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Brewing from A-Z

The A to Z of Beer and Brewing

Paulaner shares the secret vocabulary of beer.

Alcohol content
The alcohol content of a beer depends on the original wort content. About half of the original wort is transformed into alcohol by fermentation (balling formula: (original wort – remaining extract): 2). For example, a normal beer has an alcohol content of about 4.9 % to 6.0 % volume, Pils about 4.9 % volume and Export 5.5 % volume.

Enzymes, which transform the starch into malt sugar during the production of the wort.

Annual beer consumption
Germans drink around 107 litres (28 gallons) of beer per person on average every year. In European comparison, Czechs and Austrians drink more beer per head than Germans.

Philosopher and son of a doctor. He researched the effects of excessive beer and wine consumption and found out, that people fall over backwards after drinking too much beer. Paradoxically, excessive wine consumption makes people fall sideways.

The scent of a beer is determined by many different factors: the choice of ingredients, the type of yeast used, the fermentation process and the maturing process leading up to filling can all affect aroma.

Ator-beers are strong beers which end in “ator”, an example of which is Salvator, Animator or Kulminator. The Salvator is the inspiration for all strong beers. Paulaner has exclusive rights to this name.

Bavarian Purity Law
A set of standards decreed in 1516 by Duke Herzog Wilhem IV of Bavaria. The law established that brewers could use no more than four ingredients when making beer: water, malt, hops and yeast.

According to the German Purity Law, this is one of the four ingredients of beer. Double summer barley is ideal for brewing because of its low albumen content. It is transformed by gestation and drying into malt and is then used in the brewing process.

Beer care
Bottled beer should be stored in a cool place away from sunlight, which can effect the flavour. Beer glasses must be absolutely fat-free, because fat destroys the foam head and makes the beer go flat. The glass should be rinsed with clear water and not wiped with a cloth. Draught beer from the barrel needs special treatment. After delivery, the barrel should be allowed to rest to avoid excessive foaming when the barrel is opened. The temperature and opening technique are very important for a good beer. The ideal temperature is around 6°C (43°F) - 8°C (46.5°F).

Beer colour
The colour of beer is determined by the malt used. For dark beers, dark or roasted malts are used. They are produced by special malting and kiln drying procedures.

Beer from the barrel
About 20 % of German beer production is filled into barrels. At Paulaner the percentage is about 30 %.  

Beer mat
A coaster for beer mugs or glasses, originally made from felt, nowadays made of paper; some printed beer mats are collectors items.

Beer types
Beers are divided into top- and bottom-fermenting types. We differentiate between beers with a low wort content (< 7 %), Schankbier (7 % to less than 11 %), Vollbier (11 % to less than 16 %) and Starkbier (more than 16 %).

Bitter particles are found in hops, which give the beer a certain light bitter aroma.

Bock beer
A strong beer with at least 16% original wort. There are light and dark varieties of bock beer.

Beers, which are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast, e.g. Pils, Export, Doppelbock, Lagers, Märzen and Dunkel. As the fermentation process must be carried out at a temperature between 4°C (39°F) to 9°C (48°F), it was only possible to brew these beers all year round after the invention of the refrigerator in 1876. Before this time, this brewing method could only be used in the winter months and couldn't normally be used after the month of March.

In Germany, there are about 1,300 breweries, in which about 6,000 types of beer are brewed. Many have a long tradition of brewing. The Paulaner brewery was officially recognized in 1634.

The brewhouse contains the mash containers, the mash pan, the lauter containers and the wort pan. Water is used to dissolve the ingredients of the malt from the crushed malt and to produce sugar. The liquid from the draff (wort) is boiled together with the hops.

Brewing barley
The best brewing barley is double brewing barley. The brewer judges the barley by testing the smell, size and shape of the seeds, the state of the spelts and the flour body, as well as its germination potential and albumen content etc.

