Brewing is filled with acronyms - DME, FG, SRM. While expert brewers can speak in acronyms all day long, new and occasional brewers may need a cheat sheet to get going.


Here are some commonly used brewing acronyms:


  • AA - Alpha acids: A chemical compound found in the resin glands of hops that determines the bitterness of a beer. 
  • AAU - Alpha Acid Units: A measurement of the potential bitterness of hops.
  • ABV - Alcohol by Volume: The standard measure of alcohol in a given volume of liquid. Mathematically it is the number of millilitres (mL) of pure ethanol in in 100 mL of solution at 20 ºC. 
  • ABW - Alcohol by Weight: The measure of the amount of alcohol in a liquid expressed as the of percentage of total weight. 
  • AG - All Grain: A term to describe homebrewers who brew their beers from grain instead of extracts. 


  • BIAB - Brew In A Bag: An all grain brewing method that involves minimal equipment and cost compared to traditional all grain brewing. 
  • BJCP - Beer Judge Certification Program: A non-profit organization formed in 1985 that certifies and ranks beer judges. 
  • BTU - British Thermal Unit: A traditional unit of heat that is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. 


  • CFC - Counterflow Chiller: A devise used to cool boiled wort quickly with less water than emersion chillers. 
  • CO2 - Carbon Dioxide: An colourless gas with about 60% of the density of oxygen. A byproduct of fermentation in the brewing process.


  • DE - Diastatic Enzyme: The enzyme in grains that converts starch to sugar.
  • DMEDry Malt Extract: Concentrated wort that is dried to form a crystallized powder. Used in the creation of yeast starters. 


  • EBM - Eurpoean Brewing Convention: A method of measuring the colours of malts and beers developed in Europe.


  • FG - Final Gravity: The specific gravity of a beer once fermentation has completed. FG & OG (original gravity) is used to determine the ABV & ABW of a beer.


  • IBU - International Bittering Unit: A measure of the bitterness in a beer. Most beers measure between 5 (very low bitterness) & 120 (very high bitterness) IBU's.


  • L (*L) - Degree Lovibond: A scale for measuring the colour of beer developed by Joseph Lovibond in the 1860's.
  • LME - Liquid Malt Extract: Concentrated wort in the form of a thick syrup.


  • MT - Mash Tun: A vessel used for mashing (combining malts and water, and heating) during the brewing process. 


  • OG - Original Gravity: The specific gravity of unfermented wort. FG & OG (original gravity) is used to determine the ABV & ABW of a beer.


  • pH - Potential Hydrogen: A measure of acidity.
  • PET - PolyEthylene Terephthalate: A type of plastic used for bottles.
  • PBW - Powdered Brewery Wash: A brewing equipment cleaner patented and originally developed for Coors. Is stainless steel and environmentally safe.