Do you know your pilsner from your pale ales? Or your stour beer from your wheat beer? If not, don’t worry! You will be a beer connoisseur by the end of our blog- different types of beers explained.
The main difference with beer types is the type of yeast that is used to ferment it. The type of beer produced depends on how it is brewed – lagers are produced through bottom fermentation, while ales are made through top fermentation, where the yeast is kept at warmer temperatures and rises to the surface of the beer. The yeast in ales is capable of withstanding higher levels of alcohol than the yeast used in lagers.
Pale ales are made with pale malt which have been dried with high carbon coke to create the lighter colour that they are known for. The brewing process creates a hoppy flavour with its citrus notes and has a well rounded, long bitter finish. Pale ales include different types such as bitter, india pale ales ipa and golden ale.
Pilsner lagers have a crisp flavour and are made with neutral and hard water. It has a distinctive high hoppy bitter taste and tends to be yellow or golden in colour. Pilsner is brewed with pilsner malt and lager yeast.
A stout beer is a dark full bodied, slightly roasted ale and has a sweetness from unfermented sugars that creates a bitter flavour. It is made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Different flavours of stout beers can be brewed such as milk, oatmeal, chocolate, irish and coffee stout.
To achieve the porter’s dark brown and black colour, it has ingredients like chocolate and other dark roasted malts that are balanced with hops and some fruit. These are usually dark fruits such as black cherries, raisins or caramelised fruits. This means the sweetness usually ranges from sweet to dry.
Wheat is a necessary component for creating wheat beers as it gives the beer a pale hue. They are mostly unfiltered and cloudy which helps to maintain the aromas and flavours. It is usually a top-fermented ale which uses at least 30% wheat during the brewing process. It also has a light taste with low to medium alcohol content making it easy to drink.
There are two ways to create a sour beer. The first is to have a lower pH and add Lactobacillus which give the beer a simpler type of acidity or alternatively you can produce a sour beer in an open vessel overnight where they get brewed with wild yeast and bacteria. It can have a more tart flavour compared to the bitter flavours in other ales. For a sweet profile, brewers add fruits and spices.
At Yorkshire Heart we brew a range of beers at our brewery in Nun Monkton. We have a twelve-barrel plant and bottling line which use the best malts and hops from local suppliers in Yorkshire. If you want to try our beers yourself, shop here.