As you are strolling through your local beer aisle, chances are you see two distinct kinds of beer: ale and lager. Many people have a favorite among the two, yet they do no really know what the difference between the two is. The main difference between these two kind of beers is the temperature in which they are brewed at. Beers that are brewed at a low temperature along with slow acting yeast are known as lager. While beers that are brewed at much higher temperatures and much faster acting yeasts are of the ale category. Here is a look at these two types of beer to get a better idea of their differences.
The key to brewing an ale beer is with the use of top-fermenting yeast a a high temperate that usually ranges anywhere from 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. During this process, the top-fermenting yeast creates an abundance of “esters” which are crucial to the proper formation of a quality beer that is full of delicious flavor and aroma. The final product of this distinct process is a beer that is more full and sweet than traditional lagers.
Lagers are the most commonly consumed beer in the world, and is brewed in a two step fermentation process with the use of bottom-fermenting yeast. The first step occurs at a temperature between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The second step involves fermentation at a temperature of 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit – this step takes much longer than the first and is also known as lagering. The first step is important but it is during the second phase of fermentation that the lager clears out and soothes down.
In addition to the fermenting process that ale and lagers go through, another way they can be distinguished is with their two distinct colors. Ales usually appear to be reddish brown or dark brown while lager beers range from very light to dark, it all depends on the style of the lager beer that is chosen.
Summary of Ale Beer: Ale beers usually consist of robust flavors that tend to be a little bit fruity and extremely aromatic. These beers are known for their dark color and can easily be distinguished by that factor alone. Ales are also much bitter than lagers but this complex taste and aroma is something enjoyed by many people. Last but not least, people who prefer lager usually enjoy drinking it at warmer temperate while usually contain a higher volume of alcohol than lagers.
Summary of Lager Beer: In addition to the fermenting process, lager beer has many other difference compared to ale beers. First of all, these kind of beers are much more light tasting. They also tend to be much more crisp and carbonated for a smooth and mellow flavor and texture. Unlike ales which offer a bold taste and aroma, lager beers have a very subtle, clean taste and aroma. These beers are known for their light hue and are typically served at cool temperatures.
All in all, there are many distinct differences between ale and lager beers. Their differences is what gives them both their unique taste and aroma.