Clear Brewing Terminology (CBT)

Post #1 made 3 years ago
Clear Brewing Terminology (CBT) - The Essentials The homebrew world is currently suffering from very poor terminology. This makes things difficult for everyone. BIABrewer has spent several years developing a terminology that is natural and fast to learn. Take the time to read through the below and then use these terms as much as possible when you post either here or on other forums. If a term in this thread has an abbreviation, it is perfectly acceptable to use that abbreviation on

Please help new members to find this thread if you can see they are having troubles.

Simple Interactive Terminology Graphic (insert here once completed.)

Terms that can be abbreviated.
"Water," into, "Beer."
Key Temperature Terms
Key Process Terms
Key Volume Terms
Key Gravity Terms
Key Efficiency Terms - Kettle and Fermentor Efficiencies
Complex Graphic
Phrase Express and Clear Brewing Terminology
Questions on CBT
Click this for Clear Brewing Terminology Podcast with Basic Brewing Radio
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:39, edited 1 time in total.

Post #2 made 3 years ago
Terms that can be abbreviated.
Also see Phrase Express and Clear Brewing Terminology
to automate the writing of the below and more. In order of Measurement...

TWN - Total Water Needed
SWN - Strike Water Needed
VOM - Volume of Mash

VIB - Volume into Boil
GIB - Gravity into Boil
EIB - Efficiency into Boil

EVP - Evaporation

VFO - Volume at Flame-Out
VAW - Volume of Ambient Wort
GAW - Gravity of Ambient Wort (usually the same as OG)
EAW - Efficiency of Ambient Wort

KFL - Kettle to Fermentor Loss

VIF - Volume into Fermentor
VAP - Volume at Pitching (usually equals VIF)
OG - Original Gravity: Gravity at Pitching.
EIF - Efficiency into Fermentor

FG - Final Gravity
FPL - Fermentor to Packaging Loss
VIP - Volume into Packaging


SMS - Simultaneous Mash and Sparge Brewing e.g. Pure BIAB
FVV - Full Volume Variations (see Section W of the BIABacus)
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:43, edited 1 time in total.

Post #3 made 3 years ago
"Water," into, "Beer." Water goes through several stages to become beer. Most stages involve a transition so do not become too pedantic here.

Liquor: In brewing, 'liquor', simply means the water being used for the brew. The term is not widely used or necessary in home brewing but is a handy one to know. We do however encourage brewers to use the next term as much as possible.

Sweet Liquor: During the mash and sparge (see 'Process' section below), water turns into, 'sweet liquor'. In other words, sweet liquor is the sugary water that results from putting the grain bill into contact with hot brewing water.

Wort: During the boil, hops may be added and the sweet liquor turns into, 'Wort'. This is pronounced 'wurt' or 'wert', (not 'wart').

Fermenting Wort: Once the wort is cooled and the yeast is pitched, the liquid can be described as fermenting wort.

Still Beer: Once the wort has been completely fermented out we have still beer. Several options exist on how to treat still beer. The final result however is...

Beer: Once the still beer has been carbonated and, if necessary, matured we have beer!
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:43, edited 1 time in total.

Post #4 made 3 years ago
Key Temperature Terms An all-grain brewer needs to be aware that water, sweet liquor and wort expand and contract depending on their temperature. The important temperatures can be called...

Ambient Temperature: Any temperature that approximates 15 C plus or minus 10C (59 to 77 F (77 °F = 25 °C)).

Strike Temperature: The first temperature to be acquired in the brewing process. This temperature is always higher than the mash temperature - see next term. If calculated correctly, when you add your grain bill to your strike water (see 'striking' in the next section) the resulting 'mash' (see 'mashing' in the next section) should end up at your desired mash temperature.

Mash Temperature: Most recipes only require a single mash temperature to be maintained. This is usually between 62 C (143.6 F (144 °F = 62 °C)) and 70 C (158 F (158 °F = 70 °C)). Lower temps favour lighter bodied, crisp, drier beers whilst higher temps favour full-bodied, and often sweeter beers. Ambient water swells by about 2% if heated to mash temperature.

Mash-Out Temperature: A theoretical temperature where certain things of importance may or may not be relevant depending on the brewing process used. A novice BIAB brewer should treat, 'Mash-Out Temperature as being 78 C (172.4 F (172 °F = 78 °C)) and include this temperature in their mashing profile if it can be done easily. (See 'Mash-Out' below.)

Boiling Temperature: Any temperature around 100 C or 212 F (212 °F = 100 °C). A volume of ambient water swells by about 4% if heated to boiling temperature.
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:44, edited 1 time in total.

Post #5 made 3 years ago
Key Process Terms The following terms describes some key process terms that deserve a basic description here.

