# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

#18th Amendment The 18th amendment of the United States Constitution effectively established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States by declaring illegal the production, transport and sale of alcohol (though not the consumption or private possession).

21st Amendment  The 21st amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol on January 17, 1920


AAU – Alpha Acid Units. A measurement of bitterness. AAU = hop AA% x Ounces added to the boil. This formula does not consider wort gravity, boil time and so on.

Abbey – Belgian ale, brewed in a commercial secular brewery.

ABV – Alcohol by volume. This is a measurement of the percent of alcohol present in a volume of liquid. To obtain this number take the original gravity and subtract the final gravity then multiply the answer by 131.25. One pound of fermentable sugar is approximately equal to 1% ABV in a 5-gallon batch. ABV = ABW x 1.25.

ABW – Alcohol by weight. This is a measurement of the percent of alcohol present in a volume of liquid. The percent is the number of grams of alcohol in 100 centiliters (e.g. 5%ABW equals 5 grams of alcohol/100 cl) – ABW = ABV x .80

Acetaldehyde – A by-product of fermentation. It is recognized by an aroma and flavor of green apple.

Acid rest – A stage of the mashing process where phytase converts phytic acid to phosphoric acid to acidify the mash. This is done early in the mash around 95F by traditional brewers to lower the pH of the mash.

Acrospire – The shoot that grows as a barley grain is germinated.

Adjunct – An unmalted fermentable ingredient, like honey or sugar. It is used to increase the alcohol or add to the flavor. Adjunct grains, like corn or rice, can be added to lighten the flavor of the beer.

Aeration – The action of introducing air or oxygen to the wort (unfermented beer) at various stages of the brewing process. Proper aeration before primary fermentation is vital to yeast health and vigorous fermentation. Aeration after fermentation is complete can result in beer off-flavors, including cardboard or paper aromas due to oxidation.

AHA – (American Homebrewers Association) was founded in 1978 and advocates for hombrewers rights, publishes Zymurgy Magazine, is a division of the Brewers Association and hosts the world’s largest beer competition.

Alcohol – A synonym for ethyl alcohol or ethanol, the colorless primary alcohol constituent of beer. Alcohol ranges for beer vary from less than 3.2% to greater than 14% ABV. However, the majority of craft beer styles average around 5.9% ABV.

Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – A measurement of the alcohol content of a solution in terms of the percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer. This measurement is always higher than Alcohol by Weight. To calculate the approximate volumetric alcohol content, subtract the final gravity from the original gravity and divide by 0.0075. For example: 1.050 – 1.012 = 0.038/0.0075 = 5% ABV.

Alcohol by Weight (ABW) – A measurement of the alcohol content of a solution in terms of the percentage weight of alcohol per volume of beer. For example: 3.2 percent alcohol by weight equals 3.2 grams of alcohol per 100 centiliters of beer. This measure is always lower than Alcohol by Volume. To calculate the approximate alcohol content by weight, subtract the final gravity from the original gravity and divide by 0.0095. For example: 1.050 – 1.012 = 0.038/0.0095 = 4% ABW.


  1. Warming taste of ethanol and higher alcohols. Can be described as spicy and vinous in character. The higher the ABV of a beer, often the larger the mouthfeel it has. Alcohol can be perceived in aroma, flavor and as a sensation.
  2. A person with a disabling disorder characterized by compulsive uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Ale – 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. The term ale is sometimes incorrectly associated with alcoholic strength.

Ale Yeast – Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a top fermenting yeast that ferments at warm temperatures (60-70 F) and generally produces more flavor compounds.

All Extract Beer – A beer made with malt extract as opposed to one made from barley malt or from a combination of malt extract and barley malt.

All-Malt Beer – A beer made entirely from mashed barley malt and without the addition of adjuncts, sugars or additional fermentables.

Alpha Acid – One of two primary naturally occurring soft resins in hops (the other is Beta Acid). Alpha acids are converted during wort boiling to iso-alpha acids, which cause the majority of beer bitterness. During aging, alpha acids can oxidize (chemical change) and lessen in bitterness.

