Beer and its types
When you read about beer you would come across terms like lager and hops. Lagering is a derivative of the German word ‘lagern’, meaning to store or to rest. The young beer is passed through glass tanks as beer needs less oxygen for maturation and the temperature is brought down to near freezing. Certain chemical changes take place due to the yeast and other solids, which develop the immature beer. At the brewing stage, beer is put into the brewing kettle (traditionally made of copper but increasingly being replaced by stainless steel) and then hops are added. Hops belong to the nettle family. the female species of the flower, which contains a narcotic substance known as lupulin (contains tannins, resins, and essential oils). These hops give the beer its characteristic bitter taste, helps in the antiseptic action, cleansing, clarification and preservation of the beer.
Ale needs 5-6 days maturation time whereas lager needs 1-3 months.
Lager beer: It is a generic term used for all bottom fermented beers, any beer that has been stored or lagered for a considerable amount of time is called lager beer. It is further divided into light lager and dark lager.
Light lager: Usually dry in nature light bodied and pale in colour.
Dark lager: Brewed in the same way but the colour is much darker.
Ale: These are manufactured by the top fermentation method and were made without hops and drunk fresh.
Stout: A dark, heavy bodied ale, with a distinct malty flavor. It has a pronounced hoppy flavour and leaves a sweet after taste. Gives a creamish head when poured. Served at cellar temperature/slightly chilled.
Porter: Similar to stout but not so strong. It is lighter, less hoppy less bitter flavour and less ale content. It gives a heavy creamy foam when poured. The name comes from the porters of London whose favourite drink was porter.
Bock: A strong bottom fermented brew produced in Bavaria, Germany. Though most of them are dark brown in colour, paler varieties are also available. Served slightly chilled, the alcohol content is 6 % by volume and above.
Malt liquor: A beer that varies considerably among brands. Some are light pale champagne colour, others rather dark, some are quite hoppy, others only mildly so, but higher alcoholic content than the rest.
Wheat beer: Beer made with wheat as the principal source of fermentable sugar.
Draught beer: Unpasteurised beer which is stored in kegs/ barrels and carbonated at the time of service.