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Wine & Beer Glossary

Are you new to home wine making? Are you unsure as to where to begin in your quest to become a famous home beer brewer? We firmly believe the saying “knowing is half the battle” was made for home brewers! If you don’t understand the significance of every term used in home wine making and beer home brewing, you might cause a catastrophe! Use our glossary of wine making and beer brewing terms so you can better understand the entire home brewing process.

Home Brewing Terms

Home Beer Making Equipment and Supplies


Term Definition/Use Significance
Airlock Attaches to fermenter like a fermentation lock. Allows CO2 to escape during fermentation, but keeps outside air out.

Supplies

B-Bright Cleaner An oxygenated cleaner that doesn't use chlorine or sulfites. It is used to wash bottles and equipment, including airlocks, glass, hoses, hydrometers, metals and plastics. It removes all types of mineral deposits.

Cleaning Supplies

Ball Valve Used on brew pot, mash tin or fermenter with bulkhead and o-rings. Eliminates need for siphoning.

Equipment

Barbed Hose Stem  Connects to ball valve on one end and siphon hose on other end. Used on kegs. Equipment
Beer Finings/Clarifiers  Consists of minerals and other organic substances that force brewing impurities to the bottom of the container from which the beer is bottled.  Clarifier 
Bench Capper  A heavy duty device with a hardened steel capper head that is used to put caps on bottles. Accommodates bottles from 4 inches to Champagne-size bottles. 

Equipment 

Bottle Capper  A device that is designed to cap beer bottles with little effort. Some are spring-loaded so the height of the capper head can be adjusted. Can be mounted to a workbench or used freestanding. 

Equipment 

Bottle Filler  Attaches to siphoning tube to allow for easy, no-mess bottling. 

Supplies 

Bottle Tree Used to hold beer or wine bottles, whether for draining or drying after cleaning, or for storing bottles. Also accommodates bottle rinse on top for convenient, fast, bottle sanitizing. 

Equipment 

Brew Pot  A large pot used to boil wort in. 

Equipment 

Brew Pot False Bottom Fits in the bottom of the brew pot. Separates solids from liquids when boiling wort or mashing. 

Equipment 

BTF Sanitizer  An iodine-based cleaner that is safe to use on glass, metal, plastic and stainless. It sanitizes both beer and wine making equipment.  Cleaning Supplies 
Bulkhead  Makes it possible to attach ball valve to brew pot or fermenter. 

Equipment 

Bulkhead O-Rings  Attaches to inside and outside of container to ensure bulk head seals tightly. 

Equipment 

Capper  Makes it possible to cap beer bottles effortlessly. 

Supplies 

Carboy  In beer brewing, the carboy is used for the second stage of fermentation. 

Equipment 

Carboy and Bottle Washer  Comes in brass and stainless. This device is designed to blast water into bottles or large carboys. It can be used to rinse soap and other cleaners. It works with outside faucets or laundry sinks, or it can be used with a kitchen faucet thread adapter so that it can be used at the kitchen sink. 

Cleaning Supplies 

Carboy Carrier  A carboy carrier is an adjustable polypropylene harness that straps onto carboys of different sizes. It makes it easier and safer to move the carboy when cleaning or during different fermentation phases. It works on glass or plastic carboys. 

Equipment 

Carboy Handle
This handy tool is useful for holding a carboy while cleaning it with soapy water. It is not intended to be used for carrying full carboys.

Equipment

Fermenting Bag Holds all of the grains and other solids during fermentation to keep them from mixing with liquids.

Equipment

Fermentation Carboys Large bottle that holds an airlock. Used for secondary fermentation.

Equipment

Fermentation Sampler A fermentation sampler makes it possible to take hydrometer readings without having to pour or siphon beer into the hydrometer test jar. A syringe with a one-way valve is submerged into beer or wine. It automatically locks to hold the liquid. A release valve puts the beer or wine that was tested back into the fermenter.

Equipment

Gasket Rubber gaskets are used to seal EZ-Cap beer bottles.

Equipment

Grain Mill A device that pulverizes grain and separates the grain from the husks.

Equipment

Hydrometer Jar This glass or plastic jar is either 12 or 14 inches tall and has a diameter of either 1 ½ or 2 inches. It holds liquid for testing. The hydrometer is then submerged into the liquid, and because the jar is clear, the reading is easily visible.

Equipment

Jug/Bottle Brush Used to clean bottles before the beer is bottled.

