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glossary



This glossary is intended to help newcomers to RateBeer understand the language of craft beer in the forums and ratings. While the vast majority of these terms relate to beer itself, others in this list simply help you understand the lively discussion among the craft beer community at RateBeer.

110k+OT - A lot plus a little more.

10%, 11%, 12%, etc. - On a beer label, this does not necessarily mean alcohol. In many countries, the % sign denotes degrees Plato (literally, the percentage of unfermentable matter in the wort). The alcohol, however, will be specifically listed somewhere on the label.

3 Cs - Cascade, Centennial and Chinook. These floral, citric American hops varieties work particularly well together.

3F - Three Floyds Brewing, Indiana.

ABC - Varies by region but usually the agency, Alcoholic Beverage Control.

ABV - alcohol by volume, the most common way of measuring the strength of a beer. ABV = ABW * 1.25.

ABW - alcohol by weight. ABW = ABV/1.25. acetic - like vinegar.

adjuncts - grain additives besides barley such as corn or rice typically used as a cost savings method.

alpha acids - a hop-based bittering component.

attenuated - said of beers that have converted most of their sugars. dry.

BA - Barrel aged. Also beer advocate.

BMC - BudMillerCoors.

basement flavors (also cobwebs) - aromas associated with dusty, moldy, dank basements or caves.

beer engine (also hand pump) - a pump used to draw beer up from cellared casks without the use of pressured gas.

bomber - a 22 fluid ounce (650 ml) glass bottle for beer.

bubblegum - the estery aroma of bubblegum. especially characteristic of some wheat beers.

brett - short for Brettanomyces a non-saccharomyces yeast responsible for horse blanket and barnyard aromas in some wild ales.

Burton Salts - minerals added to water to make the taste and feel similar to Burton-On-The-Trent, England.

butterscotch - a flavor, sometimes an off flavor, associated with diacetyl.

cask, cask conditioned - beer still fermenting on the yeast and served without artificial carbonation.

chill haze - a haze sometimes evident in cloudy strands caused by coagulated proteins in chilled beer.

citric - like lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, citrons and other fruits of that ilk.

cloying - unpleasantly sweet.

clarked out - A nodding off associated with the hazards of beer tasting.

cobwebs (also basement flavors) - aromas associated with dusty, moldy, dank basements or caves.

DFH - Dogfish Head Brewing Company, Delaware.

degrees plato - see P.

dirties - poems, usually short and with an urban American flair.

DMS - Dimethyl sulfide. Smelling like cooked cabbage.

DONG - Draft Only, No Growlers.

dry - see attenuated. not sweet.

edgeworth - A former active RateBeerian, famous for extremely concise reviews, whose activity on the site suddenly stopped long ago. His account was mistakenly deleted and many searches were undertaken to determine his whereabouts. His full name was Marvin Edgeworth. He died in 2009 and RateBeer 2010 was dedicated to him.

eff - short for effervescent of effervescence, or carbonation

flocculation - yeast clumped in visible forms and descended to the bottom of your brewing container or bottle.

FT - For trade.

GABF - Great American Beer Festival.

GCBF - Great Canadian Beer Festival.

GBBF - Great British Beer Festival.

grains of paradise - a peppery, lightly perfumey spice.

gravity - weight of beer before/after fermentation. Before is known as original gravity (OG) and after is known as final gravity (FG).

gravity (2) - beer served directly from a cask without the use of a hand pump or beer engine.

growler - a one-gallon (3.785 litre) glass jug, clear or brown glass usually, typically sold at brewpubs for the sake of getting beer to go.

gruit - a precursor to modern beers using hops. the anti-spoilage and flavoring effects of hops was created using rosemary, juniper and other herbs.

hand pump (also beer engine) - a pump used to draw beer up from cellared casks without the use of pressured gas.

hops - the common name for the dioecious (male and female varieties) plant, humulus lupulus. the most common bittering agent used in beer.

housed - drunk.

HotD - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon.

IBU - International Bittering Units. A scale for measuring the bitterness of beer.

