Beer Lingo Lookup

We use a lot of lingo at A Tale Of Two Brewers. Here's your one stop shop to find out what the heck stuff means.

Airlock - while yeast is having a field day in your beer, they give off CO2 like cows destroying the ozone layer. You need to let that CO2 out without letting oxygen in. This is where the airlock comes in. Fill this bad larry up halfway with a sanitized liquid or cheap vodka and jam it in the top of your fermenter. Good to go.

ABV - Alcohol by volume. Double it and you have proof. Halve it, and you have absolutely nothing.

Beer - Really? If you're looking this up, my hunch is that you shouldn't be here to begin with. However I will indulge your sense of silliness. We'll call beer an alcoholic beverage made with water, grain, hops (sometimes), and yeast.

Batch Sparge - A method of sparging involving draining off your mash tun, then dropping in another pot of water to the tun and draining it to achieve your boil volume.

Carboy - Best described as a jug that looks like your stereotypical Office-Space, Dilbert-y water cooler. Before you go on a stealing spree however, those jugs aren't made for brewing. You either want to get a glass one or a PET one that are made to resist the acidity of the alcohol your making. The advantage is you have less headspace for oxygen to get trapped in. Also, it lets you see your beer, which is pretty sweet. I recommend the plastic ones, the glass ones are ticking time bombs ready to shatter into a pipebomb style explosion.


Diacetyl - (Pronounced die-a-SEE-till) Is a byproduct of fermentation. The appearance of this in your beer at low levels will cause the mouth-feel to come across slippery. While in greater amounts will make a beer taste buttery. Buttery beer? Gross.


F.G. - Final Gravity. Used in conjunction with O.G. to measure how complete fermentation is and, ultimately, %ABV.

Fly Sparge - A sparging method that involves adding water to your mash tun at the same rate you're draining it off. Some people do this as simply as slowly draining water into the tun and manually adjust a ball valve to drain the tun. Other people use sensors, pumps, and flux capacitors to do that all automatically.

Growler - Is not one who likes to hulk around like a wolf making weird noises. A growler is you beer version of a reusable bag. These spacious bottles (typically two liters) can be filled off the tap and brought home to your enjoyment. Or filled at home so you can bring it to a party without having to bottle.

HLT - Hot Liquor Tank. This has nothing to do with actual liquor. This is a tank that stores hot water used for brewing. Some use it for temperature regulation, some for sparging. It doesn't really matter what you use it for. Keep it in the corner of your house for all I care. Fine? FINE!

Iodophor - This is a sanitizing solution commonly used in brewing. I use it all the time. It's cheap, and quick to use. No rinse necessary. Can stain plastic equipment if used at too high a concentration or too long a soak.

Jockey Box - This handy little device is perfect for a tailgate or a party in a park. No need to refrigerate your keg. It's effectively a reverse immersion cooler. Built into a igloo cooler, a metal coil is run with a connection on both ends on the outside of the box. Connect a keg on one side, a tap on the other, and fill with ice. You now have on demand ice cold beer. Kinda like your on demand heater at home, but this gets you drunk, not burned.

Keggle - If you haven't already noticed, many homebrewers are also do it yourselfers. That's why we brew beer at home, isn't it? A keggle is an old keg somehow bastardized to be used in the brewing process. Commonly with the top cut out and used to heat water or wort, or to be used for a brew-in-a-bag setup.

Lauter - Lautering is a funny thing, especially if you're new into homebrewing and you're reading all this amazing and incredibly accurate information on the internet. Everything on the internet is true. Right. A lot of people mix up sparging and lautering because for homebrewers more times than not it's almost the same thing. Lautering is the all encompassing term that refers to separating the wort from the spent grain during your mash.

MT - Mash Tun. You'll hear this term a lot when Brewer Gene talks about a brew day. The mash tun holds the mash.


O.G. - Original Gravity. Different people uses different methods of measuring the sugary content of their beer. We use the O.G. to determine how much sugar is dissolved in our beer, and estimate how much alcohol will remain in the head. Used in conjunction with F.G. to measure final %ABV.

Pitching - Verb. In sports referring to throwing a ball. This has nothing to do with that here. Pitching your yeast is to add it to your wort, once it's cooled.




SO - Significant Other. Covers all kinds of territories from best friends to life long partners. Even married people.

Sparging - Sparging is the act of rinsing your grain to get all that sweet goodness that is sugar out of your mash. There's many methods of sparging. No matter who you talk to, their method is the best, and more efficient and more simple than all the rest. I utilize a fly sparge. You can also try out a batch sparge.

SWMBO - She Who Must Be Obeyed. This is a pretty general term for brewers across the net. There's a lot of guys out there, and there's a lot of SO's (see above) that have to put up with them. Though they get to taste the fruits of our labors first hand, they also set the ground rules. Or else.

Tun - Fancy old English word for tank (cask/barrel).



Wort - I sort of hate this word. Pronounced "wert," it refers to your beer after mashing and before adding yeast.




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