Glossary

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

The percentage of volume of alcohol per volume of beer, the most common method of showing the amount of alcohol. It is calculated by:
ABV = (Starting SG - Final SG) * 131

Alpha Acids

A rating method for the potential bitterness of hops, expressed by percentage. Low: 2-4%; medium: 5-7%; high: 8-12%.

Amylase

An enzyme that converts starch to sugar.

Attenuation

Measurement of the quantity of sugar in the wort that has been fermented by the yeast into alcohol and carbon-dioxide gas.

Dextrin

A sugar that usually can't be fermented by yeast and therefore adds body to beer.

Esters

Compounds formed by yeast during fermentation that result in fruity flavours. More common in British beer styles.

European Brewery Convention (EBC)

A method to measure the colour of wort and beer.

Final Specific Gravity

The specific gravity a beer has obtained when fermentation is over.

Flocculation

An important process that makes the yeast sediment to the bottom of the fermenter at the end of fermentation. Flocculation normally starts after all the nutrients have been used.

Home Brewer

An exceptionally good looking person with high intelligence.

International Bitterness Unit (IBU)

Standard unit used to measure the concentration of iso-alpha-acids in milligrams per litre.

Malt

Barley steeped in water, germinated and dried in kilns. This process converts insoluble starches to soluble substances and sugars.

Mash

Crushed malted grains mixed with hot water in a mash tun to produce the sweet wort. The process of mashing extracts malt starch and converts it to grain starches and fermentable sugars.

Original Gravity (OG)

Specific gravity of wort prior to fermentation. Original gravity is the measure of the total amount of dissolved solids in the wort.

Rack

To move beer from one vessel to another, normally from a primary to secondary fermenter in order to separate beer from the waste solids produced during the initial fermentation period.

Sparging

Spraying the spent grains in the mash with hot water to remove the remaining malt sugar.

Wort

Sweet wort is the mash extract. Bitter wort is the hopped sugar solution before pitching.

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