Striking: This refers to the moment when the crushed grain comes into contact with hot water (hot liquor) for the first time. The combination of the grain bill at ambient temperature and the '[Hot] Strike Water Needed (SWN)' should result in the temperature desired for the beginning of the mash.

Mashing: Literature on mashing usually describes and emphasises various chemical processes. This means that the basic purpose of mashing can often be over-looked. The word 'mashing' can be usefully interpreted as, 'soaking'. Our pre-boil job as a brewer is to 'wash' the 'sugar' out of the grain. Just like washing dirty clothes, soaking loosens the sugars the grain bill holds. The longer you soak the more 'dirt' you will remove.

Many different mashing regimes and temperatures exist however almost all beer recipes can be successfully mashed at a temperature between 62 and 70 C for a period of 90 minutes. (See 'mash temperature in section above.)

Sparging: Sparging can be thought of as washing and rinsing. Whilst soaking (mashing) only requires a small amount of water, washing and rinsing (sparging) requires a lot more. In pure BIAB, all the water needed for mashing and sparging is added from the start which means that the grain is soaked, washed and rinsed simultaneously.

Lautering: Lautering can be thought of as draining the sweet liquor away from the 'spent grain'. In traditional brewing, this is literally a draining. In pure BIAB it is a lifting. The bag of spent grain is lifted from the sweet liquor.

Boiling: Boiling is an extremely important part of beer production. A 90 minute good rolling boil is recommended.

Hopping: As a very basic rule, hopping of a beer occurs during the boil. Be aware that there are many exceptions to this rule. Hops can contribute bitterness, flavour and/or aroma to a beer. A very broad guide is that bitterness hops are added early in the boil (do not boil any hop for more than 90 minutes though) whilst hops added at around 15 minutes before the boil ends add flavour and those added at the very end of the boil tend to add aroma.

Note that hop addition times refer to how long the hop is boiled for. For example, a 5 minute hop addition would refer to an aroma hop added 5 minutes before the boil ends.

Other hopping techniques include, before the boil starts, mash hopping and first wort hopping. Techniques such as whirlpool hops, 'cube' hoping, hopbacking, dry hopping and 'randalling' occur post-boil.

Flame-Out: The moment when heat is turned off and the boil ends.

Chilling: Many different methods of cooling wort to pitching temperature are available. The method of chilling the brewer uses will also play a major bearing in how they can manage their flavour and aroma hops and kettle trub.

Pitching: This refers to adding yeast to the boiled and cooled wort. The management, timing and temperatures of pitching can be critical so check before you pitch.

Fermentation: The time period where the yeast turns the 'sugars' into alcohol. The management, timing and temperatures of fermentation is nearly always critical so be informed before you ferment.

Packaging (Carbonating): Once fermented, the beer has to be packaged into bottles or kegs which need to be carbonated before dispensing. If kegs are used, the usual practice is to force-carbonate by injecting CO2 gas under pressure into the keg over a certain time. Kegs can also be 'naturally' carbonated or primed just as bottled beer is. Naturally priming involves adding a small amount of a priming sugar to a bottle (or keg) and then sealing it. Yeast then eats the sugar up and releases CO2 as a gas. As the vessel is sealed, the CO2 has nowhere to go and therefore dissolves into the beer.
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:45, edited 1 time in total.

Post #6 made 3 years ago
Key Volume Terms As water turns into beer, obvious, and some not so obvious, volume changes occurs. The following are the important volume terms to be aware of...

Total Water Needed (TWN): This is the total amount of water, at ambient temperature, the brewer will need for this brew.

Strike Water Needed (SWN): The volume of liquor, at mash temperature, required before the crushed grain (grist) can be added. In a pure BIAB (full volume mash) SWN will be about 2% more than TWN as water swells slightly as it is heated.

In full volume variation brews or traditional brews, SWN = (TWN less water held back from the mash) + about 2%.

Volume of Mash (VOM): The volume of liquor and grist, at mash temperature, after the grist has been added to the liquor. A large discrepancy between the estimated and the actual volume can be an early indicator of a measurement error.

Volume into Boil (VIB): This is the volume of sweet liquor at boiling temperature when the boil starts. Volumes measured at this temperature are unreliable and should only be used as a rough guide.

Evaporation (EVP): This is the difference between VIB above and VFO below. This will vary from batch to batch and can do so wildly especially for those who brew outdoors. (Do not cover your kettle with a lid to try and reduce evaporation. Read this note NEEDSLINK.)

Volume at Flame-Out (VFO): This is the volume of wort at boiling temperature when the flame or heat source is turned off. Volumes measured at this temperature are unreliable but can act as confirmations to other measurements. VFO will shrink by around 4% as it cools to ambient temperature. See VAW below.

Volume of Ambient Wort (VAW): This is the most important volume figure of any recipe. There are several ways to measure this. Please see here [NEEDSLINK].

