TERMINOLOGY

Stay up to date with the Craft Beer industry and don’t look foolish in front of your hip friends.


ABV

Amount of alcohol in beer in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer.


Adjuncts

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.


Barrel

A unit of measurement used by brewers. A barrel (BBL)  holds 31.5 US gallons (1 US gallon = 3.8 liters), or 1.17 hectoliters.


Brett

Brettanomyces is a genus of yeast traditionally associated with old stock ale from 19th-century Britain and well-recognized as being responsible for tertiary fermentation in Lambic and Flanders red ales. Descriptions range from “floral” even “earthy” to “horse-blanket”. Where the winemaker blanches, the craft brewer rushes in. Today, Brettanomyces in the brewery is increasingly anything but wild; many craft brewers are culturing this fickle organism and purposefully using it to gain complex characteristics in their beers.


Conditioning

Period of maturation intended to impart "condition" (natural carbonation). Warm conditioning further develops the complex of flavors. Cold conditioning imparts a clean, round taste.


Craft Beer

Craft Beer pertains to beer which is made on a smaller scale. This beer is made through a labour of love using the finest ingredients with a focus on love for the beer drinker and creativity. 


Dry Hop

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.


Gravity

Gravity, in the context of fermenting alcoholic beverages, refers to the specific gravity, or relative density compared to water, of the wort or must at various stages in the fermentation. ABV is calculated by subtracting the original gravity for final gravity and multiplying by 131.25.


Hops

Herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavor.


IBU

Abbreviation for the International Bitterness Units scale, a gauge of beer's bitterness. What IBUs measure are the parts per million of isohumulone found in a beer. Isohumulone is the acid found in hops that gives beer its bitter bite


Lactobaciullus

A bacteria, not a yeast. Lactobaciullus eats up the sugars in wort and, rather than converting them to alcohol, converts them to lactic acid. This lowers the liquid’s pH, making it sour. Lactobaciullus also shows up in plenty of food fermentation, from kimchi to yogurt.


Lager

Beers produced with bottom fermenting yeast strains, Saccharomyces uvarum (or carlsbergensis) at colder fermentation temperatures than ales. This cooler environment inhibits the natural production of esters and other byproducts, creating a crisper tasting product.


Lagering

From the German word for storage. Refers to maturation for several weeks or months at cold temperatures  to settle residual yeast, impart carbonation and make for clean round flavors. 


Malt

The process by which barley is steeped in water, germinated ,then kilned to convert insoluble starch to soluble substances and sugar. The foundation ingredient of beer


Mash

(Verb) To release malt sugars by soaking the grains in water. (Noun) The resultant mixture.


Wort

The solution of grain sugars strained from the mash tun. At this stage, regarded as "sweet wort", later as brewed wort, fermenting wort and finally beer.