Brewing water
The quality of the water used to brew is an essential in the overall quality of the beer. The water must taste good, be odor free, have a low chalk content and be free from foreign bodies. Only a small amount of salt may be present.  
The quality of the brewing water is an essential factor for the quality of the beer. The production of 1 hectoliter of beer (about 100 liters or 26 gallons of beer) requires about 350 liters (92 gallons) of water. Technology has made brewing more efficient, causing water usage to drop. As recently as the 1980’s, brewing the same amount of beer required about 900 liters (238 gallons) of water.

Cacium and magnesium carbonate determine the hardness of the water and, therefore, the taste of the beer.

The general belief, that beer contains many calories is wrong. Beer has about 450 kilocalories per liter (450 calories per 4.2 cups), depending on the type of beer. Only mineral water, coffee and tea (without milk and sugar) have fewer calories. Milk has 600 calories per liter (4.2 cups), wine has 700 and spirits have up to 3,000 calories.

Carbon dioxide
This is produced during fermentation. When the bottles or barrels are filled, carbon dioxide reduces foaming under pressure. Carbon dioxide is important for fresh taste and the head of foam.

Cooling the wort
After boiling, the wort must be cooled at a suitable temperature for fermentation.

The process in which malt is prepared in special grinders.

Diet beer
A low carbohydrate beer, which is suitable for diabetics. The amount of alcohol may not exceed that of comparable beers. Bread units: 0.06 g / 100 ml (3.4 fl oz), total glucose: 0.75 g / 100 ml (3.4 fl oz), consumable carbohydrate: 0.80 g / 100 ml (3.4 fl oz).

Double bock
A strong dark beer with at least 18 % original wort. The most famous double bock is the Paulaner Salvator, the grandfather of all Ator-beers.

The draff is the remainder of the malt, which remains in the lauter container after the wort is poured out. It is used as a nutritional animal fodder.

Drinking temperature
The ideal drinking temperature for beer is between 7°C (44.6°F) and 9°C (48.2°F). Beer should neither be warmed nor cooled too fast.

Export beer is a bottom-fermenting beer with an original wort content of at least 12 %. Because of the lower hop content Export beer is less bitter than a Pils.

All the absorbed contents, which pass from the malt into the wort (malt, sugar and dextrin).

Fastenbier (=Salvator)
A particularly nutritious beer brewed by the monks during Lent. The use of more malt means the beer contains more alcohol and calories, (Salvator: 71 kcal / 100 ml [71 Cal / 3.4 fl oz]), that’s why it is also known as “liquid bread”.

Yeast converts the malt sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation lasts for 6 to 7 days with bottom-fermenting beer and 3 to 4 days with top-fermenting beer.

When the beer is matured, it is filtered and filled into barrels, cans or bottles. This is done very quickly. Some of our filling lines fill, seal and label up to 65,000 bottles in an hour. Only special, slightly-opaque beers, e.g. our Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, are filled without being filtered.

The head of foam is produced by carbon dioxide, which reacts in combination with albumen when poured into the glass.

Foreign bodies
Beer is a natural product. Especially at the beginning of the fermentation process, the wort may be exposed to wild yeast cultures and various bacteria, because these thrive under similar conditions to beer yeast. These foreign organisms can affect flavor and shelf life potentially ruining the beer.

The patron saint of brewers whose exact origins are unknown. Some claim he was Jan Primus, the Prince of Burgundy in the 13th century, others say he was King of Flanders and Brabant in the 16th century.

The process by which barley produces enzymes, which are needed for brewing.

Green malt
Barley is transformed into green malt by soaking and gestation. This is then dried on the “Darre”.

Malt, which has been ground in the chaff grinder.

Hansen, Emil Christian
In 1881 Hansen first isolated yeast cultures and cultivated them individually.

Hops grow on the vine up to 7 or 8 meters (about 23 to 26 feet) high. Most hops in Germany grow in the area known as the Hallertau. The female flowers, or “Dolden” of cultivated hops, are used for brewing.



