June 02, 2009


Top Fermenting

Top Fermentation beers are fermented in warmer temps. and are generally aged for a shorter time period than the Bottom Fermentated beers. These beers are widely identified as ale class, though stouts, wheats and other styles are also top-fermented. The reason these brews are known as top-fermented because they employ yeast strains that work up to the top fermenting vessel.

As a general rule, and important one to beer tasters, these brews tend to have characters of fruityness and even possibly sweet. Top fermentation is the oldest technique in brewing and has dominated four of the last five thousand years of brewing.

Bottom Fermenting

These beers are identified as the lager class and they known as such because they employ yeast strains that work at the bottom of the fermenting vessel. A generalization is that the beer will turn out with a crisper, drier character when done.

I will go into the definitions of the different styles and tell you how to taste beer in later blogs. Then it's off to my normal beer reviews and the establishments I drink them in.

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