Alpha and Beta Amylase – Important enzymes in brewing beer and liquor made from sugars derived from starch. Different temperatures optimize the activity of alpha or beta amylase, resulting in different mixtures of fermentable and unfermentable sugars.

Anaerobic – An organism that can live with out atmospheric oxygen.

Apparent Attenuation – A simple measure of the extent of fermentation that wort has undergone in the process of becoming beer. Using gravity units (GU), Balling (B), or Plato (P) units to express gravity, apparent attenuation is equal to the original gravity minus the final gravitydivided by the original gravity. The result is expressed as a percentage and equals 65% to 80% for most beers.

Aroma Hops – Hops added at the end of the boil that add to the aroma of the beer. Shorter amount of time spent in the boil kettle will provide more aromatic characteristics from the hops rather than bittering characteristics.

Astringency – A characteristic of beer taste mostly caused by tannins, oxidized (phenols), and various aldehydes (in stale beer). Astringency can cause the mouth to pucker and is often perceived as dryness.

Attenuation – The percent of sugars consumed by yeast during fermentation. The reduction in wort specific gravity caused by the yeast consuming wort sugars and converting them into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas through fermentation.

Autolysis – A process in which excess yeast cells feed on each other producing a rubbery or vegetal aroma.


Balling – A scale for measuring the specific gravity of a solution. Created by Carl Joseph Balling.

Balthazar – A bottle, 12 liters in capacity.

Barley – A cerel grain that is malted and used in the mash for making beer. Barley is used as a base malt in the production of beer and certain distilled spirits, as well as a food supply for humans and animals.

Barleywine – A high alcohol, quite malty, English style beer. Alcohol levels are usually between 8.5% and 12% ABV.

Barm – Liquid yeast appearing as froth on fermenting beer.

Barrel – 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. A wooden vessel that is used to age/condition/ferment beer. Some brewer’s barrels are brand new and others have been used previously to store wine or spirits.

Becher – 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.

Berliner Weisse – A regional beer of northern Germany, pale, top-fermented, and made with wheat.

Beta Acids – One of two primary naturally occurring soft resins in hops (the other is Alpha Acid). Beta acid contributes very little to the bitterness of beer and accounts for some of its preservative quality.

Biere de garde – French term that applies to a strong, bottle-conditioned ale that is designed to be laid down when fermenting.

Bitterness – In beer, the bitterness is caused by the tannins and iso-humulones of hops. Bitterness of hops is perceived in the taste. The amount of bitterness in a beer is one of the defining characteristics of a beer style.

Bitterness Units – (BU) Same as International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Bittering Hops – Hops added to the boil with 45 – 60 minutes left. These are responsible for the bitterness of a beer. The longer hops are boiled, the more bittering characteristics will come from those hops.

Bock – A very strong lager traditionally brewed in winter to celebrate the coming spring. Full-bodied, malty, well-hopped.

Body – The consistency, thickness and mouth-filling property of a beer. The sensation of palate fullness in the mouth ranges from thin- to full-bodied.

Boiling – A critical step during the brewing process during which wort (unfermented beer) is boiled inside the brew kettle. During the boiling, one or more hop additions can occur to achieve bittering, hop flavor and hop aroma in the finished beer. Boiling also results in the removal of several volatile compounds from wort, especially dimethyl sulfide (see below) and the coagulation of excess or unwanted proteins in the wort (see “hot break“). Boiling also sterilizes a beer as well as ends enzymatic conversion of proteins to sugars.

Bottle Conditioning – Beer bottled without removing the yeast or having been pasteurized. Yeast and sediment are present in the bottle. Beer packaged this way can grow more complex over time.

Bomber – A 22-ounce bottle of beer.

Bottle Conditioning – A process by which beer is naturally carbonated in the bottle as a result of fermentation of additional wort or sugar intentionally added during packaging.

