Home Brew Jargon

Brewing Techniques

All-grain Brewing – using raw malted barley as the chief source of malt sugars when brewing. All-grain brewing requires mashing and sparging so is an advanced method of home brewing.

Cooling – used to describe the when wort is being cooled to the temperature you want for the beginning of fermentation.

Dry Hopping – adding additional hops during fermentation. Used to enhance and alter flavour.

Extract Brewing – the process of making beer from a malt extract syrup (or powder if you’re that way inclined).

Kit Brewing – the use of a pre-produced ‘kit’ to brew beer. More often than not, this is the first experience people have of making their own beer.

Mashing – the process of mixing a milled grain with water and then keeping the mixture at a constant temperature until enzymes break down the starch in the grain into sugars – creating the wort.

Pitching – the addition of yeast to wort.

Racking – moving from one vessel to another

Sparging – rinsing the grain (post mash) with hot water to wash out as much sugar as possible.

Brewing Equipment

Brew Kettle – used in the brewing process to boil the wort.

Hydrometer – an instrument used to measure the specific density of a liquid. Vital in working out the alcohol content of your beer.

Mash Tun – a receptacle (any receptacle) used to hold brewing ingredients during the mashing process.

Primary (Vessel) – The receptacle the beer ferments in.

Secondary (Vessel) – a secondary receptacle used to clear/age the beer


Barley – grain used to produce malt.

Black Malt – malted barley roasted at high temperatures. More than often used in dark beers to produce a dark colour and add a burnt flavour.

Caramel Malt – sweet, coppery malt – helps to produce a golden colour and nutty flavour.

Chocolate Malt – like black malt, but this variety is roasted to a lighter, chocolate colour.

Dextrins – the sugars left behind by the yeast because they can’t be metabolized.

Fuggles Hops – hops traditionally grown in East Kent. Most often used in the making of ale.

Goldings Hops – grown in England. They tend to have an even, sweet flavour.

Hops – hops used in beer brewing are flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant. Used to balance the sweetness produced from the malt and provide unique characteristics.

Irish Moss – used to improve a beer’s clarity. It is actually a species of red algae (yum) – Chondrus crispus.

Malt Extract – a sweet sticky substance produced when malt is infused.

Noble Hops – rare variety of hops. Low in bitterness.

Wild Yeast – either refers to an airborne yeast that can have disastrous effects on your brew, or a cultured form of yeast used on purpose as part of a recipe.

Wort – the liquid produced during the process of mashing. Pretty much “food” for the yeast.

Technical Terms

IBU – International Bitterness Units. System for explaining the level of bitterness in a beer.

Krausen – The foam that forms on top of your beer whilst it is fermenting.

Original Gravity – density of the wort before it begins to ferment. Hydrometer is the most common tool used to discover the measurement.

Zymurgy – the science of brewing beer

Note: There is a lot more to come!

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  1. Pingback: Words words everywhere, nor any seem to make sense | Bard's Brewery

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Jan Harding

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