How’s your homebrewer’s vocabulary? Is it a bit rusty? Don’t worry, Keg Fridge has got your back!
The craft brewery is a hobby that
is becoming more and more popular these days. The more people drink, the more the idea of homebrewing seems to be very inviting. The beer is available 24/7 and there are plenty enough to serve, at least, a small party. Homebrewing, while requiring more effort, is still more practical and satisfying as opposed to simply buying a beer keg.
However, becoming a homebrewer takes effort and know-how. It starts with learning the important brewing jargons. What is a wort chiller? How is a Gott-Style Mush Tun different from a False Bottom Brew Kettle? What does one pitch?
Any ideas? No? Then it’s time to learn those important brewing jargons!
Homebrewing Terms to Remember
These are some of the most important terms that any aspiring homebrewer should know:
It’s the mix of grain and water. The grain is mostly malted barley and wheat. They are first simmered then mashed out, ergo, the term “mash”. It means to convert starches into fermentable sugars.
A tun is a large cylindrical container for storing liquids. Therefore, the grains are infused here. It must be well-insulated.
Two Types of Mash Tun:
- A Gott-style mush tun is for brewing smaller batches that are between five and seven gallons and can maintain a consistent temperature for long periods of time. It can be converted into a drink cooler that’s why it is also called mush tun cooler.
- A false bottom brew kettle is for brewing larger batches that are 15 gallons or more. The temperature must be consistently monitored and kept between 150° and 158.8° for an hour or so. The mash must be constantly stirred as well.
Sparge means to moisten by sprinkling. This is especially done with water in brewing. The idea is to run additional water through the mash to strain out (extract) more or all the fermentable sugars from the grain.
It is the unyeasted sweet liquid — the sugars — from the soaked mixture of warm water and ground malt. That becomes the beer. This process takes a two-week fermenting period.
This is where the wort is, well, chilled. Right after boiling the wort, the chiller cools it down immediately. This is a very important part of the process since quick cooling means a lower risk of contamination and less chance of an off-flavor. It makes the homebrew clearer, too.
Three Types of Wort Chiller:
- The immersion chiller – most common and easiest to use, for small-scale operations
- The counterflow/countercurrent chiller – most efficient design, for larger operations
- The plate chiller – fastest and most efficient, uses much less cold water so most economical
It is the leftover malt and adjuncts after the sparge and makes up around 85% of a brewery’s by-product. As an intended sustainable product, alternative uses have been created for it. The best part is it is very edible! In fact, it is fed to farm animals. Also, various recipes have been made, too, using spent grain (ex. pasta, tortillas, cheddar scones).
That’s short for “pitching the yeast”, which really just means it’s time to stir or add in the yeast to start fermentation. It is done after the wort is cooled and poured into a fermenting container.
A fermenter or fermenting unit is where the fermentation takes, at least, two weeks. It is sealed off except for a vent pipe, which should be long and narrow. Carbon dioxide escapes through the pipe and prevents outside air from entering the fermenter. Any threat of contamination is much lessened.
There are far more terms in the homebrewing industry, but these are some of the most important ones that should be in your homebrewer’s vocabulary. Take time off to learn more about the whole process, the tools used, and the ingredients needed.
Then start. It’s time to apply know-how into actual practice. If it isn’t much of a success at the start, then what does practice make?… A great brew!
Meanwhile, a great brew deserves to be stored well and kept fresh. Many homebrewers now turn to beer cooler kegerators for this purpose. Ked Fridge provides kegerators of various shapes and sizes. There is a kegerator for every need. Keg Fridge’s units are convenient, durable and reasonably priced.