel is German for "bad liquor".


gallon - 4 quarts. 8 pints. Defined by Queen Anne in 1707 as 282 cubic inches of liquid in Britain which is actually 1.65% bigger than an Imperial Gallon today.

gelatin - A fining agent.

gelatinization - A chemical reaction that occurs during the boil that breaks starch molecules apart and makes them soluble in water.

germ - The embryo of a grain of barley.

germination - The start of enzyme development during malting.

ginger beer - Nope, not a beer but it is flavored with fermented ginger.

globulin - A protein that produces chill haze.

glucose - A highly fermentable sugar such as dextrose.

grain bed - The grain in a mash vessel that filters water during a sparge.

grain bill - The schedule of grains and adjuncts in a brew. This includes the amount of each grain and specific instructions for mashing.

grain mill - A mechanism that grinds grain or cracks the outer husk. Usually constructed with two rollers that can be positioned to a size slightly less than the thickness of the grain.

grainy - A taste of raw grains. A coarse mouthfeel.

gravity - see OG. One milliliter of water weighs one gram.

gravity dispense - The service of real ale from a cask by a font or faucet without needing to push the beer uphill by carbon dioxide or pull it up by vacuum pressure via a hand pump.

grist - Malt which has been ground. Actually grist is grain that has been separated from the chaff and is ready to be ground but that definition applies more to cooking.

Also the grain in the mash.

grist mill - A place of business that grinds grain.

grits - Ground corn or rice. Also processed grain that has been de-husked with the germ removed.

growler - A, usually, half-gallon glass container sold by brewpubs to facilitate taking draft beer home. Beer will stay fresh in a growler for a few days but should be drunk within a day of being opened.

Originally, a growler was an open pail of beer. Both uses are North American in origin.

gruit - Herbs used in medieval beers. Gruit was replaced by hops between the 11th and 16th centuries. Heather, mugwort, sweet gale, and yarrow were often used. More recently anise, caraway, cinnamon, ginger, juniper, nutmeg, and pine needles have been used for spicing beers.

gypsum - Calcium sulphate (CaSO4). Used to alter water chemistry or acidify the mash.


half barrel - (kilderkin) - The normal size of a keg of draft beer as delivered to pubs.
 


CC Model hand pump
 from UK Brewing Supplies.

hand pump (also known as a beer engine or a hand pull) - A device for dispensing draft beer using a vacuum pump operated by hand. OK, we admit sometimes electric pumps provide the vacuum but most are operated by a lever pushed by the handle. The use of a hand pump allows cask-conditioned beer to be served without the use of pressurized carbon dioxide to force it uphill. A hand pump is most often used to serve Real Ale.
 

handle - A beer glass or mug with a handle. Often a dimpled mug.

hard water - Water that, opposed to soft water, contains more amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.

HBU - Homebrew Bittering Units. A measure of the total bitterness from hops in a batch of beer. The formula is

[Alpha Acid Units * Ounces of hops]

See AAU and IBU.
 

head - The foam on the top of a poured beer. Usually white but can be tan, brown, and we've even seen some distinctly pink. Varies from tightly-packed (think Guinness) from a nitrogen dispense to thin or non-existant.

Too much head on a beer results in a "short pour" and a ripoff of the consumer.

head retention - A beer's ability to hold a head.

head space - The air (or hopefully carbon dioxide) at the top of a filled, sealed bottle or can.

heat exchanger - A device in which the wort cools rapidly. See wort chiller.

hefe - The German word for yeast. Hefeweizens have some yeast in the bottle or keg meaning they are bottle conditioned and are the most popular style of German wheat beer.

hogshead - A Cask holding 54 (British) gallons. 1½ Barrels. 432 (British) Pints. Not really used anymore, just a term used in the names of pubs.
 

homebrew - Beer made by a amateur brewer, ostensibly at home. The UK legalized homebrewing in 1963, Australia in 1972, the US in 1979.

homebrew kits - "Brewery in a box" products that contain liquid malt extract, hops, yeast, and all the ingredients for a batch of home-made beer.

extract brewing - Homebrewing methods using liquid malt extract with the addition of hops, yeasts, etc. based on the homebrewer's recipe.

partial mash brewing - Homebrewing method of using liquid malt extract with the addition of other mashed grains to produce the wort.

full mash brewing - (all grain brewing) - Homebrewing and professional brewing method of creating wort from malted barley and other grains via mashing.

honey - Bee vomit. An adjunct that adds sugars to wort and sweetness to the final beer. Honey is the base fermentable in Mead, a close relation to beer.

hop back - A vessel with a sieve used to strain out hop flowers and trub (sediment).

hop extract - A liquid oil-based solution that contains the lupilins, thus the alpha and beta acids, of the hop cone. Used in brewing kits and by some extract brewers. Normally reserved for bittering hops which are added at the beginning of the boil but hop extract of aroma hops is also available.

hop pellets - Compressed powdered hop cones.

hop plugs - Hops that have been compressed into (usually 1/2 ounce) disks.

hop pocket - A burlap sack about 6 ft high that is used to store and transport hops. These weigh about 200 lbs.

hops - The blossoms of the hop plant, which is a climbing herb (Humulus lupulus). Only the cones from the female vine are used in making beer, giving a bitter taste and aroma. Also contains some tannin which helps clarify the beer. The alpha acids that create the bitterness also help preserve beer.

hop schedule - A recipe for adding specific varieties of hops to the boil at distinct times to produce differing amounts of bitterness and aroma.

hop tea - A brew of hops in hot water that is added to a secondary fermenter to accomplish dry hopping.

hot break - A coagulation of proteins and tannins that happens at a specific temperature during boiling.

hot liquor tank - A vessel used in a brewery to heat and hold hot water for use in the mashing process.

husk - The outer layer surrounding a grain. Husks from malted barley aid in the mashing process by preventing clumping. They also give flavors such as tannins.

hydrometer - A device to tell the density of a liquid. Normally a weighted tube with a printed scale. There are also digital hydrometers. Also called a densimeter. Invented by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit of the temperature scale fame. First used to determine alcohol content in 1705 by M. Gay-Lussac.


