Discover Beer Terminology

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

A measurement of the alcohol content in terms of the share volume of alcohol per volume of beer. Caution: This measurement is usually above Alcohol by Weight. To calculate the approximate volumetric alcohol content, subtract FG from OG and divide it by 0.0075.

Original Gravity (OG)

The specific gravity of wort (unfermented beer) before fermentation. A measure of the entire amount of solids that are dissolved within the wort compares the density of the wort to the density of water, which is conventionally given as 1.000 at 60 Fahrenheit.

Final Gravity (FG)

The specific gravity of a beer as measured when fermentation is complete (when all desired fermentable sugars are converted to alcohol and CO2 gas). When fermentation has occurred, this number is usually but Original Gravity.

International Bitterness Units (IBUs)

1 bitterness unit = 1 milligram of isomerized (exposed to heat) hop alpha acids in one liter of beer. Can range from 0 (lowest—no bitterness) to above 100 IBUs. Usually, the overall population cannot perceive bitterness above or below a selected range of IBUs (said to be below 8 and above 80 IBUs by some sources)

Bitterness Ratio (BU:GU)

A comparison of IBUs (Bitterness Units) to sugars (Gravity Units) during a beer. .5 is perceived as balanced, but .5 is perceived as sweeter and over .5 is perceived as more bitter. Formula: Divide IBU by the last two digits of Original Gravity (remove the 1.0) to offer relative bitterness. Note: Carbonation also balances beer’s bitterness, but isn’t factored during this equation. this is often an idea from Ray Daniels, creator of the Cicerone Certification Program.

Apparent Attenuation (AA)

A simple measure of the extent of fermentation wort has undergone within the process of becoming beer, Apparent Attenuation reflects the quantity of maltose that’s converted to ethanol during fermentation. The result’s expressed as a percentage and equals 65% to 80% for many beers. Or said more simply: Above 80% is extremely high attenuation with little residual sugar. Below 60% is low attenuation with more residual sugar remaining

Standard Reference Method (SRM)

Provides a numerical range representing the color of a beer. The common range is 2-50. the upper the SRM, the darker the beer. SRM represents the absorption of specific wavelengths of sunshine. It provides an analytical method that brewers use to live and quantify the color of a beer. The SRM concept was originally published by the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

Very Light(1-1.5)
Straw(2-3)
Pale(4)
Gold(5-6)
Light Amber(7)
Amber(8)
Medium Amber(9)
Copper/Garnet(10-12)
Light Brown(13-15)
Brown/Reddish Brown/Chestnut Brown(16-17)
Dark Brown(18-24)
Very Dark(25-39)
Black (40+)
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