Alcohol by Volume. The measure of the amount of space the alcohol in a beer takes up as a percentage of total volume. This is the worldwide standard for measuring the alcohol content in beer. The United States traditionally used alcohol by weight (ABW) to measure alcohol content, but more and more American brewers are now adopting ABV.
Alcohol by weight. The measure of the weight of alcohol as a percentage of total weight of the liquid. This standard is being used much less frequently nowadays. To convert ABW to ABV, multiply the ABW x 1.25. Conversely, to get the ABW from ABV multiply the ABV x 0.8.
A by-product of fermentation. It is recognized by an aroma of green apple.
Fermentable substance used instead of traditional grains to make beer lighter-bodied or cheaper.
Ethyl alcohol or ethanol, which is a by-product of fermentation. It is produced when yeast consumes the fermentable sugars. Alcohol is what causes intoxication.
Ales are beers made with top fermenting yeast. They typically are fermented between 68-75°F. Ales absorb some of the byproducts from the fermentation which cause can a fruity or estery nose or flavor.
Aroma Hops -
Hops added at the end of the boil that add to the aroma of the beer.
Drying, puckering taste; can be derived from boiling the grains, long mashes, over-sparging or sparging with hard water.
Balling, Degrees -
Scale indicating density of sugars in wort. This scale was of measure was devised by C J N Balling. Used interchangeably with terms Brix and Plato.
A bottle name which holds 12 liters in capacity.
A cereal grain that is kilned creating malt. Malts are one of the main ingredients in beer.
A high alcohol, quite malty, English style beer. Alcohol levels are usually between 8.5% and 12% ABV.
Liquid yeast appearing as froth on fermenting beer.
A unit of measurement used by brewers in some countries. In Britain, a barrel holds 36 imperial gallons (1 imperial gallon = 4.5 liters), or 1.63 hectoliters. In the United States, a barrel holds 31.5 US gallons (1 US gallon = 3.8 liters), or 1.17 hectoliters.
Berliner Weisse -
A regional beer of northern Germany, pale, top-fermented, and made with wheat.
Biere de garde -
French term that applies to a strong, bottle-conditioned ale that is designed to be laid down when fermenting.
Bittering Hops -
Hops added at the beginning of the boil in order to obtain maximum alpha acid utilization. Any type of hops can be used for bittering, although those higher in alpha acids will require the use of less hops per unit of beer.
A very strong lager traditionally brewed in winter to celebrate the coming spring. Full-bodied, malty, well-hopped.
Refers to the thickness of a beer in your mouth. Can be described as Full, medium, or thin-bodied. For example, a stout should tend to be more full-bodied, while a pale lager should be thin-bodied.
Bottle Conditioning -
The secondary fermentation that occurs when yeast and sugars are added to the beer right before bottling. This process leads to higher alcohol content and allows the beer to be aged, which can produce varying changes in taste and strength.
Bright beer -
Finished beer that is prepared to be bottled or kegged and served. The last stage in the brewing process before packaging.
Brown ale -
A British-style, top-fermented beer which is lightly hopped and flavored with roasted and caramel malt.
A rubber or wood stopper that seals the bunghole.
A hole in a barrel, keg, or cask from where liquid is drawn.
Candi sugar -
Candi sugar is made by superheating and then cooling a highly concentrated sugar solution. Pale candi syrup is much darker than sucrose or invert sugar syrup. Belgian brewers prefer to use candi sugar, in either solid or syrup form, because it contributes to good head retention in a high-gravity, lightly hopped beer.
Cane sugar -
Sucrose, or white table sugar is a highly fermentable sugar, usually refined from sugar cane or sugar beets. In brewing, cane sugar is sometimes used as an adjunct because it is cheaper than malt. It lightens the color and body of the beer, boosts the alcohol content, and can add a cidery taste that is considered not true beer flavor.
Caramel malt -
A sweet, coppery malt which imparts both color and flavor to beer. Gives a golden color and a nutlike flavor to beer. Used frequently in darker ales
Sparkle caused by carbon dioxide, either created during fermentation or injected later. This term is used to describe both the amount of CO2 in the beer, as well as the process of putting CO2 into the beer. See force carbonation and natural carbonation.
A container for beer that is sealed. They can be wood or metal.
Cask Conditioning -
After ale has gone through primary fermentation, then run through a filter. It is transferred into a cask where more yeast is added and a secondary fermentation takes place. A fining material is added to settle out the yeast.