IBU - International Bittering Units. A industry-standard measure of the alpha acid bitterness in a given volume of beer. Based on 1 part per million of ishumulone, the bittering acid derived from hops. IBU takes into account the effective utilization of the hops - typically a 1-hour boil will extract about 25% of the alpha acids. The formula is

Alpha Acid Units * Ounces of hops * % utilization of the hops
                              gallons of wort * 1.34

Also see AAU and HBU.

infection - The introduction of bacteria or other bad microbes into wort. Usually caused by improper sanitation. Can happen during bottling or kegging also.

infusion mash - A traditional single-step method of mashing at one temperature, as opposed to step mashing or decoction mashing.

inoculation - The pitching of yeast or bacteria to wort.

invert sugar - A mixture of glucose and fructose that is more soluble than either and therefore easier to ferment.

iodine test - A method of determining whether all the starches in a mash have been converted to sugar. Simply put some of the mash on a white surface and add a drop of iodine. The iodine will change color in the presence of starch.

Irish moss - A red algae (chondrus crispus - seaweed) that is used as a clarifier added to wort during the boil.

isinglass - A clarifier made from the swim bladders of fish, mainly sturgeon and cod. Normally added to the conditioning tank.

isomerization - A chemical change to hop resins that make them water-soluble.
 


jockey box - Beer dispensing system that runs beer from a keg through coils immersed in ice. This system cuts down on foaming and is cheap and easy to make from scratch or from kits available at homebrew stores.


kanne - A German stein of 1.5-litre capacity. Made of glass or sometimes stoneware.

keg - A closed metal barrel-shaped container for beer with a capacity of 15.5 gallons (1/2 barrel). A half keg (7.75 gallons) is referred to as a “pony keg.”

kegerator - A refrigerator modified to fit a keg of beer and an included tap. kits and commercial models  - DIY instructions

kegger - A fun party at a fraternity house.

kegging - A fun job in a brewery of cleaning and refilling kegs.

kettle - (brew kettle, boiler) - A vessel used to heat wort.

kilning - Drying germinated barley to stop the process of converting starches to sugars. If continued produces roast malts.

köbe - A waiter in Cologne.


Kranz with 12 Kolsch stange
plus 6 in the middle.
Picture by Tim Bartel

kranz - A tray used in Cologne to serve Kölsch. These hold 12 stange (straight-sided 200ml glasses) and are carried by the central handle by köbes (waiters).

krausen - (barm) - The foam which appears on top of fermenting beer.

krausening - A traditional German method of secondary fermentation where some fresh wort that is at the peak of fermentation is added to beer that has finished fermenting and is ready for conditioning, thus adding more fermentable sugars and yeast and re-starting fermentation. Often small batches are made to krausen a production batch. Typically up to 20% of the final product is from this fresh wort.

kilderkin - A half-barrel of beer.
 


lactic acid - Derived from lactobacillus. Gives the final beer a sour character. Used in Lambics, Berliner Weisse, and other beers.

lactose - Sugars from milk. Largely unfermentable, leaving a sweet character.

lagering - A German word lager means "store". Used to describe the act of conditioning beer by cold storage (40° - 45°F). This process reduces the amount of many "off" flavors including diacetyl, acetaldehyde, and sulfur. Typically German lagers spent about 30 days in storage. Mega-brewers in the US are lagered for about 3 weeks at slightly higher temperatures.

lauter tun - The vessel used to separate the barley husks from the clear liquid wort. Often combined with the mash vessel. Usually contains a false bottom.

lightstruck - Damage due to UV light. Can cause beer to be skunky or cloudy and, in extreme conditions, chunky. Those Corona ads on a beach feature lightstruck beer since pale lagers in clear bottles will be harmed after exposure to sunlight of as little as five minutes. Most of the damage is caused by reactions to hops-derived acids when exposed to UV.

lined glass - An oversized glass with an etched line at the pint and/or half-pint mark. Primarily used in England and revered by CAMRA to prevent short measure serves.

liquor - Brewer's term for water.

liter -  (Brit: litre) - The main metric unit of volume. 1.06 US liquid quarts.

lock - A one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide to leave a vessel and prevent outside air from entering. See airlock.

longneck - A slang word for the traditional tall beer bottle sold in the US until the 1990s, non-disposable and sold in strong cardboard cases of 24 (the cases were also sold with a deposit). Now used to describe any full-length 12oz bottle.

Lovibond - A measurement of beer color developed by Joseph Lovibond in 1921. Units range from 1 to 600. The results are similar to SRM except for very dark beers or beers of reddish hue. Measuring Lovibond requires a device he invented called a "tintometer" and now called a colorimeter in the electronic age. reference

The main use of the Lovibond unit is to quantify potential color of malts. Always given when a malt family covers a range such as caramel malts.
reference
 

lupulin - The yellow powder on hop cones that contains most of the bitterness.
 


mallard reactions - Chemical reactions during malt kilning that produce melanoidins.

malt - Barley which has been soaked in water, allowed to sprout and then dried. This process, malting, is necessary to alter the starch in the barley so it is appetizing to yeast. There are many different styles of malt differentiated mainly by the amount of heat used in the drying process. Note that wheat is also sometimes malted for use in brewing.

malternative - A malt-based drink that usually contains grain neutral spirits (vodka) with a fruit taste. Normally aimed at younger drinkers.

malt extract - Commercially-available syrup made from wort with excess water removed. Used by homebrewers and some micro-breweries.

malt house - A business that malts barley.

malt kiln - (oast) - a vessel or building where barley is malted.

malt liquor - A strong beer. Originally cheap beer marketed in the US when no beverage above 5% ABW could be called a beer.

maltodextrin - Unfermentable sugars that come from corn or any other starch. It does not come from malt.

maltose - (C12H22O11) - The water-soluble, fermentable sugar contained in malt.

mash - the substance that is produced by mashing.

