Glossary of Terms:
Homebrewing uses many specialized terms. Below you will find the most common terms used for beginners and their definitions.
Ale – This is a beer that is brewed from a top-fermenting yeast. The fermentation is usually done at room temperature and is fairly short.
Beer – You all know what this is. This is your finished product.
Conditioning –An aspect of secondary fermentation. It can be done in a secondary fermentation vessel or is often done in the bottle. The conditioning period will give your beer a more complex taste.
Fermentation – This is the conversion of malt sugars to beer.
Hops – hops used in brewing are the flower from the hop plant. The bitterness from the hops counteract the sweetness from the malt and help create a balanced beer.
International Bittering Units (IBU) – a beer measurement that is the means of assessing beer by bitterness, strength and color.
Krausen – the foamy head that forms on the beer during fermentation
Lager – a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures.
Pitching – a term used for adding yeast to the fermenter.
Primary Fermentation – the process of wort becoming beer. This is the conversion of sugars into alcohol and CO2.
Priming – the addition of a small amount of sugar just before bottling to carbonate the beer.
Racking – the process of siphoning the beer from the fermenter leaving the sediment behind.
Secondary Fermentation – the process of removing the beer from the primary fermenter and the dead yeast and fermenter in a separate vessel for a period of time. Secondary fermentation will give the beer a purer taste.
Wort – the solution of malt and sugar that is boiled prior to fermentation.