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10 Useful Terms to Know if You Want to Start Brewing Beer

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You have this hobby that you think can help you make money – brewing beer. You have thought about it for some time and are now researching everything you need to do to get started and be successful.

It will take you time, and you need to ensure that you are prepared. Apart from getting everything that you need, you also need to understand all the useful terminologies used in the industry. 

Here are some of the most important terminologies you will find useful when you start brewing beer.


When you start brewing beer, everything will start with wort. The sweet liquid you will be creating after using hot water to steep malted barley and then boiling it with hops is known as wort. You will get beer after adding and fermenting yeast to the resulting liquid. In simple terms, all beers start as wort.


Attenuation is one of the most common terms you will use when you start brewing beer. You will hear your peers describing beers that are less sugary and dryer as nicely or well attenuated. The term is used to refer to the amount of sugar added to the wort and then converted to beer.

High Gravity and Session Beers

You will use gravity to describe the amount of alcohol in the beers you brew. High-gravity beers are brewed using less water compared to the wort. This ensures that your yeast breaks down more sugar during the fermentation process. 

You will get beers with high alcohol content from this, referred to as high-gravity beers. Beers with low alcohol content, on the other hand, are referred to as session or low-gravity beers.

Thiolized Yeast

You will use thiolized yeast if you want your brewery business to stand a chance of beating the already stiff competition. Thiolized yeast is a term used to refer to engineered yeast strains that can change thiol precursors often found in grape, hops, and malt products into thiols.

Using thiolized yeast, you can get different tropical aromas for your beers, something that was previously not possible. Check out this detailed guide on thiolized yeast by Ollie to understand how it works and how you can use it.

Lager and Ale

The beers you will be brewing will be either lager or ale, not unless you have your own exceptions to this. When brewing beer, you will realize that you have two types of yeast – yeast falling to the bottom and yeast that remains at the top during the fermentation process.

You will use the yeast falling to the bottom to make lagers. The yeast that ferments at the top will be used to make ales. You will brew lagers for long durations and at cooler temperatures compared to the time and temperature you will need to brew ales.


Unfiltered beer has been growing in popularity in the last couple of years. This means that you will use this term a lot if you want to start brewing beer. Unfiltered beer will have the barley, hops, and yeast that you will use in the brewing process.

These beers offer some kind of a hazier look. You will also find sedimentation at the bottom of bottles and glasses. In simple terms, filtering is the process of cleaning your beers and deciding the level of barley, hops, and yeast that will remain in your beers.

India Pale Ale (IPA)

IPAs are some of the most popular beers you will find in breweries today. They are very strict with aroma and flavor. When brewing IPAs, you will incorporate hops at different stages of the brewing process.

The pine, floral, tropical, and citrusy flavors are very strong in these beers. APIs are sometimes referred to as hoppy beers.

IBU (International Bitterness Units)

You will use IBU a lot when brewing beer, especially when referring to the amount of hop bitterness in your beers. If you want your brewery business to succeed, check what is trending between low and high IBU ales. This might also be influenced by your location and customers.

Brewing Tanks

You will need different types of equipment for every process when brewing beer. Brewing tanks are used to hold wort in preparation for the fermentation process.

Double IPA

If you find yourself using more hops (up to double) to yield a high content of alcohol and heavy hop flavor, then what you get is double IPA. Some people use the term imperial ale when referring to double IPA.

Brewing beer can be fun. It can also be a great business opportunity that can make you a lot of money. However, you need to understand all the terms used in the brewery business for you to be successful.