IPA - India Pale Ale

impy - Imperial, as in Imperial IPA or Imperial Stout

ISO - In search of. Most often in notification of one's willingness to trade for a particular beer.

jammy - like fruit jam. strong sweet fruit flavors and possibly sticky, tacky.

keg - filtered beer served under pressure with additional carbonation.

know that - Of this you can be assured. A ratebeerian affirmation.

lactic - milky or like lactose, milk sugar. Sometimes used to describe milk sourness. The finish had a tacky lactic sour.

lager, lagering, lager yeast - refer to the process, and the resultiant product, of a bottom-fermenting yeast that works best at low temperatures.

lambic - a typically dry, sour beer created through spontaneous fermentation -- no yeast is pitched. the beer is simply exposed to natural ambient yeasts in the air.

lautering - the process of washing converted sugars from grain

lawnmower beer - a beer best consumed while in a hot environment and/or after vigorous physical activity. a beer with drinkability and refreshing flavors as paramount characteristics.

lege - to visit the city or town of other RateBeerians and fail to contact one or more of them in an attempt not to see them. Though he's no flakier than anyone else, the term is eponymous of legion242.

light struck - when packaged beer is exposed to lights, usually in a retail environment, some damage may be evident in the form of skunked hops.

Lord Gorlock - an alter ego of San Diego RateBeerian extraordinaire, drunkasaskunk.

Lovibond - scale used for measuring darkness in malts. The higher the number, the darker the malt. Some malts, especially crystal malt, are available in many degrees of Lovibond.

lupulin - minute yellowish-brown hairs obtained from the strobili of the hop plant, formerly used in medicine as a sedative.

malt, malting - the finished product and process whereby grain is sprouted and then dried to release enzymes that catalyze the conversion of grain carbohydrates into fermentable sugars

malty - tasting like malt sugar, maltose, which is present in the roasted barley and other grains that are the primary fermentables of beer.

mash, mashing - the process of converting the complex carbohydrates in grains into simple fermentable sugars by mixing with and then boiling in water.

nip- A nip is a small bottle, 1/3 of a pint.

nitro, on nitro - propelled by a mix of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. nitrogen produces tiny bubbles and a creamy texture and diminishes acidity and to some extent, aroma.

Noble hops - term referring to the soft, "refined" hops traditional to Central Europe, specifically Tettnang, Hallertau, Spalt, Saaz.

OG - original gravity.

OSA - Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale.

P - Plato, a measurement of gravity in degrees common in central and eastern Europe. Denoted 10P, 12P, 15P, etc. 1P = (1).004 of original gravity (OG).

palate - the sense of taste and sensation of the tongue without aroma. typically sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, effervescent, slick, particulate and smokey.

patent malt - A very darkly roasted malt used to add a pitch black color and said to impart no flavor.

percentile - roughly translated means "the number of beers out of 100 that this beer would be better than."

plato - see P. A measurement of a beer's gravity common in central and eastern europe.

RBSG - RateBeer Summer Gathering. Our annual gathering usually held in both Europe and North America.

Randallized - Randall The Enamel Animal is a device created at Dogfish Head that allows a beer to be served through a yard-long column of aromatic hops.

Reinheitsgebot - also knows as the German Purity Law of 1516 which limits beer ingredients to water, hops, malt and yeast.

SALUD! - often presented IN ALL CAPS and always with an exclamation point. This is a Spanish toast to your health and the cheery signature of our amigos at Casta.

score - the weighted average of a particular beer. the more ratings the beer has, the closer it comes to it's actual average.

session ale, session beer - an easy-drinking, mild beer with an alcohol content typically less than 4% intended to be drunk several to a sitting.

short measure - most specific to England, when a beer is not poured to the fill line. In other words, you ordered a pint, but did not receive a full pint.

silver pants - the casual fashion of aceofhearts.

skunky or skunked - a musky skunk aroma associated with oxidized Saaz hops. Especially prevalent in lagers shipped in clear or green bottles.

SNPA - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Std Dev - the standard deviation. describes the average variance of a beer's ratings to the beer's average. the greater the standard deviation, the more disagreement there is between raters.

storm kinged - when you choose to drink a beer without a friend you had arranged to share it with.

sulfur, sulfurous - like rotten eggs. sulphur aromas are a significant and famous characteristic of some traditional English beers.

tacky - clinging to the tongue either as a dusty particulate or sticky sugar.

VE - Vertical Epic.

WWS - Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout.

westy - Westvleteren.

wet - ambiguous. could mean watery or sweet.

wort, worty - unfermented beer or tasting like unfermented beer.

yeast - the microrganism responsible for converting available malt sugars into alcohol and water. for most beer this is added, or pitched, after the raw ingredients are boiled and then cooled.

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