Choosing Between Yeasty Beers

Different beers have different tastes and appearances.

They also differ regarding how they feel in your mouth while drinking. 

You’re probably wondering, “What would become my favorite among all the yeasty beers available?” and “What kinds of yeasty beers are there?” 

No worries; Continue reading, as this article contains the different types of beers and what kind of yeasts they use.

Definition of Terms

Stocked Store Shelves Of Bottled And Canned Beers.


This is how much the yeast changes the sugars in your wort into alcohol.

You could use your hydrometer to measure apparent attenuation, but the best level depends on the beer style or your taste. 

Some types of beer need more or less attenuation, which is pretty much how attenuation is categorized:

  • High: 78% + Middle: 73% to 77%
  • Low: 72% or less


This is a fancy phrase for yeast cells clinging together and forming clusters, usually after fermentation.

How fast the beer clears up depends on how fast flocculation occurs. 

High-flocculating yeasts sink more quickly to the bottom of the fermenter and make clearer beer.

Related Reading: What Is Draft Beer Better Than Bottled Beer? – Check Them out Here

Types of Yeast for Beer

Ale Yeast (Top Fermenting)

During fermentation, ale yeasts rise to the top of the fermenter.

This is why we call them “top-fermenting.” 

In the early stages of fermentation, you’ll see that this yeast forms a thick head on top of the carboy.

Depending on the strain, these yeasts can ferment between 10°C and 25°C, which is helpful for people who make beer at home. 

Most people can easily keep their optimal temperature between 18 and 22°C thanks to heating and air conditioning.

You would use yeasts that ferment at the top to create ales, stouts, porters, wheat beers, Altbier, and Kolsch.

Lager yeast (Bottom-Fermenting)

Lager yeasts, you guessed it, grow at the bottom of the fermenter.

The temperature has a lot to do with this. 

Lager yeasts work best at cooler temperatures than top-fermenting strains, usually between 7°C and 15°C.

Because the yeasts don’t reproduce as quickly, they tend to settle at the bottom of the fermenter. 

And because lager yeasts ferment at cooler temperatures, they stop chemical byproducts or off-flavors from being made, which are more noticeable in ales.

This is why lagers have been thought to have a “cleaner” taste for a long time. 

Bottom-fermenting yeasts make Lagers, Pilsners, Bocks, Marzens, Dortmunders, and other types of beer.

Related Reading: Fermenting Maple Syrup – Find Out Here.

Common Ale Yeast Beers

Belgian Ale

These yeasts give off intense fruity and estery flavors, often hinting at clove or phenolic notes.

Since these yeasts are mainly used to make Belgian beers, it makes sense that they can handle a lot of alcohol. 

You’ll need one of these yeasts if you like Abbey or Trappist beers.

Where to start with British Ale?

This group has a lot of different styles.

London yeasts will give you a little more diacetyl or a woody note with a crisp, sour taste. 

The fruity taste of many English ales comes from yeasts with a lot of body.

You also have Scottish yeasts, which will make the malty flavors of your beer stand out. 

You should start here if you want to make a traditional English pub taste.

American Ale/Beer

This one is called a “jack of all trades” because it can be used for many different things and has a clean, neutral flavor.

The yeast is durable enough to work at temperatures as low as 13°C. 

It usually has low to medium flocculation and a medium level of attenuation.

Here are the most common strains, broken down by lab, along with the flavor profiles of the companies that make them.

India Pale Ales

Because IPAs are so popular, they should be in their category.

Remember, though, that there are many styles in a popular category like this one. 

We frequently focus on hop varietals and quantity, but you need to use the correct yeast strain to brew a kickass IPA.

Brown Ale

Like IPAs, this category is also getting bigger and bigger.

Now, you can get maltier and nuttier brown ales and bitter ones made with hops. 

Brown ales are an incredible blank slate to work with, with maybe only the color being consistent between all of them.

IPAs may be getting more praise and attention than brown ales, but an excellent brown ale is hard to beat. 

Try one of these yeast strains in your next batch of beer.

Related Reading: Hoppy Beer – Dive Deeper Here.

Wheat Beer/Ale

People who live in cold places will order a tall glass of hefeweizen as soon as patios open.

It’s as sure as the sun coming up. 

After months of hibernation, there’s nothing better than sitting out in the sun and sipping a tasty wheat beer with hints of banana and clove. 

You don’t even have to wait until patio season.

Other Ale Yeast Beers

Common Lager Yeast Beers

  • Pilsners
  • Bocks
  • Lagers (Of course)
  • Märzen
  • Helles

Other Yeasts

Buddies Enjoying Beer.

Some beers are made with yeast that is neither ales nor lagers.

These things are:

Brettanomyces bruxellensis 

Sour beers are often made with Brettanomyces bruxellenesis.

It has a very high attenuation rate, giving it a sweeter taste.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae variety diastaticus (STA1)

This strain also has a very high attenuation rate and is often used to make a Saison.

Bacteria-positive yeast 

This is often used to make sour beers because the bacteria adds a tart flavor.


Bacteria are also added to sour beers to make them sour, but since bacteria alone won’t make a beer alcoholic, they are added when the beer is put in the kettle.

Related Reading: What Is Draft Beer: Is It Better Than Bottled Beer? – Learn More Here.

Final Thoughts

Understanding different yeasts are essential, as other yeasts create different kinds of yeasty beers.

This can change your beer’s flavor, mouthfeel, and appearance. 

Even the alcohol percentage can be affected by this choice.

Either way, now you have a better understanding, finding a beer that suits your preference will be much easier.