Technical terms brewers use Translated

In the sea of various sources, brewing channels, and articles it’s easy to get lost in the terminology. Especially if youre just getting started with your homebrewing project learning new methods and techniques could be a little challenging. So here we are to translate the most common brewing terms and make them super easy to understand.

If you were ever in a situation where you didn’t know what to do but kept nodding your head we totally understand. Being a part of the brewing community and having conversations with experienced brewers is about to become super easy. And to make your start as a brewing much smoother check our 10 tips for beginning homebrewing.

Tastes and flavors

A beer fermenter filled with wort and fresh hops.
Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/224194887670939077/

Diacetyl is a byproduct of fermentation. It tastes like butter or butterscotch and is very easy to detect. This taste can happen in all fermentations and you just have to give it more rest at a certain temperature.

Wet Hopped is when you use hops that haven’t been dried in your beer. They go straight from the farm into the beer. It has to take them less than 24 hours to do that.

Ester is another byproduct of fermentation. There are hundreds of them and they all smell different. They are chemical compounds that smell and taste certain things.

Adjunct used to be anything involved in beer in the mash phase. But recently it start to become more about things that are added towards the end of the fermentation or to the boil.

A cup of tea on a wooden board surrounded with spices and fruits.
Credit: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/tea-with-herbs-fruits-spices-mug-wooden-board-stucco-background-high-angle-view_9691727.htm

Lactic fermentation will drop the PH which makes it sour.

Acetic fermentation is made by different bacteria which is very common in some beers. It tastes balsamic and vinegary,

Mixed fermentation happens when there is more than one microorganism involved during the fermentation process along with your yeast.

Hops and Beer Conditioning

Double Dry Hopped all up until about 5 to 10 years ago you would dry hop right at the end of fermentation. Double Dry Hopping is where you still did that but you also did one during active fermentation. A separate addition at a separate temperature, or a separate time. And youre going to get different flavor characteristics from those hops.

Lagering is when you cold ferment a beer for a long time and mature it for a long time also at lower temperatures.

A row of cold beer bottles and one of them getting opened.
Credit: https://renegadebrewing.com/how-long-to-bottle-condition-beer/

Bottle Conditioned is a simple process where you add sugar to a flat beer before you put it in a bottle. That sugar is eaten up by the remaining yeast so you get carbonation in the bottle. It’s a way of naturally carbonating the beer.

Attenuation is the process of sugar being eaten up by the yeast. Attenuation is the amount of sugar that’s being eaten. So if the beer is well attenuated it means a lot of sugar is gone or the amount of sugar that you wanted is gone.

IBU, International Bittering Unit is a measure of the amount of bitterness. This is a combination of how much alpha acids are in your beer versus at what temperature you added your hops. Alpha acids turn bitter at certain temperatures so you do a calculation between how much you’ve added at what time and you’ll get your theoretical IBU.

Oxidized is the process of oxygen dissolving into the beer. Oxygen can destroy lots of different flavors and makes the beer taste bad.

So there you have it. The most common brewing terminology explained. We hope that next time you get to sound like an experienced brewer yourself. If there is some other term you are not familiar with drop us a comment and we will help you to find out what it means. Cheers.

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