Beer Brewing

Glossary

B

BACTERIA - Microscopic single-cell plants which reproduce by fission or by spores, identified by their shapes: coccus, spherical, bacillus, rod-shaped, and spirillum, curved.

BACTERICIDE - Capable of inhibiting the growth or reproduction of bacteria.

BACTERIOSTATIC - Bacteria inhibiting.

BALANCE - Refers to the overall harmony of flavors in a beer. More specifically, it usually refers to the levels of hops and malts. For example, if a beer's taste is predominately malt oriented, it is said to be balanced toward malts.

BALLING - A standard for the measurement of the density of solutions expressed as a percentage of the weight of the solute on (grams of sucrose per 100 grams of solution). Degrees Balling (°B) is sometimes used as a substitute for degrees Plato (°P). However, the two are not equivalent since the Balling scale was calibrated at 17.5°C and not at 20°C as is the Plato scale. The difference between the two scales is about 0.05% wt/wt units. Both degrees P and B are temperature dependent. Traditionally used in Europe, it has largely been replaced by the Plato scale.

BARM - Liquid yeast appearing as froth on fermenting beer.

BARREL - A unit of measure used by brewers. In the United Kingdom, a barrel holds 36 imperial gallons (1 imperial gallon = 4.5 liters). In the United States, a barrel holds 31.5 gallons (1 US gallon = 3.8 liters).

BATCH FERMENTATION - The traditional method of fermentation where each batch is fermented separately as opposed to continuous fermentation which is a continuous process.

BEER - A generic name for alcoholic beverages produced by fermenting malt with or without other cereals and flavored with hops.

BEERSTONE - Brownish-gray deposits left on fermentation equipment composed of calcium oxalate and organic residues.

BETA ACID - One of the two resins in hops that are responsible for bitterness; however, it contributes very little to the bitterness of beer. They are present in larger quantities than alpha acids but because of their low solubility (soluble in water only if oxidized) their content level is usually insignificant.

BETA-AMYLASE - A diastatic enzyme that breaks down long glucose chains into fermentable sugars, a process called saccharification. When mash temperatures are optimized for beta-amylase the wort is highly fermentable.

BETA-GLUCANS - A carbohydrate known to increase wort viscosity when not properly degraded causing filtration and haze problems. Beta-glucans have been known to show a color reaction when using the iodine test even though satisfactory degradation of malt sugars has been achieved. The grain kernels may need to be strained out to minimize this effect.

BICARBONATE - A salt that contributes to the alkalinity of water.

BIOCIDE - A chemical agent that kills living organisms.

BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND - Biochemical Oxygen Demand, or BOD, is a measure of the quantity of oxygen consumed by microorganisms during the decomposition of organic matter. The BOD of brewery waste varies widely among breweries and depends to a large extent on water usage and how much of the high-BOD load is treated or separated prior to discharge. The main components of brewery BOD are wort and beer residues from the brewhouse, cellars, and packaging operations. Cleaning chemicals, such as nitric and phosphoric acids, are major sources of nutrients. BOD results are expressed as mg O2/liter water.

BITTER - A flavor effect associated with hops experienced on back of tongue.

BITTERING HOPS - Hops with high alpha acid content used to add bitterness, but not aroma, to beer.

BITTERING UNITS - A formula developed by the American Homebrewers Association to measure the total amount of bitterness in a given volume of beer multiply­ing the alpha acid content (in percent) by the number of ounces. Example: 3 ounces of hops at 9% alpha acid for five gallons: 3 x 9 = 27 BU per 5 gallons.

BITTERNESS - Bitterness is a taste sensation experienced between the tongue and palette. In beer it primarily comes from the contents of the hops, but can also result from salts naturally occurring in brewing water and/or from vegetative fermenting elements within the malt.

BLACK MALT - Malted barley roasted at high temperatures. Used in stouts and dark beers to contribute dark color and a burnt flavor.

BODY - A mouth-filling property of beer that gives it substance and consistency.

BOILING - Following extraction of the carbohydrates, proteins, and yeast nutrients from the mash the clear wort must be conditioned by boiling.

BOTTLE-CONDITIONED - Secondary fermentation and maturation in the bottle induced by adding yeast and sugar to the beer in the bottle.

BOTTOM FERMENTATION - One of the two basic methods of fermentation for beer, as opposed to top fermentation, where the dead yeast cells rise to the surface of the wort during fermentation. Beers brewed in this fashion are commonly called lagers or bottom-fermented beers.

BOUQUET - The overall smell of beer caused by odors that originate during fermentation and maturation.

BREWER'S GRAVITY - It is the specific gravity in brewer's pounds. Formula: (S.G. - 1000) x 0.36.

BREW KETTLE - A large vessel (or copper in the UK), similar in shape to a mash tun, made of copper or stainless steel in which the wort is boiled.

BREW PUB - An establishment that brews it own beers for consumption on its premises.

BRIGHT BEER TANKS - Tanks for storing beer after it has been filtered.

BRIX - A specific gravity scale based on the Balling scale but designed for use at 15°C.

BUNG - A wooden plug for a beer barrel.

BUFFER - A substance capable of resisting changes in the pH of a solution.

BUFFER CAPACITY - Buffer capacity is the ability of water to resist a change in pH.

BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (abbreviated ATF, sometimes BATF) is a specialized law enforcement and regulatory organization within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibilities include the investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving the unlawful use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives, acts of arson and bombings, and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products.