Glossary

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Acetaldehyde
It is a naturally occurring chemical produced when yeast ferments and depicts an off flavor when present after the beer is kegged or bottled. It tastes and smells like green apples, rotten apples or fresh pumpkin. Using low quality, expired, or not enough yeast is a sure fire way to get acetaldehyde in your beer as well as not finishing the fermentation process. It does NOT come from improper cleaning of equipment.
Adjunct
It refers to any beer ingredient other than malted barley that is used to contribute sugar for fermentation (including sugar itself which is common in many Belgian-style beers). Adjuncts include: unmalted cereals such as flaked barley or corn grits, syrups, and sugars.
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 15% ABV (Imperial IPAs!). However, the majority of beer styles average around 5% 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
Attenuation
Attenuation refers to the percentage that measures the conversion of sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the fermentation process. It is calculated as follows:Attenuation = 100 % * (starting extract – current extract) / (starting extract)
Barley
A cereal grain derived from the annual grass Hordeum vulgare. 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.
°Balling, °Brix, or °Plato
These three nearly identical units are the standard for the professional brewing industry for describing the amount of available extract as a weight percentage of cane sugar in solution, as opposed to specific gravity. Eg. 10 °Plato is equivalent to a specific gravity of 1.040.
Head
Beer head (also head or Kräusen) is the frothy foam on top of beer which is produced by bubbles of gas, typically carbon dioxide, rising to the surface.

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