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Beer Dictionary


A chemical often produced in the brewing process, with a characteristic butterscotch aroma or flavour.
Decoction Mashing
Mainly used in Lager brewing, where parts of the wort are removed, heated to a higher temperature and then returned to the original brew.  This aids the conversion of starch into sugars in poorly modified malt, by improving enzymic activity.
Delirium Tremens
Is an acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by abstinence or withdrawal from alcohol following excessive habitual drinking.  Colloquially known as the D.T’s.
The unfermentable carbohydrate produced by the enzymes in barley.  It gives the beer flavour and body.
Dingbats, To have the
To suffer from delirium tremens.
Drooping System
A system of fermentation in which the wort passes into a second vessel at about midpoint to rouse it. The 'dirty heads' are left behind in the first vessel.
Dry Hopping
The addition of dry hops to fermenting or ageing beer to increase its hop character and/or aroma.
A bottom fermented German beer style, with dark, malty and usually dry characteristics.  The style predates the worlds first pale coloured lagers.
European Beer Convention, indicating the colour in beers and malts.
Enriched Hop Powder
By removing some leaf material from the hop cones, a greater proportion of bitter substances is obtained in the powder.
Entire (Intire)/Entire Butt Beer
An early name for porter. The well-known 'Harwood' account states that the name 'entire' comes from its being drawn direct from a single cask or butt, rather than being a mixture of several different beers.
Catalysts found naturally in grain.  When heated in mash they convert the starches of the malted barley into maltose, a sugar used in solution and fermented to make beer.
Essentia Bina
Antiquated Porter additive (reportedly simply unrefined sugar).
Volatile flavour compounds naturally created in fermentation-often fruity, flowery or spicy.
A form of alcohol produced by yeast during fermentation.
Historically, the term was applied to any beer of superior quality suitable for export to a foreign country, generally of higher abv to hold quality in transit.
The dissolved fermentable materials in a wort, extracted from malt during the mashing process.
Fabia Amara
Additive much in use around 1800, widely condemned as an adulterant.  Alexander Morrice promoted it as the best substitute for hops, and also to a certain degree, to compensate for a shortage of malt.
Imaginary creatures seen at times by alcoholics, and especially victims of the DTs.
Allowing the rootlets of germinating barley to grow until the green malt has a 'felty' appearance.
Usually refers specifically to the conversion of sugary wort into intoxicating beer through the addition of yeast, the final stage of the brewing process.
The removal of designated impurities by passing the wort through a medium, sometimes diatomaceous earth.  Yeast in suspension is often targeted for removal.
Final Gravity (FG)
The gravity of finished beer, once fermentation is complete.
The clarification, or dropping bright, of finished beer, which tends to be cloudy immediately following fermentation.  Some beers fine naturally if left undisturbed for a period; however, discussion of the act of fining usually refers to artificial precipitation using finings such as isinglass.
Preparations used for the artificial fining of beer, usually added directly to the cask at the point of dispense.  In the eighteenth century isinglass was the chief fining agent.
A term describing how long the flavour of a beer lingers on the palate after swallowing.
A small cask, generally containing a quarter of a barrel (9 gallons).
Eighteenth century term for Yeast brought to the top of the vessel during fermentation, tending to form clumps leading to the creation of a large rocky head.
Foam in vessels or pipes (often excessive).
General antiquated term for putrefaction or other spoilage in beer.  Beer tainted in this way is said to be foxed. (Also an old English term for befuddled, or just Drunk!)
Term applied to dried hops showing a marked tint of reddish brown due to over maturity, disease or decay.
Framboise (Frambozen)
Raspberry flavoured Belgian lambic beers.
Old Australian term for a beer; or, less frequently, any alcoholic drink.
The step in the malting process, in which the grain is allowed to sprout, before roasting.
