Friday, May 22, 2009

Keys to the Store: Beer Terms

Brewing Ingredients:
The German Purity law lists beer ingredients as:
• Water ( the medium)
• Malt ( base)
• Yeast (the catalyst)
• Hops (the stabilizers and flavoring agents)

Belgians and other distinctive craft brewers use spices, seeds, nuts, flowers, fruit, coffee, ad many other flavors. The legitimate grains for malt are barley, wheat rye, and oats. All others are considered adjunct (substandard) such as corn, rice and other lesser grains.

Types of Beers
Lager and Pilsner: are bottom fermented and are generally lighter and lower in alcohol.
Ale and Wheat Beer (Weiss): are top fermented and usually fuller flavored and higher in alcohol.
Stout and Porter: can be either top or bottom fermented.

Additional Terms
Imperial: A highly extracted version of a certain type of beer.
Double: Twice the malt half the water, way too much of a good thing.
Vintage: Beer produced in a certain year or for a holiday
Bottle Conditioned: A second dose of yeast is added to insure complexity
OG (Original gravity): The ratio of solids to liquids in a brew
IBU (International Bittering Unit): Amount of hops on a scale of 100
ABV (Alcohol By Volume): The amount of FUN in a beer

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