From Spontaneous Beer
Jump to: navigation, search

This glossary of terms aims to inform the reader of common and technical terms used throughout the site. You will also find important spontaneous beer terms and their definitions. This page will continue to develop over time. Links are provided to any relevant articles when available.


A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


  • Acetic acid:
  • acetaldehyde:


  • Bière de coupage: A blending technique using young beer and old spontaneous beer
  • Blend: A spontaneous beer made from components that were produced in various years
  • Brettanomyces: A genus of yeast found in the wild, responsible for added complexity in spontaneous beers
  • Butryic acid:


  • Chlorophenols: A flavor perceived as a mouthwash, antiseptic, medicinal and/or Band-Aid
  • Coolship: A broad, open-top, flat vessel used to naturally cool and inoculate wort
  • Cuvée: A blend of exemplary spontaneous beer


  • Diacetyl: A buttery-like flavor that is formed in spontaneous beers


  • Ethyl acetate: An acetone-like flavor that occurs in spontaneous beers


  • Framboise: A lambic beer aged with raspberries
  • Fermentation:


  • Grist: Ground grain
  • Gueuze: A traditional blend comprising of young and old lambics of Belgium


  • Hops: A flower used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer
  • Hydrogen sulfide: A rotten egg flavor produced during fermentation


  • IBU: An abbreviation for International Bitterness Unit, a standard unit of measure for bitterness in beer
  • Inoculation: The action of microflora being incorporated into wort
  • Isoamyl acetate: A fruity or banana flavor prominent in young spontaneous beers
  • Isovaleric acid:



  • Krausen:
  • Kriek: A lambic beer aged with sour cherries


  • Lambic: A spontaneous beer vintage produced in the Senne Valley of Belgium
  • Lactobacillus: A genus of gram-positive bacteria that produces lactic acid


  • Malt: Malted barley, used for brewing beer
  • Mash: A hot water steeping process that hydrates the grist, activates malt enzymes, and converts the starches into fermentable sugars
  • Méthode Gueuze: A certification mark that verifies a specific set of standards and criteria for spontaneous beer
  • Microbes: Any combination of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus
  • Microflora: See microbes.
  • Mixed culture: Any combination of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus used to purposefully inoculate wort; not used for spontaneous fermentation




  • Pediococcus: A genus of gram-positive bacteria that produces lactic acid and (often) diacetyl
  • pH:
  • 'Puncheon: A large format barrel (400-600 L)




  • Saccharomyces: A genus of yeast that can also be found in the wild, responsible for the bulk of fermentation in spontaneous beers
  • Senne Valley: Predominant farmland area that surrounds the 64 mile Senne River; traditionally associated with the lambic producing region in Belgium
  • Solera: An indefinite blending process using fractional amounts of young and old spontaneous beer
  • Sparge: The rinsing of water through the grist to extract sugars
  • Spontaneous beer: A beer made without adding any cultured yeast or other microbes


  • Terroir: The characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a beer by the environment in which it is produced
  • Turbid mash: A traditional, labor-intensive mashing process used to produce a highly dextrinous wort
  • The Brett Pack: Group of US brewers (Tomme Arthur, Adam Avery, Sam Calagione, Vinnie Cilurzo, and Rob Todd) who pioneered American wild and spontaneous beer production after visiting Belgium in 2007



  • Vintage: A spontaneous beer made from components that were all, or primarily, produced in a single year


  • Wort: The sweet infusion of ground malt/grain before fermentation, used to produce beer