Beerology

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Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol or ethanol.  A by-product of fermentation, caused by yeast acting on sugars in the malt. Yeast also makes carbon dioxide during fermentation.

Alcohol by volume

Alcohol content is expressed as a percentage of volume or weight, typically ABV.

Ale

Historically, beers brewed with top-fermenting yeast strains were called ales. Modern ales still employ warm temperatures to make the required flavour profile, but these days a wider variety of yeast types are used.

Amber

Any top or bottom fermented beer having an amber colour – varies between pale and dark. The colour typically comes from the use of lightly roasted malts, e.g.  Amber/Munich malts or caramel.

Aroma Hops

A variety of hops chosen for their fragrance. New Zealand grows unique aroma hops like New Zealand Hallertauer 
and New Zealand Saaz.


Barley

The name of the grain from which malt is made, barley is grown in both the South and North Island of New Zealand and is harvested in Summer.

Bitter

The bitterness of hops is the sensation that is felt on the back of the tongue, typically described as sharp and slightly biting. Bitterness is formed in brewing when the hops are boiled during the preparation of a brew for fermentation.

Black Malt

Partially malted barley is roasted at a high temperature during the kilning process. Black malt gives a dark colour and a roasted flavour to beer. Used in Monteith’s Black beer and other dark ales.

Body

Describes the fullness and mouth-filling property of a beer. Beers can range from being ‘full’ to ‘thin’ bodied.

Bottom fermenting yeast

Bottom fermenting yeast strains typically perform well at cooler fermentation temperatures and produces a different flavour style compared to ales that are fermented at warmer temperatures. Also called lager yeast - “lager” means “to store” in German and lager beers historically were made in winter, stored cold, ready for summer.


Brew Kettle

The vessel in which wort from the mash is boiled with hops. Sometimes  the ‘Brew Kettle  is also called a ‘Wort Copper’.

Caramel

A burnt sugar flavour used to add colour and also give a slight butterscotch like flavour to the beer. Caramels are also used in cooking to colour meat dishes brown.

Carbonation

Sparkling caused by carbon dioxide either created during fermentation or dosed in later. The yeast makes large amounts of carbon dioxide during fermentation.

Conditioning

The periods of prolonged storage of the beer after the main fermentation. Firstly, warm conditioning further develops the complex of flavours and then a period of cold conditioning allows the beer to slowly develop its delicate flavours and helps settle the yeast out to enable ‘bright’ beer to be made.

Conditioning Tank

A vessel in which beer is placed after primary fermentation for maturation. See “Conditioning”.


Dextrin

The unfermentable carbohydrate produced by the enzymes in barley. It gives the beer flavour and body.

Draught Beer

Draught beer or tap beer is beer that is brewed and kegged for dispensing from taps at bars in the trade. DB Breweries cold filters all its draught beers to give customers’ ‘brewery fresh’ product.

Dry-hopping

The addition of dry hops to fermenting or ageing beer to increase its hop character or aroma. This hop character often gives dominant herbal, floral aromas to the beer.

Enzymes

Special proteins found naturally in grain that, when heated with malted barley and water, convert the starches of the malted barley into malt sugars that can then be converted to alcohol and flavour by the yeast during fermentation.

Esters

Volatile flavour compounds naturally created in fermentation by the yeast. These esters are generally described as imparting fruity, flowery or spiciness to the beer.


Ethanol

A form of alcohol produced by yeast during fermentation.

Fermentation

The process of converting sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, through the action of yeast.

Filter

The removal of yeast and proteins from the cloudy fermented and stored beer to produce a sparkling clear or ‘bright’ beer.

Grist

A brewer’s term for milled malted barley or other fermentable grains and sugars used to make beer.

Heat Exchanger

Equipment used to rapidly reduce or increase the temperature of the brew during processing. Coolants or hot water/steam pass counter current to change the temperature of the brew as required by the brewer.


Hops

A vine originating in Europe that produces numerous hop flowers that are harvested in late summer. Hops when added during brewing give both hop aromas and bitterness.

IBU

International bitterness units - a measurement of bitterness levels.

Infusion

At mashing, temperature changes allow certain enzymes to be active at specific temperatures. Typically an infusion mash is a step where an increase in temperature is used to produce the required profile of sugars for fermentation.

Keg

Container for beer that can be shipped to outlets and bars. Originally made of wood and available in a variety of sizes. Today’s beer kegs are typically made of stainless steel.

Lager

“Lager” means “to store” in German and lager beers historically were made in winter, stored cold, ready for summer. See “Bottom Fermenting Yeast”.


Lagering

Refers to cold maturation for several weeks or months at cold temperatures. See “Lager”.

Light struck

When beer flavour is affected by exposure to light. Beer, like milk, will change flavour when exposed to light so it’s always best to store beer away from light.

Liquor

A brewer’s term for water used in the brewing process, as included in the mash or used to sparge the grains after mashing. At DB Breweries, the brewing liquor is always additionally purified to remove any residues of chlorination that may be in treated water.

Malt Extract

The process by which barley is steeped in water, germination is initiated, then the barley kilned by a special heating process that keeps enzymes still active. The dried malted barley can be stored in silos or sacks ready for brewing.

Malt(ing)

The condensed wort from a mash, consisting of maltose, dextrins and other dissolved solids. It is used by brewers, either as a syrup or powdered sugar, in the solutions of water and extract to reconstitute wort for fermentation.


Maltose

A water-soluble, fermentable sugar contained in malt.

Mash

To release malt sugars by soaking the grains in water. A mash is the resultant mixture.

Mead

Meads are produced by the fermentation of honey, water, yeast and optional ingredients such as fruit, herbs and/or spices.

Other ingredients

Only certain ingredients and processing materials  are permitted in the brewing of beer and these are listed in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. All brewers are free to use these to assist in brewing beer. DB Breweries does not use any preservatives in its beers.

Pasteurisation

Heating of beer to temperatures in excess of 60 degrees Celsius to kill any yeast remaining after filtration and stabilise it microbiologically.


Pils (Pilsner)

A style of bottom fermented light coloured beer with a very pronounced taste of hops that originated in the area of Pilsen in Europe.

Pitch

The process of adding yeast to the wort.

Reinheitsgebot

The German beer purity law of 1520. Originating in Bavaria, the law still applies to all German brewers making beer for consumption in Germany. It allows only malted grains, barley or wheat, sugar, hops, yeast and water to be used in brewing.

Shelf life

The number of days a beer will retain its drinkability but unlike wine, beer is best fresh and should not be stored for long periods.

Sparge

To spray grist with hot water to remove soluble sugars (maltose). This takes place at the end of the mash during the brewing process to ensure full recovery of the malt sugars.


Top fermenting (ale) yeast

Top fermenting yeast works better at warmer temperatures to typically produce fruitier, sweeter beer. Traditionally, top yeast rose to the top of the open tank during fermentation and could be collected for subsequent brews, but modern ale yeast is now often collected at the bottom of tall enclosed fermenters.

Tun

A large vessel used in brewing.

Wort

The name wort, pronounced ‘wert’, is given to the unfermented sugary solution that is produced in the brew house. The wort once fermented becomes beer.

Yeast

A micro-organism of the fungus family and are freely found in nature. Special yeast strains are cultured and used for brewing.