Terms Of Endearment

dictionary-iconBrewers like to make complicated words up for their hobby, and this has created a problem of sorts for me. A lot of my friends apparently have no clue what a lot of the terms I use mean, and why should they, since many of them don’t brew. So to overcome this obstacle, and prevent the vacant looks, here’s a list of some brewing terms, and what they mean.

  • Primary – This is the vessel in which the initial or “primary” fermentation occurs
  • Secondary– This term refers to the vessel where the secondary fermentation occurs, but most homebrewers use it when referring to the vessel used for clarifying and aging the beer.
  • Gruit –  This is an older style of beer brewed using herbs such as Yarrow instead of Hops
  • Original Gravity/”OG” – This is the measurement of dissolved sugars in the wort, and is generally used to get an idea of how much alcohol will be in your beer
  • Bottle Conditioning – This can either refer too the process where beer is allowed to carbonate in the bottle by means of yeast and sugar, or it can refer to aging the beer once it’s bottled
  • Lager – Beer is broken down in to two distinct styles, Lager and ale. A lager is made using a bottom fermenting yeast, and is usually fermented at colder temperatures
  • Ale – Ale is the flip side of the coin, and is made using a top fermenting yeast, usually at warmer temperatures
  • Dry Hoping – This refers to adding hops to the secondary in order to give the beer a strong hop smell, and a bright hop taste. Some brewers will use this to refer to the hops added in the last minutes of the boil.
  • Green – A beer that has not aged and is still considered young. Green beers tend have a stronger and brighter hop bitterness.
  • Grain Bag – This one is just simply a fine mesh bag used too hold grains or hops during the steeping and boiling
  • Sparge – Sparging is straining the wort to remove any solid material from the hops or grain. Many brewers include rinsing wort from the grains or hops back into the wort as part of sparging.
  • Wort – This is simply your beer before it’s fermented

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