mashing - The process of soaking and heating malt in water to extract the fermentable sugars. Used to be called doughing.

mash tun - A tank where mashing is done.

mass - A German stein of 1-litre capacity. Made of stoneware or glass.

megabrewery - A large industrial brewery that produces vast amounts of beer in cask, keg, bottled, and/or canned form.

melanoidin - Proteins coming from starch that have high levels of pigmentation, affecting the color and sweet malt taste of the final beer. Gives beer a dark fruit flavor of plums, raisins, etc.

microbrewery - A craft brewery that, by legal definition in most places, produces less than 15,000 bbl of beer per year. Now used to describe breweries contained in brewpubs. Also applied to regional breweries that are larger than that artificial limit but still have a craft beer image such as Breckenridge, Flying Dog, etc.

milk of amnesia - An old British term for a strong ale.

minerals - Metallic elements normally found in water. Some are detrimental and some are necessary in the brewing of beer.

modification - The measure of how far germination was allowed during malting.

mouthfeel - The sensation of beer in the mouth. This may include "slippery", "oily", "full", "thin", "rich", etc.
 


naturtrüb - German for "turbid". Normally describing an unfiltered beer as opposed to a hefe.

nitrogen - (N) - An gas that, in beer, produces small, tasteless, bubbles and a tight head. Notably used to pressure-dispense dark English ales such as Stout. Guinness and other Stouts in cans are served under nitrogen pressure via a widget. Actually gas in a nitro-dispense systems is rapidly becoming a mixture of about 75% nitrogen and 25% carbon dioxide.

Noble hops - A traditional name for some major hop varieties grown in Germany and central European countries. Hallertauer, Tettnanger, Spalt, and Saaz are the four usually recognized as "Noble" and sometimes then only if they are grown in their home areas.

no-rinse sanitizer - (iodophor) - Iodine-based sanitizer that is tastless and harmless. Equipment sanitized does not need to be rinsed of the sanitizer. Duh.

Northwest hops - Hops bred and (usually) grown in Oregon and Washington states in the US. Most give a citric aroma and/or taste. Northwest hops include Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Galena, and Simcoe.



Oast house in Kent.
Photo courtesy Colin Ballard

oast - (malt kiln) - The traditional building where malting is done. A true oast house is round with a tall conical roof and a rotating vent. Most are now converted to private dwellings.

off flavor - Any bad or inappropriate flavor in beer.

OG - Original Gravity - The density of the wort at the beginning of the fermenting process. Expressed as a factor of the weight of water. Light lagers may have an OG of 1.030 and Barleywines may be over 1.080. 1.030 indicates wort that is 3% denser than water.

The OG determines the potential alcoholic strength of the final beer. The Finishing Gravity (FG) determines the total attenuation which determines the alcoholic content and mouthfeel of the finished beer.
reference

oldsance - Someone who stops John Cleese on the street and demands that he does a funny walk.

open fermentation - Fermentation done in  non-sealed vessels. This requires a sterile environment or is sometimes done to purposely allow wild yeasts to inoculate the wort, especially in the brewing of Lambics in Belgiam.

oxidized - A flavor fault caused by oxygen leakage around a cap or bung or by excessive head space in a bottle. Notably causes an aroma of wet cardboard.

oxygen - (O) - Necessary for most life on this planet (including humans and yeast). It's bad in finished beer because it allows growth of bacteria.


parti-gyle - A method of brewing two (or more) batches of beer from a single batch of malt. The first runnings are used to make a strong beer such as a Barleywine. Subsequent running and sparging is used to make a lower-gravity beer such as a Small Beer.

pasteurization - The process of heating finished beer to a boil for a short time to kill any residual bacteria, thus increasing the shelf life. Most mega-brewers and a few craft brewers pasteurize their beer. Discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1862. Accomplished by heating to about 165°F (73°C) for 15 to 30 seconds.

peat - Partially decayed vegetable matter found in bogs. Peat is flammable and peat fires are sometimes used in the malting process to impart an earthy character and sometimes an iodine flavor to the malt.

PET bottle - A bottle made from polyethylene terephthalate. Being clear, light, strong, recyclable, and basically inert it is used in soda bottles and, in Europe, beer bottles.

pH - A measure of acidity of a liquid. Actually stands for "potential hydrogen". 7 is neutral, below that is acidic, above that is alkaline.

phenolic - A flavor or aroma like plastic or like a hospital. Related to a clove quality.

picnic tap - A beer dispensing mechanism that fits on kegs. Specifically with a hand-operated air pump replacing the carbon dioxide. Normally with a plastic tube and tap attached.

pin - A Cask holding 4½ (British) gallons. 1/8th Barrel. 36 (British) Pints. This is half the size of a normal cask used in bars and often is used for smaller-selling beers such as those much stronger or more expensive than normal.

pint - A measure of beer. 16 ounces (473ml) in the United States. 20 ounces (568ml) in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, etc. A pint is the normal serving size in the U.K. and the normal serving size of most US brewpubs. In Flanders, a pint is 250ml. In France a pinte is 952ml.

First, remember the gallon, pint, and fluid ounce are units of volume, not liquid. The pint started out sub-unit of a bushel of grain, there being 8 gallons in a bushel and 8 pints in a gallon, so 1/64th of a bushel.

Then, in 1707, the British wine gallon (Queen Anne's gallon) was defined as the volume of a barrel 6 inches deep and 7 inches in diameter, 231 cubic inches. Thus the gallon became rounded to 128 ounces, 16 ounces for a pint. We still use that in the US.

In the UK that all got changed by the Weights & Measures Act in 1824 that settled the Imperial Gallon at 160 fluid ounces (the volume taken up by 10lb of distilled water). 1/64th of that is 20 ounces. Thus beers are bigger in Britain and the Commonwealth countries.

We don't make this stuff up, honest.

PINT - (Vereniging Promotie Informatie Traditioneel Bier) - The beer consumers association of the Netherlands. web site

pitch - To add yeast to wort.

