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Great Films about Beer

The History Of Beer In America (youtube)
 Part 1 of 6 (History Channel)

Beer Wars (Hulu)
Anat Baron ushers viewers into the backrooms and breweries of the ultracompetitive beer industry
 and reveals what it takes for independent brewers to compete with the corporate giants who dominate the business.
Aired: 01/01/2009 |  1 hr. 29 min.

How Beer Saved the World
A documentary taken from the Discovery Channel on how beer saved the world. Cheers!


Lager or Ale Chart

Difference between Larger and an Ale

Most yeast cells, ale and lager alike, flocculate and end up on the bottom of the fermentation vessel, at least to some degree. The top-fermenting versus bottom-fermenting yeast distinction likely originated in the observation that ale typically features a large, fluffy kräusen on top of the fermenting beer. For the average beer drinker, the difference between an ale and a lager comes down to how the beer looks, smells, and tastes. Ales tend to be fruity-estery, while lagers are clean-tasting and frequently described as "crisp." ... Simply put, lagers use an entirely different type of yeast during fermentation. Though there are any number of different types of beer, with ale and lagers the most common varieties with many sub-types within each of those varieties, it's easy to find a beer to please virtually any palate. But, what's the difference between these two types of beer, and how does it affect the finished ...All beers are made as ales or lagers; ale and lager are the two main branches (classifications) of the beer family tree and are closely related branches at that. Ales are the older, distinguished, traditional brews of the world, predating lagers by thousands of years, whereas lagers are a relatively modern creation, less than ...ale is brewed with top-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and lager with bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum). Ale yeast strains are best used at temperatures ranging from 10 to 25°C, though some strains will not actively ferment below 12°C (33). Ale yeasts are generally regarded as top-fermenting yeasts since they rise to the surface during fermentation, creating a very thick, rich yeast head. That is why the term ...

Ales - Ales are brewed with a top-fermenting yeast that thrives at mid-range room temperatures. For this reason, ales are typically stored between 60° and 75° Fahrenheit during the fermentation stage. This type of yeast and the fermentation temperature tend to give ales a fruitier and spicier flavor than lagers. In general, ales are more robust and complex. Common styles of ale include pale ale, India pale ale, amber ale, porters, and stouts.

Lagers - By contrast, lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeast that work best at cooler temperatures, between 35° and 55° Fahrenheit. Fermentation happens more slowly and the beer is more stable, so it can be stored (or "lagered") for longer than ales.
This yeast tends to have less presence in the finished beer. As compared to ales, lagers have a cleaner and crisper quality with emphasis on the hops and malt flavors. The lager family includes pilsners, bocks, and dunkels.

Sour Beer

Sour Beer is beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste. The most common sour beer styles are Belgian: lambics, gueuze and Flanders red ale. At one time, all beers were sour to some degree. As pure yeast cultures were not available, the starter used from one batch to another usually contained some wild yeast and bacteria. Unlike modern brewing, which is done in a sterile environment to guard against the intrusion of wild yeast, sour beers are made by intentionally allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew.  Traditionally, Belgian brewers allowed wild yeast to enter the brew naturally through the barrels or during the cooling of the wort in a coolship open to the outside air – an unpredictable process that many modern brewers avoid. The most common agents used to intentionally sour beer are Lactobacillus,  Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus. Another method for achieving a tart flavor is adding fruit during the aging process to spur a secondary fermentation or contribute microbes present on the fruit's skin. Because of the uncertainty
involved in using wild yeast, the sour beer brewing process is extremely unpredictable. The beer takes months to ferment and can take years to mature. Making sour beer is a risky and specialized form of beer brewing, and longstanding breweries which produce it and other lambics often specialize in this and other Belgian-style beers. Established in 1836, one of the oldest breweries still in operation that produces sour beer is the Rodenbach Brewery of Roeselare, Belgium. Today sour beer has spread outside Belgium to include other European breweries and some in the United States and Canada.

Spontaneous Fermentation is beer that is exposed to the surrounding open air to allow natural/wild yeast and bacteria to literally infect the beer, are spontaneous fermented beers. One of the typical yeasts is the Brettanomyces Lambicus strain. Beers produced in this fashion are sour, non-filtered and inspired by the traditional lambics of the Zenne-region. This brewing method has been practised for decades in the West Flanders region of Belgium.

The advent of brewing and drinking beer can be traced to around 4,000 B.C., when all beers were essentially sour beers. At this point, there were many naturally occurring bacteria present in beer, such as lactobacillus (also known as "sour milk bacteria"). These living organisms (often called "bugs") resided in the beer throughout the fermentation process, and their presence produced a sour or funky
flavor. As refrigeration and pasteurization technologies evolved and became more prevalent in the mid-nineteenth century, sour beers virtually disappeared as lagers and ales came into prominence. Since the 1970s, however, sours have become increasingly popular among beer drinkers around the world.

Sour beer is sour due to the intentional incorporation of living bacteria like lactobacillus (lacto) and pediococcus (pedio). Lacto converts sugar into lactic acid for lower (more acidic) pH levels and can be found in yogurt and other dairy products. This bacteria is also responsible for giving sour beer its signature tart, crisp flavors. Pedio, on the other hand, contributes unique aromas and flavors lacto might not produce, therefore giving "wild" yeasts like brettanomyces (brett) more to react with. Pedio also produces lactic acid and
creates diacetyl compounds for a more intense taste.

