Over the past few months we have been slowly working our way through common beer terms. At first thought, there aren’t that many to know, but delve a bit deeper and you’ll come across a plethora of terms used by brewers, beer snobs and even marketers. To many, the reason you learn these terms is so that you can increase the enjoyment you get out of drinking beer, and we agree!
In our last beer glossary article we covered common beer terms that begin with the letter B. Some popular B terms include Barley, Body, Beer and Brew Pub. If you haven’t read the previous article, why not take a minute and pour over it.
Back? Good, let’s look into 11 common beer terms that begin with the letter C.
Malt is barley or any other grain that has been steeped, germinated and dried. Caramel, or Crystal malt is a special type of malt where the grain develops a crystalline sugar structure inside the grain. During the drying process, this grain will turn an almost caramel color.
When it is used in brewing, it will impart both a gold to caramel color and sweeter flavor to the beer.
This is the bubbles and fizz found in many drinks. It is caused by carbon dioxide which is created through fermentation. Traditionally, carbonation is created by yeast who eat fermentable sugar in beer and essentially poop out carbon dioxide. In some beers, carbonation is forced. This is done by sealing the beer in a closed container and adding pressurized carbon dioxide.
This is the vessel where fermentation happens in homebrewing. It is usually a clear glass or plastic container which can hold about 19 liters. These containers do come in both smaller and bigger sizes, but they are tricky to find here in Thailand.
A cask is a large container that is used to store and mature beer. This container is traditionally made of wood, but you will also find metal casks. Casks can come in any size, but tend to be larger, for example in the UK a cask of beer is 36 imperial gallons – 164 liters.
Any beer that has been aged in a cask is said to be matured in cask. However, when a beer has finished its primary fermentation, some brewers will put it in a cask and add more yeast where another fermentation takes place. Traditionally, this type of beer will be served directly from the cask, without extra carbonation added. It will usually be cloudy, have a strong almost yeasty taste and be somewhat flat in feel – think Coke that has been left open overnight.
Sometimes, brewers will add finings which attract the yeast to the bottom of the cask, resulting in a brighter, almost clear beer.
In some beer, if you chill it, you will notice that it goes slightly hazy. This ‘Chill haze’ is caused by proteins and polyphenols combining to create a hazy texture. There is no need to worry about this, as it will disappear as the beer warms up, and the test shouldn’t be affected.
Barley malt that has been roasted to the color of chocolate. This deep brown malt will give beer a deep red to almost brown color and impart a somewhat nutty or toasted flavor.
A flavor that is super sweet, almost to the point where it makes one feel sick. Think EST Cola.
When a brewer wants to stop fermentation, they have a few options. One is to cold filter a beer. This is where the beer is chilled, causing the yeast proteins to clump together. The beer is then filtered to remove the yeast and stop fermentation. This will preserve the full-flavor of the beer while usually clarifying the beer. Many breweries will advertise the fact that the beer has been cold filtered on the label, largely because it will retain more flavor than if the beer were pasteurized using heat.
Have you ever noticed some foreign beers here in Thailand are actually made in Thailand. Take for example Heineken. This Dutch beer is actually brewed by Thai Asia Pacific Brewery just outside of Bangkok. When this is done, most people will call this a contract or license beer.
Other contract beers are made by one brewer, but are labeled and marketed by another company. For example, in the US you can buy Kirkland beer at big box store Costco. This is actually brewed by Matt Brewing company.
Any beer that is made by small, independent brewers. We will cover this topic in greater depth in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Wish of the week
Sometimes, you just want a simple beer. To many of us, that means going for a Lager. Before you turn to Singha or Chang, why not try come Crownie? This popular Australian beer is crisp and clean; a perfect refreshment on a hot day.