Bottom Fermentation – One of the two basic fermentation methods characterized by the tendency of yeast cells to sink to the bottom of the fermentation vessel. Lager yeast is considered to be bottom fermenting compared to ale yeast that is top fermenting. Beers brewed in this fashion are commonly called lagers or bottom-fermented beers.

Brettanomyces – A type of yeast and more specifically a genus of single-celled yeasts that ferment sugar and are important to the beer and wine industries due to the sensory flavors they produce. Brettanomyces, or “Brett” colloquially, can cause acidity and other sensory notes often perceived as leather, barnyard, horse blanket and just plain funk. These characteristics can be desirable or undesirable. It is common and desirable in styles such as Lambic, Oud Bruin, several similarly acidic American-derived styles, and many barrel-aged styles.

Brew Kettle – One of the vessels used in the brewing process in which the wort (unfermented beer) is boiled.

Brewers Association – The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers. More than 2,300 U.S. brewery members and 43,000 members of the American Homebrewers Association are joined by members of the allied trade, beer wholesalers, retailers, individuals, other associate members and the Brewers Association staff to make up the Brewers Association.

Brewpub – A pub that makes its own beer and sells at least 50% on premesis or a restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar. The beer is often dispensed directly from the brewery’s storage tanks. Where allowed by law, brewpubs often sell beer “to-go” and /or distribute to off site accounts. (All depending on what state you live in and the laws that apply)

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.

Bung – A sealing stopper, usually a cylindrical shaped piece of wood or plastic, fitted into the mouth of a cask or older style kegs such as Hoff-Stevens or Golden Gate.

Bunghole – The round hole in the side of a cask or older style keg, through which the vessel is filled with beer and then sealed with a bung.

Burton Snatch – The aroma of Sulphur indicating the presence of sulphate ions.

Byproducts – Desirable and undesirable compounds that are a result of fermentation, mashing, and boiling.


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

Carbonation – The “fizz” or effervescence in a liquid. The carbonation is a byproduct of yeast eating fermentable sugars (which releases carbon dioxide) if this happens in a closed container the beer reabsorbs the carbon dioxide in the form or carbonation. Carbonation can be also forced into a beer by adding pressurized carbon dioxide in a closed vessel.

Carboy – What homebrewers call the container that the fermentation takes place in. Usually made of glass and can come in a few different sizes, with the most popular being 5 gallons.

Cask – A container for beer that is sealed. They can be wood or metal.

Cask Conditioned Ale – See cask conditioning. – It is usually poured via gravity or a hand pump, not via CO2. It may seem flat compared to “regular” beers. The beer is also called living beer as the yeast is still active in the brew.

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.

Cellaring – Storing or aging beer at a controlled temperature to allow maturing.

Centrifugation – A clarification method using centrifugal force to strain and clarify the wort during its cooling stage and the finished beer prior to racking.

Chalice – 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 – A cloudiness that appears in beer when it gets cold. It is a result of proteins and polyphenols combining as a result of hydrogen bonding. The haze disappears as the beer warms up.

Chill Proof – By adding certain clarifiers to beer, it prevents chill haze by precipitating out the haze causing agents.

Chocolate malt – Malted barley that has been roasted to a deep brown color. It gives a nutty, toasted flavor to beers as well as deep reddish brown color.

Cold filter – As an alternative to pasteurizing, beer can be passed through a filter fine enough to remove the suspended yeast and so stop fermentation. Preserving more beer flavor than pasteurization, cold-filtered beers are often incorrectly called “draught”.

Color – The hue or shade of a beer, primarily derived from grains, sometimes derived from fruit or other ingredients in beer. Beer styles made with caramelized, toasted or roasted malts or grains will exhibit increasingly darker colors. The color of a beer may often, but not always, allow the consumer to anticipate how a beer might taste. It’s important to note that beer color does not equate to alcohol level, mouthfeel or calories in beer.