Equipment

No-Rinse Cleaner Basic A: No Rinse Cleaner is used on all beer and wine making equipment. It cleans and sanitizes and is especially effective on bottles, airlocks, fermentation vessels, and hydrometers. It is safe for ceramic, glass, metal or plastic. It is an eco-friendly, no-residue, no-rinse cleaner.

Cleaning Supplies

One Step No Rinse Cleanser This cleanser is used to clean glass bottles, carboys and jugs. It is safe to use on metal and plastic. It cleans and sanitizes hoses, hydrometers, other equipment and work area. No rinsing is necessary.

Cleaning Supplies

Paddle Used to stir liquid mixture while yeast is added.

Supplies

pH Meter A digital meter used to measure pH level of solution.

Supplies

pH papers Not as accurate as pH meter, but dipped into wort or beer mix and then compared to a colored chart to determine pH level.

Supplies

Poly-Fermenters Complete This screw-top container is designed to be used for both primary and secondary fermentation phases. It comes as a kit that includes an airlock and a faucet.

Equipment

Primary fermenters  Container used for first phase of fermentation. Can be open or closed. 

Equipment

Propane Burner  Only safe for outdoor use. Used to cook the wort and bring it to boil. 

Equipment

Racking Cane  Hard plastic cane-shaped tube that is used to siphon beer from fermenter or other container, separating liquid from dregs.

Supplies

Racking Pump  Also called a transfer pump, the racking pump allows for the fast transfer of both beer and wine from one vessel to another. It has a built-in pre-strainer that prevents clogs. 

Equipment

Rubber Stopper  It is placed in the carboy and provides a hole into which the airlock is inserted. 

Supplies

Siphoning Hose  Used to siphon liquid from one container to another – usually from brew pot to primary fermenter. 

Supplies

Snap-In Screen  This nylon-mesh screen is designed to be used with a funnel. It prevents any particles or debris from mixing with brewed liquid when pouring or siphoning. 

Equipment

Spigot/Faucet  Fits on the bottling bucket where the hole is near the bottom. It allows for quick transfer of beer from the bucket to the bottle. 

Equipment

Strainer/Funnel
Same as a grain bag. It is designed to hold the grains and function as a colander. Allows liquid to pass over grain during mashing and steeping.

Equipment

Stopcocks

A spigot faucet that starts or stops the flow of liquid. Supplies

Thermometer

Used to test water temperature for yeast and enzymes.  Equipment 

Tubing Clamps

Used with the siphoning hose to facilitate easier bottling.  Supplies 

Tuff-Tank Vessel

A container that is suitable for use with any type of fermentation. It comes with an airlock and faucet. Its rugged, unique shape is designed to save space.  Equipment 

Wort Chiller

Same as an immersion chiller, it is a long tube that contains icy water and is inserted into wort after it has boiled to get wort to proper yeast pitching temperature.  Equipment 

 

Home Beer Making Ingredients 


Term Definition/Use Significance
Beer Additives Beer additives include things like finings, clarifiers, water treatment beer flavorings and yeast nutrients. The finings, clarifiers and water treatment keep the beer looking clear and free of haze. Ingredients
Beer Flavors Home brewed beer can take on different flavors like chocolate for greater depth, or fruit for a lighter flavor.

Ingredients

 

Beer Yeast Three different yeast strains for different beer styles: starter yeast, energizer yeast, and nutrient yeast.

Ingredients

Beer Yeast Nutrients

Amino acids, minerals and vitamins; all of which are necessary for proper fermentation.

Ingredients
Brewer’s yeast Nutrient  Natural protein designed to increase nitrogen going to yeast. Allows yeast to ferment more efficiently and completely.  Ingredients 
Brewing Water Treatment  Beer water treatments are used to prevent oxidation, to harden water for improved sugar extraction from grain, and to keep beer clear during chilling.  Ingredients 
Burton Water Salts 

This combination of minerals is designed to harden water for beer brewing. It is most important to use it when brewing beer with grains. 

Ingredients
Corn Sugar  Used for priming and fermenting. Also used before capping to create additional fermentation in the bottle and to create carbonation. 

Ingredients 

Diastase Enzyme  Diastase Enzymes are used to convert complex carbohydrates and starch into sugar that is fermentable. It is used for beer, wine and distilled mashes. 

Ingredients

Finishing Hops  Finishing hops are used in brewing at the end of boiling. These aromatic leaves give beer the hop aroma. 

Ingredients 

Gelatin Beverage Finings  Used as a clarifier in bottled beer. It settles yeast that is suspended, allowing sediment to collect into a gelatin disk. Beer is poured freely from the bottle and no sediment is stirred.  Ingredients 
Home Brewing Hops  An herb that is added either to boiling wort or to the fermenting beer to give it a distinctive flavor and aroma. 

