The Beer Guide lexicon is designed to help those unfamiliar with the terms used by brewers and some beer drinkers and is intended to help newcomers understand the language of craft beer and assist them to become more educated about the beer that they drink.
A sweet apple aroma which is a byproduct of fermentation.
A stage of the mashing process where phytase converts phytic acid to phosphoric acid to acidify the mash.
Enzymes, preservatives or other ingredients which are added during brewing to simplify the process or to prolong the shelf life of the final product.
Typically refers to unmalted grains that are added to some beers to ligthen the colour, flavour or even increase the alcohol content. Examples include rice, corn, oats or flaked barley. A more accurate defination might be, anything other than water, barley hops and yeast is an adjunct.
An organisim that needs oxygen to metabolize. For example a top fermenting lager yeast.
A measurement of the amount of alcohol in beer in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per the volume of beer.
A beer brewed from a top-fermenting yeast with a relatively short, warm fermentation.
A measurement of the amount of alpha acids added to a beer. It is equal to the amount of hops, in ounces multiplied by the percentage of the alpha acids in the hops added.
An organism that is able to metabolize without the presence of oxygen. For example a bottom-fermenting lager yeast.
A dry which can be as a result from over boiling the grains, long mashes or over sparging.
The degree of conversion of sugar to alcohol and CO2.
A generic term for off-flavors such as mouldy, musty, woody, sulphur, vinegar.
A cereal grain that is kilned to create malt. Malt is one of the main ingredients used in beer.
A fermented beverage generally made from malted cereal grain.
Bitter can be described differently by different people however typically it is a tangy or sharp sensation that comes from the hops in beer.
The feel of the thickness or texture of the beer in your mouth.
Bottle conditioning is a secondary (or tertiary) fermentation process which occurs when yeast and sugars are added directly to the bottle during the bottling phase. This assists the beer with a slightly higher alcohol content, but more importantly a longer shelf life without the need for preservatives.
A technique used to prime your fermented beer in a single batch rather then individually as you would when bottling. Most people combine a mixture of water and sugar in a second vessel and rack the fermented beer on top of the sugar mixture. They would then bottle from the mixture without adding any sugar to the bottles as it has already mixed with the 'bulk' amount. A hit and miss technique, with as many failures as successful uses. Can also be used in kegging if your gas has run out.
The effervescence in the beer. Carbonation is a byproduct of the yeast 'eating' the fermentable sugars, which results in the release of carbon dioxide (CO2). If this occurs in a closed vessel, for example a bottle, the carbon dioxide is dissolved into the solution resulting in bubbles.
A cloudiness, or haze that occurs in beer when it gets cold as a result of the proteins and polyphenols bonding with hydrogen. Once the beer warms up this should disappear. It is possible to add clarifying agents to beer to prevent chill haze from occurring.
Is a secondary fermentation which allows the yeast to further develop the flavours present in the final product.
An intense form of mashing in which small portions of the mash are removed, heated in a seperate vessel and then returned to the original vessel. This technique is used to raise the temperature of the original vessel as well as manipulating the characterstics of the resultant beer.
A natural byproduct of yeast which can taste like butter or butterscotch. Depending on the style of beer some brewers aim to have small amounts of detectable Diacetyl, whilst others frown upon it and take steps to avoid it as much as possible.
Beer which is served from a Keg or Cask.
Dry Hopping is the addition of dry hops during the first or secondary fermentation which will add a different hop flavour profile compared with using hops in the boil. Dry hopping does not affect bitterness only flavour as it is the process of boiling that releases the bitterness from hops.
Aromatic compounds formed from alcohols by yeast action. Typically smell fruity.
The total conversion of malt sugars to beer, defined here as three parts, adaptation, primary, and secondary.
The specific gravity of the beer after fermentation has completed.
In brewing yeast cells 'clump together' to form flocs, which fall out at the end of the fermentation.
Hop vines are grown in cool climates and brewers make use of the cone-like flowers. The dried cones are available in pellets, plugs, or whole.
A device used by brewers to measure the specific gravity of a liquid, in this case beer.
International Bittering Units, or IBU is a scale used by brewers to measure and identify the bitterness of a beer.
A beer brewed from a bottom-fermenting yeast and given a long cool fermentation.
The technique of draining the wort from the mash tun.
When iso-alpha-acids come into contact with light near the ultra-violet spectrum, the light breaks off part of the chain of iso-alpha-acids forming MTB. MTB is a skunky compound which is detectable even in low concentrations. Lightstrike will ruin the flavour, appearance and aroma of a beer and should be avoided at all costs - typically by bottling in dark brown or green bottles.
A measurement of colour. The scale begins at zero (0) and increases to over five hundred (500). The higher the number, the darker the colour of the beer.
A Mash Tun is a vessel which the process of mashing occurs in.
Term for adding the yeast to the fermenter.
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 prior to bottling to give the beer carbonation.
The careful siphoning of the beer away from the initial kettle/fermenter.
To reduce microbial contaminants to insignificant and safe levels.
A period of settling and conditioning of the beer after primary fermentation and before bottling.
The Standard Reference Method or SRM a system that has been adopted by modern brewers identify or classify beer color. Determining the SRM value involved measuring the attenuation of light of a particular wavelength (430 nm) passing through 1cm of the beer.
Trub is the deposit of yeast and other sediments at the bottom of a vessel after fermentation.
The malt-sugar solution that is boiled prior to fermentation. (AKA Wert)
A micro-organism of the fungus family, Genus Saccharomyces. Used in brewing to convert sugar into Alcohol.