Conditioning – A step in the brewing process in which beer is matured or aged after initial fermentation to prevent the formation of unwanted flavors and compounds

Contract Brewing Company – A business that hires another brewery to produce some or all of its beer. The contract brewing company handles marketing, sales and distribution of its beer, while generally leaving the brewing and packaging to its producer-brewery.

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.

Crystal malt – When fresh malt is carefully dried at warm temperatures, some of the starches are converted to sugars which crystallize within the grains. When these crystal malts are used in brewing, they add sweetness, body and a reddish gold color to the beer.


Decoction – Exhaustive system of mashing in which portions of the wort are removed, heated, then returned to the original vessel.

Degrees Plato – An empirically derived hydrometer scale to measure density of beer wort in terms of percentage of extract by weight.

Dextrin – The unfermentable carbohydrate produced by the enzymes in barley.

Diacetyl – A natural byproduct of yeast. It can have the flavors of butter or butterscotch.

Diastatic – Refers to the diastatic enzymes that are created as the grain sprouts. These convert starches to sugars, which yeast eat.

DMS – Dimethyl Sulfide. – A sulfur compound that can be a desired flavor in lagers, but not in ales. DMS can be created by bacterial infection, which has the smell of cooked cabbage. DMS is also created during the boil and is removed by vaporization. If the wort is not cooled quickly then it will dissolve back into the wort.

Dortmunder – A gold-colored, bottom-fermented beer from Dortmund, Germany’s largest brewing city.

Dosage – The adding of yeast right before the bottle conditioning of a beer. This is also done with champagne.

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, 3.0 liters in capacity.

Draught/draft – 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 – Adding hops after the boil or even in the cask to increase hop aroma and flavor. This is most often seen in various types of ales, but not in lagers.

Dry stout – The Irish version of stout, slightly more bitter and higher in alcohol than the English sweet stout.

Dual Purpose Hops – Hops that are added to provide both bittering and aromatic properties.

Dunkle – This is a term used mainly in describing German wheat beer. It means dark – in contrast to Helle or pale.


Estery – Aroma or flavor or fruit or flowers in beer. This can be caused by certain yeast strains or higher temperature fermentation.

Ethanol or Ethyl Alcohol – Colorless liquid at room temperature. It has a boiling point of 78°C and freezes at -114°C at 1 atmosphere. It is intoxicating and flammable. This is the alcohol in alcoholic beverages.


False Bottom – A perforated bottom that prevents grains in a lautertun from being collected with the wort when the mash has fully converted.

Fermentable Sugars – Sugars that can be consumed by yeast cells which in turn will produce ethanol alcohol and c02.

Fermentation – The reaction of the yeast consuming the sugars in wort in the case of beer. This process creates ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Final Gravity – The specific gravity after fermentation has taken place.

Fining – 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.

Firkin – Unit of measure. 1 Firkin = 9 Imperial Gallons.

Flocculation – The clumping, gathering or fallout of yeast cells after fermentation. Different yeast strains have different levels of flocculation.

Flute – Typically seen with champagne. Beer flutes have shorter stems than champagne flutes. The mouth has a smaller diameter than the mid section to hold in carbonation.


Germination – Growth of a barley grain as it produces a rootlet and acrospire.

Goblet – 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.

Grainy – Tasting or smelling like cereal or raw grains.

Grist – A term for milled grain(s).

Growler – A jug- or pail-like container once used to carry draught beer bought by the measure at the local tavern. Growlers are usually ½ gal (64 oz) or 2L (68 oz) in volume and made of glass. Brewpubs often serve growlers to sell beer to-go. Often a customer will pay a deposit on the growler but can bring it back again and again for a re-fill. Growlers to-go are not legal in all U.S. states.

Gruit – An old-fashioned herb mixture used for bittering and flavoring beer, popular before the extensive use of hops. Gruit or grut ale may also refer to the beverage produced using gruit.

Gueuze – A blend of aged and young lambic ale.


HBU – Home Bitterness Units. See AAU.

Hard Cider – Fermented beverage made from apples.

Heat Exchanger – A device to rapidly cool wort. Usually copper tubing that has cold water running through it. Sometimes 2 tubes, one inside the other, with wort going through one and cold water going through the other.