Plato - (Degrees Plato, Balling, Brix) - A scale of density of wort devised by Karl Balling in 1843 and improved by Fritz Plato. Expressed in degrees that equal the percentage of sugar suspended in water.

OG = (Degrees Plato * 4) + 1.
                 1000

Wort at 10° Plato has 10% sugars by weight and equal 1040 OG.

The Brix scale was developed by Antoine Brix that gives degrees equal to the grams of sugar present in 100 grams of liquid.

pub - An establishment serving beer and/or other alcoholic beverages for consumption on premise. The term is from England and is the short for “public house”.

publican - The owner or manager of a pub. Not to be confused with a republican.

Polyclar - A trade name for a finings made from microscopic plastic beads.

poly-pin - A pin-sized box of beer with a plastic liner often sold for home consumption. Beer sold in poly-pins must be drunk immediately upon opening since there is no supporting structure to keep the carbon dioxide in suspension.

pony keg - 1/4 barrel or half of a standard keg. Easier to haul up and down the front steps of a fraternity.

pop-top - The now-common can style with a push-pull non-detachable tab. Invented by Ermal Fraze of Dayton, OH in 1977. reference

porterine - A caramel color made from corn syrup that as used in the bad old days of US brewing to turn ordinary lager into Porter. It is still being marketed and occasionally used to make small color corrections to commercial beers.

pottle - 1/2 Gallon. Try using that in everyday conversation.

primary fermentation - The first fermentation caused by initial pitching of yeast into wort.

priming sugar - Sugar added to a conditioning tank, keg, or bottle to start secondary fermentation. Too much priming sugar will over-carbonate the beer or cause a possibly dangerous bottle explosion.

proof - ABV times 2. 100 proof equals 50% ABV. Not usually used when talking beer but the normal measure of alcohol in distilled spirits.

proteins - Organic compunds made up of amino acids. The stuff that life is made of. Some proteins are enzymes that cause biochemical reactions between other proteins.

albumin - Large water-soluble proteins.
globulins - Non-soluble proteins.
peptones - Medium sized water-soluble proteins.
polypeptides - Small water-soluble proteins.

pull-top - The now-obsolete can style with a removable tab. Invented by Ermal Fraze of Dayton, OH in 1959. reference


quart - 2 pints. Stuff you should have learned in school.

quarter - (British) 64 Gallons. 1/4 of a Tun. Also 336 pounds of barley.

quaff - The whole idea behind beer.


racking - Moving beer from one vessel to another. Also the separation of yeast from beer by drawing off liquids while yeast cells stay in the bottom of the first vessel.

rathskeller - A beer hall usually located in the basement of a German city hall (rathaus).

real ale - (cask conditioned ale)

regional brewery - A brewery that distributes its products mainly throughout a local region. They are usually over the 15,000 bbl per year artificial limit of a microbrewery.

Reinheitsgebot - A German (Bavarian) law from 1516 that decreed beer must contain only barley, hops, and water. Altered over the years.

rest - A time during mashing where the mash is held at a constant temperature in order to encourage enzyme extraction from grain. A rest may also be used such as a "diacetyl rest" that allows time for compounds to be re-absorbed into wort.

root beer - Nope, not beer. Flavored carbonated water.

rye - A grain similar to wheat that imparts a drier and spicier flavor. Used in Roggenbier.


saccharification - The conversion of starch to sugars in the mash.

sanitization - The never-ending process of cleaning brewery equipment.

Sankey - The common fitting for beer kegs in the US. Accommodates both beer (out) and carbon dioxide (in) lines in one twist-on appliance.
 

schooner - A heavy bowl/ball-shaped glass usually holding 16 ounces. (near right)

secondary fermentation - Additional fermentation at the brewery, in casks, or in bottles. Additional sugars or yeasts are added to the beer to start this fermentation.

sediment - Yeast and other solids at the bottom of a vessel of beer, be it a tun, vat, barrel, cask, bottle, or glass. Many beer styles are served with sediment. Not to be confused with trub.

seidel - A German beer mug usually holding 1/2 liter. (far right)

session ale - A low-strength beer meant to be consumed in multiples during an entire pub session. Coined when Britain generally allowed pubs to be open only in two sessions, say from 10am to 2pm and again from 6pm to 10pm.

shelf life - The amount of time a beer can tolerate in a can, keg, or bottle and still be tolerable. Light lagers have a short shelf life of about 4 months. Some microbrewery beers that are not pasteurized have even shorter shelf lives. Bottle conditioning, ABV, hop levels, and many spices increase shelf life. Most very strong beers such as Imperial IPAs and Barleywines can be stored for many years, even decades.

shive - The plug in a bunghole. Shives in Real Ale casks have a small hole in the center to receive the spile.

skimming - Taking some yeast from the top of an ale. Done late during fermentation to save some yeast for future brews. The tool used is called a skimming oar.

skunk - The aroma and taste of beer that has been lightstruck. Named because it smells like skunk or cat spray.

soft water - Water that, opposed to hard water, contains only small amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.

solventy - A flavor and aroma like acetone (fingernail polish remover). Caused by high fermentation temperatures.

sour - A primary taste registered along the sides of the tongue. Is acidic or vinegary. Stronger than tart.

sparge - to spray grist with hot water in order to extract more soluble sugars (maltose.) This takes place after the first running of the mash and often continues by recirculating the wort through the mash many times.

sparkler - A tight nozzle on the beer dispense tube that aerates the beer and produces a thick head. This also accentuates the bitter aroma of the beer. Normally used on extended "swan neck" to serve Real Ale. The swan neck allows the pourer to start at the bottom of the glass so foaming is less of a problem.

It is thought by many that sparklers should only be used on beers of the style of the north of England and beers from the south are more delicately hopped so a sparkler will leave a bland beer while much of the bitterness goes into the head.

specific gravity - A measure of beer’s density in relation to the density of water. When fermentation begins the wort's density is called original gravity (OG). The density of alcohol is lower than that of water so the specific gravity drops as fermentation takes place.

spice - Many styles of beer are flavored with spices, notably Curaçao orange peel used in Belgian Wits. Coriander and anise are also popular.

spile - A wood peg inserted into the shive of a Real Ale cask. Spiles are made with different porosity to allow varying amounts of air to enter the cask. During the first few days of venting before serving a very porous spile or one with a vent through the center that can be attached to a tube to control foam. Harder spiles are used as the ale matures.

