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Old 02-22-2013, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default What's with all the random German vocab in the homebrewing world?

I haven't been brewing that long, so bear with me. I couldn't help but notice that among the pundits of brewing, there is a strict unspoken insistence upon using the German words for some thing and not for others; things seemingly chosen at random.
For example:
Krausen - I see no reason this should not be called a "foam layer."
Vorlauf - I see no reason this should not be called "recycling."
Lauter - I see no reason this should not be called "filtering."

I can't think of any more right now, but I'm sure there are more. I do no see the need for using the German words for these because they are not proper nouns, and some are verbs. I can understand Hefeweizen, Kolsch, Bock, etc. because these are proper nouns. These are the names of the beers. But Krausen? That's not a name. Why are we using the German word for it?

I asked a guy at a LHBS event why we use "vorlauf" and he said there was no word for it in English.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:08 AM   #2
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It'll be OK.


Oh, and Reinheitsgebot!

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:20 AM   #3
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and don't forget "Tun"

I would guess many of the words are in German because they were the ones who spent many years mastering the process and produced most of the early righting about the process.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:24 AM   #4
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Exactly! Part of the glorious history of bier! Alles klar?

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad67z View Post
and don't forget "Tun"

I would guess many of the words are in German because they were the ones who spent many years mastering the process and produced most of the early righting about the process.
Yup
I'm just glad to.be able to make my own. I don't really care about the terminology involved, just keep it cold and keep'em coming.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:24 AM   #6
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You realize that vast chunks of the English language are basically stolen from other languages, right?

I'm guessing that the terms have stuck due to the fact that a huge part of our brewing heritage traces back to Germany.

Feel free to use whatever terminology you want, but understand that the terms you disparage are standard issue; other homebrewers are likely to ignore you (or to point and laugh) when you refuse to use proper terms.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strantor View Post
I haven't been brewing that long, so bear with me. I couldn't help but notice that among the pundits of brewing, there is a strict unspoken insistence upon using the German words for some thing and not for others; things seemingly chosen at random.
For example:
Krausen - I see no reason this should not be called a "foam layer."
Vorlauf - I see no reason this should not be called "recycling."
Lauter - I see no reason this should not be called "filtering."

I can't think of any more right now, but I'm sure there are more. I do no see the need for using the German words for these because they are not proper nouns, and some are verbs. I can understand Hefeweizen, Kolsch, Bock, etc. because these are proper nouns. These are the names of the beers. But Krausen? That's not a name. Why are we using the German word for it?

I asked a guy at a LHBS event why we use "vorlauf" and he said there was no word for it in English.
Go for it?

I don't think it's a random insistence. Vorlauf more clearly specifies what you're talking about than recycling, which could refer to any number of things. Filtering can be done at different steps in the process. So sure, you can say "filter and drain the wort from the tun", or you can say lauter. One is clearly quicker and easier to me, but that's just a personal preference.

And I agree with the hbs dude. Your suggestion of recycle is not a direct synonym for vorlauf. Unless you think you could walk up to a knowledgeable brewer and ask them "do you recycle?" and get the answer you're looking for. Meanwhile, if you asked if they vorlauf, most would know what you meant.

Anyways, I'm not trying to change your mind, just pointing out that there are, in fact, reasons to use the German words.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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When I go to Ft. Hood. I have to learn Texanease. It's the same thing, only, different.

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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The Marines earned the nickname Teufel Hunden from the Germans

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Old 02-22-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Trying to find a word or expression in English just doesnt translate directly or very well from the German words. they work,they're accurate to the process they describe. Good enough since they've become common usage.
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