Gippsland Cocktail
A correspondent gives this description of a rugged bushman from the high country of south-eastern New South Wales, Monaro Mick: `He was certainly a tough sort of bloke. He always washed himself with steel wool and sandsoap, cut his hair with a pair of hand shears, and shaved his beard regularly with a bit of broken beer bottle. In his hip pocket he carried a small flask. When he called for a mug of beer he always added to it a dash of the contents of the flask. When. asked what the flask contained, he said, "I call it Gippsland cocktail, mate. It's a mixture of metho, boot polish and death adder venom. Gives the beer a bit of a kick, d'ya see." '
Growth stimulants isolated from moulds which accelerate malting.
The generic term for barley, wheat and other cereal crops used in beer production.
Quantitative term indicating the density of wort, finished beer, brewing liquor etc.  Devices such as the saccharometer for determining gravity values were marketed to brewers from the 1780s onwards.  In many modern day brewing situations, including homebrewing, gravity is quantified using the specific gravity scale (expressing values as a simple quotient of the density of pure water) inherited from distillery practice.  The traditional brewery-specific measure was the scale of pounds per barrel, as pioneered by John Richardson in 1784.
The milled malt (and sometimes other materials) to be mashed.
The malt (and sometimes other materials) to be used for brewing, usually after water has been let onto them in the mash tun; generally unexpended fermentables.
An individual brewing batch.
The foam on a beer, this is protein forced out of suspension by the carbon dioxide bubbles released on opening.
Heat Exchanger
A mechanical device used to rapidly reduce the temperature of the wort.
Hell or Helles
A Bavarian pale lager beer.
Originally described the practice of drinking in company.
Hop Back
False-bottomed vessel used to separate the spent hops from the wort following the hop boil. 
Hop Boil
Stage following mashing in the brewing process: the (as yet unhopped) wort is drawn off and boiled vigorously with hops in the copper for perhaps one or two hours.
Hop Extract
An extract of hops containing the useful brewing constituents.
A herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavour. A perennial climbing plant whose flowers, called cones, give beer its bitter flavour and aroma. Has been around since 591 BC, when the Romans used the shoots as we now use asparagus.
Hop Pellets
Compressed hop powder.
Hopping rate
Proportion of hops used in the brewing process.
Hop Pocket
A sack, approx 6 feet long, in which dried hops are pressed and stored. Contains about 80 kilos.
Large standard cask containing 54 gallons (one and a half barrels).
Hop resins which provide some bitterness to beer.
A partly trained brewer.
Simplest form of Mash, in which grains are soaked in water.  Usually at a single constant temperature, but sometimes with upward or (occasionally) downward changes.
International Bitterness Units (IBU’s)
A standard system of indicating the hop bitterness in finished beer.
Substance prepared from the swim-bladder of a deep water fish (in the case of 'true' isinglass, the huso or great sturgeon), dissolved in a small quantity of stale beer and added to casks for the purpose of artificially fining the beer.  Isinglass seems to have been an early eighteenth-century innovation, which at the time sparked controversy as to whether its use constituted adulteration.
Jacobs Ladder
An endless belt-driven conveying system used to pass malt from store to milling.
See Fantods.
Jimmy Woodser (jimmiwoodser)
One who drinks alone in the bar-room;  or one who `drinks with the flies'. This term also applies to the drink consumed by such a loner, as in the phrase, `to take a Jimmy Woodser'.
Judy Can
A yeast scoop.
Generic modern term for a small sealed container for beer, which dispenses chilled, filtered and highly carbonated draught beer..  General size used in Australia is 11g (50ltrs), made of stainless steel.
Kettle Hop
Hop which is added to the copper or kettle in the early stages of the brewing process.
Cask equivalent to half a brewers barrel(18 gallons).
Building for drying hops in a current of warm air.
An ancient brewed Chinese beer.
A lager beer closely associated with the German city of Cologne (spelt Koln in German).   It is traditionally a top fermenting, 4.5% ABV, soft, somewhat fruity, pale-golden, lager-style beer.
Kropff System
A box malting system in which couching is partly carried out under an atmosphere of carbon dioxide.
The encouragement of a strong secondary fermentation during lagering, by adding partially fermented wort.