Hefe – German word for yeast.

Helle – This is a term used mainly in describing German wheat beer. It means pale – in contrast to Dunkle or dark.

Hogshead – A cask that holds 54 imperial gallons.

Hops – 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

Hydrometer – A device that measures specific gravity (SG) of a liquid. Hydrometers are usually calibrated for measurements at 60°F. If what you are measuring is not at this temperature, you should use a hydrometer correction table. Approximately the correction amount is (Temperature-1.8)x.03 (e.g. (77°F-1.8) x .03 = 2.2 take the FG and add 2.2 to get the calibrated SG)


IBU – 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. Light lagers typically have an IBU rating between 5-10 while big, bitter India Pale Ales can often have an IBU rating between 50 and 70.

Immersion Chiller – A wort chiller most commonly made of copper that is used by submerging into hot wort before fermentation as a method of cooling.

Imperial – 1. A bottle, 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.

Infusion – Soaking or steeping grains in water or wort to transfer the flavors from the grain.

Infusion Mash – A method of mashing which achieves target mashing temperatures by the addition of heated water at specific temperatures.

Inoculate – The introduction of a microbe such as yeast or microorganisms such as lactobacillus into surroundings capable of supporting its growth.

IPA – 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.


Jeroboam – There are several sizes of Jeroboams: 3.0L, 4.5L and 5.0L. Typically the 3L size is used for sparkling wine, and the 4.5L is for red wine.


Keg – A large metal (stainless steel) vessel that contains beer. They come in several sizes, 2.5 gallon, 5 gallon, 7.75 gallon and 15.5 gallon. Import kegs come are usually 13.2 gallons (50 liters).

Kilderkin – Unit of measure. 1 Kilderkin = 18 Imperial Gallons

Kilning – The process of heat-drying malted barley in a kiln to stop germination and to produce a dry, easily milled malt from which the brittle rootlets are easily removed. Kilning also removes the raw flavor (or green-malt flavor) associated with germinating barley, and new aromas, flavors, and colors develop according to the intensity and duration of the kilning process.

Kolsch – Looks like a cylinder. The kolsch glass has straight sides and is tall. Holds 12 oz.

Kraeusen n – The rocky head of foam which appears on the surface of the wort during fermentation. v – A method of conditioning in which a small quantity of unfermented wort is added to a fully fermented beer to create a secondary fermentation and natural carbonation.

Krug – 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 seidel.


Lager – Beer made with bottom fermenting yeast. Lager is fermented at lower temperatures and usually takes longer to ferment than ales. Since the fermentation is at low temperatures, the yeast byproducts are reduced and a cleaner more crisp beer is the result.

Lagering – The process of aging beer at low temperatures, usually under 50°F. This process takes anywhere from a weeks to months.

Lambic – A traditionally Belgian brew that is typically sour. It is usually fruit flavored (peach, raspberry, cassis, cherry) and fermented with wild yeast and several types of bacteria.

Lauter – To drain the wort to the mash tun.

Lauter Tun – A vessel where mash settles and grains are strained out of the sweet wort.

Light Struck – The result of exposure of beer to light and heat. It is recognizable by a skunky smell.

Liquor – The brewer’s word for water used in the brewing process, as included in the mash or, used to sparge the grains after mashing.

Lovibond – A measurement of color. The scale starts at 0 (zero) and goes to over 500. The higher the number the darker the color.

Lupulin – A yellow resinous powder found on the female hop cone that contains the bittering principle used in making beer.


Magnum – A bottle, 1.5 liters in capacity.

Malt – (noun) Grain that has been malted. (verb) The malting process consists of wetting the grain and allowing it to germinate. During the germination, some of the starches in the grain get converted to sugars while others become simple soluble starches and other enzymes. The grain is then dried and tumbled to knock the beginnings of roots off. The grain is then kilned to dry it thoroughly and carmelize some of the sugars like in crystal malt or blacken it like a black patent malt.