These are typically for Belgian abbey and trappist style beer. They can have a look of royalty about them. They can be more "V" shaped with either straight or an inward curving top, sometimes rimmed with a precious metal. The stem is thick and the length is usually rather short.
Chill Haze -
Cloudiness caused by precipitation of protein-tannin compound at low temperatures; it does not affect flavor.
Cold filtering -
An alternative to pasteurizing beer. In this process the beer is passed through a very fine filter that removes the yeast and halts the fermentation process.
Craft beer -
Beers made by small, independent brewers with only traditional brewing ingredients such as malt, hops, yeast and water, and brewed with traditional brewing methods.
The unfermentable carbohydrate produced by the enzymes in barley. It gives the beer flavor and body.
A natural byproduct of yeast. It can have the flavors of butter or butterscotch.
A gold-colored, bottom-fermented beer from Dortmund, Germany's largest brewing city.
Double bock/dopplebock -
A stronger bock beer, though not necessarily double the strength. The original of the style was brewed by the Italian monks of the order of St. Francis of Paula in Bavaria to help them though their Lenten fast
Double Magnum -
A bottle name which holds 3.0 liters in capacity.
Beer that is served from the cask, keg or barrel. Draught can be pasteurized, filtered or cask-conditioned, but bottled or canned beer is not, by definition, draught. The word means "drawn" or pulled from the cask by a pump.
Dry beer -
In the late 80's, Asahi Brewery of Japan refined a brewing process that fermented virtually all the sugars in their beer. Described as having less aftertaste, it actually had almost no taste at all. It sold well, though, so major breweries around the world began brewing "Dry Beers" of their own
Dry Hopping -
The addition of dry hops during first or secondary fermentation to add a hoppy character to the beer without affecting the beers bitterness.
Dry stout -
The Irish version of stout, slightly more bitter and higher in alcohol than the English sweet stout.
This is a term used mainly in describing German wheat beer. It means dark - in contrast to Helle or pale.
Aroma or flavor or fruit or flowers in beer. This can be caused by certain yeast strains or higher temperature fermentation.
The process of sugars being converted to alcohol and CO2 by yeast.
Final Gravity -
The weight of a beer after fermentation.
Materials added to beer during secondary fermentation to help settle out the yeast and other particulates. These materials can be isinglass, gelatin, Irish moss, and others.
Finishing Hops -
Hops added near the end or after the boil to add aroma and flavor. They do not tend to add bitterness.
Unit of measure. 1 Firkin = 9 Imperial Gallons.
Goblets can resemble a fishbowl. Typically they have a round bowl and come in various sizes. They are somewhat like a brandy or cognac snifter. Use these for high alcohol sipping beers.
A blend of aged and young lambic ale.
This is a term used mainly in describing German wheat beer. It means pale - in contrast to Dunkle or dark.
Hops come from the Humulis Lupulus plant or vine. It is the female flower that is used in brewing. They come in several forms, whole, pellet and plug. Hops are what makes beer bitter. There are volumes written on hops, if you are interested, there is plen
International Bitterness Unit. It is a number that denotes the bitterness of the beer. The higher the IBU the more bitter the beer. IBU = Ounces of Hops x AA% x Utilization% / Gallons x 1.34
1. A bottle name which holds 6 liters in capacity.
2. A beer which is stronger than the typical base style. I have most often seen it described as 20 gravity points higher than the BJCP style guidelines.
3. A pint glass of 20 ounces.
India Pale Ale. A strong, hoppy Pale ale. The style originated in Britain in the 19th century, and had a high alcohol content and hopping rate, allowing it to survive the long sea voyage to India.
Container for beer. Originally made of wood and available in a variety of sizes. Many breweries employed their own coopers to make their kegs. Today the average beer keg in America contains 15.5 gallons, or 1/2 barrels of liquid.
Beers produced with bottom-fermenting yeast strains at colder fermentation temperatures than ales. Fermentation of lagers generally takes longer than that of ales.
The process of aging beer at low temperatures, usually under 50°F. This process takes anywhere from a weeks to months.
Brewer's term for hot or cold water used in the brewing process, as included in the mash or used to sparge the grains after mashing.
A measurement of color. The scale starts at 0 (zero) and goes to over 500. The higher the number the darker the color.
A yellow resinous powder found on the female hop cone that contains the bittering principle used in making beer.
The foundation ingredient of beer after it has gone through the malting process, typically barley. Grain which has been sprouted and kilned.
Malt Extract -
Sweet wort that has been reduced to a syrupy liquid or dried into a powder.
Water soluble, fermentable sugar from malt.
