A well informed team is an increasingly important part of customer service so this short guide will, hopefully, put you ahead of your market place as you gain a reputation for great customer service with your incredible knowledge of all things beer!
For a brilliant illustrated description of the brewing process visit the Hook Norton Brewery website
An A-Z of Brewing Terms
Ale – A beer brewed from a top-fermenting yeast with a relatively short, warm fermentation.
Beer – Any beverage made by fermenting a wort made from malted barley and seasoned with hops.
Bitters – vary in colour from gold to dark amber
Conditioning – An aspect of secondary fermentation in which the yeast refine the flavours of the final beer. Conditioning continues in the bottle.
Ethanol – The type of alcohol in beer formed by yeast from malt sugars.
Fermentation – The total conversion of malt sugars to beer.
Finings – Ingredients such as isinglass or ‘Irish moss’ etc, that help the yeast settle out of finished beer.
Hops – Hop vines are grown in cool climates and brewers make use of the cone-like flowers. The dried cones are available in pellets, plugs, or whole.
Gravity – Like density, gravity describes the concentration of malt sugar in the wort. The specific gravity of water is 1.000 at 59F. Typical beer worts range from 1.035 – 1.055 before fermentation (Original Gravity).
Grist – The term for crushed malt before mashing.
India Pale Ale or IPA – is a beer style within the broader category of pale ale.
Lager – A beer brewed from a bottom-fermenting yeast and given a long cool fermentation.
Mash – The hot water steeping process that promotes enzymatic breakdown of the grist into soluble, fermentable sugars.
Mild Ale – is a low-gravity beer, or beer with a predominantly malty palate, that originated in Britain in the 17th century or earlier, modern mild ales are mainly dark
Porter – is dark style of beer originating in London in the 18th Century, descended from brown beer, a well hopped beer made from brown malt.
Primary Fermentation – The initial fermentation activity marked by the production of carbon dioxide as sugar is converted to alcohol.
Racking – The careful siphoning of the beer away from the trub.
Secondary Fermentation – A period of settling and conditioning of the beer after primary fermentation and before bottling or putting into casks.
Stout – is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley
Trub – The sediment at the bottom of the fermenter consisting of hot and cold material, hop bits, and dead yeast.
Wheat Beer – is a beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat in addition to malted barley.
Wort – The malt-sugar solution that is boiled prior to fermentation.
Zymurgy – The science of brewing and fermentation.