Skip to main content
Brewing Resources

Brewing Terms

By January 20, 2016April 25th, 2023No Comments

The following terms will be used throughout these instructions. Many of the terms come from German and appropriate pronunciations are given. On the other hand, German pronunciation is optional.

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

Alpha Acid Units (AAU) A homebrewing measurement of Hops. Equal to the weight in ounces multiplied by the percent of Alpha Acids.

Attenuation The degree of conversion of sugar to alcohol and CO2.

Beer Any beverage made by fermenting malted barley and seasoning with Hops.

Cold Break Proteins that coagulate and fall out of solution when the wort is rapidly cooled prior to Pitching the yeast.

Conditioning An aspect of Secondary Fermentation in which the yeast refine the flavors of the final beer. Conditioning continues in the bottle.

Fermentation The total conversion of malt sugar to beer, defined here as two parts, Primary and Secondary.

Flocculation is the ability of yeast to settle out of the beer on its own. The higher the flocculation number, the faster it settles resulting in the potential for better clarity.

Hops Hop vines are grown in cool climates and brewers make use of the cone-like flowers. The dried cones are available in Pellets, Plugs, or whole.

Hot Break Proteins that coagulate and fall out of solution during the wort boil.

Gravity Like density, gravity describes the concentration of malt sugar in the wort. The specific gravity of water is 1.000 at 59F. Typical beer worts range from 1.035-
1.055 before fermentation (Original Gravity).

International Bittering Units (IBU) A more precise method of measuring Hops. Equal to the AAU multiplied by factors for percent utilization, wort volume and wort gravity.

Krausen (kroy-zen) Used to refer to the foamy head that builds on top of the beer during fermentation. Also an advanced method of priming.

Lager A beer brewed from a bottom-fermenting yeast and given a long cool fermentation.

Pitching Term for adding the yeast to the fermenter.

Primary Fermentation The initial fermentation activity marked by the evolution of carbon dioxide and Krausen. Most of the total attenuation occurs during this phase.

Priming The method of adding a small amount of fermentable sugar prior to bottling to give the beer carbonation.

Racking The careful siphoning of the beer away from the Trub.

Secondary Fermentation A period of settling and conditioning of the beer after Primary Fermentation and before bottling.

Trub (trub or troob) The sediment at the bottom of the fermenter consisting of Hot and Cold Break material and dead yeast.

Wort (wart or wert) The malt-sugar solution that is boiled prior to fermentation.

Zymurgy The science of Brewing and Fermentation.