Nelson's Beer Words and Definitions

This page lists commonly used beer-related words, both for commercial beers, and for homebrewing.

AdjunctA non-barley additive to beer, generally used to provide additional starches/sugars, e.g., oatmeal, wheat, rice
AleBeer that is top-fermented between 60-70°F
AltbierAlt is German for "old" - as in old style (pre-lager) ale, dark brown, low hops, but may be highly bitter
BarleywineMalty and sweeter beer with a higher alcoholic content and taste of alcohol
BeerA beverage created by fermenting barley and hops: German law specified that beer could contain only barley, hops, yeast, and water
BockHigher malt and alcohol lager (Bock means "goat" in German)
California Common"Steam" beer brewed with lager yeasts at ale temperatures
CassisLambic made with black currants
CiderA beverage created by fermenting apple juice
DoppelbockHighly malted "double" bock with more alcohol, beer names end with "-ator"
DubbelBelgian Dubbel is a darker fuller bodied beer that is malty and somewhat sweet, with nutty chocolate roast nose. It uses double the amount of malt, and has a higher alcohol content.
DunkelGerman for "dark" (color)
EisbockA bock that has been concentrated (and is higher alcohol content) by freezing some of the water (Ice bock)
FramboiseLambic made with raspberries
GABFGreat American Beer Festival
Gueuze(pronounced "girs" with a hard-G) - A blend of newer and older Lambic beers to start a new fermentation
HefeGerman for "yeast"
HellesGerman for "light" (color)
IBU"International Bitterness Units" - a means for measuring the bitterness - lighter beers may be close to zero, pale ales and stouts may be 60 IBU or higher
KölschGerman light and fruity ale, not sweet, medium hops
KriekLambic made with cherries
LagerBeer that is bottom-fermented between 40-50°F, and then stored ("lager" is German "to store")
LambicBelgian style of beer brewed with wild yeast and bacteria for souring
LauterThe process of removing or straining the grain from the wort, done in the lauter-tun
MaibockLighter and hoppier Bock - for festivals in May (Mai).
Malt LiquorA designation (caused by USA laws limiting alcohol percentage in products labelled as "beer") for high-alcohol, lighter body beers, e.g., lagers, pilseners
MarzenA beer brewed in March - may be an Oktoberfest, or may be a lighter "Summer" beer
MashThe process of converting starches to sugars by boiling or heating the grain, done in the mash-tun (brewing pot)
MeadA beverage created by fermenting honey-water
OktoberfestA rich malty copper-colored lager, generally brewed in the spring and consumed in autumn
PecheLambic made with peaches
PilsenerBeer that is bottom-fermented, pale and golden, and hoppy (also Pils, Pilsner)
PorterDark brown to black beer with no roast barley
QuadrupelBelgian Quadrupel is a dark full bodied beer that is malty that uses quadruple the amount of malt, and has a higher alcohol content.
RauchbierGerman for "smoke beer", made with smoked malts
RoggenbierGerman for "rye beer", made with rye malt
SchwarzbierGerman for "black beer", a Bavarian style that is generally lighter bodied, not too bitter
SpargeThe process of washing additional flavors/sugars/starches/nutrients from boiled or mashed grains and/or other additives
SRM"Standard Reference Method" - a means for measuring the color - lighter beers may be close to zero, porters and stouts may be 40 (black opaque)
StoutDark copper to black beer with roasted barley and caramel flavors, often has coffee and/or chocolate flavors
TrappistBeer produced by one of the Trappist monastaries in Belgium. This is not a style of beer - Trappist ale may be Dubbel, Tripel, Blonde, etc.
TripelBelgian Tripel is a light pale beer using triple the amount of malt, higher sweetness, higher bitterness, higher alcohol content.
Trub(pronounced "troob") - protein and tannin that is precipitated from the wort during the boiling or cooling
WeisseGerman for "wheat"
WitBelgian for "white", often spiced with coriander seeds and orange peel
Wort(pronounced "wert") - unfermented beer
Urbock"Original" bock, bock from the town of Einbeck in Germany

If you're looking at this page without frames around it, try the main Build A Beer page.