Ale or Lager?

Breaking Beer

There are two main styles of beer: lager and ale. Within these groups there are hundreds of specific styles such as a bock for a lager or a hefeweizen for an ale. While a lot of people consider beer to be beer, the differences between a lager and an ale are actually very numerous.

The main difference lies in how these two styles of beer are fermented. For an ale, the type of yeast used is called Saccharomyces cerevisiaeThis type of yeast is known as a top-fermenting yeast and thrives at around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of yeast ferments more quickly, and is typically much easier to deal with. This is why most home brewers choose to brew ales.

A lager uses a strain of yeast called Saccharomyces uvarumThis yeast is bottom-fermenting and does best around 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Lager yeast…

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