For most people, the idea of homebrewing starts with a sense of excitement. The thought of being able to create a beer for our family and friends to enjoy and label as one of our own that we are all striving for. It’s not too time before it becomes more than just that. It turns into an obsession. To me, brewing is something that humans have done for centuries, and I’ve always wanted to be part of the historical record.
I’m Matt Dailey, and I run Oil Creek Brewing Co. It started with a 1-gallon kit that was fermenting in my closet, and I have since written blog articles as well as recipes and posted ideas and insights via Instagram and Facebook frequently.
We all love an excellent IPA and a good stout beer on the coldest day. After a long sunny day, we want a refreshing, chilled, crisp, refreshing beer. There isn’t any more refreshing?
Although these two styles of beer are often utilized interchangeably, they truly require (and merit!) their spotlights, as they’re very distinct!
This blog will shed light on the distinctions between ales and lagers and how to distinguish between them.
What Is The Key Difference Between A Lager And An Ale?
The primary distinction between ales and lagers is the yeast that they’re brewed with. In the case of the two types of beer, yeast is the star of the show.
In relation to yeast, let’s begin by introducing a few of the primary ingredients in beer. It is important to remember that beer is comprised of four primary components: water, grain hops, yeast, and water.
If you prepare an ale with 10 pounds of two-row malt, some chocolate, and roasted malt, as the caramel malt, and 25 IBUs of hops and make a pitch with a vial of English ale yeast, you will get the porter ale.
“Beer is made up of four main ingredients: water, grain, hops and yeast.”
If you mix the same hops and malts, however, add a vial of Czech Lager yeast to it, then you’ll get an extremely dark Czech beer. Similar ingredients but vastly different from each other in aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and taste.
What Is An Ale?
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as ale yeast, is one of the most extensive yeast species known in the world of brewing. There are hundreds of varieties of this type of yeast. It can ferment between 65degF and 95degF. It is possible to use an alternative kind of yeast to make the beer of your choice: Kolsch, IPA, stout, ESB, Hefeweizen, or any other beer from the family of ale.
Of course, every yeast has its distinctive esters, which make each ale unique. You can also see this yeast as the high-fermenting yeast.
What Is A Lager?
Saccharomyces pastorianus, also referred to as Lager yeast, is a relatively recent yeast that is used in brewing (150 years, in contrast to the thousands of years for ale yeast). There are fewer strains of this yeast because it has hybridized with the ale yeast in the past. It is, for the most part, it makes alcohol at more frigid temperatures.
It typically ferments within the 40s and 55 degrees F; a particular kind, California lager, will ferment at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. These beers are not as fruity in their ester production and are fermented much more slowly than ales. These beers are often known as bottom-fermenting yeasts.
Every variety is contingent on the temperature. If you’re not able to maintain your fermentation beverage between the upper 40s and below 60degF, you’ll be making most ales.
Lagers can handle higher abv levels, but you’ll require a lot of yeast to create a higher abv beer. This requires a larger starter. The most abv beers you will find are ales. That’s not to say that you can’t discover a Doppelbock of 8% (lager).
Temperature of Fermentation
As mentioned earlier, ales ferment between 65degF to 95degF. Certain Kviek strains are able to manage temperatures of over 100 degrees! Lagers ferment from the upper 40s to around 55degF.
Each style of beer is a winner when stored at room temperature. However, lagers need longer storage times in cold temperatures. Be patient with your beer; it will benefit you in the end. I swear by it.
Create a great Helles and drink a fresh pour. Drink it a second time after 6-8 weeks of having been layered. Then, you’ll understand the importance of patience as one of the most important elements of brewing lager.
The lagers and ales are not restricted by the hops in the. From the sexiest and vilest ales to the most popular, like Heady Topper as well as Pliny the Older, you can also find some bold beers that can match the hops, like Pivo as well as Mass Rising. Hoppy Pilsners, as well as India Pale Lagers, aren’t as widespread because lagers are getting noticed in the world of craft beer.
Both lagers and ales can be light or dark in hue. Many people would prefer a light lager after mowing the lawn. However, they might like a darker, richer stout in winter. Look for dark beers this winter.
Are Lagers more light than Ales?
The body of most ales is usually lighter than its male counterpart. If you were to brew, you’d mix at a lower temp and a variety of different lagers. Even the dark ones. This can result in a dryer and a very clean final in the majority of your styles of lager.
What Are the Most Popular Types Of Lagers and Ales?
We all know that the most loved craft beer across the United States is the tried and authentic IPA. It’s not a surprise. But which is the most loved beer? However, this American light lager is the most popular. Craft beer is attempting to alter perceptions regarding American lighter lagers.
In the past, you could go into a brewery that was craft-based and discover a couple of IPAs, a stout, and perhaps some Sour. Today, you’ll likely find a few lagers on the list of taps, too. It’ll be fascinating to see what’s coming for larger beer within the American craft beer industry.
Final Thoughts: The ‘You’ in What You Brew
If you’re drinking or brewing the beer, there’s a drink for any occasion. Lagers and ales are separated by yeast. All it boils down to is the fact that. It’s dependent on what you’re looking to brew and the ability to create. If you can’t keep your beer cool during the process of the process of fermentation, you should stay clear of the lagers because you’ll lose flavor.
Ales is able to provide many different designs and flavors. The reason homebrewers prefer to produce more sales comes down to temperature control. If you’re planning to get into brewing lagers, take a look at the options for temperature control from your neighborhood homebrewing shop or online retailer or using the TC-100 kit available at Spike.