Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Mar 25, 2011

Libation Education: Ale vs. Stout

I've been cooking with all these different beers this month, including ales and stouts, but what's the difference between the two?  We all know that ale has a lighter, fruitier flavor, while stouts are dark, heavy and sometimes have a chocolatey or coffee taste.

Beer can be broken up into two categories - ale and lager - and they're defined by the types of yeast used and the temperature at which they ferment.  Stout is actually a type of ale.

Ale is made from malted barley and is fermented at a high temperature so the yeast rises to the top rather quickly, giving it a sweet and fruity flavor.   The hops in ale contribute to all those different herbal  finishes you can get, and also serves as a bittering agent to counteract the sweetness of the ale.  The term "ale" was initially used to describe brews made without hops, but as the popularity of using hops increased amongst brewers, it was then attributed to just a bitter-tasting brew.

Stout is made from pale malt, caramel malt and unmalted barley.  It has a higher alcohol content and a darker color than ale, and it can be flavored with dark fruit, chocolate or coffee.  The word stout originally meant "proud" or "brave," but after the 14th century, it took on the meaning of "strong."  The first known use of the word stout to describe beer came from a 1677-dated Egerton manuscript - there were 67 total, composed by Francis Henry Egerton, that dealt with French and Italian literature.  I bet you didn't expect to learn about British history too!