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Is Your Beer Ale or Lager

Time: 2020-07-10 Comment: 103

Beer is a kind of alcoholic product made by fermentation with yeast instead of distilling. The fermenting sugar comes mostly from various grist malt like barley and other kinds, with hops as seasoner. The main material covers water, malts, hops and yeast etc. Industrial beers always mix other grist like corn to lower cost while craft beer may add some special material to show its characteristic.

Briefly speaking, beer brewing includes mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting and bottling. Of course the details of process will be more complicated.


Fermentation is most important step, during which yeast and temperature are key factors. At the beginning of beer history, the yeast and the fermenting temperature could not be controlled well. For Ale, the yeast is working at top of a tank with the temperature around 15-24℃and the time 3~21 days.

“Lager” in Germany means storage or store house and now it is the name of a beer, which means the yeast is fermenting at bottom of a fermenter.


Some may ask how to classify beers. It is certainly right to reply Ale and Lager, not to mention subcategories. It is worthy to notice that the difference of Ale and Lager lies in fermenting methods, not a standard to judge the quality of beer.

The taste of Lager is quite pure while Ale mostly relies on heavy flavor of hops to conceal its defects and for this reason Lager’s shortcomings in flavor and aroma are easily aware. In addition, making Lager needs high requirement in facilities and sanitary conditions. That’s why very few home brewers make Lager. However, making good Lager can show the level of a brewpub.

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