20 Terms to Tide You Through All Things Alcohol
This is our basic jargon guide to help you tide through the various articles you read on our website. There is no way we can substitute or replace these terms; they are part and parcel of the alcobev world. But you no longer need to get baffled by these terms, also you’ll get an edge over the next alcohol nerd talk you encounter.
Alcohol by Volume. Alcohol strength of a spirit in percentage. Every spirit must mention this on their bottle, it gives you a good idea the kind of kick to expect from the liquid.
The leftover taste from a spirit, beer or wine consumed. A long pleasurable aftertaste is a big bonus.
3. Bottom Fermenting
Process of fermentation where yeast piles up at the bottom of a vat converting sugar to alcohol. Lagers are bottom fermenting beers.
4. Cask Strength
Also known as ‘barrel proof’. ABV of a spirit when it is in casks for maturations. This is different from the ABV mentioned on the bottle as over the years a lot of alcohol evaporates and the final bottle product is diluted.
A process used for many number of spirits – Cognac to Vodka – which involves heating alcohol substance to let alcohol evaporate and then condense to get purer alcohol without any water or impurities.
Scottish way of saying ‘a measure of whisky’.
Anything spirit like beer or a sparkling wine, when it loses there effervescent character, also losing elements of flavor.
8. Head & Head Retention
Froth or foam atop a beer and the duration that it stays, respectively.
It’s not a beer if it doesn’t have hops. Dried flower of hops plant which act as preservatives in a beer and add bitterness to the beer.
Bitterness of hops; it is distinctive which is easy to distinguish.
A special pressurized canister used for storing carbonated drinks, ie, beer.
Used for both whiskeys and beer it is barley which has been partially germinated to allow better extraction of sugars.
Mix of powdered malt and hot water which is fermented.
Commonly found in Scotland, it is organic compost fuel created over years of decomposition. As a fuel source it gives a characteristic intense aromas to the whisky. Its is mostly associated with single malts from Islay.
Twice percentage of ABV, commonly used for American spirits.
16. Residual Sugar
Leftover sugar that yeast could not convert into alcohol. Yeasts never convert 100% sugar to alcohol, there is always some sugar left.
17. Stills – Pot and Column
The contraption in which the distillation process takes place. Commonly found styles of stills are pot and columns. Column still has two towers which are used for distillation while pot stills have broader base where heat is directly applied to the stills for the evaporation process.
18. Top Fermenting
Yeasts rise up top during fermentation. Ales are commonly top fermented.
Unfermented beer or whisky. It is the liquid which is extracted from Mash, yeast is added to this liquid to activate the fermentation process.
The most important element of any alcoholic beverage; microorganisms responsible for making alcohol. There are different strains of yeasts which are used based on the spirit and recipes.