Friday, 8 February 2008

Burton Ale II

Do I have more sources that confirm the characteristics of Burton Ale? Of course I do. Here's one from "A Philosophical and Statistical History of the Inventions and Customes of Ancient and Modern Nations in the Manufacture and Use of Intoxicating Liquors" by Samuel Morewood, 1838, pages 544 - 545.

"Burton ale is in high estimation for both strength and quality. It is made from the palest malt and best hops, having a gravity so high as from 36 to 40lbs. a barrel. If the malt be not very good, only one mash can be made for this liquor; but if it be of prime quality, two mashes may be made, not losing sight of the great specific gravity which ought to be produced. The heat of the liquor should be 185° or 190°, adding 5° for the second mashing. If only one brewing is to be made, the wort may be boiled an hour and a quarter; if two, the worts should be boiled three quarters of an hour for the first, and an hour or an hour and a quarter for the second; keeping constantly in mind that long boiling is injurious to the colour, a property of no small recommendation to the value of the ale. The quantity of hops must be 0.75 lbs, to the bushel of malt varied by circumstances, but the more hops that are used the higher will be the colour of the ale. During the process of fermentation the heat should be about 75°, and as the first temperature would therefore be 55°, at an average the quantity of yeast, both on account of the circumstances and the great weight of the wort, should not be less than 0.75 lb. to the barrel. The excellence of Burton ale arises not only from the use of the best malt and hops, but from the peculiar quality of the water, which is impregnated with saline particles from the rocks of gypsum, over which it flows."
The pale colour - and the short boil necessary to preserve it - get a mention. The hopping rate of 0.75 pound to a bushel is equal to 6 pounds per quarter. It's also an early mention of the importance of gypsum in the water used to brew Burton. The gravity is confirmed as 36 to 40 pounds per barrel (1100º - 1111º).

4 comments:

Fatman said...

You reference 'having beer made' for yourself? A keen homebrewing friend or talented and generous micro?

What's the highest fg beer currently available?

Boak said...

How does this compare to IPAs? To this amateur, the description sounds rather similar to what would now be an IPA...

Ron Pattinson said...

Fatman, I've had two Whitbread recipes from 1914 brewed: Porter and Triple Stout.

No idea what the highest fg is. I doubt it's as high as the 1060+ I've seen for Scotch Ales in the 1830's.

Ron Pattinson said...

Boak, these Burton Ales are very different to an IPA. IPA is around half the OG, highly attenuated and with far more hops.