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Beer Dictionary

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

Abbay or Abbey Beer
A  Belgian or dutch commercial brewed product that mimics Trappist style of brewing or is brewed under licence from Trappist monks (It is not necessarily made in an abbey or by monks).
Abroad Clerk
Senior brewery staff member, most often in the major London porter breweries, with responsibility for the round of visits to publicans' premises, to collect payments and see to matters of day-to-day management.
Abroad Cooper
Brewery worker, most often in the major London porter breweries, sent out to perform various duties at publicans' premises: these might include the supervision of fining, care of the casks, and the collection of receipts, also suggestions that abroad coopers were also responsible for tasting the beer to guard against adulteration by the publican.
Acetaldehyde
An organic compound (chemical formula C2H2O) produced by yeast during fermentation.  Acetaldehyde is actually an intermediate step in the production of ethanol, and is normally not present in significant quantities in the finished beer.  Acetaldehyde has a "green apple" aroma and flavor. 
Acid rest
A low-temperature rest (around 95F), which is done to lower the pH of a grain mash.  Not commonly used by either commercial or home brewers.  Quite frankly, I don't know any all-grain brewers who actually use one on a regular basis.
Activated charcoal
A substance commonly used to remove both organic and inorgainic contaminants from water.  Most water filtration units use activated charcoal.  Does not remove all microorganisms (i.e., activated charcoal cannot be used to make unsanitary water safe).
Actual Attenuation
The actual percentage of sugars in the wort which have been converted to alcohol and CO2 by the yeast.  Since alcohol is lighter than water, actual attenuation is higher than apparent attenuation (which is what we measure with our hydrometers).
Additives
Enzymes, Preservatives and antioxidants, which may be added to beer to simplify the brewing process or to prolong shelf life.
Adjuncts
A brewing term for starch not found in malted barley or wheat, but in raw materials such as rice, maize (corn starch) or brewing sugars.
Adze
A cross-faced axe used by Coopers to drive a wooden hoop down the staves of a cask and to shape staves.
Alcohol
Ethanol or Ethyl Alcohol, The intoxicating by-product of fermentation, caused by yeast acting on sugars in the Malt.
Alcohol Content
Expressed as percentage of weight or volume (generally ABV, Alcohol By Volume).
Ale
Ale is a traditional style found mainly in Britain and Northwest Europe and characterised by relatively high fermentation and serving temperatures, top-fermenting yeast strains and specialist malts and hops.  Nowadays ale is any beer produced by fermentation at temperatures of around 65–70F (18–21C) by top fermentation yeast. However, in the fifteenth century the native British ale, was made without hops, and the hopped product made at first by immigrants from the Low Countries was known as beer.  For a time, ale and beer were perceived as wholly separate drinks produced by distinct brewing communities.
Ale Conner
Official employed to test the strength, quality etc of ale.  An early test was to pour the Ale onto a table and sit on it for a period of time, the ‘stickiness’ of the ale would be an indication of sugars present, and subsequent quality for sale.
Alpha acid
The main bittering substance in hops; a component of lupulin.
Altbier
Traditionally brewed in the German city of Düsseldorf, This "top-fermented" style of beer is typically copper in colour, and cold-conditioned in the manner of a "bottom fermented" beer.  The name literally means ‘Old Beer’.
Amber Malt
Malt dried to a degree intermediate between brown and pale.
Anaerobic
The ability to metabolise without oxygen present, e.g bottom-fermentation lager yeast.
Aroma Hops
Variety of Hops chosen for its bouquet.
Astringent
Drying, puckering taste- can be derived from boiling the grains; long mashes; over sparging or sparging with hard water.
Attemperator
Device, typically a submerged coil through which running water may pass, used for controlling the temperature of bulk liquids.
Attenuation
Literally 'thinning-out': the process is the conversion of sugars into alcohol, by which fermenting wort becomes less dense, less viscous, less sweet-tasting and more liable to intoxicate.
Back
Generic term for vessels used in the brewing process.  Often pronounced “buck”; same derivation as “bucket”.
Barley
A grain malted for use in the mash, in the brewing of beer.
Barley Wine
A high strength, high fruit and high malt flavoured beer, barley wine is a true ale.  Usually  it has an alcoholic content of around 6% ABV, but can be upto 11%. 
Barrel
A cask of a standard size, in general English, barrel tends to be applied to any vessel of hoops and staves; in brewery circles, cask or keg is preferred as the generic and barrel tends to denote a volume of 36 gallons.
Beer
All fermented malt liquors.
Beer Engine
A dispense mechanism used in traditional British pubs to pump beer from cask to glass, avoiding false CO2 carbonation.
Beer Up
A beer party; a spree.
Bere
Same root as barley, but in modern times usually equivalent specifically to bigg. 
Belgian Lace
The foamy residue of a beer’s head that continues to cling to the inside of the glass as the beer is consumed. Many experts consider Belgian lace a sign of a well-made beer.
Beta acid
A component of lupulin
Bigg
Species of barley (six-rowed, but with the appearance of four rows) often mentioned as taking the place of common barley in Scottish brewing.
Bine
Stem of a hop plant.
Bishop Barker
A long glass of beer. The term originated in Sydney in the 1850s, having local reference to an exceedingly tall clerical personality of that city. (Now obsolete.)
Bitter
British term for the current styles of beer developed from the original 19th century pale ales, generally coloured pale, amber or copper.
Black malt
See Patent Malt.
Black Strap
Molasses.
