Essential Brewing Jargon You Need to Familiarize Yourself With

Brewing Vocabulary

Airlock / Fermentation Lock: Allows CO2 to escape the fermentor created by yeast during fermentation.

Bottle Conditioning: How beer is naturally carbonated. During this period, the yeast consumes the priming sugar creating CO2 and should be done at room temperatures.

Bung / Stopper: Used to close the hole of a carboy or fermenter and also holds the airlock in place on the fermentor.

Carboy: A common glass or plastic fermenter. Great for primary and secondary fermentation.

Dry Hops: Hops that are added to the beer during fermentation, adding even more flavor and aroma.

Dry Malt Extract (DME): An even more reduced down version of Liquid Malt Extract (LME).

Fermentation: Converting sugar to alcohol and CO2.

Fermenter: A food-grade container used to ferment.

Final Gravity (FG): The amount of sugar left after fermentation in the beer.

Hops: Used to add bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer. In general, hops added in the first 30 minutes of the boil are for bitterness and hops added in the last 30 minutes are for flavor and aroma.

Hydrometer: A tool used to measure the gravity of wort/beer.

Krausen: Foamy head created during fermentation. A good sign that fermentation is happening.

Malt: Grain that has been sprouted and heated, making it ready for the brewing process.

Primary Fermentation: The first 1-2 weeks of fermentation where the sugar is converted to CO2 and alcohol. If you have a clear fermenter, you will see foaming and turning of the wort as the yeast go to work.

Primary Fermenter: The Fermenter/Carboy in which the chilled wort and yeast are mixed together. The real magic happens here.

Priming Solution: A measured amount of sugar dissolved in water that is added at bottling time.

Priming Sugar: Corn sugar used to make a priming solution at bottling to produce CO2 in the bottle. Yeast consumes the sugar converting it into CO2, giving us the carbonation we love in beer.

Secondary Fermentation: No fermentation happens in this step, just flavor development and improved clarity. Helps to get clearer beer into the bottle.

Steeping: Soaking grain in hot water, preferably at 150-170 degrees, for 20 minutes, allowing the sugar and flavor to come out.

Yeast: Microorganism that converts the sugar to alcohol for us. They make the wort into beer.

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