Author Topic: Terms in Brewing  (Read 798 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Terms in Brewing
« on: December 09, 2021, 02:11:51 pm »
Being new and trying to take in as much as I can, I am noticing that there are quite a few terms here I don't quite understand.  I will use the search function as needed, but as a newbie, I figure I would just put it out there.  Eventually, my hope is to get into a all grain brewing situation, with maybe a little home spot where friends and family can come hang out and pick from a few on tap.  But that is so far away right now, I understand I have a lot to learn.  Anyway, I am enjoying a brew for lunch and was just cruising thru the recipes on the AHA web site.  Cheers to all, and thanks to all who have helped me so far in my journey. 

So, here is something I have been wondering.  I am mostly an IPA guy, but have been thinking of branching out.  I see so many different styles and recipes, I am curious what everyone's opinion is for where I should go next as a primarily IPA drinker? 

Offline HopDen

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2021, 02:37:02 pm »
My opinion is lager/pilsner because it, again my opinion, showcases a brewers level of knowledge and talent because there is no room for hiding faults. With that said, since you tend to like IPA's, I would try a pale ale ( Sierra Nevada) it is similar to an american IPA which I assume that's what you were referencing but in most cases has less hop overkill.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 02:39:50 pm by HopDen »

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2021, 02:39:59 pm »
Being new and trying to take in as much as I can, I am noticing that there are quite a few terms here I don't quite understand.  I will use the search function as needed, but as a newbie, I figure I would just put it out there.  Eventually, my hope is to get into a all grain brewing situation, with maybe a little home spot where friends and family can come hang out and pick from a few on tap.  But that is so far away right now, I understand I have a lot to learn.  Anyway, I am enjoying a brew for lunch and was just cruising thru the recipes on the AHA web site.  Cheers to all, and thanks to all who have helped me so far in my journey. 

So, here is something I have been wondering.  I am mostly an IPA guy, but have been thinking of branching out.  I see so many different styles and recipes, I am curious what everyone's opinion is for where I should go next as a primarily IPA drinker?


i found brew-in-a-bag pretty doable for a long time, but if you had a very sturdy thing from which you can hang the grain-filled bag as it drips sweet wort into the kettle that helps a lot. i know denny has a book and some online stuff titled "simple homebrewing" which might be a good starting point for keeping it simple and making some good all-grain beers.

re: IPAs and beyond - for me now, i consider IPA to be any beer over 6% ABV and with very strong hop flavour and/or bitterness as its central components.

so really consider how you could stretch the aspects you like - if you like a lot of hop flavour, mixing and trying certain types of hops you could consider doing that at a lower ABV, adding darker crystal, adding no crystal or cara-pils for dryness, adding light medium or dark roast grains. or just make it a well-hopped and flavourful pale ale. a tiny step down from an IPA

now that heavy drinking hits me harder i try to limit the strong beers i make unless theres a really strong purpose for them being strong. so, a nearish thing to that would be english bitters or hoppy session ales between 4 to 5% ABV but with a lot of hops.


Offline Richard

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2021, 02:48:30 pm »
I think you need to put in some serious research. Visit every brewery, brew pub and tap room within 20 miles and get a small taste of every beer at each one (skip the IPAs if you want). Keep track of what you like. That should keep you busy for a month or so, especially if you go up into the city! Then brew what you like, or what a family member likes. MoreBeer and Northern Brewer have kits that cover many styles. The recipes are often a bit simplified, but they are great places to start and can produce excellent beer.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2021, 06:37:19 pm »
Welcome to the brewing obsession/hobby!

I have a couple of recommendations for you-
Use Google or your favorite search engine to search- the function on this forum is not all that helpful in my opinion.  Often the engine will find sources within this forum and others that are more targeted and useful.  Furthermore if you create a list of terms, acronyms, etc that are not familiar and post the list, there are enough of us fine brewers here that we can define terms for you.

I have found that the book Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher is a great introduction to beer tasting and might help you find styles of beer that you might be most interested in sampling.  He does a good job of placing beer flavor into a culinary context- sometimes finding familiar flavors from foods you like is a gateway.

Good luck!

Offline Semper Sitientem

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2021, 01:46:03 am »


“i found brew-in-a-bag pretty doable for a long time, but if you had a very sturdy thing from which you can hang the grain-filled bag as it drips sweet wort into the kettle that helps a lot.”

Not to hijack this thread, but to follow up on the statement made by @fredthecat and in the sense that it might give others ideas….I’m a small batch BIAB brewer and I brew i my kitchen. One issue I’ve had was draining the bag without making a mess. So, I conjured up this contraption. It’s ugly as sin, but works great. Drain, squeeze and lift the bag off the kettle with no mess.


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Offline majorvices

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2021, 04:49:36 am »
When I first started brewing I knew very little about beer styles. There was a little pamphlet in my starter kit called "Brewing Continental Ales and Lagers". This was in '96 and the pamphlet wasn't an incredible resource but it was my first resource and we all have to start somewhere. It definitely had "terms" I was not familiar with and I moved on from there. I went out and got Charlie Papazian's book "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and learned all the basics and definitely enough terminology and styles that I needed to know to brew all grain beer.

This was before I had internet or online forums, podcasts, etc. All of those things were tremendous help in my brewing development. But it definitely started with books. And the great thing about a well written book is it will sketch the styles and terminology out as you go, unlike hunting and pecking through the internet to try to grasp WTF is going on.