Kettle to Fermentor Loss (KFL): This is the amount of wort lost whilst transferring to the fermentor. If a recipe does not clearly state VAW then it needs to state KFL and VIF (see below) for it to approach being a high integrity recipe [NEEDSLINK].

Also note that 'no-chillers' would add any cube trub losses to any kettle trub to determine their KFL.

Volume into Fermentor (VIF): This is the volume of wort you have available to pitch upon and would often be the same as VAP below unless you added extra water to the fermentor to dilute the wort or deliberately removed some wort because your fermentor was too full. (See Section N NEEDSLINK)

Volume at Pitching (VAP): This will equal VIF unless pre-pitching volume corrections have occurred. (see VIF above).

Fermentor to Packaging Loss (FPL): This usually comprises any losses such as yeast cake and cloudy wort that get left behind in your primary fermentor, secondary fermentor and/or bottling bucket.

Volume into Packaging (VIP): This is how much beer ends up in bottles or kegs.
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:46, edited 1 time in total.

Post #7 made 3 years ago
Key Gravity Terms Gravity into Boil (GIB): The specific gravity of a sample of sweet liquor that has been cooled to ambient temperature. See [this thread] on how to take gravity readings.

Gravity of Ambient Wort (GAW): The specific gravity of a sample of fully-boiled wort that has been cooled to ambient temperature. If no pre-pitching corrections are planned then this will also equal the Original Gravity (OG).

Original Gravity (OG): Original Gravity should equal GAW unless you have added water or sugars after the boil. This is the most important gravity figure of a recipe and so one reading should not be relied upon.

Final Gravity (FG): Final gravity is the density of the beer once it has fully fermented. This is and isn't an important number. Questions regarding final gravity should be made on-forum.
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:46, edited 1 time in total.

Post #8 made 3 years ago
Key Efficiency Terms - Kettle and Fermentor Efficiency For a full explanation of efficiency, please read here [provide link]. Any efficiency figure though is really just a measure of how much sugar is contained in your sweet liquor or wort. (It's more complex than this but the complexities are really not relevant at the end of the day for home brewers.

Efficiency into Boil (EIB): This kettle efficiency is determined by taking a volume and gravity reading at the start of the boil.

Efficiency of Ambient Wort (EAW): This kettle efficiency is determined by taking a volume and gravity reading at the end of the boil.

NOTE: The above two efficiencies should match in an ideal world as no sugars are lost during the boil. This also means that kettle efficiencies can be taken at any time during the boil if no sugars are added. A kettle efficiency can even be taken at the end of a mash if volume expansion is corrected for. Also note that kettle efficiency is not a constant. A high gravity brew will result in lower kettle efficiency than a low gravity brew.

Efficiency into Fermentor (EIF): This efficiency figure will always be lower than a kettle efficiency because the volume used to calculate this is the 'VIF - Volume into Fermentor' which is 'VAW - Volume of Ambient Wort' less 'KFL - Kettle to Fermentor Loss'. It is not a very valuable brewing figure because KFL can vary greatly from one beer style to the next.
Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 18:49, edited 1 time in total.

Post #9 made 3 years ago
Complex Graphic As far as we are aware, the following is the first graphic that has ever attempted to incorporate the many terms and aspects involved in full-volume brewing. It has taken several years to come up with the graphic and many of the terms used in it. (Note that the above is based on pure BIAB. FVV get far more more complex to graphically represent.)

When more time is available, we will develop ways of presenting the below more simply.

If the pic below is not clear, try pressing CTRL and + in your browser.
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Last edited by BIABrewer on 23 Apr 2014, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

Post #10 made 3 years ago
Phrase Express and Clear Brewing Terminology Phrase Express is what is known as a "text expander" program. Phrase Express works for Windows and Android but similar programs exist for Apple etc.

Phrase Express has many handy features. Take the time to read them in the link above. Once you have done so, download and install Phrase Express.

Import the CBT file below into Phrase Express

Once you have installed Phrase Express, import the following file
Clear Brewing Terminology courtesy of V 1.0.pxp
Now, instead of writing long phrases, you can just use a few letters...

For example, if you wanted to write 'Volume into Fermentor', then just type VIF and follow it with any number. For example if you type VIF7 then 'Volume into Fermentor (VIF)' will appear automatically.

What Abbreviations Can I Use?

All the abbreviations in Terms that can be abbreviated, the second post of this thread can be used as well as the following...

(* below equals any number)
BB* - BIABrewer
BI* - BIABacus
CBT* - 'Clear Brewing Terminology (CBT)'
eff* - efficiency
effs* - efficiencies
Eff* - Efficiency
Effs* - Efficiencies
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Last edited by BIABrewer on 03 Oct 2014, 19:38, edited 1 time in total.

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