Ale or Lager
All beers can be placed into two categories, Ales and Lagers. Within those two categories, beers can be further identified by a beer style. Below is a basic description of Ales and Lagers. What’s an Ale? This category of beer uses yeast that ferments at the "top" of the fermentation vessel, and typically at higher temperatures than lager yeast (60°-75°F), which, as a result, makes for a quicker fermentation period (7-8 days, or even less). Ale yeast are known to produce by-products called esters, which are "flowery" and "fruity" aromas ranging, but not limited to apple, pear, pineapple, grass, hay, plum, and prune. What’s a Lager? The word lager comes from the German word lagern which means, "to store". A perfect description as lagers are brewed with bottom fermenting yeast that work slowly at around 34° F, and are often further stored at cool temperature to mature. Lager yeast produces fewer by-product characters than ale yeast which allows for other flavors to pull through, such as hops.
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