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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 #

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.


- A -

All Grain

A beer recipe utilizing only grains for fermentable sugars. These sugars must be extracted from the grain using a mashing and lautering process. An all grain beer is more difficult and time consuming to make than an extract beer, but the brewer is rewarded with a fresher and more complex product.
 
Alpha Acid

A resin contained in the hop plant that is responsible for the bitterness in beer. When purchasing hops, the alpha acid content of the hops will be given as a percentage and printed on the package cover.
 
Alpha Acid Units (AAU)

Synonymous with Home Bitterness Units. (HBU) A bitterness measurement system that allows the brewer to consistently control the bitterness level of his/her beer. As the amount of resin that is responsible for bitterness in a hop (alpha acid) varies from year to year, simply adding x ounces of a hop variety in a beer will not necessarily produce the same beer. Thus the bitterness level of a recipe is given in AAU, where 1 AAU = (hop alpha acid %) X (hop weight in ounces). This factors in the varying Alpha acid content of hops from year to year.
 
Apparent Attenuation

The percentage of sugars that have been converted to alcohol by the yeast. The measurement does not take into account the lower density of alcohol compared to water. See Real Attenuation.
 
Apparent Extract

The final specific gravity of beer converted to degrees Plato. This measurement does not take into account the lower density of alcohol compared to water. See Real Extract.
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- B -

Beer

Chief product of Lee's Brewery!
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- C -

Crushed Grain

Prior to mashing, the grains outer husk must be cracked using a grain mill in order for the grain's starches to efficiently converted to sugars.
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- D -

Dry Hopping

Gives a beer a very aromatic character. To dry hop a beer, place 2 ounces of aroma leaf hops into a hop bag and let it float in your secondary fermenter. As an alternative see hop tea.
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- E -

Extract

Sweet syrup which can be purchased in a sealed bag or can. The mashing and lautering processes have been performed by the extract manufacturer. Beers made from extracts are easier and quicker to make than ones made from grain. The minus side of using extracts is that the loss of ingredient freshness as well as strict control of the brewer's end product.
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- F -

Ferment

A natural conversion process performed by yeast cells that turns sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
 
Final gravity

Specific gravity of wort after fermentation has completed. A beer with a lower final gravity is generally more desirable because it is an indication of an efficient fermentation process. (More sugars have been converted to alcohol.)
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- G -

Grain Bed

Refers to the collection of grain in the lauter tun that heated water is run through in order to extract sugars.
 
Grain Mill

Used to crush grain prior to the mashing process. See the Brewery's Photo Gallery for a picture of the mill used by the brewery.
 
Glass Carboy

A vessel used for fermentation. Glass carboys are also used to distribute drinking water. For a picture of a glass carboy, refer to the brew closet photo in the Brewery's Photo Gallery.
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- H -

Hops

A vine whose flowers are used as a bittering agent in beer. Hops also contribute to the beer's aroma as well as increase the beer's shelf life.
Hop Tea

Used as an alternative to dry hopping to give a beer a very aromatic quality. A hop tea is made by boiling a pint of water with 2 ounces of pelletized aroma hops, then adding it, cooled and strained, to the secondary fermenter.
 
Hot Water Tank

A vessel used to house hot water between 170 and 210F. This hot water is run through the grain bed during the lautering process in order to wash away sugars needed for the wort from the grain.
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- I -

Irish Moss

Made from algae. A natural additive used to produce a clear beer.
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- K -

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- L -

Lautering

The process of washing sugars away from the grain.
 
Lautering Arm

A device used to spread water evenly over the grain bed in to ensure the maximum amount of sugars are washed from the grain.
 
Lauter Tun

Refers to the vessel that hold the grain bed during the lautering process.
 
Light Dry Malt

In powder form. An extract that has had all it's water removed. Used by the brewery to prime beer before bottling.
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- M -

Mash

Refers to the water/grain mixture during the mashing process.
 
Mashing

The process of converting a grain's starches into fermentable sugars.
 
Mash Tun

Refers to the vessel that holds the grain bed during the mashing process.
 
Mead

A honey wine, fermented honey.
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- N -

 
Nylon Grain Bag

A fine mesh bag used to hold grain during the steeping process.
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- O -

Original Extract

A beer's original gravity converted to degrees Plato.
 
Original Gravity

Specific gravity of wort before fermentation. The higher a beer's original gravity, the more sugars it contains, and thus a higher potential for alcohol content.
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- P -

Pitch

The act of adding yeast to wort.
 
Primary

Short for Primary Fermenter. A vessel used to house the beer in the first 3-7 days of initial fermentation after the yeast has been pitched into the wort.
 
Prime

The act of adding sugar or light dry malt to the beer after fermentation and prior to bottling. This sugar gives the remaining yeast some food to eat, the result is carbonation!
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- R -

Real Attenuation

The real percentage of sugars that have been converted to alcohol by the yeast. This measurement takes into account the lower density of alcohol compared to water.
 
Real Extract

The final gravity of the beer, converted to degrees Plato and corrected to account for the lower density of alcohol compared to water.
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- S -

Sanitize

The act of cleaning and removing the bulk of the bacteria from an item.
 
Secondary

Short for Secondary Fermenter. A vessel used to house the beer during the later half of fermentation, after Primary fermentation. Beer is usually stored in the Secondary for 7-14 days. After Secondary Fermentation, the beer is ready to be bottled.
 
Sparge

Also see lautering. The process of washing away sugars from the grain after they have been converted from starches during the mashing process.
 
Specialty Grain

A grain that can be used with extract recipes to impart a desired flavor and/or color characteristics to the end product. Specialty grains must be steeped at between 150-170F before the boil for the sugars to seep into the wort. Mashing of specialty grains is not required as the starches have all ready been converted into sugars.
 
Specific Gravity

A measurement of a liquid's density relative to the density of water. (specific gravity of water at 60F is 1.000)
 
Steep

The process of soaking specialty grains is a nylon or muslin bag in water at between 150-170F in order for the sugars contained to be added to the wort.
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- T -

Trub

Sludge consisting of proteins and hops that precipitate out of wort during the boiling and chilling processes.
 
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- W -

Wort
A sweet liquid that becomes beer once yeast has been added.
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- Y -

Yeast

The magical ingredient of beer. A microscopic fungi that is able to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide in a process know as fermentation.
 
Yeast Nutrient

"Vitamins" for yeast. The best nutrient is actually dead yeast cells in the form of Vegemite or Marmite yeast extracts. The addition of a yeast nutrient to wort promotes a healthy and hearty fermentation resulting in a beer with a lower final gravity.
 
Yeast Starter

Refers to an intermediate quantity of yeast that is pitched into the wort. This is done because the quantity of yeast in its purchased form is typically too small to be added directly to the wort. The larger number or amount of yeast cells that are added to the wort, the more efficient the fermentation process will be. A more efficient fermentation results in a better quality beer with less likeliness of contamination.
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Revised: Friday, May 22, 1998 17:30:27
Copyright 1996 by [Lee's Brewery].
All trademarks or product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.