Malt Extract – Sweet wort that has been reduced to a syrupy liquid or dried into a powder.

Malt Liquor – A legal term in the U.S. for fermented beverages with alcohol that is higher than normal – or around 7-8%.

Maltose – Water soluable, fermentable sugar from malt.

Marie-Jean – A bottle, 2.25 liters in capacity.

Mash – (verb) – Release of sugars from grains into water. (noun) The mixture resulting from mashing.

Mash Tun – The vessel in which grist is soaked in water and heated in order to convert the starch to sugar and to extract the sugars, colors, flavors and other solubles from the grist.

Mashing – The process of mixing crushed malt (and possibly other grains or adjuncts) with hot water to convert grain starches to fermentable sugars and non-fermentable carbohydrates that will add body, head retention and other characteristics to the beer. Mashing also extracts colors and flavors that will carry through to the finished beer, and also provides for the degradation of haze-forming proteins. Mashing requires several hours and produces a sugar-rich liquid called wort.

Mashing Out – The process of raising the mash temperature to 170F. The goal being to halt any enzymatic activity and prevent further conversion of starches to sugars.

MBAA (Master Brewers Association of the Americas) – was formed in 1887 with the purpose of promoting, advancing, and improving the professional interest of brew and malt house production and technical personnel.

Mead – A beverage made from fermented honey.

Meilgaard, Morten – Author of Sensory Evaluation Techniques and creator of the Beer Flavor Wheel.

Methuselah – A bottle, 6 liters in capacity, typically used for sparkling wine.

Microbrewery – A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site.

Milling – The grinding of malt into grist (or meal) to facilitate the extraction of sugars and other soluble substances during the mash process. The endosperm must be crushed to medium-sized grits rather than to flour consistency. It is important that the husks remain intact when the grain is milled or cracked because they will later act as a filter aid during lautering.

Modified Malts – Modified Malts refers to the length of the germination process and how many of the internal malt structures and compounds have already been broken down.

Mouthfeel – 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 can have different textures and come in different sizes.

Musty – Moldy, mildewy character that can be the result of cork or bacterial infection in a beer. It can be perceived in both taste and aroma.

Myrcene – One of the essential oils made in the flowering cone of the hops plant Humulus lupulus.


Natural Carbonation – Sugar is added to beer in its container and then sealed. Fermentation kicks off again as the yeast eats the new sugar addition. When yeast ferments, it releases CO2 which is then absorbed into the liquid.

Nebuchadnezzar – A bottle, 15 liters in capacity.

Ninkasi – The ancient Sumerian goddess of beer.

Nitrogen – When used for the carbonation of beer, Nitrogen contributes a thick creamy mouth feel opposed to c02.

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.


Oasthouse – A farm-based facility where hops are dried and baled after picking.

Original Gravity (OG)– The specific gravity of the wort before yeast is added.A measure of the total amount of solids that are dissolved in the wort as compared to the density of water, which is conventionally given as 1.000 and higher. Synonym: Starting gravity; starting specific gravity; original wort gravity.

Oxygenation – The addition of oxygen in the wort. This is done to help provide the yeast with oxygen for a healthy fermentation.

Oxidation – A chemical reaction in which one of the reactants (beer, food) undergoes the addition of or reaction with oxygen or an oxidizing agent.

Oxidized – Stale, winy flavor or aroma of wet cardboard, paper, rotten pineapple sherry and many other variations.


Package – A general term for the containers used to market beverages. Packaged beer is generally sold in bottles and cans. Beer sold in kegs is usually called draught beer.

Palate – The top part of the inside of your mouth and is generally associated with how humans taste.

Pasteurization – Heating food or liquid to high temperatures to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. This also kills yeast. Developed by Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).

