Discover the Fascinating Differences between Top Fermentation and Bottom Fermentation

Discover the Fascinating Differences between Top Fermentation and Bottom Fermentation

What Is the Difference Between Top and Bottom Fermented Beer?

In simple terms, the adjectives “top” and “bottom” say it all. The difference primarily relates to the type of yeast used and how it is managed during the brewing process. Ultimately, it affects the characteristic flavors that come out of the beer.

Here is a quick breakdown:

Top-Fermented Beer

Bottom-Fermented Beer


Top-Fermenting. Floats and accumulates at the top of the tank.Bottom-Fermenting. Sinks and settles at the bottom of the tank.

Common Brewing Duration

At least seven (7) daysAt least one (1) month

Common Flavor Profile

Full-flavored, usually complex, with spicy and fruity tonesCrisp, clean, and mellow


What Is the Difference Between Top-Fermenting Yeast and Bottom-Fermenting Yeast?

Here is a table highlighting the key differences:

Top-Fermenting Yeast

Bottom-Fermenting Yeast

Associated Beer Type

Ale, Top-Fermented BeerLager, Bottom-Fermented Beer

Common Fermentation Temperatures (varies by recipe)

60 to 75°F or 16 to 24°C42 to 54°F or 6 to 12°C

Fermentation Observation

The majority separates from the wort and floats to the top, similar to how oil separates from water.The yeast settles at the bottom of the tank, resembling rain settling.

Fermentation Foam


Is Lager Top Fermented or Bottom Fermented?

All Lagers are Bottom Fermented because they are brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast. They rely on this yeast for their production.

Are Ales Top or Bottom Fermented?

Based on the information provided, Ales are Top Fermented. They use top-fermenting yeast, which is a defining characteristic of top fermentation.

Is IPA Top or Bottom Fermented?

IPA stands for India Pale Ale, emphasizing “Ale” as the operative word. Therefore, IPAs are Top Fermented because they are ales.

IPAs are flavorful beers that are heavily hopped to achieve their characteristic bitterness. They also showcase hints of citrus or fruity flavors from the ale yeast.

Is Stout Top or Bottom Fermented?

A Stout is made using Ale yeast. It is a flavorful ale, often intensely colored and known for tastes resembling coffee or chocolate.

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