From the HBD Archive
From: 105277@essdp1.lanl.gov (GEOFF REEVES)
Subject: Lager vs. Ale Yeast
Date: 1992-03-12 17:20:13 GMT

> Jack S. writes:
> It is obvious from reading the many and varied responses to my question,
> that
> the tastes are highly variable, to the point that ale can be made to taste
> like lager and vice versa. Therefore tasting different brands of the two
> styles to get the feel is utterly useless. That is why I asked for
> experience from anyone who has conducted experiments using the same
> batch of
> wort but different (ale/lager) yeasts and fermenting temps.
>

I've done this with several batches and I can tell you that it's
too complicated an issue to resolve. As several people have
pointed out there are general differences between ale and
lager yeasts and there are general differences between the
beers produced by each type of yeast. However there are LOTS
of variables. The result is the differences I tasted between ale
and lager in one batch were not the same as the differences I
tasted between ale and lager in a different batch. It depends a
lot on what the yeast is fermenting. Many of the differences
between ale and lager yeasts didn't even appear in my tests
because I used the same process (e.g. temp, duration, etc).
Lager yeast works better with the lagering process. Ale yeast
works better with the ale process. So even using the same
batch of wort to really get the difference you would have to
try both with a lager process and both with an ale process and
probably both with an intermediary process. Then figure out
all the differences. Then change your recipe a bunch of times.
Do it all again. Then see if you can come up with some general
ideas of the differences - which is what we started with
anyway. The bottom line is yes, you can make ales that taste
like lagers and visa versa but you will be hard pressed to
duplicate a particular brand (or style) of beer if you use a
different type of yeast.

Geoff Reeves
Atomic City Ales
Los Alamos NM

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