Blacking
“a technical term used by coopers, to denote sugar that is calcined, until it obtains the colour that occasions the name” (Combrune (1805)).
Blight
Infestation of damson-hop aphid
Blown Malt
High-dried brown malt which has been allowed to torrify, or 'blow' (in a similar fashion to popping corn), increasing the volume a given mass will take up. 
Bobby
A 6 oz. glass of beer. (WA)
Bock
A Germanic strong "bottom-fermented" beer in excess of 6.25% ABV, usually of a lager style, with the colours can ranging from dark, copper hues, through to pale blonde.
Body
Thickness and Mouth-filling properties of a beer, described as ‘thin or full bodied’.
Booze-artist
A heavy drinker.
Bottle Conditioned
Beers that undergo a secondary fermentation process in the bottle.
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 known as Lager Yeast.
Brewers' Pounds
See Pounds per barrel.
Brewery
Any individual brewing site, especially a large one used for brewing in common.
Brewhouse
Building or chamber housing the apparatus used for brewing, whether in a dedicated brewery or not. 
Brewing Victualler
A latter day term for a Publican (“licensed victualler”) who brews his or her own beer, for consumption on the premises (the opposing term is common brewer).  An older means of production that has seen a resurgence with the modern establishment of brewpubs.
Brewster
Feminine of “brewer”.  Since domestic brewing was initially considered “women's work”, many of the early publican brewers were female.
Bright
The traditional term is for beer following initial fermentation (beer is always somewhat cloudy owing to suspended yeast and other materials),  The beer is said to have “dropped bright” when, in the cask or vat, the suspended matter drops out of the beer, leaving it transparent.  More recently the expression “bright beer” applies specifically to 'keg', 'tank' and non-live bottled beers, which, having been filtered and pasteurised, remain bright, since they have no yeast activity. 
Broad Cooper
See Abroad Cooper.
Brown Malt
Malt dried to relatively high temperatures, often over a wood fire, imparting a brown colour and characteristic flavour to beer brewed with it.
Bung
Traditional Australian term for a publican.  Also used as the seal for spent casks of British Ale.
Burr
Female hop flower from which the cones later develope.
Burtonisation
Process used to harden water supplies to achieve similar characteristics found in the hard water of Burton-on-Trent, England.  Some brewers may use Gypsum for this effect.
Butcher
A 5 oz. glass of beer.(S.A)
Butt
Generic term for a cask, often indicating large size.  Sometimes indicates a specific capacity of three barrels (in the case of beer measure, 108 gallons).
CAMRA
The Campaign for Real Ale, founded in England in 1971.
Canker
A fungal soil borne disease which attacks hops.
Caramel
Sometimes used to colour and flavour cheaper beers, simply burnt sugar.
Carbonation
Sparkle caused by carbon dioxide either naturally created during fermentation, or injected later.
Cask
Generic term for the familiar vessel to hold beer or other liquids, generally constructed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of wooden staves bound by metal hoops, and forming a tapered cylindrical shape ideal for rolling into position.  Modern casks tend to be all metal, though the shape is not greatly changed.  (See Barrel, Puncheon, Hogshead, Kilderkin, Firkin, Pin)
Cask Conditioned
Beer with yeast left in to continue fermentation in the cask, AKA “Real Ales”, the popular British style.
Cerevisaphile
An enthusiast or lover of beer, taken from the Latin word for beer 'cerevisia'.
Chill Haze
Cloudiness caused by precipitation of protein-tannin compound at low temperatures; It does not affect flavour.
Chloe, Drunk as
Very drunk indeed. Sidney J. Baker in The Australian Language (2nd Edn.Currawong Publishing Company 1966) comments `The origin is obscure. Perhaps simply a rhyme from the English drunk as Floey' The painting of Chloe [q.v.] in Young and Jackson's Hotel, Melbourne, may have helped to preserve the expression, but had nothing to do with originating it.'
Cleansing
Transfer of finished beer from the fermenting vessels into casks.
Cocculus Indicus or Cocculus India
Toxic, stupefying berry used in extract form as a brewing additive, and principal cause célèbre in the adulteration controversies around 1800: it was widely asserted that London’s porter brewers were poisoning their customers by employing large quantities of the substance.
Coir Yarn
Cordage and string made of coconut fibre for growing hops.
Common Brewer
Antiquated term for a relatively large brewing concern, producing beer at a central brewery for distribution to a number of public houses, usually attached to the brewery by tie or direct owners. 
Conditioning
Period of maturation intended to impart ‘condition’ (natural carbonation).  Warm conditioning further develops the complex flavours.  Cold conditioning imparts a clean, round taste.
Conditioning Tank
A vessel in which beer is placed after primary fermentation where the beer matures, clarifies and is naturally carbonated through secondary fermentation.  Also called bright beer tank, serving tank and secondary tank.
Cone
The part of the hop plant that is used in brewing.
Cooper
A maker or repairer of casks, and sometimes similarly-constructed vessels such as mash tuns.  The term 'cooper' also gained a somewhat different meaning within the brewery, indicating an individual employed to clean and maintain casks, and perhaps also to manage other activities such as fining at the public house. 
Copper
Brewing vessel used for the hop boil, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries this was generally fired by direct heat, and was usually made of copper.  Also known as the Brew ‘kettle’.
Cohumulone
One of the Alpha acids found in hops.
Cunnamulla Gun
A shearer who boasts of his prowess with the shears, while drinking at the bar. (From the Queensland sheep town of Cunna­mulla; and gun, a champion shearer.)

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