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Beer Dictionary


Pale Ale
Category of ales (in bottle or cask) derived from pale malt, having a characteristic golden colour.
Pale Malt
Malt dried to low temperatures, over gentle heat to limit coloration as far as possible; often represented as being dried to the lowest possible temperature to prevent further germination.
See Heat Exhanger.
The process where an individual brewing batch (gyle) is split into further batches to produce different styles of beers.
Heating of beer to 60-79˚c/140-174˚F, to stabilize and preserve it microbiologically, protecting it from organic spoilage.
Patent Malt
Intensely dark, very high-dried (yet still slightly extractible) malt produced in a roasting cylinder, permitted under strict regulation for use as a porter colouring from 1817.
A small tap fastened in a pipe or cylinder for sampling.
Pilsner, Pilsener or Pils
A term that now encompass lager-type beers of any strength, quality or age, these terms were originally restricted to lagers brewed in the Czech village of Pilsen, brewed with the use of Pilsener malt.  At best will give a very long, delicate, and somewhat floral flavour.
Smallest of the standard cask sizes in regular use, containing four and a half gallons or one-eighth of a brewers barrel.
(or Bastard, Owl, etc.), Drunk as a
Very drunk.
Sack of loosely woven material capable of containing 8 - 10 bushels of green (undried) hops, awaiting drying.
A 5 oz. glass of beer. (NSW)
Name which came into use around the early 1720s to describe a well-hopped, relatively cheap style of brown beer which became tremendously popular in London and later elsewhere.  Porter utterly dominated London beer production by the late eighteenth century, and the origins of it’s name are variously linked to the market porters, the river porters and the porters who delivered the beer.
Pounds per Barrel (or Brewers' Pounds)
Quantity used to express the gravity of samples of beer, wort etc, introduced by John Richardson in his 1784 Statical Estimates.  The value expresses the number of pounds' weight difference between a barrel of the test liquid and a barrel of pure water: in the case of worts, it therefore displays clearly the magnitude of the extract achieved in mashing.
The addition of sugar to beer, to encourage secondary fermentation.
Large cask: in the brewery, often used with specific reference to a cask of two barrels(72 gallons) capacity.
To drink in a large draft. (It also refers to drinking from a quaich).
A traditional two-handled Scottish drinking bowl.
A measure of grain being 448 pounds of barley and 336 pounds of malt.
A wooden stick or other long-handled instrument used to agitate a fermentation.
Prior to its application to a synthetic sweetening agent, 'saccharine' as a noun was used by brewers to refer to the sweet-tasting, soluble and readily fermentable component of the extract of malt, as distinct from the gluey mucilage which was also obtained.
Saccharimeter or optical Saccharimeter
Not related to the saccharometer, the saccharimeter is a late 19th century innovation which assists in computing, not the quantity of dissolved sugars in a sample, but the proportions of chemically distinct sugars (maltose, dextrins etc) which it contains.  Employing plane-polarised light, rotating  these sugars to different degrees.
Term coined by John Richardson to describe his device (manufactured by John Troughton of Fleet Street) for determining the gravity of samples, expressed in pounds per barrel.  Richardson steadfastly maintained that this was a brewery-specific innovation.
A 15 oz. glass of beer (NSW); South Australians also use the expression, but for a smaller glass.
Screamer, Two-pot
A drinker who can't hold his liquor-'two pots and he's stinking.'

Wooden shovel used for moving dried hops around the oast.
The yeast material at the bottom of a bottle of conditioned beer (also found in some kegged beers).
(Of taps, stopcocks etc) to turn on, set running.
Set Mash (occasionally sett mash)
Brewery calamity which results when mashing is attempted with water which is too hot.  The malt clots, assumes the consistency of paste, and retains most of the liquor, meaning that an inadequate (and usually cloudy) wort is drawn off.  It is qualitatively obvious when a mash has been fully set; however, a partial set mash (with lesser, but still significant ill-effects) may occur without the brewer's noticing, causing an unexpected diminution in beer strength.
A 7 oz. glass of beer. (Applies in Brisbane and Sydney.)
Any small, rough bush pub. The term was frequently applied, especially during the period of the gold discoveries (1850s to 1870s), to an unlicensed bush hostelry or 'sly-grog shop'.
An old-time bushman's term for beer (may be related to be Shickered).
Shicker, To

