Ale vs. Lager yeast

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goswell

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I know the main difference between an ale and a lager is the type of yeast used to ferment. Ale is a top fermenter while lager does it business on the bottom.

What happens if you take a recipe for a brown ale and use lager yeast, and, conversely, what happens if you take a recipe for a clean miller clone and use ale yeast?

I'm sure the flavors will be off but is it really a bad thing, could it be good?
 

Soulive

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I've done this before. Its all about the experimentation. Style guidelines aren't always necessary...
 

malkore

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sure it could be good.

the other thing you didn't mention is the fermentation temperature ranges for ale yeast are higher than lager yeast.
lager is a cool fermenting strain, under 50 degrees F. Ales are usually 60-70F.

You can use a lager yeast at ale temps...which is commonly called a 'steam beer'. but ale yeasts at lager temps usually just go dormant...too cold to ferment, though a few strains can putter along at those cooler temps.
 

Jesse17

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malkore said:
You can use a lager yeast at ale temps...which is commonly called a 'steam beer'. but ale yeasts at lager temps usually just go dormant...too cold to ferment, though a few strains can putter along at those cooler temps.
Won't using a lager yeast at ale temps, cause diacetyl, and higher alcohol production?
 

malkore

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Many yeast actually produce some amount diacetyl at proper fermentation temps...but they'll also clean it up IF the right temperature range is present. Lagers are cooler, and the yeast may not metabolize the diacetyl unless the temperature is increased a bit.
You can search for "diacetyl rest" for more information on that technique and whether your brew needs one.

if you dig through this style guideline list, you'll find that diacetyl is perfectly acceptable in certain beer styles, at least to a certain level.
http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/
 
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