Pediococcus – A microorganism orbacteria usually considered contaminants of beer and wine although their presence is sometimes desired in beer styles such as Lambic. Certain Pediococcus strains can produce diacetyl, which renders a buttery or butterscotch aroma and flavor to beer, sometimes desired in small doses, but usually considered to be a flavor defect.

pH – Abbreviation for potential Hydrogen, used to express the degree of acidity and alkalinity in an aqueous solution, usually on a logarithmic scale ranging from 1-14, with 7 being neutral, 1 being the most acidic, and 14 being the most alkaline.

Phenolic – A medicinal taste caused by volatile phenol compounds.

Phenols – A class of chemical compounds perceptible in both aroma and taste. Some phenolic flavors and aromas are desirable in certain beer styles, for example German-style wheat beers in which the phenolic components derived from the yeast used, or Smoke beers in which the phenolic components derived from smoked malt. Higher concentrations in beer are often due to the brewing water, infection of the wort by bacteria or wild yeasts, cleaning agents, or crown and can linings. Phenolic sensory attributes include clovey, herbal, medicinal or pharmaceutical (band-aid).

Pilsner – 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.

Pin – Unit of measure. 1 Pin = 4.5 Imperial Gallons.

Pint 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.

Pitching – Pitching yeast is basically adding yeast to wort. This is done around 70°F. Pitching when the wort is too warm or too cold will kill the yeast.

Plato Degrees or Degrees Plato – A method or different scale for measuring sugar in wort. It is an updated rendition of the Balling scale.

Pokal – 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 – Vigorous fermentation where the yeast cells multiply and feed on the fermentable sugars in the wort thus releasing carbon dioxide.

Priming – The addition of small amounts of fermentable sugars to fermented beer before racking or bottling to induce a renewed fermentationin the bottle or keg and thus carbonate the beer.

Prohibition – A law instituted by the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (stemming from the Volstead Act) on January 18, 1920, forbidding the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. It was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 5, 1933. The Prohibition Era is sometimes referred to as The Noble Experiment.

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 pint glass.

Punt – The hollow at the bottom of some bottles.


Racking – Transferring the wort into another container. Beer is racked from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter.

Real Ale – See cask conditioning

Reboboam – A bottle, 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.

Residual Alkalinity – A measurement of the mash’s ability to buffer, or resist, attempts to lower its pH.

Residual Sugar – Any leftover sugar that the yeast did not consume during fermentation.

Resin – The gummy organic substance produced by certain plants and trees. Humulone and lupulone, for example, are bitter resins that occur naturally in the hop flower.

RIMS – Recirculating Infusion Mash System – brewing setup that is quite popular among homebrewers.


Saccharification – The conversion of malt starch into fermentable sugars, primarily maltose.

Saccharomyces carlsbergensis – Lager or bottom fermenting yeast.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae – Ale or top fermenting yeast.

Saccharomyces uvarum – Lager or bottom fermenting yeast. Also known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis.

Salamanzar – A bottle, 9 liters in capacity.

Scotch Ale – A top-fermented beer of Scottish origin. Traditionally strong, very dark, thick and creamy.

Secondary Fermentation – After primary fermentation, which can be very active the beer is “racked” into another vessel for secondary fermentation. This helps remove some of the expired yeast which may give off negative flavors if left in.

Sediment – The refuse of solid matter that settles and accumulates at the bottom of fermenters, conditioning vessels and bottles of bottle-conditioned beer.

Seidel – 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.

Session Beer – A beer of lighter body and alcohol of which one might expect to drink more than one serving in a sitting.

Solvent-like – Flavor and aromatic character similar to acetone or lacquer thinner, often due to high fermentation temperatures.

Sorghum – A cereal grain from various grasses (Sorghum vulgare). Also a grain sought out by those who are gluten intolerant.

Sour – A taste perceived to be acidic and tart. Sometimes the result of a bacterial influence intended by the brewer, from either wild or inoculated bacteria such as lactobacillus and pediococcus.

Sparge – The recovery of sugars by spraying hot water on the grain bed.

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 – is a taller, thinner version of the pilsner glass. Holds 12 oz. Also called a stick.