To imbibe freely. Hence, to be shickered is to be drunk. (Of Jewish origin.)
A drinking party; or, for that matter, any kind of celebration on the grand scale.
Shout, To
To buy a round of drinks. The expression came into widespread use in Australia on the goldfields of Victoria and New South Wales, during the 1850s.
Shout, Scotchman's
Paying for one's own drinks when in company at a pub.ShypooA Western Australian term for beer.
Six-o'clock swill
The excessive and fast drinking which accompanied the closing of Australian hotel bars at 6 p.m. Each weekday (in some States, such as Victoria, the actual closing time was 6.15 p.m-allowing the patron ten minutes' grace to buy final drinks, and a further five in which to guzzle them) gave birth to the popular expression, `the six-o'clock swill'. It was made obsolete by the introduction of State laws extending the drinking time to 10 p.m.
Sly Grog
Liquor sold illegally; also, the place where such drink is sold.
Snapped Malt
See blown malt.
This term usually refers to a hurried drink, as in the expression, `I've only got time for a couple of quick snorts.'
Spanish Juice
Liquorice-based flavouring and colouring additive, often cited in brewing recipes around 1800.
The practice of rinsing the spent grains with hot water, once the wort has been run off, to rinse out fermentable sugars which have been retained. Sparging is standard practice in the modern brewery, having replaced the custom of taking multiple mashes from the same grist.
Abbreviation for beer colour by ‘standard reference method’
Stale Beer
Mature beer which, in the eighteenth century, might have been kept in vat for a year or more, gradually developing in richness and flavour.  “Staleness” at this time was not a fault but a desirable characteristic, with beer described as 'stale' commanding higher prices.
Originally a synonym for “strong”; now refers to an extant style derived from the stronger varieties of nineteenth-century porter.  Guinness originally brewed an Extra Stout Porter.
See Saccharine.
A name given to somewhat inferior Australian beer in colonial times.
Top- fermenting Yeast
One of the two types of yeast used in brewing.  Top-fermenting yeast works better at warmer temperatures and is able to tolerate higher alcohol concentration than bottom fermenting yeast.  It is unable to ferment some sugars, which results in a fruitier, sweeter beer.
Torrified Wheat
‘Blown’ Grain used in some brews to add to head retention (Lacing, Belgian Lace).
Trappist or Trappiste
A Dutch or Belgian beer brewed by Monks.  Generally a copper coloured, "top-fermented" ale of robust strength (6- 9% ABV).  They are always bottle-conditioned, and characterise ripe, round and fruity flavours (coming in three styles of increasing strengths).
The coagulum found in wort after boiling or cooling.
Tun (occasionally ton)
Any large vessel, usually coopered, especially a mash tun, primary fermentation vessel, or long-term storage vat.  Also a standard ale cask size of 216 gallons (6 barrels).
Pale or amber-coloured beer brewed for ready drinking in the 1700/1800’s, generally sent out as soon as fermentation had subsided, and with no keeping potential.
The empty space in a partly-filled cask, frequently applied incorrectly to beer left in a cask after the bulk has been consumed.
Vessel below the mash tun, into which the wort is drained after mashing, and allowed to stand prior to transfer to the copper. (‘Back’ has the same root derivative as ‘bucket’) .
Burton-on-Trent developed method of fermentation using substantial oak casks.
An ancient Roman liquid measure amounting to half an amphora, or about four and a half gallons.
A German term for apparatus used to blend beer, consisting of air traps, cocks, sight glasses and a mixing header.
Old English slang for a mild beer.

Germanic term for wheat/white beer.
Wheat Beer
A "top-fermented" beer fermented from a mix of wheat malt (usually a minimum 50%) and barley malt, usually producing a very pale beer of just over 5% ABV, with a sour, fruity-biscuity flavour.   The sediment in wheat beer is supposed to be poured into the glass to produce the desired cloudy effect. It gives the beer its special fruity roundness and lively carbonation.
Flemish term for wheat/white beer.
The sweet, viscous liquid produced by the mashing process, either before or after the hop boil but before fermentation, and as such devoid of alcohol.
Signs of quality beer, originally used by monks.
A rice-based beer-like drink of Korea.
The magic ingredient in beer that aids fermentation, a micro-organism of the fungus family.
50 kilos, 20 zentners to the tonne (used with hop weights).
Latin for a beverage fermented after performing a decoction of barley and water. In other words – beer.
An old rye and oat-based beer of eastern Europe and Russia.

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