Ale


Ale -

This was apparently the current name in England for all malt liquor before the introduction of hops, about 1524. Later, the word "beer" was similarly employed.

The principal difference in the brewing of modern Ale and Lager beer is found in the process of fermentation. Ale is a "high" or "top" fermentation at about 58° Fahr.; Lager, a "low" or "bottom" fermentation at about 40° Fahr. Each requires a special yeast. The percentage of alcohol varies from four to six per cent in ale against from three to five in lager beer, the difference being due to the greater quantity of malt used in the former.

In America, ale is brewed chiefly from malted barley, grain, cerealin (a compound resembling diastase), grape sugar and hops. All varieties may be grouped under two heads: "Present Use" or "Cream" or "Light Draught" ale, intended for immediate consumption, and "Stock Ale," containing more alcohol and extract, intended to be kept for months or years, either bottled or in casks.

Light Draught ales are distinctly an American product, the tendency here being toward clear, light types. In the endeavor to attain this result, some brewers have sacrificed much in flavor, but others have been successful in producing a true "Ale" with a lager beer finish.

English and Scotch ales enjoy a high reputation. The latter are distinguished by the small quantity of hops employed and their marked vinous flavor. India Pale Ale derives its name from a variety originally brewed for the East Indies market, which was especially heavily hopped to better withstand the hot climate. "Bitter Ale" is similarly made by using a large proportion of hops.

"Half & Half" is a mixture of half ale and half porter (see STOUT).

"Musty," in New England, signifies a mixture of ale and lager beer.

When properly drawn, ale should be perfectly clear, contain sufficient carbon-dioxide (carbonic acid gas) to produce a foam or collar on top and a slight champagne effervescence, and have the aromatic smell of hops. It should never be exposed to the air in an open vessel, because of its tendency to ferment and sour.

When brewed by the newest methods, ale does not become turbid at low temperatures, and when bottled and pasteurized can be kept indefinitely without sediment, remaining clear even when packed on ice.

Bottled ale should be kept on its side in a cool place - the temperature preferably not below 44° nor above 50° Fahr.


Arround Ale in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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