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Brewing Glossary

  • ABV: Alcohol % by volume or v/v.
  • Alpha Acid: We can find them in the resin gland of the hop cone. When boiled for 60 minutes, these acids produce iso-alpha-acids which are responsible for bitterness in Beer.
  • Angel share: Used primarily for oak aging of wines and whiskey. It refers to the evaporation loss during bulk aging.
  • Arishtam: It is a branch of Ayurveda. It uses decoction(involving alcoholic fermentation) to extract medicine out of herbs. The word means free from injury/disease in Sanskrit.
  • Autoclave: It is a hospital-grade sterilization equipment that disinfects using high-pressure steam.
  • Base malt: Refers to the bulk of the malt. Therefore, is responsible for alcohol production in beers. As opposed to specialty malt that provides special color and aromas but very little enzymes for mashing.
  • Bentonite: It is a kind of volcanic clay. This mined clay helps make hydrated slurry. It was an important fining agents in traditional European wines.
  • BIAB: Brew in a bag. It is a home brewing technique of putting the malted grains inside a muslin cloth. It prevents the charring of grains due to heat from the base.
  • Brewing: Preparation of a beverage through the application of heat. We can use it for tea, coffee, beer, and kombucha.
  • Brix: is w/v sugar concentration. Commonly, we know or write it as OBX. Equivalent weight in gm for every 100ml of solution.
  • Campden: potassium or sodium metabisulfite used as a preservative in wines.
  • Carboy/ Demijohn: 5 Gallon or 19/20 liter glass bottles. Winemakers use it to bulk age their wines.
  • Celaric disease: Extreme bowel irritation caused because of intolerance to gluten.
  • CIP: (Cleaning in place). It is an industrial term. It is an equipment that helps sanitize and clean the food-grade assembly line without the need to dismantle the setup.
  • Crown Capper: These are the crimped metal caps on beer bottle with a washer.
  • CIVC: (Le Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne) is the governing body in France for the production of sparkling wines.
  • DIY: ‘Jugaad’ which refers to making special-purpose equipment from off-the-shelf everyday items.
  • Fining agent: Chemical used to remove the haze of a beverage.
  • Fusel alcohols or fuselol: People in Europe call it fusel oils. These are mixtures of several alcohols (chiefly amyl alcohol) which are by-products of alcoholic fermentation. It is a resultant of high-temperature fermentation and causes a hangover.
  • GABA: Gamma-Aminobutyric acid or γ-aminobutyric acid, is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the developmentally mature mammalian central nervous system. Its principal role is reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.
  • Grain Bill: Refers to mash ingredients or mash bill. It is the collection of base malt, specialty malt, and adjuncts. These help the brewer in making the wort.
  • Gruel: Food consisting of some type of cereal—oat, wheat, rye flour, or rice—boiled in water or milk. It is a thinner version of porridge and it does not require cooking. Historically, gruel has been a staple of the Western diet, especially for peasants.
  • Gruit: Beer made without hops e.g. root beer.
  • HDPE: High-density polyethylene is a food-grade plastic. We use it for bulk storage of food items. Consequently, we use it to make white and blue food/ water cans and drums.
  • Hops: Aromatic cones of Humulus lupulus plant. They have an origin in Europe. But people grow it across the globe today. Its important use is as a bittering agent in beers that helps in improving its stability. However, it has a lot of uses in tea, creams, medicine, and anti-oxidants.
  • IBU: International Bitterness Unit. It is a measure of iso-alpha acid in the beer. It is not a measure of perceived bitterness that is a function of the spices, hardness of water, and other mash parameters.
  • IMFL: Indian made foreign liquor. Tax authorities use this term for western-style liquors but that are domestically produced. All Whisky, Rum, Gin, Vodka, etc. fall under this category.
  • IoT (Internet of Things): This is a generic term for smart devices and equipment that can push data over the internet. Besides, they can get commands without human intervention. For example, app-controlled digital home automation system.
  • Isinglass: A white crystalline substance made from the inner float bladder lining of some fish species. It acts as a fining agent in beers and wines.
  • Kettle Caramelization: It is the charring of grains in the mash kettle due to excessive exposure to the direct flame from. BIAB mashing reduces it.
  • Lautering: The process of separation of clear beer wort from the grains through filtration.
  • Lye: Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda/ ash. This alkaline solution can get rid of any dirt and oil sticking to stainless steel vessels easily. However, it is very corrosive and requires proper handling and care
  • Mash-kettle: A kettle used to mash the grains and lautering them at specified temperatures to obtain optimal brew.
  • Molasses: A black tar-like residue from sugar processing. It’s fermentation in sugar factories produces ethanol.
  • Must: “Vinum mustum” or “young wine”. It is the freshly crushed fruit juice often containing skin and seeds that is fermented to produce wine.
  • NAB: Nonalcoholic beer.
  • Nucleation point: It is a process in which a small defect in the glass becomes the starting point for the formation of the CO2 bubble in beers and sparkling wines.
  • Plato: (Degree Plato or OP). It is the measurement of dissolved solids (mainly maltose) in the brewing wort. i.e. gm of dissolved solid per 100ml of wort.
  • PPCP: Polypropylene copolymer is a better version of PP (no5) plastic which is heat resistant making it suitable for bulk aging of ferments.
  • Primary Fermentation: It is the first stage of fermentation of must or wort, where yeast does the bulk of activity.
  • Pycnometer: a device used to measure the density of liquids solids and liquids by weighing of standard volume sample.
  • Saccharification: or mashing. It is the preparation of wort by converting starch to maltose.
  • SCADA: (Supervisory control and data acquisition) and PLC (programmable logic controller). They are the automation tools. Hence, they help the industrial breweries to control and record the progress.
  • Secondary Fermentation: It is the process of taking the young beer/ wine into a second vessel. This helps in aging, finishing, or improving the quality.
  • Sorbate/wine stabilizer: Potassium Sorbate is a preservative that can kill the yeast.
  • Sparging: It is a step in lautering where we add some clear hot water over the separated or spent grains to extract the residual malt (sticky liquid) from them.
  • SRM: Standard Reference Method. Like the EBC (Europe) and Lovibond (American malt), we use it to represent the darkness of the finished beers.
  • Strike water: The water that is added to the grains to make the wort.
  • Tannins: They are naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves, fruit skins (wines), and grain husks (beers). Furthermore, they add bitterness and astringency in the drink and give them a dry taste.
  • Tea-Ball: This stainless steel mesh is also called a tea infuser egg. It allows us to keep a chunk of grains for malting for study purposes.
  • Terroirs: Taste of soil (Goût de terroirs) talks about the harmony of climate and locally produced crops.
  • Tinctures: Medicine made by dissolving the drug in alcohol.
  • Trub: In the process of brewing beer, trub is the term used for the material, along with hop debris, left in the whirlpool or hopback after the wort has been boiled then transferred and cooled. Brewers generally prefer that the bulk of the trub be left in the whirlpool rather than stay in contact with the fermenting wort.
  • Water Bath: Indirect heating method where we put the vessel inside a larger vessel filled with water. This prevents charring due to direct flame heating.
  • Wort: The sweet syrup that is extracted from malted grains during the mashing process. It is primarily composed of maltose and is the first step towards whiskey and beer manufacturing.

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