A cylindrical beer barrel, which is easy to connect and disconnect. When disconnected, the carbon dioxide stays under pressure in the barrel, which prevents the rest of the beer from drying out and helps to avoid germs developing in the keg.

Fine powder from the outer shells of ancient sweet and salt water algae. Kieselgur is an excellent filter for opaque beer. The suspended opacity (e.g. yeast) stays in the filter and the crystal clear beer runs into the tank.

Kiln drying
This is the method used to dry the germinated barley.

After mashing, the wort is separated from the draff into liquid and solids in the lauter tun.

Light beer
Alcohol and calorie reduced beer. 

Light influence
Strong lighting or sunshine can give beer an unpleasant taste. Brown bottles offer protection against this. Green bottles are not suitable for beer storage as they let too much UV light through.

Linde, Carl von
Inventor of the refrigerator. The world’s oldest brewery refrigerator can be seen in the Paulaner brewery and was manufactured in 1881.

Low alcohol
A beer is described as low alcohol when it has a maximum alcohol content of 1.2% volume.

The most important ingredient of the hop bloom. It contains the aroma and bitter components.

Before the invention of the refrigerator, beer could only be brewed until March. To preserve it through the summer months, it was brewed stronger and with more hops. This March beer was served at festivals in the autumn and was the original Oktoberfest beer.

The seeds of barley, wheat and rye are germinated to create brewing malt. Under germination, important enzymes are produced, which allow starch to be converted to malt sugar.

Mash is the mixture of crushed malt and water. By controlling the temperature, it is possible to dissolve the malt ingredients and e.g. transform starch into sugar.

Maturing fermentation
Young beer ferments under pressure in the lager tanks and matures. The carbon dioxide produced is absorbed into the beer.

Measures in Bavaria
1 Mass = 1 liter = about 34 fl oz
1 Halbe = 0.5 liter = about 17 fl oz
1 Schnitt or Pfiff = 0.25 liter = about 8.5 fl oz

Micro brewery
A pub or restaurant with its own brewery like the Paulaner Brauhaus in Munich or even a mini brewery without public rooms.

Monastic brewery
Monasteries have had a big influence on the art of brewing. In ancient times, nearly every monastery had its own brewery. The Paulaner brewery was a monastic brewery up until the secularisation at the end of the 18th century. The Paulaner monks are members of an Italian religious order, who lived by the rules of the holy Francesco de Paola. The name Paulaner comes from the place where he was born. In 1627, some members of the order moved to the Munich Monastery of Kloster Neudeck ob der Au.

Only beers with less than 0,5 vol. % alcohol can be described as alcohol-free.

Opacity is caused by yeast, tannin and albumen particles. Filtration can be used to remove these substances.

Original wort
The extract contents of the wort, or the dissolved contents such as sugar and albumen. By percentage weight fermentation of the original wort produces: 33% alcohol, 33% carbon dioxide and 33% remaining extract.

After fermentation of beer, the amount of oxygen absorbed must be minimized to delay the decline in quality.

pH value
A term to express the acid or alkali content of a solution. pH values of less than 7 indicate acidity, values over 7 indicate alkaline.

The name given to a beer with a strong taste of hops. Pils was originally brewed only in the area around Pilsen in the Czech Republic (formerly Bohemia).

The practice of sealing wooden barrels with pitch in order to seal pores and joints in the wood. In addition, the pitch prevents the escape of carbon dioxide and provides an internal surface to the barrel, which is smooth and easy to clean.

This is the annual output of beer from a brewery in a one-year period. The unit of measure is hectoliters (hl). One hectoliters equals 100 liters, or 26.4 gallons. In 1997 in Germany, 114.8 million hectoliters of beer (about 3.033 million gallons) were brewed. Paulaner’s current production is 2.3 million hectoliters (about 60.76 million gallons). Together with Hacker-Pschorr, AuerBräu and Thurn und Taxis, the Paulaner Group produces around 3 million hectoliters (about 79.25 million gallons).