A Belgian rustic wheat beer, of ancient origin. A totally individual style, where the wheat, representing upto 40% of the mash, is not malted, and the beer is produced by a naturally occurring wild yeast ferment, giving a distinctive sour flavour.
Lady's Waist
A 5 oz. glass of beer. (Sydney/NSW)
Lager is a well attenuated beer brewed in cool conditions using a slow-acting brewers yeast, a bottom fermenting yeast, and then stored (or "lagered") for a variable time period in cool conditions to clear away particles and certain flavour compounds to produce a clean taste. The most popular examples of beer brewed using the lager method are pilseners.
Lauter Tun
A piece of brewing equipment, the Lauter  Tun filters and clarifies the mostly liquid wort from the solid mash.
Leaking On
See Sparging.
The portion of the yeast, or yeast residue, which sinks to the bottom of the vessel during fermentation.  The term is used with respect to beer and wine alike.  Also the waste beer left in a cask after the bulk has been consumed (often confused as ullage).
Light Struck
The term given to beer stored in bottles that has suffered from U.V light, causing the beer to spoil and taken on a burnt rubber like flavour or skunk-like smell.
In brewery parlance, liquid generally (“malt liquor” etc); “liquor” on its own tends to refer specifically to the water used for mashing.
The hop's resin glands at the base of the cone bracts. Sticky, yellow, resinous powder on the strobile of hops containing the resin and oils.
Malt is grain (normally barley) that has been moistened, allowed to germinate, and then dried and roasted/heated.
Malt Extract
The condensed wort from a mash, consisting of maltose, dextrins and other dissolved solids.  Either as a syrup or powdered sugar, it is used by brewers, in solutions of water and extract to reconstitute wort for fermentation.
The process by which barley is steeped in water, germinated, then kilned to convert insoluble starch to soluble substances and sugar.  The foundation ingredient of beer.
A water-soluble fermentable sugar found in malt.
Maltster (also malster)
A manufacturer of malt.  Technically the term 'maltster' is feminine, malting having traditionally been the work of women.
Traditional Munich Oktoberfest beer, released at festival time, after 6 months storage.
The central extraction process in brewing, in which hot liquor is run onto the grist and left to infuse for, typically, one to two hours.  Soluble sugars in the malt are absorbed by the water to form wort, which is then run off from the grist.
Any vessel used for mashing: usually a large coopered wooden vat.
An unclean flavour in beer.
A traditional ale made with fruit, honey and herbs or spices.
A 10 oz. glass of beer (NSW);  An 8 oz. glass (WA)
Mild Beer
In eighteenth-century parlance, fresh or immature beer, which might in fact be too harsh-tasting to be drinkable unmixed.  This sense of 'mild' is not to be confused with the modern mild style, indicating a dark or light beer with a low hop rate, usually sweetish and with a low gravity. Also one of the components of the first porters (see entire).
Milk Stout
Stout produced with the addition of un-fermentable lactose, providing a lower alcohol, slightly sweet , creamy beer.
Any substance resembling glue; specifically, in technical brewery literature, the greyish, slimy and apparently unfermentable component of malt extracts, the nature and value of which were subject to dispute around 1800.  The brewers' qualitative distinction between saccharine and mucilage informed the 19th century chemical distinction between maltose and the dextrin group.
Multum or Hard Multum
Euphemistic term used for a compound additive supplied by brewers' druggists in the years around 1800. The ingredients of 'multum' are obscure, and probably varied: they almost certainly included ingredients illegal in commercial brewing, and were kept secret for obvious reasons. At the 1818 hearings the Solicitor of Excise stated he believed multum to be a compound of colouring and opium.
An expression, popular on the eastern goldfields in the 1850s,  for a small glass of spirits, or, less frequently, wine or beer.
Ancient Babylonian goddess of wheat and barley, the grains essential to beer making.
Oast House
A building used for the drying and storing of hops.
Original Gravity (OG)
The gravity of hopped wort immediately prior to fermentation, when all the dissolved fermentables are still present: from this value, in principle, the maximum potential production of alcohol can be computed.
Outdoor Clerk
See Abroad Clerk.

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