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Research Paper

1042 words - 5 pages

Drinking beer is a favorite past-time, whether for the variety of types, or the history, or just enjoying an ice-cold mug of brew with your friends. People want to know what makes a light lager light, and what makes a dark lager dark? Is it the ingredients in the brew or is it how it’s made?
Light lagers only came about around the 60’s and 70’s because people wanted to drink beer without getting fat. Basically light lagers are made from using less hops and barley in the brewing process and watering down the lager, essentially creating a lighter color and less filling beer. Almost every beer is either ale or a lager. Lagers are fermented at colder temperatures than ales. They tend to have ...view middle of the document...

When it comes to the darker beers, there really isn’t any difference in the brewing process other than the boiling temperatures at which the Maillard reaction occurs. Basically, darkening a beer is like toasting a bun. After the water comes the malted barley. In light beers, you would see malted barley lightly toasted. In dark beers, if you toast that barley longer before brewing with it, you get a darker beer. When they toast the malted barley, it not only darkens the beer, it adds more layers of flavor complexity. Most would think that dark beers are heavy in appearance but a lot are really more light-bodied than a lager.
In the battle of light vs. dark beer, people will say light (good) and dark (bad). Why is that? Because we look at a dark beer we may jump to conclusions too fast and say it’s “too heavy”, “so bitter”, “way to fattening”, “it’s really strong”. Beers are classified as ales and lagers. There are dark and light ales and lagers. Dark beers just get a bad reputation just because of color. Not all dark beers are heavy, fattening, bitter, and strong. Some are actually weak and watered down with some food coloring to give it that more exotic look. Dark beers are no stronger (or heavier) on the stomach than a light lager. There are such beers that noted for their full body in the mouth and filling nature in the stomach.
The bitterness in beer is one that people probably recognize the most. Both light lagers and dark stouts can have more or less bitterness; it really comes to the hops and malted barley again for that. For example, Pilsner Urquell, is one of the first light lagers (considered the grandfather of light lagers) that was and still is a light colored lager but still have a hop bitterness in its taste. Bitterness does come from dark beer as well. It is in the kilning process of the malted barley that brings not only color, but flavor as well. The kilning process is the last stage of the malting process, in which the germinated malt...

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