Courtesy of Beer Advocate
Ale – Beers distinguished by use of top fermenting yeast strainsThe top fermenting yeast perform at warmer temperatures than do yeast’s used to brew lager beer, and their byproducts are more evident in taste and aroma. Fruitiness and esters are often part of an ale’s character.
Alcohol – Ethyl alcohol or ethanol. An intoxicating by-product of fermentation, which is caused by yeast acting on sugars in the malt. Alcohol content is expressed as a percentage of volume or weight.
Amber – Any top or bottom fermented beer having an amber color, that is, between pale and dark.
Beer – Name given alcohol-containing beverages produced by fermenting grain, specifically malt, and flavored with hops.
Bitterness – The perception of a bitter flavor, in beer from iso-alpha-acid in solution (derived from hops). It is measured in International Bitterness Units (IBU).
Body – Thickness and mouth-filling property of a beer described as “full or thin bodied”.
Bottle-conditioning – Secondary fermentation and maturation in the bottle, creating complex aromas and flavors.
Bottom-fermenting yeast – One of the two types of yeast used in brewing. Bottom-fermenting yeast works well at low temperatures and ferments more sugars leaving a crisp, clean taste and then settles to the bottom of the tank. Also referred to as “lager yeast”.
Brewhouse – The collective equipment used to make beer.
Brew Kettle – The vessel in which wort from the mash is boiled with hops. Also called a copper.
Brewpub – Pub that makes its own beer and sells at least 50% of it on premises. Also known in Britain as a home-brew house and in Germany as a house brewery.
Bung – The stopper in the hole in a keg or cask through which the keg or cask is filled and emptied. The hole may also be referred to as a bung or bunghole. Real beer must use a wooden bung.
Carbonation – Sparkle caused by carbon dioxide, either created during fermentation or injected later
Cask – A closed, barrel-shaped container for beer. They come in various sizes and are now usually made of metal. The bung in a cask of “Real” beer or ale must be made of wood to allow the pressure to be relived, as the fermentation of the beer, in the cask, continues.
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.
Contract Beer – Beer made by one brewery and then marketed by a company calling itself a brewery. The latter uses the brewing facilities of the former.
Draft (Draught) – The process of dispensing beer from a bright tank, cask or, keg, by hand pump, pressure from an air pump or, injected carbon dioxide inserted into the beer container prior to sealing.
Dry-hopping – The addition of dry hops to fermenting or aging beer to increase its hop character or aroma.
Ester – Volatile flavor compound naturally created in fermentation. Often fruity, flowery or spicy.
Estery – Aroma or flavor reminiscent of flowers or fruits.
Fermentation – Conversion of sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, through the action of yeast.
Hard Cider – A fermented beverage made from apples.
Hops – Herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavor.
Hoppy – Aroma of hops, does not include hop bitterness.
IBU – International Bitterness Units. A system of indicating the hop bitterness in finished beer.
Keg – One-half barrel, or 15.5 U. S. gallons. A half keg or, 7.75 U. S. gallons, is referred to as a pony-keg.
Lager – Beers produced with bottom fermenting yeast strains, 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 (close to 0C /32F) to settle residual yeast, impart carbonation and make for clean round flavors.
Malt (ing) – The process by which barley is steeped in water, germinated, and then kilned to convert insoluble starch to soluble substances and sugar. The foundation ingredient of beer.
Malt Liquor – A legal term used in the U.S. to designate a fermented beverage of relatively high alcohol content (7%-8% by volume).
Mead – Meads are produced by the fermentation of honey, water, yeast and optional ingredients such as fruit, herbs, and/or spices. According to final gravity, they are categorized as: dry (0.996 to 1009); medium (1010 to 1019); or sweet (1020 or higher). Wine, champagne, sherry, mead, ale or lager yeasts may be used.
Mouthfeel – A sensation derived from the consistency or viscosity of a beer, described, for example as thin or full.
Musty – Moldy, mildewy character; can be the result of cork or bacterial infection.
Pub – An establishment that serves beer and sometimes other alcoholic beverages for consumption on premise. The term originated in England and is the shortened form of “public house”.
Publican – The owner or manager of a pub.
Regional specialty brewery – A brewery that produces more than 15,000 barrels of beer annually, with its largest selling product a specialty beer.
Salty – Flavor like table salt; experienced on the side of the tongue.
Secondary fermentation – Stage of fermentation occurring in a closed container from several weeks to several months.
Shelf life – Describes the number of days a beer will retain it’s peak drinkability. The shelf life for commercially produced beers is usually a maximum of four months.
Solventlike – Reminiscent of acetone or lacquer thinner; caused by high fermentation temperatures.
Specific gravity – A measure of the density of a liquid or solid compared to that of water
Sweet – Taste like sugar; experienced on the front of the tongue.
Top-fermenting yeast – One of the two types of yeast used in brewing. Top-fermenting yeast works better at warmer temperatures and are able to tolerate higher alcohol concentrations than bottom-fermenting yeast. It is unable to ferment some sugars, and results in a fruitier, sweeter beer. Also known as “ale yeast”.
Units of bitterness – See IBU.
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.
Yeast – A micro-organism of the fungus family
Yeasty – Yeast like flavor; a result of yeast in suspension or beer sitting too long on sediment.