All of these bacteria eat sugar like traditional brewer's yeast, but their production of lactic and acetic acids cannot be replicated by regular yeast. Some brewers also add fruit during the aging process to add flavor, spur secondary fermentation, or to contribute microbes naturally present on the fruit's skin.

Sour beers typically do not use traditional brewer's yeasts (like saccharomyces cerevisiae), and most are not brewed in a sterile environment. In fact, many Belgian brewers still encourage wild yeast strains and bacteria to infiltrate their sour brews by cooling their wort (unfermented beer) outdoors. Additionally, while most beers are aged in metal fermentation tanks, sours are usually aged in
wooden vessels, which allows communities of organisms to live in the beer. Interestingly, it took almost 10 years for the first sour beer drinkers to realize the sour taste was intentional and not a brewer error.
Everything you need to know about sour beer

How to Serve Sour Beer. Serving temperatures for sour beers vary depending on the specific varieties. Berliner weisse should be served between 40-45 degrees, while others (including sour ales, lambics, and gueuzes) taste best between 50-55 degrees. Suggested Glassware for Serving Sour Beer

Sour beer can be served in a variety of different glasses, but your best bet is the tulip. This glass allows you to generate a complex aroma from the head of the beer and also allows the brew to breathe, which is especially important when enjoying a sour. Depending upon your (or your customer's) preference, however, you can also serve sours from snifters, tumblers, and oversized wine glasses. If
you're serving these as a part of a tasting flight, make sure they come after any heavy or dark beers.

Gose is a top-fermented beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. It is brewed with at least 50% of the grain bill being malted wheat. Dominant flavours in gose include a lemon sourness, a herbal characteristic, and a strong saltiness (the result of either local water sources or added salt). Gose beers typically do not have prominent hop bitterness, flavours, or aroma. The beers typically have a moderate alcohol content of 4 to 5% ABV. Because of the use of coriander and salt, gose does not comply with the Reinheitsgebot - it is allowed an exemption on the grounds of being a regional specialty. It acquires its characteristic sourness through inoculation with lactobacillus bacteria after the boil. Gose belongs to the same family of sour wheat beers which were once brewed across Northern
Germany and the Low Countries. Other beers of this family are Belgian Witbier, Berliner Weisse, and Broyhan.

Byproducts of Yeast

Yeast impact the flavour and aroma of beer more than you might think. The flavour and aroma of beer is very complex, being derived from a vast array of components that arise from a number of sources. Not only do malt, hops, and water have an impact on flavour, so does the synthesis of yeast, which forms byproducts during fermentation and maturation. The most notable of these byproducts are, of course, ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide (CO2); but in addition, a large number of other flavour compounds are produced such as:

acetaldehyde (green apple aroma)
diacetyl (taste or aroma of buttery, butterscotch)
dimethyl sulfide (DMS) (taste or aroma of sweet corn, cooked veggies)
clove (spicy character reminiscent of cloves)
fruity / estery (flavour and aroma of bananas, strawberries, apples, or other fruit)
medicinal (chemical or phenolic character)
phenolic (flavour and aroma of medicine, plastic, Band-Aids, smoke, or cloves)
solvent (reminiscent of acetone or lacquer thinner)
sulfur (reminiscent of rotten eggs or burnt matches)

There are other yeast byproducts, and some of the listed can be both desired byproducts and/or undesired depending on the beer style or what the brewer was trying to achieve.

Yeast are single-celled microorganisms that reproduce by budding. They are biologically classified as fungi and are responsible for converting fermentable sugars into alcohol and other byproducts. There are literally hundreds of varieties and strains of yeast. In the past, there were two types of beer yeast: ale yeast (the "top-fermenting" type, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and lager yeast (the "bottom-fermenting" type, Saccharomyces uvarum, formerly known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis). Today, as a result of recent reclassification of Saccharomyces species, both ale and lager yeast strains are considered to be members of S. cerevisiae.

Top-Fermenting Yeast
Ale yeast strains are best used at temperatures ranging from 10 to 25°C, though some strains will not actively ferment below 12°C (33). Ale yeasts are generally regarded as top-fermenting yeasts since they rise to the surface during fermentation, creating a very thick, rich yeast head. That is why the term "top-fermenting" is associated with ale yeasts. Fermentation by ale yeasts at these relatively warmer temperatures produces a beer high in esters, which many regard as a distinctive character of ale beers.

Top-fermenting yeasts are used for brewing ales, porters, stouts, Altbier, Kölsch, and wheat beers.

Bottom-Fermenting Yeast
Lager yeast strains are best used at temperatures ranging from 7 to 15°C. At these temperatures, lager yeasts grow less rapidly than ale yeasts, and with less surface foam they tend to settle out to the bottom of the fermenter as fermentation nears completion. This is why they are often referred to as "bottom" yeasts. The final flavour of the beer will depend a great deal on the strain of lager yeast and the temperatures at which it was fermented.

Some of the lager styles made from bottom-fermenting yeasts are Pilsners, Dortmunders, Märzen, Bocks, and American malt liquors.

Wort The liquid obtained when malt enzymes attach a heated aqueous slurry of ground endosperm of malted and unmalted cereal.
Brewing Terms

Yeast A group of unicellular organisms of the family Saccharomycetaceae which ferment sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide by virtue of its enzymes (Zymase).

Yeast A general term for single-celled fungi that reproduce by budding. Some yeasts can ferment carbohydrates (starches and sugars), and thus are important in brewing and baking.