Brewing Terminolgy

AAU Alpha acid unit
ABV Alcohol by volume
ABW Alcohol by weight
Air lock A device that allows carbon dioxide to escape the fermenter and prevents outside air (and contaminants) from entering
Ale The oldest known beer style. Made with a top fermenting yeast.
Alpha acids Chemical compounds  found in the hop flower  resin glands and the source of hop bitterness.
Aroma hopping The addition of hops late in the boil primarily for aroma.
Barrel 31.5 gallons
Beer A fermented beverage made with barley. Beer includes ales, lagers, barley wines, and gruits.
Bittering The addition of hops during a boil generally done and one hour prior to the end of the boil.
BJCP The Beer Judge Certification Program
Boil The boiling of the wort.
Boil kettle The kettle or pot used to boil the wort.
Bottle conditioned Using yeast to carbonate the beer by eating sugars in solution after bottling.
Bottling The process of putting beer in to a bottle.
Brew House Efficiency See Efficiency
Brew Kettle See boil kettle
carboy A container used to transport and ferment beer.
Diastatic power IA measure of the ability of the grain’s enzymes to convert starch to sugars.
Doughing in Mixing water and grain to make a porridge.
Dry hopping Putting hops in the beer after primary fermentation has ended.
Efficiency The overall productivity of the brewing process. Generally it is the possible sugar in the grains converted to sugar for the wort. See Brewer’s Friend’s definition here or BeerSmith’s definition here.
Fermenter The container used in fermenting the beer.
Fermenting The process of yeast eating sugars and producing alcohol.
FG See “Final Gravity”
Final gravity The density of the beer following completed fermentation. See also Specific Gravity.
Flame out The removal of a heat source at the end of a boil.
Flavor hopping Hops placed in boil kettle toward the end of the boil or soon after flame out.
Grain bill The total amount of grains used to brew a batch of beer.
Hops The female flowers (also called cones or strobiles) of Humulus lupulus. Hops add bitterness, spiciness, and stability to beer.
Hydrometer An instrument to measure the specific gravity of a liquid.
IBU International Bittering Unit. The higher the IBU number  (up to 100) , the greater the perception of bitterness on the tongue.
Kräusen The foam that forms on top of vigorously fermenting beers.
Lager Literally means “to store.” Lagered beers were stored at near-freezing temperatures from weeks to months (depending on the amount of alcohol present).
Late hopping Hops added at, after, or toward the end of the boil.
Lauter tun The container in which the mash is sparged.
Liquor Water. That’s it. Water. But in brewing water’s chemical and mineral content affects the flavor of the beer produced, so some brewers go to great lengths to match water profiles of great beer brewing areas.
Lovibond A unit of color used to compare beers and grains. Grain (especially “specialty” grain used for additional color or flavor) is sold by degrees L e.g., 1L grain is light and 640L is nearly black.
Malt Grain which has been allowed to partially germinate and then heated to stop further germination.
Malted Barley Barley grain which has been allowed to partially germinate and then heated to stop further germination.
Mash Water and milled grain combined usually at a precise temperature (for brewing beer this is often ~152F, 67C)
Mash tun The container in which the grain and water is combined, usually has a false bottom to allow wort to drain out from the mash.
Mashing Combining milled grain and hot water and bringing the mixture to a specific temperature.  (for brewing beer this is often ~152F, 67C)
Mashing out Raising the temperature of the mash to ~170F (77C) to denature the enzymes.
OG See Original Gravity. See also Specific Gravity.
Original Gravity A measurement of the amount of sugar in the wort. The higher the Original Gravity the greater the amount of alcohol production possible. See also Specific Gravity.
Pitching yeast The placing of yeast into the wort.
Plato, degrees of also known as Brix in wine making. It is a measure of the amount of sugars in solution.
Priming Adding sugar to  reinvigorate the sleepy yeast. Priming is used in bottle conditioning.
Racking The moving of beer from the fermenter to another container.
Reinheitsgebot German beer purity law passed in 1516 that required beer to contain only water, barley, and hops (yeast was not yet known)
Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew Mantra for the homebrewer, especially when things don’t go as planned.
Sanitizer Chemical(s) used to sanitize equipment.
Secondary A container used to store beer prior to transfer to bottles or kegs, usually impermeable to air.
Six-row Malt Relates to the number of spikelets on a stalk. Six-row barley has more protein than two-row.
Sparge To rinse.
Sparging Rinsing the mash and making wort.
Specific Gravity The density of the liquid in comparison to water.
SRM Standard Reference Measurement. A measure of beer color/darkness.
Trub (pronounced troob) Gunk at the bottom of the boil kettle after a boil. It consists of coagulated proteins and hop leftovers.
Two-row Malt Relates to the number of spikelets on a stalk. Because two-row barley has less protein than six-row, it produces less haze.
Wort (pronounced wert) The liquid that will become beer once yeast is added.
Yeast One-celled organism that eats sugars while excreting alcohol and farting carbon dioxide.
Yeast, ale A so-called top fermenting yeast. Operates at warmer temperatures than lager yeast (generally around 60-68F, 15-20C).
Yeast, lager A so-called bottom fermenting yeast. Operates at colder temperatures than ale yeast (generally around 40-50F, 4-10C).

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