Lager and ale are the two primary subsets of beer. The main difference between the two styles of beer is that lagers use bottom-fermenting yeast, while ales use top-fermenting yeast. Ales were the first type of beer made, but as brewer's could not make it in warmer months they stored the reserves in Alpine caves, which resulted in the yeast sinking to the bottom. Lager's ferment at lower temperatures, and produce cleaner more robust beers that are less fruity than an ale.
Styles of lager include pilseners, bocks and doublebocks, Oktoberfests/Maerzen, and several other types found primarily in Germany. The most popular domestic beers in America tend to be pale lagers, although light beers, which feature reduce alcohol and carbohydrate content, have begun to take over as the lager of choice.
An ale is a style of beer made by warm-fermenting brewer's yeast. The yeast ferments quickly, creating a full-bodied and sweet beer. Many ales also include the addition of bitter hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Depending on the temperature it is fermented at, the yeast can produce a variety of esters and aromatic products, which may result in fruit flavors such as apple, pear, pineapple, banana or cherry.
Styles of ale include brown ale, which often has a nutty taste, and pale ale, which has become synonymous for ales that are bitter, because they have more hops than other ales. The primary difference between an ale and a lager is that ales are made from top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are made with a bottom-fermenting yeast.
Temperature for beers is important. All beers can be enjoyed with great love and the temperature has something to do with how the beer is appreciated. The temperature also is important for maintaining the beer and keeping it fresh. Beer is important to understand as you prepare to serve it. The temperature can be maintained with ice, however this will change the beer and how it is enjoyed. All beer should be brought forward with a plan for the best temperature. Ice cold mugs can be used to keep the beer chilled. This also changes the beer in a certain way. Maintaining a consistent temperature is the best way to serve beers and keep it in its best for all. Beer is not able to withstand extreme temperatures so make sure the temperature is stable. All beer can be enjoyed at a great temperature.
Want to avoid that awful "skunky" taste that beer sometimes gets? You can do so by remembering two things:
1. If not refrigerating right away, you should store beer in a dark closet or cabinet. Exposure to light is the main factor causing skunky taste.
2. Make sure that once beer is refrigerated, it stays refrigerated and cool. If beer is cooled, then shifts back to room temperature, and then cooled again, a skunky taste can result.
The hops in beer is very sensitive to light and temperature. This is why most beer bottles are dark in color -- to shield out light. The chemical structure within the beer can actually change, causing the offensive skunky smell and taste.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|