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Beer styles: lager, ale, lambic and others

Beer around the world is brewed from the same ingredients: malt, hops, yeast, water — in most cases nothing more. And yet there are dozens, if not hundreds, styles this drink.

A variety of cooking methods is to blame for everything: here the brewers show incredible imagination.

Beer is most often made from malt (that is, germinated grains — it is in the germinated state that they contain an amount of sugars sufficient for fermentation). It is dried or fried, ground, combined with water, boiled, cooled, and then brewer’s yeast is added.

Under their influence begins fermentation, that is, the conversion of sugar into alcohol.

Alone yeast they prefer coolness at 5–14 ° С and in the process of fermentation they gradually sink to the bottom of the vat.

This type of fermentation is called lower, and the beer created by this technology is by camp (lager). Other types of yeast “like it hotter” and at a temperature of 15–20 ° C are collected on the surface.

They are responsible for riding fermentation.

It turns out more strong and sweet beer — ale (ale).

In the Belgian Brabant do lambic (lambic) — special beer spontaneous fermentation.

It is prepared without any yeast at all: the beer wort is placed in wooden barrels of wine — Burgundy, port or sherry — and it wanders under the influence of microorganisms left on the walls and getting out of the air.

Style of beer depends a lot on grains, which is used for malting (germination). This is, of course, barley, but beer is also made from other grains — oats, corn, rye, rice, wheat, spelled.

For example, German and Belgian are made from wheat. wheat beer top fermentation (weissbier or weizen, and belgian wheat beer) — and even in the mentioned lambicas, the wort is a mixture of barley malt (60-70%) and ungrown wheat (30-40%).

By the way, use unsprouted grains — not uncommon in brewing: for example, the British dark ale stout (stout) prepared from barley, roasted without prior malting.

Beer color often depends on temperature drying or frying malt (Malt can be light, amber, brown chocolate and even black, almost charred).

For example, Czech lager pilsener (pilsener) and british ale bitter (bitter) made from light barley malt, and the British ale porter (porter) — from brown.

The flavor of particular types of beer affects the taste hops: used as old varieties — Zatetsky, Gallertausky, Tetnangsky, Byuvarsky, — and selection.

Not the last role is played by the methods of processing hop cones.

For example, to cook lambic hops stand for at least three years, which somewhat muffles its aroma and bitterness.

Some types of beer add different additional ingredients (from ginger to apple juice).

Especially known fruit versions of the Belgian lambic: scream (kriek) receive as a result of joint fermentation of malt and dark cherry, frambozen/framboise (frambozen / franboise) — malt and raspberry.

In addition to “everyday” beers, which can be stored for 3–6 months, or better consumed as early as possible, there are collectible ones — they definitely need a period of ripening and proper storage.

During the aging beer «develops», is filled with a variety of flavor nuances. Very few are suitable for aging. beer styles, as a rule, quite strong and low in hops.

These types of styles include English el “barley wine» (barley wine), imperial stout (imperial stout), Belgian Strong Ale (belgian strong ale), lambic, english old ale (old ale) and some others.

Beer should be placed in dark brown bottles, tightly closed with a wooden cork or metal crown cap.

Typically, these varieties are labeled “bottle conditioned” on the label.

Finally there are beer styles with «protected name of origin.»

Light coloured Cologne Ale (kölsch) can only be cooked in Cologne, but trappist ale (trappist) — exclusively at seven monastery breweries: six Belgian and one Dutch.

1. Bitter — English ale.

Its pleasant bitterness is achieved due to the complete absence of sugar.


Porter — British dark top-fermented beer with the aroma of roasted malt.

3. Weissbier / Weizen — German wheat beer.

Ale with a spicy taste and clove aroma is easy to drink and is intended primarily to quench your summer thirst.


Burley vine — “barley wine”. So the British call a rather strong and sweet beer with a high content of hops.

May be stored for several years.


Scream — Belgian cherry lambic, which is obtained as a result of the joint fermentation of malt and dried dark cherry.


Pilsner — bright lager comes from the Czech Republic, owes its specific hop aroma and bitter taste zatetsky hop.

7 Mertsen — amber-colored lager, the protagonist of the Munich holiday «Oktoberfest«.

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