SRM - (standard reference method) - A system of measurement of color intensity or, more properly, the amount of light absorbed by the beer. The higher the SRM, the darker the beer. Budweiser is about 2.0. Bass is about 10. A porter may be up to 35 and an opaque stout about 70. Measurement is complicated by particulates in cloudy beers such as hefe-weizens and the lighting used.

stange - A 200ml straight-sided glass used in Cologne to serve Kölsch. Usually carried by a köbe in a kranz (tray) which holds 12 stangen.

steep - The process of soaking hops, spices, adjuncts, and specialty grains in wort. Usually done in the boiler or fermentation vessel.

step-infusion mashing - Varying the temperature of the water during the mashing process. This releases more starches from malt and adjuncts. See also decoction mash.

stubby - Bottles that are shorter and fatter than longneckers, still holding 12oz. Think Red Stripe.

stuck fermentation - The awful happening of a batch of beer not  fermenting even though a perfectly good batch and amount of yeast was pitched.

stuck mash - The awful happening of a grain bed being compressed during sparging to the point that the wort will not run through it. Generally this only happens with mashes containing a large amount of wheat.

suds - Originally soapy water. Slang for the foam (head) on top of beer because it looks like soap suds. Then it became slang for beer itself.

sulfury - An aroma of rotten eggs or burning match heads caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Some yeast strains produce this compound at certain temperatures.

swan neck - A beer dispense tube that is elongated in order to reach to the bottom of a (pint) glass. Used in Britain to serve real ale, notably ale from the north of England.

sweet - A primary taste registered on the front of the tongue.
 


tannin - An astringent, bitter tasting compound found in tea leaves, red wine, and tree bark. A trace of tannin is also present in hops.

tap - Tap a keg. On tap. Tap beer. Draft beer from the tap. A style of dancing very hard to accomplish after tapping a keg.

terminal gravity - (Final Gravity)

Toby jug - Ceramic figurine used as a pitcher for pouring beer at the bar. Made by many firms, Toby jugs are normally of a seated man holding a beer and a pipe and wearing a tricorn hat that doubles as the spout. Inspired by and named after the character from Twelfth Night, Sir Toby Belch.

tonne - 2.2 bbl. 68.2 US gallons.

top fermented - Ale. Brewing with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that tends to go toward the top of the fermentation vessel because it clumps together enough to trap some carbon dioxide and make it lighter than wort.

torrification - Rapidly heating grain so it puffs up like popcorn. Often used with wheat which is then sliced, or flaked, to enhance steeping properties.

tower brewery - A multi-story brewery that eliminates pumps by having the process follow gravity downhill. Malt is hoisted to the very top floor. It goes down to the mash tuns to be mixed with water from the hot liquor tanks. One floor down are the boiling vats. The wort goes downstairs again through a cooler to the fermenter. It finally travels one more flight down to the casking or bottling line. Examples in its native land, England, include Harvey and Son, Hook Norton, and Wadworth.

This method is also popular with homebrewers who can set up a 5-gallon tower brewery in one room.


Hook Norton brewery, Oxfordshire

Trappist beer - An appellation of beer from one of the (now 8) breweries in Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany that are within the abbey and within the control of the monks. These are Achel, Chimay, Koningshoeven (La Trappe), Mariawald, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren. Styles range from Blonde Ale through Belgian Tripel.

Note that Koningshoeven lost the Trappist appellation from 1999 through 2005 when they rented the brewery to an outside brewer, Bavaria.

trub - Sediment made up of barley proteins that is removed from the wort in the boiler.

turbidity - Suspended sediment or proteins.

tun - 256 Gallons.


ullage - Headspace in a bottle, cask, or keg of beer.

undermodified - An incomplete modification of the starches in the barley endosperm. This creates a malt has more proteins but less enzymes to break down the starches. Useful in some European lagers and US Pre-prohibition pilsners.


victualler - Fancy British term for a publican.

viscosity - The degree of mouthfeel.

vitamin B - (C10H16N2O3S) - Found in liver, dairy products, and yeast byproducts such as beer. Other Vitamin B compounds from yeast include Thiamine (Vitamin B1 - C12H17CIN4OS), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6 - C18H11NO3), and Niacin (C5H4NCOOH).

vorlauf - The German word for sparging.


water - (H2O) - Geez, you should have learned this in grade school.

wheat - A grain much like barley that gives a lighter and distinct flavor. Used in German weizens, Belgian wits, Lambics, and Berliner Weisse.

whirlpool - A configuration at the bottom of a vessel to separate trub from liquid during emptying. When the wort is stirred in a circular motion the trub settles in the relatively calm in the middle while the liquid is drained off at the edge. Often baffles are placed in the vessel to enhance the effect.

widget - A small hollow ball put into cans of beer with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide. The widget has a tiny hole which fills with pressurized beer and when the can is opened some beer squirts out the hole like a high-pressure nozzle, creating very small bubbles which impart a creamy mouthfeel. Patented by John Anthony Carey in 1972, British patent 1266351. The first widget cans were introduced to the world in 1989 after much development at the Guinness factory.

The resulting cascading effect of the nitro-bubbles looks like they are going downward in the glass. This is actually true. The bubbles rising in the center of the glass force liquid and some bubbles to flow downward at the edge of the glass.

The widget won a Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1991 and was voted in a poll in England in 2003 as the greatest technological invention of the previous 40 years. Widget cans are also being used for other beverages such as iced coffee. Many other brewers use widgets on stouts and other ales (Boddington's Pub Ale) since the patent has now expired.

Note that at first the can and contents needed to be cold when opened or massive overflow would occur. The "floating widget" introduced in 1997 fixed this problem.

