This information will hopefully give a first impression to those who are confused about the differences in the fermentation process of cider and lager. I work in marketing for Jinan Brewing Equipment, guiding people through the process of setting up their microbreweries. This information is based on my experience working on these brewery projects over the past three years. I welcome any corrections and additions 🙂
First, we should agree that no classification is absolute.
Ales use yeast that can ferment at higher temperatures, so fermentation is faster.
Primary fermentation. 3-4 days and another 3-4 days for maturation.
For an ale, only a fermenter is needed, no open beer/ripening tank is needed.
Lagers use yeasts that need to ferment at low temperatures, so fermentation takes relatively long, 3-4 weeks is common.
Primary fermentation takes a week and maturation takes two weeks (yeast settles to the bottom of the fermenter and is then drained out).
Lagers will need bright tanks so that the lager can become clear and fast enough. Clarity is one of the most important indicators of whether a lager is up to snuff.
Different recipes differ in details such as controlling the temperature during fermentation.
But the main principle is the same.
Lager can be more selective in taste and usually has a thicker body because of its fermentation
(higher temperatures, and the production of various alterable aromatic components by the brewer’s yeast)
Representatives of ale beers include IPA, Stout (Guinness), and Porter.
Lagers have a relatively purer and lighter flavor and are very popular for summer drinking because the lager yeast ferments at lower temperatures and does not produce many components. However, lagers are also available in strong beers, including Bock, Double Bock (16-19.5 Plato), brewed in certain months. Representatives of lagers include Pilsners. However, most German beers, and 99% of the world’s industrial beers, are lagers.
Usually in the summer, breweries brew more lagers and IPAs, pale ales, etc., which are very light. And in the cold winter months, they brew more stouts (higher alcohol content) to warn people. Some breweries brew 90% lager and 10% lager – for business, lager takes less time and has more flavors to choose from, and for brewing, lager offers great opportunities for exploration, imagination and creativity. On the flip side, lagers are stricter and less “forgiving”.