Standard Reference Method (SRM) – An analytical method and scale that brewers use to measure and quantify the color of a beer. The higher the SRM is, the darker the beer. In beer, SRM ranges from as low as 2 (light lager) to as high as 45 (stout) and beyond.

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.

Steeping – The soaking in liquid of a solid so as to extract flavors.

Step Infusion – A mashing method wherein the temperature of the mash is raised by adding very hot water, and then stirring and stabilizing the mash at the target step temperature.

Stick – This is a taller, thinner version of the pilsner glass. Holds 12 oz. Also called a stange.

Sulfur – Aroma reminiscent of rotten eggs or burnt matches; a by-product of some yeasts or a beer becoming light struck.


Tannins – A group of organic compounds contained in certain cereal grains and other plants. Tannins are present in the hop cone. Also called “hop tannin” to distinguish it from tannins originating from malted barley. The greater part of malt tannin content is derived from malt husks, but malt tannins differ chemically from hop tannins. In extreme examples, tannins from both can be perceived as a taste or sensation similar to sampling black tea that has steeped for a very long time.

Temperature Rests – Temperature Rests during the beer making process allows the brewer to adjust fermentable sugar profiles so as to influence characteristics of the resulting beer.

Terminal Gravity – The specific gravity of the wort after fermentation has ended. Sometimes called final gravity.

Top Fermentation – One of the two basic fermentation methods characterized by the tendency of yeast cells to rise to the surface of the fermentation vessel. Ale yeast is top fermenting compared to lager yeast, which is bottom fermenting. Beers brewed in this fashion are commonly called ale or top-fermented beers.

Trappist – A beer brewed within a Trappist monastery, under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Only 6 breweries (5 in Belgium and one in Holland) can use the appellation “Trappist”: Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel.

Trigeminal Nerves – These nerves of the human face sense temperature and texture. Detection descriptors tied to beer’s sensations include: Cold/Hot, Silky/Tannic/Astringent, Thin/Heavy, Dry/Cloying, Flabby/Puckering, Cool/Burn

Trub – Wort particles resulting from the precipitation of proteins, hop oils and tannins during the boiling and cooling stages of brewing.

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.


Volatile Compounds – Chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate and enter the surrounding air.
Volstead Act – or the national prohibition act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, which established prohibition in the United States.

Volumes of C02 – The measurement of c02 dissolved in a beer and is an indication of the carbonation level.

Vorlauf – At the outset of lautering and immediately prior to collecting wort in the brew kettle, the recirculation of wort from the lauter tunoutlet back onto the top of the grain bed in order to clarify the wort.


Water – One of the four ingredients in beer. Some beers are made up by as much as 90% water. Globally, some brewing centers became famous for their particular type of beer, and the individual flavors of their beer were strongly influenced by the brewing water’s pH and mineral content. Burton is renowned for its bitter beers because the water is hard (higher PH), Edinburgh for its pale ales, Dortmund for its pale lager, and Plzen for its Pilsner Urquell (soft water lower PH).

Wet Hopping – The addition of freshly harvested hops that have not yet been dried to different stages of the brewing process. Wet hopping adds unique flavors and aromas to beer that are not normally found when using hops that have been dried and processed per usual.

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.

Willibecher – 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.

Wit – “White” beer. It is a cloudy wheat beer, spiced with corriander and orange peel.

Wort – Wort is beer before it becomes beer. After you boil the ingredients together that mixture is called wort. The bittersweet sugar solution obtained by mashing the malt and boiling in the hops, which becomes beer through fermentation.

Wort Chiller – A device to rapidly cool wort. Usually copper tubing that has cold water running through it. Sometimes 2 tubes, one inside the other, with wort going through one and cold water going through the other. Also called a heat exchanger.


Yard – 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 – Yeast is what makes the alcohol in beer. During the fermentation process, yeast converts the natural malt sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Yeast was first viewed under a microscope in 1680 by the Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.

Yeast Pitching – The point in the brewing process in which yeast is added to cool wort prior to fermentation.


Zymurgy – The branch of chemistry dealing with fermentation.