The patent application explains the whole widget thing more obtusely and with many less periods.

A packaged beverage is in the form of a liquid containing gas in solution, sealed into a non-releasable container having a main compartment and a smaller subsidiary compartment, and comprising a predetermined volume of the liquid carried in the main compartment under pressure from gas in a headspace above the liquid substantially in equilibrium with the gas in solution in the liquid, and a charge of gas under pressure in the subsidiary compartment, the subsidiary compartment communicating with the main compartment through a fine aperture constituting a restricted flow jet nozzle and located below the surface of the liquid, the arrangement being such that when the headspace above the liquid is suddenly relieved, gas from the charge will vent through the jet nozzle into the liquid, emerging as fine bubbles and acting to "seed" the formation of further fine bubbles in the liquid as the gas evolves out of solution from the liquid.

wild yeast - Airborne, naturally occurring yeast. Notably used in the production of Lambics.

wort - The sweet liquid which is created from the mashing and boiling process. When wort is cooled and fermented it is called beer.

wort chiller - A device used to cool wort from the boiler as it is being pumped into a fermenting vessel. These range from large, beautiful old copper monstrosities through industrial stainless steel appliances, to homemade copper tubing concoctions. They all pass cold water over a tube through which the wort passes.

A counterflow wort chiller has one tube inside another. The wort passes through the inner tube and cold water through the outer tube in the opposite direction. Very effecient.

Immersion chillers consist of a simple coil of tubing that is placed in the wort while cold water is passed through.
 


Old wort chiller in the Bamberg brewery museum. Wort runs through the inside while water runs over the outside of the copper tubes.


A home-made counterflow wort chiller using a coil of copper tubing encased in a garden hose. Complete with flow control and thermometer.

Wyeast - Wyeast Laboratories is the largest and most influential company developing and distributing yeast for beer and wine.


XXX - X is often used as a notation for strength of beer Ballantine, Boag, Catlemaine, Mackeson, and Molson have used XXX in brand names. Wadworth goes all out with 6X ale.

Supposedly one, two, or three "X"s chalked on beer casks indicated the amount of tax paid on the cask. Three "X"s indicated a stronger beer. Another theory links the "X"s to parti-gyle brewing where the first running was strong beer (XXX), the second producing common beer (XX) and subsequent runnings making small (or child's) beer (X).


yard - A novelty glass drinking vessel approximately 36 inches high. These have a large round base and a tapered neck that flares at the top. Supposedly developed as a glass to hand to the driver of a moving coach, now it's used to get a laugh on the drinker who must be very, very careful not to soak himself as the bubble at the bottom "breaks" and shoots down a glug of beer at his face. Often holding about 2.5 pints of beer. There are half-yard and foot glasses available also. Related to a boot-shaped glass that accomplishes the same noble ends.

yeast - Single-celled fungi that eats sugar and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Thousands of strains of yeast have been developed over the years and each gives a distinct flavor profile to the finished product. Each, also has other characteristics such as flocculation, attenuation, etc.

yeast nutrient - Yeast food used to grow cells for pitching. This includes dead yeast hulls, vitamins, and di-ammonium phosphate (NH4)2HPO4) which is also a pretty good plant food.

yeast starter - A slurry of yeast grown to pitch in wort.
 

Yorkshire square - An open fermenter used by Samuel Smith in Yorkshire, and the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, England. It's an open-fermentation system made up of large slabs of slate. The slate is reputed to add a softness to the finished ale. reference
 


zymurgy - the science or study of fermentation.

Zythos - The beer consumers association of Belgium. web site


People we all need to thank for bringing beer to us.

St. Benedict Karan Bilimoria Joseph Bramah Adolphus Busch Thomas Carling

Eberhard Anheuser (1805-1880) - Emegraded from Bad Kreuznach, Germany in 1842 and opened a soap and candle company in St. Louis. Loaned money to the Bavarian Brewery Company in 1853 and bought the company after it had financial problems.

Peter Ballantine (1791-1883) - Emigrated from Dundee, Scotland to the US. Founder, in 1840, of Ballantine Brewing Company of Newark, NJ.

St Benedict (480-543, Italy) - Developed the Benedictine order and the monastery system in Europe. Said that abbeys must be economically viable. Abbeys in Italy made wine and those north of the Alps made beer.

Karan Faridoon Bilimoria (1961 - , Hyderabad, India) - Founder, in 1989, of Cobra Beer in Bangalore, India. Appointed to the British House of Lords in 2006.

Joseph Bramah (1748-1814, Yorkshire, England) - Invented, in 1785, the handpump.

Jacob Best (1786-1861) - Emmigrated from Mettenheim, Germany to the US. Founded, in 1844, a brewery in Milwaukee, WI which was renamed by his son-in-law Pabst Brewing Company in 1889. His son Charles Best established the Plank Road Brewery that eventually became Miller Brewing.

Adolphus Busch (1839-1913) - Emigrated from Kastel, Germany to the US. Married, in 1861, Lilly Anheuser, daughter of Eberhard Anheuser (Lilly's sister Anna married Adolphus's brother Ulrich also). Anheuser's Bavarian Brewery Company become Anheuser-Busch in 1879. He championed pasteurization of beer and grew the brewery by shipping in refrigerated train cars to become the first national brewery in the US.

Thomas Carling - Emigrated from England to Canada. Began, in 1840, a brewery in London, Ontario which was named by his sons Willliam and John the W & G Carling Brewing Company. Now known as the Carling O'Keefe, the oldest brewery in Canada. reference

Pierre Celis Adolph Coors Morton Coutts Anton Dreher Anton Dreher
the Younger

Pierre Celis (1929 - ) - Single-handedly (with brewer Marcel Tomas) resurrected Belgian Wit in 1966 when they started the Hoegaarden Brewery in Belgium. Sold that venture to Inbev in 1990 and moved to Austin, TX to recreate the same formula. Sold that venture to Coors in 2000 and Celis White became Blue Moon. Now back in Belgium marketing interesting beers including Grottenbier and others. more info

Adolph Coors (1847-1929) - Emigrated from Prussia to the US in 1868. Founded, in 1873, the Adolph Coors Company in Golden, CO, with Jacob Schueler. Bought out Schueler in 1880.

