A Glossary of Terms
Used on the Chicha Page
- Adjuncts - Unmalted additives that provide fermentables.
Unmalted corn or rice used in the brewing of beer from barley malt are
adjuncts. Pure sugar can be thought of as an adjunct.
- Batch sparge - See Sparge.
- bbl - Barrel. 31 US gallons. 1/2bbl (15.5 gallons) is a common
homebrew-sized vessel because standard beer kegs are this size. (Even if
purchased new for about $90, beer kegs are very cheap relative to, and
much more available than, purpose-built kettles/stock pots of this size.)
- Corona mill - A brand of mill which may be used for grinding
grain. Generally used for making flour. Well-suited for making
- Dry - Refers to a fermented beverage that has little residual sugar
left (ie, the yeast have converted all the sugars to alcohol and CO2).
- False bottom - A screen-like device that sits just above the
bottom of a mash tun. Grain goes in the top and a valve under the false
bottom provides drainage. Used to separate liquid from grain during
- Ferment out - The yeast have finished their job (fermented all
the available sugars). Chicha is generally consumed before it
- Filterbed - Barley, unlike maize, has a husk which serves to
filter small particles from the mash, thus yielding a clear runoff.
This is not applicable to making chicha.
- Glatt Mill - A common type of homebrewer's grain mill.
Not suited to grinding maize.
- Gravity - Or Specific Gravity. A measurement of the amount
of dissolved solids in liquid. That is, how much denser the liquid is
than pure water. A liquid of SG 1.100 is 10% denser than water.
This would be a monster beer, and more typical starting gravities
for beer would be 1.040-1.055.
- Hot liquor - Hot water (typically about 170F).
- Innoculate - Add yeast and/or bacteria.
- Kettle - The vessel in which the sweet liquor is boiled.
- Lambic - A type of spontaneously fermented beer made in
Belgium. Among many other flavors, Lambics are typically quite sour.
- Liquor - Liquid.
- Malt - Malted grain. Usually refers to barley malt.
- Malting - The process of malting grain. The grain is soaked,
allowed to sprout, and then kilned/dried in various ways. This process
liberates large starches into smaller starches and sugars which may
- MaltMill - A common type of homebrewer's grain mill.
Not suited to grinding maize.
- Manifold - A device that performs the same function as a
false bottom. It consists of copper tubing which is slotted on the
bottom with a hacksaw. This device allows the removal/separation of
the sweet liquor from the grain during sparging.
- Mash - A mixture of milled (crushed) malt and hot water. The
mash is held at one or more temperatures
in order to promote the activity of certain enzymes which further the
process of reducing large starches into simpler sugars.
- Mash tun - The vessel in which mashing is done.
- Mash in - The initial addition of hot water to the milled malt,
or vice versa.
- Mashing - The processing of tending a mash and its various
temperature rests (only a single rest is used in the brewing of
- OG - Original Gravity. The Specific Gravity of the wort
after boiling and cooling but before the addition of yeast.
- Pitching - Adding yeast to the cooled wort.
- Rest - Attaining and holding a specific temperature in the
- Runoff - The draining and collection of the sweet liquor that
is the result of sparging.
- SG - Specific Gravity. See Gravity.
- Sparge - The rinsing of mashed grains with hot water
in order to extract sugars, proteins, etc. from the grain.
This requires the use of a manifold or false
bottom in the mash tun. The liquid is collected in the kettle so that
it may be boiled. In the brewing of beer from barley, this process
generally includes the addition of hot water in the top of the mash tun
while simultaneously draining sweet liquor out the bottom.
- Specific Gravity - See Gravity.
- Spontaneous ferment - A method of innoculation which relies on
yeast/bacteria resident in the air to begin fermentation. The homebrewer
is generally afraid of spontaneous ferments,
and pitches a large amount of pure, clean yeast in order to avoid
strange and unpredictable things from happening.
- Sweet liquor - The liquid that results from sparging. The
sweet liquor contains many sugars and proteins that were rinsed from the
grain in the mash tun.
- Wit - A sour, spiced wheat beer from Belgium.
- Wort - When the sweet liquor is collected in the kettle, it
can be referred to as wort.
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