A Glossary of Terms
Used on the Chicha Page

  1. 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.
  2. Batch sparge - See Sparge.
  3. 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.)
  4. Corona mill - A brand of mill which may be used for grinding grain. Generally used for making flour. Well-suited for making chicha.
  5. Dry - Refers to a fermented beverage that has little residual sugar left (ie, the yeast have converted all the sugars to alcohol and CO2).
  6. 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 sparging.
  7. Ferment out - The yeast have finished their job (fermented all the available sugars). Chicha is generally consumed before it ferments out.
  8. 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.
  9. Glatt Mill - A common type of homebrewer's grain mill. Not suited to grinding maize.
  10. 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.
  11. Hot liquor - Hot water (typically about 170F).
  12. Innoculate - Add yeast and/or bacteria.
  13. Kettle - The vessel in which the sweet liquor is boiled.
  14. Lambic - A type of spontaneously fermented beer made in Belgium. Among many other flavors, Lambics are typically quite sour.
  15. Liquor - Liquid.
  16. Malt - Malted grain. Usually refers to barley malt.
  17. 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 be fermented.
  18. MaltMill - A common type of homebrewer's grain mill. Not suited to grinding maize.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Mash tun - The vessel in which mashing is done.
  22. Mash in - The initial addition of hot water to the milled malt, or vice versa.
  23. Mashing - The processing of tending a mash and its various temperature rests (only a single rest is used in the brewing of chicha).
  24. OG - Original Gravity. The Specific Gravity of the wort after boiling and cooling but before the addition of yeast.
  25. Pitching - Adding yeast to the cooled wort.
  26. Rest - Attaining and holding a specific temperature in the mash.
  27. Runoff - The draining and collection of the sweet liquor that is the result of sparging.
  28. SG - Specific Gravity. See Gravity.
  29. 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.
  30. Specific Gravity - See Gravity.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Wit - A sour, spiced wheat beer from Belgium.
  34. Wort - When the sweet liquor is collected in the kettle, it can be referred to as wort.

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