A device to measure the amount of extract and the concentration of the wort.

Originally called Holy Father Beer, this was the first strong beer brewed by the Paulaner monks. It was brewed on the 2nd of April each year to commemorate the founder of the order, Franz von Paola. The recipe has remained virtually unchanged. It later became known as Salvator and was granted a registered trademark in Berlin in 1896. The original Salvator is brewed only by Paulaner.

Salvator tasting
Lent marks the beginning of the strong beer season and brings Salvator tastings. Salvator is linked to the season because the Paulaner monks would brew it as an additional source of nutrition during their obligatory Lenten fast  (“liquid does not break fasting”). More malt is used to give Salvator more alcohol and more calories (79 kcal / 100 ml [79 cal /  3.4 fl oz ). That’s why strong beer is also known as “liquid bread”.
​For over 200 years, the tradition has been that the Prince of the region has the right to taste the first Mass or 1 liter (about 34 fl oz) glass of Salvator. To this day, it is presented to him accompanied by the words: “Salve pater patriae! Bibas, princeps optime!” 

Freshly-drawn beer with an original wort of 7-11 %.

During secondary fermentation the beer is held under constant, exact pressure to ensure that the desired amount of carbon dioxide is absorbed into the beer.

All cereal crops contain starch. Under favourable conditions the starch is converted into fermentable sugar by enzymes.

Starkbier (also: bock beer)
Dark or light beers, which have an original wort content of at least 16 %. The alcohol makes up between 6,5 % and 10 % volume. Our Paulaner Salvator has an original wort of 18,3 %.

The beginning of the fermentation process, by which the yeast is added to the wort.

Water is added to the brewing cereal in order to initiate germination by soaking.

After fermentation, the beer is stored in the Lager cellar. It stays there for several weeks until reaching maturity.

Sugar conversion
Converting the malt starch to sugar by the action of enzymes at around 60° C (140°F) to 62°C (143.6°F)

Beers, which are brewed with top-fermenting yeast, e.g. Hefe Weizen, Kölsch and Altbier. Fermentation occurs at around 15°C (59°F) to 24°C (75.2°F). The yeast cells float to the top of the beer at the end of fermentation.

The albumen, which is produced during wort boiling. This is removed before fermentation.


Unfiltered, slightly opaque beer with a higher content of valuable vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Beer contains many vitamins, but most notably, beer contains vitamin B. One liter (about 34 fl oz) of beer has an average content of: 0.04 mg Citamin B, 0.3 to 0.4 mg Vitamin B2, 0.47 to 0.82 mg Vitamin B6, 0.5 mg Biotin, 6.3 to 8.8 mg Nicotinacid, 0.8 mg folic acid, and 0.9 to 1.1 mg Panthothin Acid.

Vollbier has an original wort of 11 to 15,99 %. Roughly 96 % of all German beers are Vollbiere.

Weihenstephan is the home of the faculty of brewing science of the Technical University of Munich. It is the oldest and most influential research and educational establishment for brewing in the world.

Weissbier (Hefe Weizen)
Weissbier is a top-fermenting beer. In the brewing process both barley and wheat malts (at least 50 %) are used.

Soluble substances which are taken from the malt are boiled together with hops in the wort pan. This has a germicidal effect and allows the wort value to be achieved, bitter substances from the hops are made soluble, colour is added, and undesirable aromas are removed (DMS).


A monocellular budding fungus. In brewing we differentiate between
bottom-fermenting and top-fermenting yeast. Yeast starts off the fermentation process. Top-fermenting yeast floats to the top during fermentation and bottom-fermenting yeast sinks to the bottom of the brewing vessel.

Young beer
After the main fermentation, the beer is called “young” or “green beer”. It is stored for 3 to 8 weeks in the brewery cellars before bottling takes place.