This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.
Not all these terms appear elsewhere in this FAQ; but those that don't
are still useful or at least interesting.
Acid Blend: A blend of (usually) tartaric and malic acids in crystal
Air Lock: see vapour lock.
Astringency: The effect of tannin on the mouth; it causes the mouth to
pucker and leave a "dry" feeling in the mouth.
Basic 10: A term used by F. Stanley Anderson in his books. The basic
equipment needed for winemaking. These are: Long-handled spoon;
fermentation bin (widemouthed bucket); carboy (large bottle with
constricted neck); air lock & bung; sulphite; gallon jug (for sulphite
solution); plastic sheet; racking cane (for transferring wine);
large measuring cup; and hydrometer.
Beer: According to the Bavarian Purity Law, a fermented beverage
containing only water, malt, hops and yeast. Generally, an undistilled
fermented beverage with a water and grain base. Other ingredients may be
added to vary the beverage, as well as the type of malt and hops.
Bentonite: A type of finely ground clay that is used as a clarifying
agent. It is used at varying stages of the process, including at the
beginning to provide something to which yeast can attach themselves to
improve growth and help clear out solids from the primary fermentation.
Bouquet: A wine's aroma. Bouquet evolves over time as the wine ages.
Bracket (braggot): An alcoholic beverage made with malt and honey; thus
it bridges the gap between mead and ale.
Brix: A measurement of sugar content in a must. Degrees Brix, as
measured on your hydrometer, is very close to percent sugar and is most
easily considered as such. Conversion of sugar to alcohol is usually in
the range of 0.52 to 0.59.
Campden Tablets: Tablets of a standard amount of compressed sulphite.
It usually has a mass of about either 0.44g or 0.55g (depending on your
source), roughly equivalent to about 0.28g or 0.35g SO2.
Cap: The vegetable matter and foam layer that forms on the top of the
wine during the first few days of fermentation. Although your
fermenting wine may break it up and absorb it eventually, it is best to
manually break it with your wine stirrer/spoon as often as it forms to
avoid the production of off smells and problems with overflowing as
well as to maximize colour and flavour extraction.
Carboy: A container of five imperial gallons (22.5 litres, 6 USG). It
is the next commonly used size smaller than a demijohn. Carboys are
made from glass or plastic and, like a big bottle, have a constricted
neck. Other sizes also exist.
Carbonic Maceration: It means "carbon dioxide soaking" and it can be
done by using CO2 to displace oxygen from a tank stacked with grape
boxes (N2 does the same but is actually more extensive then CO2) and is
commonly done by duping clusters into vertical tanks in which the juice
from broken berries actually suffocates the berry by submersion. The
main reactions are intracellular ethanol production by glycolytic
enzymes which stop at about 5% ethanol. Hence the practice of then
pressing the berries and completing the fermentation with added or
natural yeast. There are some other phenol conversions of gallic and
caffeic to benzyl derivatives and the development of a "silage" dusty
grain character. The pigmentation is also usually light red with a
distinct purple tone.
Clearing: Causing the wine to go clear by either fining, repeated
racking or both. See fining.
Cider: Fermented apple juice.
Cuvee: French for a batch of wine.
Cyser: A mead with apple juice added (and thus you might consider it
either an apple melomel or a cider with honey).
Demijohn: A container identical in function and similar in shape to a
carboy. They typically hold 25 to 64 litres, about 5 to 14 imp. gal. (6
to 17 USG) though come in various sizes as small as 1 imperial gallon.
Distillation: The process of heating a liquid to separate its various
dissolved components. Our reference would be the separation of alcohol
from water. Home distillation is generally considered at least somewhat
dangerous because it concentrates methanol, an alcohol produced in
minute (and safe) concentrations in fermentation. The problem comes in
keeping track of the proper distillation temperatures. Home distillation
is illegal just about everywhere except New Zealand.
Fermentation: The anaerobic (no oxygen) digestion of various organic
compounds by microflora and microfauna. In our case, yeast are
anaerobically digesting sugar, water and nutrients to produce alcohol.
Fining: The use of some agent that will collect fine particles
(cloudiness) in the wine and cause them to fall to the bottom so that
clear wine can be racked off the top. For technical types, it's called
clarification and flocculation. These substances are usually isinglass
(ground fishbladders) or a gelatin substance, but also include
bentonite and various cationic and anionic polymers.