Morton Coutts (1904-2004, New Zealand) - Invented, in the 1930s at his brewery in Palmerston North, New Zealand, the continuous fermentation method of brewing beer.

Anton Dreher (1810-1863, Vienna) - Developed, with Gabriel Sedlmayr II, the lager method of brewing. Bought his father's (Franz Dreher) brewery in 1837. Developed the Vienna Lager (Vienna Amber) style in 1841.

Anton Dreher the Younger (1849-1921, Vienna) - Took over his father's brewery upon his death and expanded it, bought breweries in Bohemia and Budapest, and exported beer as far away as North America.

Fred Eckhardt Ermal Fraze Maria de Garza Ken Grossman Arthur Guinness

Fred Eckhardt (1926 - , San Francisco) - Prolific beer writer. Author of The Essentials of Beer Style.

Edward VI (1537-1553, England) - Henry VIII banned hops in beer in Norwich and Shrewbury in 1524 (he said they spoiled the taste and endangered the people). His 15-year old son is reputed to have reversed the ban in 1552.

Ermal Fraze - (1913-1989, Indiana) - Inventor, in 1959, of the pull-tab can. Killer of innumerable snakes. (US Patent 3,349,949). Although not a herpephile, he then went on to invent, in 1977, the non-detachable pop-top can. (US Patent 4,286,728).  It earned his company, the Dayton Reliable Tool Company, over $500M per year. reference

María Asunción Aramburuzabala Larregui de Garza (1963 - - Mexico) - Mexico's richest woman. Vice President and major shareholder of Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona, founded by her grandfather in 1922. Married the US Amabassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, in 2005.

Ken Grossman (1954 - ) - Founded, in 1979 with Paul Camusi, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA.

Arthur Guinness (1725-1803, Ireland) - His father was a brewer who worked for the Archbishop of Cashel in Ireland who bequeathed both the father and Arthur £100. Arthur spent that money to lease a brewery which, in 1750, his brother managed while Arthur signed a 9000-year lease on a brewery in St. James' Gate, Dublin. Thus beginning a brewing empire

Hammurabi (1810BC - 1750BC, Babylon) - King of Babylon. His law, Hammurabi's Code, of about 1770BC guaranteed beer to all citizens and imposed the death penalty on brewers who watered down beer.

Emil Hansen Charlene Heineken Gerard Heineken Michael Jackson Jacob Jacobsen

Emil Hansen (1842-1909, Denmark) - In 1883 isolated a pure strain of bottom-fermenting yeast, Saccharomyces uvarum, often called Saccaromyces carlsbergensis. This forms the basis for all lager yeast.

Wilhelm Hasse - Emigrated from Germany to Mexico. Founded, in 1897, the Moctezuma brewery in Veracruz, Mexico, maker of Dos Equis (named in honor of the coming of the 20th century).

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken (1954 - , The Netherlands) - The Netherlands' richest woman. Has controlling interest in the Heineken brewery.

Gerard Adriaan Heineken (1841? - 1893, The Netherlands) - Founded, in 1864 in Amsterdam, the Heineken brewery. He also installed a laboratory for quality control and investigation into yeast.

Michael Jackson (1942 - 2007, England) The preeminent writer today of books about beer and Scotch whisky. Called the Beer Hunter. web site

Jacob Christian Jacobsen (1811-1887, Denmark) - A student of Gabriel Sedlmayer at the Spaten brewery. Founded Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen in 1847. Notably used yeast he brought from Spaten. When his employee, Emil Hansen, isolated a pure strain of lager yeast Jacobsen released it to the public without royalty.

David G. Jüngling - Emigrated to the US from Aldingen, Germany and, in 1829, founded the Eagle brewery in Pottsville, PA. Renamed to D.G. Yuengling & Son in 1873 and is now run by the 5th generation, Dick Yuengling Jr, and is the oldest brewery in the US.

Paul Kalmanovitz Gerg Koch Jim Koch Anton van
Leeuwenhoek
Carl Von Linde

Paul Kalmanovitz (1905-1987) - Emigrated from Łódź, Poland to the US. Bought, in 1950 the 102 Brewery in Los Angeles. Refused to be bought, in 1958, by Falstaff. Bought, in 1970, Lucky Lager forming the conglomerate S&P Corporation. Bought, in 1972, Falstaff's brewery in San Francisco. Bought, in 1975, controlling interest in Falstaff. Blah, blah, blah. Bought Strohs, National Bohemian, Olympia, Pearl, and Pabst. Ends up with Ballantine, Champagne Velvet, Cooks, Drewrys, Drummond Brothers, Narragansett, Pfeiffer, Prager, Rheingold, Weideman, etc. etc. Closed almost all of these brewing plants, sold off all the equipment, slashed advertising budgets, and generally raped all the companies. Closed up shop in 1990 and sold everything to G. Heilman. Sigh.

Greg Koch - Founded, in 1996 with Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Jim Koch (1949 - , Cincinnati, OH) - Founded, in 1985, the Boston Beer Company, marketers of Samuel Adams beers and the 10th largest brewing company in the US. Interestingly his great-great-grandfather owned the Louis Koch brewery in St. Louis. Hi is no relation to Greg Koch.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723, Netherlands) - Developed the microscope in 1683 which led directly, although 200 years later, to understanding yeast. Used the microscope to discover bacteria.

Carl Von Linde (1842-1934, Berndorf, Germany) - Engineer at Paulaner. Invented some refrigeration techniques that allowed lager brewing to be done outside of the winter months. The first application was installed in 1873.

Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868, Bavaria) - In 1810, his marriage to Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen prompted the party which has become the Oktoberfest.

Richard March - Founded in 1689 the brewery that became Shepherd Neame, the oldest brewery in England.