Ingredients 

Irish moss  Used during the last 10 – 15 minutes of the wort boiling process. The addition of this to the wort eliminates the chance of protein haze clouding the beer. 

Ingredients 

Malt Barley Grains  Cereal grain that is ground in the grain mill and then used to create mash during the brewing process. 

Ingredients 

Malt Extract  Used to facilitate easier home brewing. Once the malt extract is added to the water in the brew pot, the water and malt extract mixture is referred to as the “wort” from this point on.  Ingredients 
 
Malto-Dextrin  Malto-Dextrin is used to give beer a thicker, richer character. It also adds body and increases foam retention and stability. 

Ingredients

Pelletized Hops  Hop pellets in a vacuum-sealed package containing 28 different hop varieties.  

Ingredients 

Priming Sugar  Priming sugar is added to beer just before bottling to cause carbonation while the beer is in the bottle. 

Ingredients 

Rye Rye adds body and smoothness to beer. It also adds a crisp and spicy aroma and is used in a range of beers from pale ale to porters.

Ingredients

 

Home Wine Making Terms


Term Definition/Use Significance
Airlock Attaches to fermenter like a fermentation lock. Allows carbon dioxide to escape during fermentation, but keeps outside air out. Equipment
Acid Test Kit Tests the acid content of grapes before fermentation. Supplies
Acid Test Reagent This sodium hydroxide solution is an acid neutralizer. It is used as part of a wine titration test to determine the acid level. Reagent is continually added to the wine and a test solution until the pH level neutralizes. Supplies
Acid Test Solution Acid test solution consists of phenolphtalein, to which wine is added. When enough test reagent is added to wine and the acid test solution, the test solution color changes. Supplies
Barrel Used to keep wine during the aging. Wood from the barrel also adds flavor.  Equipment
Barrel Bung  Used to keep wine during the aging. Wood from the barrel also adds flavor.   
Barrel Sealer  A wax that is designed to seal any leaks that occur in barrel.  Equipment 
Barrel Spigots  The spigot makes it possible to pour wine from a barrel for tasting.  Equipment 
Barrol Klean  Barrol Klean is designed to clean wooden barrels. It is used before the barrels are treated with sodium bisulfate and citric acid.  Cleaning Supplies 
Basic A: No Rinse Cleaner  Used on all beer and wine making equipment to clean and sanitize. It is especially effective on bottles, airlocks, fermentation vessels, and hydrometers. It is safe to use on ceramic, glass, metal and plastic. It is an eco-friendly, no-residue, no-rinse cleaner.  Cleaning Supplies 
C-Brite Cleaner  An oxygenated cleaner that doesn't use chlorine or sulfites. It is used to wash bottles and equipment, including airlocks, glass, hoses, hydrometers, metals and plastics. It removes all types of mineral deposits.  Cleaning Supplies 
Campden Tablets  Campden Tablets are used in stronger amounts as a cleaner and sanitizer. They sanitize fermenting carboys, hydrometers, hoses, wine bottles, glasses, or any metal, plastic or wood that interacts with wine.  Cleaning Supplies 
Carboy  Large glass jar or jug that is used for fermenting wine.  Equipment
Catch Stand  Collects pulp that falls from destemmer.  Equipment 
Cherry Pitter  Removes the pit from fruit without the loss of any fruit juice.  Equipment 
Clean Pro SDH  Cleans, deodorizes and sanitizes all beer and wine making equipment. It is suitable for use on all metals, plastics and rubber when following recommendations for use.  Cleaning Supplies 
Corker  A device to put cork in wine bottles and seal them.  Equipment 
Cork Retriever  Retrieves corks that fall into wine bottle.  Equipment 
Corkscrew  Removes the cork from the wine bottle prior to drinking.  Equipment 
Crusher Crushes and presses fruit to separate juice from skin and flesh. Equipment
Destemmer Device that removes stems from grapes prior to pressing or crushing. Equipment
Fermentation Bags Bag that holds all solids to prevent them from mixing with liquid during fermentation. Equipment
Filter A device that is used just before bottling to remove all impurities and solids from wine. Equipment
Filter Pad Used with filter to catch particles and prevent them from getting into wine during bottling. Equipment
Fruit Press Essentially same as a crusher. Presses grapes to release juice from skin and flesh. Equipment
