A is for Ale
Many folks use the terms ale and beer interchangeably, with ale perhaps representing the fancier drink. The truth is, not all ales are beer, and not all beers are ale.
Ale is a broad category of fermented beverages that are made using what is called “ale yeast” (I’ll write a post later about yeast). Ale yeasts are also called top-fermenting yeasts, because the yeast does most of its work floating near the top of the liquid in the fermentation vessel. Ales are usually fermented at warm temperatures, like 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and do not need to ferment for very long – a couple of weeks, maybe even less.
Ales tend to have some fruity notes in their flavor due to the use of ale yeast. They also tend to be completely drinkable when served at room temperatures.
Because it’s relatively easy for the home brewer to find a spot in their home with temperatures in the preferred range for ale yeast, most starting brews are ales.
In fact, I’m drinking an ale right now. It’s a wheat beer. And it’s delicious.
I’m participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. The goal is to write a post prompted by a letter of the alphabet on each day of April (except Sunday). My theme this year is brewing.