Don’t worry about the jargon. ABV is obvious. “Fermentation slowing” means an abeyance of yeast activity. “Racking to the secondary” means “filter beer from big bottle to slightly smaller big bottle so it declouds and whatnot.” OG = original gravity. “Abeyance” means "slowing, receding" and “hydromated” is very probably not a word. It just sounds cool. I measured the beer with a hydrometer, which is a thermometer-esque buoy one floats in beer to figure out how much booze is in it. Original Gravity minus Final Gravity times Something Else (mysterious, I use a special lazyman website) equals how strong your beer is.
I’ve only recently gotten into high alcohol beers. The insider term for normal 4 to 5% ABV that I (heh heh) grew up on is “session beer.” For the vast majority of us, that distinction is redundant. Since the noble experiment of Prohibition ended in 1932 until about 2008, beer meant session beer. For seventy years, it was all roughly the same, all roughly as strong.
Which is fine for drinking a few or slightly more than a few. I did that for years upon a Saturday night with me mates. Don’t get me wrong, I was no rube. I drank good beer, just pilsners , lagers, Guinness (must be brand specific since I did not really drink stouts as a class), mild brown ales, and weak IPAs. You could have several of them and not be drunk drunk (but don’t drive anyway, says my PSA). At 4.5%, you knew how to pace.
High alcohol beers were the jokers in the deck. Scottish ales, Belgians, imperials, etc. I liked them but avoided them most of the time. I remember the first time I ever had Imperial Stout, clocking in at about 9%. Someone brought it to a Christmas party. I thought it tasted fine, but what was the point? You could have one of those and one lager and then, if you were Partying Smart, you were done. That’s it. (Or, that’s a hangover.)
But finally, I get it. I often only want one beer now anyway, so while my interest in drinking beer has grown a lot in recent years, my interest in drinking a lot has just about disappeared. Finally, I get the point of those imperials: you have one and you drink it nice and slow. (OK, fine, maybe you have two.) There’s a more complex taste in a high ABV beer that you ruin if you have four over a session. Even before you consider the hangover, too many is a waste of the beer.
At least, at 5’7” and not many pounds, that's something I must consider.
A bonus for the homebrewer is that the more alcohol there is, the more bang you can squeeze out of the sponge of your buck. Because homebrewing is both fun and tedious. That’s not a contradiction, it’s just the inconsistent nature of the hobby. It’s 25% cooking and 75% painstaking cleaning. You can’t just take out your carboy and dump beer in it, you have to cleanse and sanitize it, the funnel, the strainer, the spoon, and every single of the 90 instruments you use. I don’t exactly enjoy that part. It’s like riding your bike up a mountain for three hours to enjoy the fifteen-minute sprint to the bottom.
But the results are always worth it. I tend to forget about the cleaning part whenever I am drinking a glass a month later. And it’s especially worth it if you brew a no-more-than-two-a-night, definitely-non-session beer. The one pictured above is a pale ale. That’s a sack of hops sitting in the bottom of the secondary, citra if you must know. The jargon for that is "dry-hopping." I bottle tonight. At 7.88% I won’t have that many that often, so it will be around for months.
And that’s another way to measure beer. To know you can look forward to having it around twice as long as usual? I’d hydromate that prospect as "excellent."