Glossary

This is a list of basic home brewing terms.

Ale – A beer brewed from a top-fermenting yeast with a relatively short, warm fermentation.

Attenuation – the percentage that measures the conversion of sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the fermentation process; a more attenuated beer will generally be drier and more alcoholic than a less attenuated beer made from the same wort.

Cold break – the precipitation or flocculation of proteins and hop matter that form when chilling wort rapidly. This happens at the end of the boil when you rapidly cool the wort before the yeast is pitched.

Distillate – the liquid condensed from vapor in distillation.

Distillation – the process of purifying a liquid by evaporation and condensation.

Fermentation – the chemical breakdown of sugars by yeast into ethyl alcohol.

International Bittering Units (IBU) – a measure of the beer’s bitterness.

Fermenter – a vessel used in the process where mash fermentation takes place.

Knock-Out – the final step in the brewing process. After the boil is complete the “knock Out” step begins. Hot wort is chilled to room temperature through a heat exchanger or wort chiller, and oxygen is added during transfer to the fermenter.

Lager – beer fermented at a low temperature followed by maturation in cool storage. Lager yeast will ferment at lower temperatures than ale yeast.

Mash – a mixture of crushed malted grains or other fementable carbohydrate in water, stirred and steeped, with heat to convert starch into fermentable sugars.

Racking – the process of transferring wort or beer from one vessel to another. For example, from Primary fermenter to Secondary fermentaion, or from fermenter to bottles or keg.