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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Lager definition
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
Shamrock28
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Default Lager definition

Just to clear things up, lagering is defined as "Cold Conditioning"....With that said you could still use an Ale yeast and cold condition for a month and still have a great tasting lager?

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
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Just to clear things up, lagering is defined as "Cold Conditioning"....With that said you could still use an Ale yeast and cold condition for a month and still have a great tasting lager?
No, the ale yeast will go dormant - It will still condition but it is only a lager beer if you use a bottom fermenting yeast

especial don't cold crash an ale yeast during primary fermentation because the yeast will build a protein wall around itself
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:39 AM   #3
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Just to clear things up, lagering is defined as "Cold Conditioning"....With that said you could still use an Ale yeast and cold condition for a month and still have a great tasting lager?
No you would not as the previous poster has pointed out. You would have a cold conditioned ale because the beer was not fermented with lager yeast. Lager yeasts ferment sugars that ale yeast do not. This combined with their cold temperature activity is the short answer to why lagers are different than ales.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:49 AM   #4
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There is no significant difference in the types of wort sugars ale and lager yeast ferment. It's more about the flavor profile that fermentation byproducts impart.

Kai

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:24 AM   #5
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There is no significant difference in the types of wort sugars ale and lager yeast ferment. It's more about the flavor profile that fermentation byproducts impart.

Kai
We can quibble about how significant it is but there are some complex sugars that are metabolized by lager yeast but not by ale yeast. If it were only the esters produced during fermentation that separated the two flavor profiles then a beer fermented at the very low end of the temperature range of a clean ale yeast would taste just like a lager and it doesn't.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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We can quibble about how significant it is but there are some complex sugars that are metabolized by lager yeast but not by ale yeast. If it were only the esters produced during fermentation that separated the two flavor profiles then a beer fermented at the very low end of the temperature range of a clean ale yeast would taste just like a lager and it doesn't.
well yeah but to strains of ale yeast will taste very different from each other just as two different lager strains will

You talking about and organism that has been selectively bread for hundreds if not thousands of years
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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The sugars that can be metabolized by lager and not by ale yeast are melibiose and raffinose. Raffinose is absent from brewing wort and melibiose is only present in trace amounts. Hence there is no difference on the significant wort sugars that both yeasts can ferment.

There may however be a difference in the yeasts performance when it comes to maltotriose uptake but based on my experience with ale and lager strains I found that it is oftentimes the lager fermentations that leave fermentable sugars behind. The ale fermentations (which have mostly been Bavarian Wheats or APAs) always came very close to the attenuation limit as determined by the fast fermentest.

I also compared and English ale yeast and a lager yeast in a fast ferment test and they finished with the same attenuation limit.

It is not only the esters and higher alcohols that make a difference. Sulfur compounds play a big role as well.

Kai
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shamrock28 View Post
Just to clear things up, lagering is defined as "Cold Conditioning"....With that said you could still use an Ale yeast and cold condition for a month and still have a great tasting lager?
Now that your mind is sufficiently blown I'll take a simpler approach to your question.
You can brew a lager-like ale.It will technically be an ale b/c you will have used ale yeast but it can have clean,low yeast imparted flavors like a lager.
I've done it with S-05 fermented at 62F and nottingham fermented at 58F.I believe it is important to ferment on the cooler range of the yeasts tolerance in order to keep down the esters and fruitiness that scream ALE though.
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