Once piece of advice: how you make wort is not as important as leaning how to control fermentation. It doesn't matter if you brew in a bag, use extract or have a 20K automated brewhouse. If you don't control fermentation (pitch enough healthy yeast, ferment at controlled temperatures, aeration when necessary) your beer wont be as good as it can be. That's why extract brewing is a great place to start. It allows you to get the fundamentals out of the way before you start spending money on equipment and process.

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2021, 06:46:53 am »
Thank you very much for all your input.  There is some great info.  I think I will incorporate what was said so far and come up with a plan.  I like the idea of going different places and trying tasters of different beers.  That sounds like it could be fun.  Also, some good suggestions on reading material.  I will look into that as well.   Thanks again, great info so far.  RR

Offline Megary

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2021, 07:00:26 am »
Thank you very much for all your input.  There is some great info.  I think I will incorporate what was said so far and come up with a plan.  I like the idea of going different places and trying tasters of different beers.  That sounds like it could be fun.  Also, some good suggestions on reading material.  I will look into that as well.   Thanks again, great info so far.  RR

Definitely get out and taste as many beers as you can to find styles that you like.  But be careful.  If you try...let's say a Saison...and you don't like it, it might just be a poorly made Saison. Craft brewers are not perfect.
While I definitely have some personal favorites, I find what I really like are well made beers*, regardless of style.

*Define as you see fit. :)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2021, 07:03:39 am by Megary »

Offline denny

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2021, 07:37:13 am »
I taught myself about beer styles by reading the BJCP guidelines and looking at the description of various beers.  If something looked interesting, I'd brew it to see what it tasted like.  If I was lucky, I could find a commercially produced bottle of it to drink so I'd have an idea of what I was going for.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2021, 09:55:31 am »
We have a chain liquor store that sells single bottles and cans, which seems like a good way to explore styles by tasting a variety of commercial examples. However, the beer is not properly refrigerated during shipping and sits on open shelves at room temperature in the store. That means you might get a very stale sample that doesn't properly reflect the style.
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2021, 10:07:50 am »
We have a chain liquor store that sells single bottles and cans, which seems like a good way to explore styles by tasting a variety of commercial examples. However, the beer is not properly refrigerated during shipping and sits on open shelves at room temperature in the store. That means you might get a very stale sample that doesn't properly reflect the style.

Actually as I understand, hops make a pretty good preservative.  So, I would agree that age may play a roll in the longevity of freshness, so too would the IBU characteristic of the beer.  An IPA, for example, would have a longer shelf life than a porter.  But unless that beer on the shelf is many years old, it should still be a good representative of the style — IMHO.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2021, 12:20:03 pm »
We have a chain liquor store that sells single bottles and cans, which seems like a good way to explore styles by tasting a variety of commercial examples. However, the beer is not properly refrigerated during shipping and sits on open shelves at room temperature in the store. That means you might get a very stale sample that doesn't properly reflect the style.

Actually as I understand, hops make a pretty good preservative.  So, I would agree that age may play a roll in the longevity of freshness, so too would the IBU characteristic of the beer.  An IPA, for example, would have a longer shelf life than a porter.  But unless that beer on the shelf is many years old, it should still be a good representative of the style — IMHO.
I think you have it backwards. Hops act as an antibacterial preservative, but hop aroma and flavor are known to degrade quickly. IPAs should be consumed fresh, within a month of packaging or 2-3 months at the longest. Porters and stouts are more tolerant of the flavors from oxidation, and the sherry-like notes can actually work in them. Some of these can be good for years. I have tried European beers from this chain and they were almost all heavily oxidized and yucky. It only takes a few days of overheating to ruin a beer.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2021, 02:06:56 pm »
Being new and trying to take in as much as I can, I am noticing that there are quite a few terms here I don't quite understand.  I will use the search function as needed, but as a newbie, I figure I would just put it out there.  Eventually, my hope is to get into a all grain brewing situation, with maybe a little home spot where friends and family can come hang out and pick from a few on tap.  But that is so far away right now, I understand I have a lot to learn.  Anyway, I am enjoying a brew for lunch and was just cruising thru the recipes on the AHA web site.  Cheers to all, and thanks to all who have helped me so far in my journey. 

So, here is something I have been wondering.  I am mostly an IPA guy, but have been thinking of branching out.  I see so many different styles and recipes, I am curious what everyone's opinion is for where I should go next as a primarily IPA drinker?

Don’t be afraid to ask to define a term. We all understand there are brewers at various stages along the journey that frequent these pages and there’s no shame in asking.

I loosely follow this framework for my brewing throughout the year. You can sub in/out styles that interest you.

Winter Beer Styles – Beers to Brew in Fall, Drink in Winter:
* Holiday Ales
* Christmas/Winter Beer
* Stouts, Porters and other Dark Beers
* Barley Wine (needs long aging – start a year or more in advance)
* Scotch Ale
* Old Ale

Spring Beer Styles – Beers to Brew in Winter, Drink in Spring
* Irish Ale and Irish Stout
* Green Beer for St Patty’s Day
* Bock/Doppelbock
* IPA/APA/Bitter
* Saison
* Blonde Ale

Summer Beer Styles – Beers to Brew in Spring, Drink in Summer
* Pilsner
* Cream Ale
* Steam Beer – California Common
* Kolsch Beer
* Summer Ales
* Saison

Fall Beer Styles – Beers to Brew in Summer, Drink in the Fall
* Marzen/Oktoberfest
* English Pale Ale
* Brown Ales
* Dunkelweizen
* Harvest Ale



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Offline Kevin

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Re: Terms in Brewing
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2021, 02:56:18 pm »
Here is a glossary of terms from John Palmer's book, How To Brew...

http://howtobrew.com/book/glossary
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