Ghostex Used for wine and beer to increase active fermentation, Ghostex helps the rate of yeast growth. It means that fermentation is healthier and stronger, so both wine and beer taste cleaner. It can also be helpful for eliminating problems related to over-worked yeast by lowering hydrogen sulfide levels. Ghostex helps yeast ferment when alcohol concentrations are higher. Supplies
Heating Pad Heats primary fermenter and maintains necessary temperature for successful fermentation. Equipment
Kistol 40 A wine clarifier that is used to clear wine haze. It creates strong positive and negative charges in wine, and this causes yeast to fall by promoting clumping. Through this, proteins in the wine break down the particles that cause the haze. Supplies
Narrow Range pH Control Papers These activated papers allow you to test the pH level of your wine by dipping one end of the paper into wine and comparing the color of the dried end of the paper with the color chart that comes with the vial. Supplies
One Step No Rinse Cleaner Used to clean glass bottles, carboys and jugs. It is safe to use on metal and plastic. It cleans and sanitizes hoses, hydrometers, other equipment and the work area. No rinsing is necessary. Cleaning Supplies
Paddle Used to stir liquid mixture while yeast is added. Supplies
pH Meter  A digital meter used to measure pH level of solution.  Supplies 
pH Strips  Not as accurate as pH meter, but dipped into solution and then compared to a colored chart to determine pH level. Supplies 
Potassium Metabisulfate
Potassium metabisulfate is a powder that, when dissolved in liquid, releases sulfur dioxide. It is used for brewing wine from fruit juices to destroy bacteria or mold. It is also used as a sanitizer on equipment – after it is washed in soapy water. When used as a sanitizer, potassium bisulfate is also added to the water.  Supplies 
Primary Fermenter  Container used for first phase of fermentation. Can be open or closed.  Equipment 
Primary Fermentation  Primary fermentation is the first or aerobic stage of wine fermentation. This process, which occurs during the first 3 to 5 days, is when roughly 70 percent of the fermentation activity takes place. It is aerobic because the fermentation vessel is open to allow yeast cells to multiply.  Wine Making Process Term 
Refractometers  Tests sugar level in grapes.
Equipment
Secondary Fermentation  Secondary Fermentation is the phase during which the rest of the fermentation process occurs. This stage lasts for one to two weeks. It is slower and less active, and an airlock is attached to the vessel to ensure that the fermentation activity is anaerobic (without air.)  Wine Making Process Term 
Sodium Metabisulfate  Sodium Metabisulfate is used to sanitize fermenting equipment, including carboys, hydrometers, hoses, wine bottles, glass, metal, plastic or wood.  Cleaning Supplies 
Spoon  Used to stir liquid while mixing or adding ingredients.  Supplies 
Star San Sanitizer  Five Star: Star San Sanitizer is a commercial grade, completely biodegradable sanitizer. It foams to penetrate into deep places. It can be used as a spray, brush-on or soaking sanitizer. It is not suitable for use on porous surfaces, soft metals or wood.  Cleaning Supplies 
Steam Juicer  Used to extract juice from fruit.  Equipment 
Sulfite Strips  Tests sulfite levels in wine during bulk aging and bottling.
Equipment 
Thermometer  Measures temperature to ensure that wine remains at proper temperature for successful development.  Equipment 
Titrets Test Vials  These test vials are used with the Titrettor Hand Tool to test the amount of sulfite either during aging or bottling. Knowing the amount of sulfite in the wine helps you ensure that wine retains color and flavor.  Supplies 
Titrettor Hand Tool  Used with Titret SO2 vials to determine sulfite levels during the bulk aging and bottling processes.  Supplies 
Wide Range pH Control Papers  These papers allow you to determine the pH level of wine. Dip one end of the paper into the wine, allow it to dry and compare the color change of the wine dipped paper to the color chart.  Supplies 
Wine Acid Naturally occurs to preserve and enhance flavor of wine. Supplies
Winemakers Quick Starter This blend of food and nutrients is designed to use to jump-start either dry or liquid wine yeast. The use of a pre-starter speeds up the start of fermentation and expedites the fermentation rate. It also ensures a stronger and more thorough fermentation. Supplies
Wine Saver Removes air from a wine bottle and keeps it sealed for improved freshness. Equipment
Wine Thief  A device that makes it possible to sample wine in carboy without having to pour it.  Equipment 

 

