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Homebrew Ale, a prevalent type of beer, is brewed with a top-fermenting yeast which is also a warm fermenting method.
Historically, the term ale referred to a drink brewed without using hops resulting in a sweet, fruity taste and is full-bodied.
In common with most beers, homebrew ale has a bittering agent added to balance the sweetness of the malt, which acts as a preservative.
What is the difference between a beer and an ale?
The significant difference between the two types of beer is the yeast used during the fermentation process. Depending on the fermenting method, a beer qualifies as a lager or an ale. Ales are created through top fermentation. These yeasts ferment at a warmer temperature, and they settle at the surface of the fermented beer.
Which is better, Beer or Ale?
A finished ale is generally much smoother and sweeter than a beer. Not because of added extras, but because the beer yeast reacts chemically with some forms of sugar in the fermenter that ale yeasts don't.
The brewing process for lager is slower than with ale fermentation.
Does Ale contain alcohol?
Calories content of beer
Beer contains a small amount of alcohol as compared to other stiff drinks. Beer only has 4 to 6 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV).
However, the amount of alcohol does vary as per the brand of homebrew beer you are drinking.
What is an example of Ale?
Which beers are ales?
Ale is a beer made using a warm fermentation, resulting in a full-bodied, sweet, and fruity taste.
Initially, the term referred to a drink brewed without any hops.
Like most beers, Ale typically has a bittering agent to balance the malt and act as a preservative. Gruit, a mixture of herbs or spices, initially bittered the Ale. These were boiled in the wort before fermentation.
Now hops replaced gruit as the bittering agent.
History of Ale
Ale was an essential source of nutrition in the medieval world. It was one of three primary sources of grains in the diet at the start of the fourteenth century in England, including pottage and pieces of bread.
Scholars believe grains accounted for about 80% of the calorie intake of agricultural workers and 75% for soldiers.
Even nobles received approximately 65% of their calories from grains.
Small beer, also known as mild beer or table beer, was highly nutritious. Small beer contained enough alcohol to act as a preservative and provided hydration without any intoxicating effects. In the medieval world, almost everyone would have consumed small beer daily, including children. Higher-alcohol ales were served for recreational purposes.
Ale was most likely safer to drink than water (the germ theory of disease was unheard of, and the sterilising process of boiling was unknown). Ale was essentially safer to drink due to the hours of boiling required in production, not due to the alcoholic content of the finished beverage.
Historical records from the Middle Ages show that Ale was drunk in huge quantities. Records show that in 1272 a couple who retired at Selby Abbey were given 2 gallons of Ale per day, two loaves of white bread, and one loaf of brown bread.
Monks at Westminster Abbey would drink 1 gallon of Ale every day. Records show that in 1299, Henry de Lacy's household purchased an average of 85 gallons of Ale per day, and in 1385-6, Framlingham Castle consumed 78 gallons per day.
Brewing ale during the Middle Ages was a local industry primarily pursued by women. Brewsters, or alewives, would brew Ale in the home for mainly domestic consumption and a small-scale commercial element.
Brewsters provided a substantial second income for families. However, as was the case for widows, brewing was considered the household's primary income in some cases.
Ale is fermented at temperatures between 15 and 24 °C (60 and 75 °F). At temperatures above 24 °C (75 °F), the yeast produces significant amounts of esters and other secondary flavours and aroma products. The result is often a beer with slightly "fruity" compounds such as those found in fruits, like apple, pear, pineapple, banana, plum, cherry, or prune.
Varieties of Ale
Barley wines range from 6% to 12% ADV. Some are stored for long periods, about 18 months to 24 years. When drinking barley wine, you should be prepared to taste sweet malt and ripe fruit such as pear, orange and lemon. If darker malts are used, the taste denotes darker fruits, chocolate and coffee.
Hop rates in barley wine are generous and produce bitterness and peppery, grassy and floral notes.
Belgium produces a large variety of speciality ales that elude easy classification. Most Belgian ales are high in alcoholic content but relatively light in the body due to the substitution of sucrose for part of the grist. This substitution provides an alcohol boost without adding unfermentable material to the finished product. Belgian homebrew beers are often said to be more digestible.
Brown ales are lightly hopped and relatively mildly flavoured. They often have a nutty taste. In the south of England, brown ales are dark brown, 3-3.6% alcohol, and relatively sweet and palatable. In the north of England, they are red-brown, more potent 4.5-5% alcohol and drier. English Brown Ales were first heard of in the early twentieth century. Newcastle Brown Ale and Manns Brown Ale are the best-known examples.
Brown Ale became popular with homebrewers in North America in the early 1980s; Pete's Wicked Ale is an example.
Burton ale is a strong, dark, somewhat sweet ale, sometimes used as a stock ale for blending with younger beers.
Bass No.1 is a classic example of Burton ale. Some consider Fullers 1845 Celebration Ale a rare modern example of a Burton ale.
Cask ale is unfiltered and unpasteurised beer conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask using no additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.
Cask ale is sometimes referred to as Real Ale in the United Kingdom.
Developed in the hope of winning the younger people away from drinking lager in favour of cask ales, it is very like a pale ale. There are some notable differences—mainly, it is paler, brewed with lager or low-temperature ale malts, and served at cooler temperatures.
The strength of golden ales is between 3.5% to 5.3%. ABV
In the 1800s, the Bow Brewery in England exported beer to India, including a pale ale. Bow and other breweries added more hops that acted as a natural preservative to stop spoilage during the long journey. Pale Ale was highly regarded among consumers in India, and this beer was the first of a type of export ale that became known as India Pale Ale or IPA.
Mild Ale originally meant a young male, the opposite of old Ale. Most are dark brown and not very strong, and they can be any strength or colour, usually between 3 and 3.5% ABV.
Old Ale was a strong beer traditionally kept for about twelve months in England. During this time, it gained sharp, acidic flavours. The term old ale is now applied to medium-strong dark beers, some of which are treated to resemble the traditional old ales. The term is used even less discriminately in Australia and is a general name for any dark beer.
People used the term Pale Ale for beers made from malt dried using coke.
Coke had been used for roasting malt since 1642, but it wasn't until around 1703 that coke was used for English Pale Ale.
By 1784 advertisements were found in the Calcutta Gazette for "light and excellent" Pale Ale. Since 1830 the expressions Pale Ale and Bitter have been synonymous.
Breweries would usually designate such beers as Pale Ale, while customers often refer to the same beers as Bitter.
Customers commonly use the term Bitter to differentiate Pale Ales from other beers that are not so hopped.
Towards the end of the 20th century, brewers were still labelling bottled beers as Pale Ale. However, they began identifying cask beers as bitter. The exception was breweries from Burton on Trent. They would mark everything Pale Ale regardless of the method of dispatch.
Scotland brews the full range of ales. However, the term Scotch ale is used internationally to denote a malty, strong ale, amber-to-dark red.
The malt used is slightly caramelised, which impart toffee notes.
Scottish beers tend to be sweeter, darker, and less hoppy than those brewed in England.
The classic styles of Scotch Ales are Light, Heavy and Export. According to their strength, they are also referred to as 60 shillings, 70 shillings, and 80 shilling beer. This clarification dates back to the 19th-century method of invoicing beers according to their strength.