Made Up Words?

Posted: 02 February 2012

If you have ever been on a brewery tour or studied brewing you will have noticed we like to use our own industry specific language (I suspect this is the same in most industries). This language (or made up words) allows us to discuss brewing with a common understanding whilst keeping the science (or black art) hidden from our non brewing colleagues.

The vocabulary has arisen from brewing around the world and so has been borrowed from numerous languages, terms such as wort, tun, liquor, Burtonisation, lautering and spile are all freely used but what do they mean?

Today I want to look at one term – krausening – what is it and where does the word come from?

Krausening is a form of secondary fermentation where some actively fermenting wort (the krausen - not the kracken from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) is added to an established fermentation and then stored (matured) for a long period of time. This facilitates the removal of sulphury aromas and other volatile compounds whilst developing the carbonation as well as maturing the other beer flavours and allowing clarification by sedimentation.

Why Krausen – a German word meaning ruffles or frills!!!!!!!!

Well, at the transfer stage a yeast head has developed that looks like the lace once used to make frilly cuffs on gentleman’s shirts – who says brewer’s cannot be artistic or poetic?

Why the interest I hear you ask - because this is one of the techniques that we have been trialling as we go through the new product development this year - after all why reinvent the wheel!

Perhaps I will explain more of the mystery of brewing in future blogs or maybe just discuss the krausened brew when it comes to fruition.




Stewart Tricker - Senior Brewer