Fritz Maytag Frederick Miller John Molson Luigi Moretti

Frederick (Fritz) Maytag (1937 - , Newton, IA) - With inheritance money from the Maytag Corporation, he bought, in 1965, the failing Anchor Brewery of San Francisco. Credited with starting the microbrewery revolution in the US.

Frederick Miller (1824-1888) - Emigrated from Friedrichshafen, Germany to the US in 1854. Founded, in 1855, the Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI, buying the Plank Road Brewery for $2,300.

John Molson (1763-1836) - Emigrated from England to Canada. Founded, in 1786, the Molson Brewery in Montreal. It is North America's second oldest company, preceded only by the Hudson's Bay Company. He also started the first railway in Canada and Canada's first distillery.

Luigi Moretti - Founded, in 1859 in Udine, Italy, Birra Moretti. No, that's not his picture on the label.

Alexander Nowell Joseeph Owades William Painter Charlie Papazian Louis Pasteur

Alexander Nowell (1507-1602, England) - Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. In 1568 he put some beer in a bottle and corked it to take on a picnic on the banks of the Thames. He forgot to drink the beer and went back a few days later to retrieve the bottle. Much to his surprise the beer was effervescent and quite tasty.

Joseph Owades (1919-2005, New York City) - Developed, in 1967, the first light beer. Marketed first as Gablinger's Light Lager by Rheingold Brewing, the company was bought by Miller Brewing who transformed it into Miller Lite. Owades' contribution was an enzyme that breaks the chains of malt starches so the yeast can digest more, producing less carbohydrates and calories in the finished product. He worked with many breweries around the world and formulated Sam Adams Lager.

William Painter (1838-1906) - Emigrated from Ireland to the US. Invented, in 1892, the crown cap - the common ordinary bottle cap. He conveniently invented the bottle opener at the same time. Both made tons of money for the Dayton Reliable Tool and Manufacturing Co. reference

In 1895 he suggested to salesman King Gillette the profit was in the caps themselves, they could almost give away the mechanism used to apply the caps. King Gillette, of course, took this idea and invented the replaceable safety razor in 1903.

Charlie Papazian - Longtime president of the Brewers Association in the US and founder of Zymurgy magazine. Original organizer of the Great American Beer Festival. Author of many homebrewing books including The Complete Joy of Home Brewing which has sold over 900,000 copies.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895, Dole, France) - Made great strides in the understanding of yeast, showing it to be a living organism, and in the process dispelling the myth of spontaneous generation. Discovered pasteurization (1862). Credit is often shared with Claude Bernard.

Roger Protz Joseph Schlitz Gabriel Sedlmayr I Josef Sedlmayr Wenceslas II

Roger Protz - (1939 - , England) British beer writer and supporter of CAMRA. Editor for many years of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide and writer of many beer books. Previous to that he edited socialist newspapers. web site

Benno Scharl (1741-1812, Bavaria) - Wrote a textbook about brewing methods where he was the first to describe lagering and conditioning beer.

Joseph Schlitz (1831, 1875) - Emmigrated from Mainz, Germany to the US. He was hired, in 1850, as an accountant at August Krug's brewery in Milwaukee, WI. Upon Krug's death in 1856, Schlitz a) married Krug's widow, and b) renamed the brewery after himself.

Gabriel Sedlmayr I (1772-1839, Bavaria) - Was the court brewmaster. In 1807 he took over the Spaten brewery. The Spaten logo still features his initials.

Gabriel Sedlmayr II (1811-1891, Bavaria) - Moved the Spaten brewery to Munich. Traveled extensively through Europe and the British Isles. Developed, with Anton Dreher, the lager method of brewing.

Josef Sedlmayr (1808-1886, Bavaria) - Son of Gabriel I. Owned the Franziskaner brewery after selling his inherited interest in Spaten to Gabriel II. In March, 1871 brewed the first Marzen beer. It was based on Dreher's Vienna Amber and was lagered until September. The style rapidly became the staple at the Oktoberfest celebration.

Robert Smith - Invented, in 1892 in Dresden, the pressed paper beer coaster.

Sir Charles Tidbury (1926 - 2003) - Board member and Chairman of Whitbread & Co. through the 1970s and 1980s. Chairman of the Brewers' Society and other industry organizations. Retired 1988 but still remained active in the industry and vocal in opposition to plans of the Whitbread sale to InterBrew in 2001.

John, William, and Samuel Smith - The Hartley family owned a brewery in Tadcaster, England since 1758. John Smith bought that brewery 1852, renaming it John Smiths Brewery. John's son Samuel and brother William inherited it but William moved his interests to a brewery next door, now John Smith's. Samuel's son Samuel inherited the "Old Brewery" in 1886 and that became Samuel Smith Brewery. All very complicated.

King Wenceslas II (1271-1305, Bohemia) - King of Bohemia, he granted the city of Pilsen the right to brew beer in 1295.

Samuel Whitbread Wilhelm IV Wilhelm V Woodrow Wilson Charles Young

Samuel Whitbread (1720-1796, Cardington, England) - Founded, in 1742, Whitbread & Co. of London in partnership with Thomas Shewell. Their Goat Brewhouse produced porter when it first became popular, making the enterprise the 2nd largest brewery in London within 20 years.

Duke Wilhelm IV (1493-1550, Munich) - Put forth the Reinheitsgebot purity law in Bavaria in 1516.

Duke Wilhelm V (1548-1626, Landshut, Germany) - Built a brewery in Munich in 1589 after the one in his castle burned. This brewery became the Hofbräuhaus and is today the most famous bar in the world.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924, Staunton, VA) - The 18th Amendment was enacted under his term as President of the US. He, though, vetoed the Volstead Act which implemented Prohibition. Sadly, his veto was overridden by congress. At least he tried.

Charles Young - Founded, in 1831, Young's Brewery in London. He bought a brewery that had existed in various forms at that site since 1581. His great-great-grandson, John Young (1921 - 2006), was the last chairman of the brewery, having merged it with Charles Wells brewery just days before his death in 2006, in fact, the last brew from the Ram Brewery was served at his funeral.