The process where the grist is added to hot water in order to extract the fermentable sugars from the malts. This process creates wort
A beverage made from fermented honey.
A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels per year.
How a beer feels in the mouth. Usually describes as thin or full.
Mug, krug, seidel -
The only beer glass with a handle. Typically very heavy and sturdy. They are available in different textures and different sizes.
Name of a bottle which holds 15 liters in capacity.
Noble Hops -
Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Tettnanger Tettnang, Spalter Spalt, and Czech Saaz are the 4 main noble hops. There are others that can be considered noble, but they were bred from noble hops. These are Perle, Crystal, Mt. Hood, Liberty, and Ultra.
Original Gravity -
The weight of a beer before fermentation.
The process of gently heating beer after fermentation, which kills any remaining live yeast and bacteria, reducing the risk of contamination or spoilage. Heating of beer to 60-79°C/140-174°F to stabilize its microbiologically.
1. A beer style. Typically crisp and refreshing, with a light to medium body and a clear, light to deep gold appearance.
2. These also are tall, somewhat thin walled, sloped glasses with a solid base. Their capacity is usually 12 oz.
Pint glass/ Pub glass -
Probably the most common beer glass. Straight, thick sides at a slight angle making the mouth of the glass larger than the base, typically holds 16 oz. You may also come across an Imperial Pint glass. These hold 20 oz. have somewhat thinner sides and a bulge about 3/4 of the way up the glass. These also come in 10 oz. half pint sizes. Also called a pub glass.
A pokal is a European pilsner glass with a stem. Can look similar to a tulip without the flare at the top or similar to a chalice with a smaller less angular bowl. Holds 12 oz.
Primary Fermentation -
The initial fermentation activity marked by the evolution of carbon dioxide and Krausen. Most of the total attenuation occurs during this phase.
The method of adding a small amount of fermentable sugar and/or yeast prior to bottling to give the beer carbonation.
Real Ale -
The term used by CAMRA for traditional cask-conditioned ale.
A bottle name which holds 4.5 liters in capacity.
Reinheitsgebot - The German Purity Law of 1516 that states the only 4 ingredients that can be included in beer are water, malted barley, yeast and hops.
A bottle name which holds 9 liters in capacity.
Scotch Ale -
A top-fermented beer of Scottish origin. Traditionally a strong, very dark, thick and creamy beer.
Secondary Fermentation -
A period of settling and conditioning of the beer after primary fermentation and before bottling.
The only beer glass with a handle. Typically very heavy and sturdy. They can have different textures and come in different sizes. Also called a mug or krug.
Specific Gravity -
The measure of density of a liquid or solid compared to water. Water has an SG of 1.000 at 39°F.
Stange/ Stick -
is a taller, thinner version of the pilsner glass. Holds 12 oz. Also called a stick.
Steam Beer -
A beer produced by hybrid fermentation using bottom yeast fermented at top yeast temperatures. Fermentation is carried out in long shallow vessels called clarifiers, followed by warm conditioning and krausening. The style is indigenous to America and was first produced in California at the end of the 19th century, during the Gold Rush.
Terminal Gravity -
The specific gravity of the wort after fermentation has ended. Sometimes called final gravity.
An order of monks that have produced beer for over a millennium. There are seven Trappist breweries still in operation in Belgium and the Netherlands. Strict regulations prevent non-Trappist Abbey breweries from using the term.
Tulip glass -
The tulip glass looks somewhat like a tulip - go figure. It can have a stemmed base and roundish bowl, which thins out about 1/2 way up the glass then flares out slightly. It can also be similar in style to a pint glass, but has the tulip flare. Holds 16 oz.
Wheat beer glass -
These are tall, somewhat thin walled, sloped glasses with a solid base. They are typically 1/2 liter in capacity. They resemble a pilsner glass, only taller.
Similar to a pub glass, but thinner walls and they stop angling out about 2/3 of the way up the glass and become straight at this point. Also called a becher.
"White" beer. It is a cloudy wheat beer, spiced with coriander and orange peel.
The sweet liquid produced in the brewing process by mashing malted barley and water. Beer is called "wort" before yeast is added. The malt-sugar solution that is boiled prior to fermentation. (Pronounced "wirt" - rhymes with dirt).
As the name suggests - it is about 3 feet long. They are awkward and can be quite fragile. They hold almost 3 pints. They also come in half yards.
Yeast is what makes the alcohol in beer. Yeast eats the sugars in the wort and gives of alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The science or study of brewing and fermentation.