Home Wine Making Ingredients


Term Definition/Use Significance
Acid Blends This is a blend of common acids that are used with fruit. They are citric acid, malic acid and tartaric acid. The acid blend enlivens wine by bringing out the fruit flavor. The correct acid level is essential to vigorous fermentation. Acid blend is only added after testing acid levels. Ingredients
Acid Reducing Crystals Acid reducing crystals are used to reduce acid in finished wines. Wines that are overly acidic taste unpleasantly sour or tart. Crystals neutralize acids and returns the levels to normal. Acid reducing crystals cause tartrate crystals to form. These crystals are separated from the wine during racking. Ingredients
Ascorbic Acid  Ascorbic acid is used to prevent acidation and spoilage in wine. It is especially recommended for fruit wines. It is most effective when used with either Campden Tablets or Potassium Metabisulfate.  Ingredients
Calcium Carbonate  Calcium Carbonate - or Precipitated Chalk, is an acid reducer in juices or in musts. Overly acidic wines taste unpleasantly tart or sour and this neutralizes acid by causing tiny crystals to form. Those sediment deposits disappear during racking off.  Ingredients
Clarifiers  Sparkolloid is one of the popular clarifying brands. It uses a positive static charge to pull particles to the bottom with a negative charge. It works either alone, or in conjunction with Speedy Bentonite.  Ingredients
Dried Berries and Herbs  Dried berries and herbs are specially cultivated for wine making. Berries can be used to make various types of berry wine, Herbs can be used in making berry wines or added to red wines to enhance their flavor and structure.  Ingredients
Fining Agents  Gelatin fining is used as a beer or wine clarifier. In younger red wines, it clears particles and minimizes any harsh flavor or unpleasant odor.  Ingredients
Fruit Blends  Fruit blends are the fruit flavors that are added to the different famous wine varieties that Niagara Mist uses. The result of adding these fruit blends is a refreshing wine that has the added fruit flavors.  Ingredients
Glycerine Glycerine adds body to wine and creates a more pleasing texture. Young wines have harsh characteristics and glycerine smoothens these. It turns ordinary red wines into big flavorful wines. It is also used to enhance the body of cordials.  Ingredients
Gypsum (Gypsium)  Gypsum or Calcium Sulfate softens water in beer brewing, but it is also used for making Sherry and Spanish wines. “Plastering” is the process of using heavy doses of gypsum. It is added to Sherry just before fermentation.  Ingredients
Magnesium Sulfate  Magnesium is used in mead or whenever fermentation is too challenging. Sometimes yeast has trouble fermenting sugar. Under these circumstances, magnesium sulfate is used with yeast energizer or yeast nutrients to invigorate their impact on the fermentation rate.  Ingredients
Pectic Enzymes  Pectic Enzymes are used with fruit wines. They are added to the juice just before fermentation to enhance clarification and to destroy the pectin haze that comes from pectin cells. It allows the true fruit character to infuse and flavor wine.  Ingredients
Starch Enzymes  Diatase Enzyme is a starch enzyme that is used to convert complex carbohydrates and starch into fermentable sugar. It is used in beer, wine and distillable mashes.  Ingredients
Toasted Oak Chips  Toasted oak chips are used to give wine the same aged effect that it would have if the wine was actually aged in an oak barrel. Oak chips have flavor compounds and toasting and air drying them allows the compounds to infuse the wine and soften it.  Ingredients
Wine Conditioner  Wine conditioner is used either to take the dry edge off wine, or to sweeten a dry wine. It also reduces wine aging time, making it possible to drink the wine sooner.  Ingredients
Wine Making Juice  Wine making juice is part of the ingredient kit. It consists of the different grape concentrates you will use to make your wine. It can also refer to other fruits that have been crushed, destemmed and pressed to extract all of the fruit's juice.  Ingredients
Wine Stabilizers  Wine stabilizer is also known as potassium sorbate (PS210,) and it is added after wine has fermented and before bottling. It is designed to prevent further fermentation. It is especially important for wines that are sweet after fermentation, and for wines that will be sweetened.  Ingredients
Wine Sulfites  Small amounts of sodium and potassium bisulfate are used directly in fruit juices used in wine making. They are added a day before the yeast is added and are vital for killing any mold or bacteria that may be hiding on fruit.  Ingredients
Wine Tannins Wine tannin is tannic acid. Most wine making fruits don't have high enough levels of tannin. The addition of wine tannins serves three purposes: 1.) adding zest to the taste, 2.) neutralizing proteins to clarify the wine, and 3.) helping with aging and maintaining freshness for longer.  Ingredients
Wine Yeast  Wine yeasts are made from 5 of the best yeasts available to wine makers. They come from different parts of the world, depending on the brand. They are available in powder and liquid form and are essential for fermentation.  Ingredients
Yeast Nutrients  Yeast nutrients are used with wine yeast to produce fast and complete fermentation. Yeast uses it as a source of nitrogen during the fermentation process.  Ingredients