Beer Brewing

Glossary

S

SACCHARIFICATION - A stage of the mashing process during which complex glucose chains are broken down into fermentable sugars, mainly maltose.

SACCHAROMETER - A type of hydrometer for measuring the sugar concentration of a solution by determining the specific gravity.

SALT - Any numerous compounds made up of two or more ions.

SANITARY TANKS - Vessels cleanable to sanitary standards (e.g., FDA, 3A USDA standards).

SAPONIFICATION - A chemical reaction between strong alkalines and fats resulting in formation of soluble soaps and glycerol.

SCALE - A precipitate that forms or surfaces in contact with water as the result of a physical or chemical change.

SECONDARY FERMENTATION - Fermentation following the transfer of the green beer from the primary fermenters with some yeast and fermentable carbohydrates present, during which residual carbohydrates are assimilated.

SEQUESTRANT - A chemical agent that forms a water-soluble metallic complex and prevents the precipitation of metal ions from solution. A sequestering agent, unlike a chelating agent, losses its effectiveness at high temperatures or after extended periods of time.

SPARGING - It is an operation consisting in spraying hot water over the spent grains in the mash to retrieve the fermentable sugars remaining in the spent grains.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY (sp. gr.) - Specific gravity is the density (weight per unit volume) of substance (fermentable and unfermentable sugars) divided by the density of water, which has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 4C. The specific gravity of liquids is often measured with a hydrometer, whose weight (a constant) displaces different volumes of liquid as the liquid's density varies. The densities of water and wort vary with temperature. Consequently, the reference temperatures for the wort sample and for the water must be specified along with the value of specific gravity. Brewers often refer to gravity as "gravity," ignoring the decimal, e.g., 1050. Specific gravity can also be expressed in gravity points; thus wort with SG of 1.046 has 46 gravity points. Dividing specific gravity @ 15.6C by 4 gives the approximate degrees Plato and conversely multiplying Plato by 4 roughly gives specific gravity. A much more accurate, yet still easily calculated conversion, also for specific gravity @15.6 C, is given by: P = 259 - (259/SG) or SG = 259/(259 - P ).

STAMPED VESSELS - Regulatory certified vessels (such as ASME-code stamped).

STANDARD REFERENCE METHOD (SRM) - In the United States, the standard method for determining beer color is the Standard Research Method (SRM). This technique was originally set up to approximate the Lovibond scale and is now used as the basis for assigning Lovibond ratings to grains as well as to determine the actual color of finished beer. Color is measured as degrees SRM. It is assumed to be equivalent to the older degrees Lovibond system. To convert to European Brewing Convention (EBC) color values use the following equation for a reasonable approximation: EBC = 2.65 x SRM - 1.2.

STARCH - Any of a group of carbohydrates or polysaccharides which hydrolyzes to yield dextrins and maltose through the action of amylases.

STARTER - A small volume of wort to which yeast is added, in order to activate it before it is pitched into the main batch.

STEEL MASHER - Used for mixing crushed malt with hot brewing water.

STEEPING - A process in malting where the grain seeds are soaked in water to provide moisture for germination.

STEP INFUSION - A method of mashing in which the various temperature rests are employed.

STERILANT - An agent capable of sterilizing an object or surface, i.e., killing or removing all living organisms.

STRIKE HEAT (TEMPERATURE) - The temperature of the mash water before its addition to the grist during the mashing process. The temperature needs to be higher than the desired rest temperature because the temperature will be reduced when the grist and water are combined.

STYLE - A term used to differentiate and categorize beers by various factors such as color, flavour, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, or origin. Beers of the same style have the same general flavor profile.

STUCK FERMENTATION - Fermentation that has stopped prematurely, i.e., before the final gravity has been reached.

SUCROSE - A fermentable sugar (disaccharide) that is produced from sugar cane and occurs naturally in malt consisting of a fructose unit joined with a glucose unit. It generally makes up 8 to 10% of wort sugars. It is not directly fermentable by yeast and must first be hydrolyzed to glucose and fructose by the enzyme invertase secreted by the yeast. Occasionally, it is used in some forms of brewing, such as the candy sugar used in certain Belgian ales.

SURFACTANT - A surface-active agent, usually an organic compound that dissolves in water to solubilize oil materials in the cleaning process.