BURTON ALE.Confirmation here of a crazily high gravity. Not quite as high as those I estimated yesterday, but not far off. Note the emphasis on paleness of colour.
THE characteristics of Burton Ale are, great strength, paleness of colour, and fulness of flavour. It must be as pale as a straw, or it will not pass as genuine with connoisseurs of that article; consequently the palest malt and hops must be used.
This ale is of great gravity, from one mash chiefly. The wort from the first mash is seldom or never mixed with the subsequent. These are generally used for a return or inferior ales. Therefore the liquor of the first mash must be in such proportions as to make the gravity of the wort, when boiled, from thirty-six  to forty-one pounds per barrel .
The best heat to produce such a mucilaginous wort as Burton ale requires, is one hundred and sixty-six degrees, infused from two and a half to three hours The heat of the grist should be maintained at one hundred and fifty-seven degrees. Sparge for the subsequent mashes at two hundred degrees. As long boiling is prejudicial to colour, the worts should not be boiled much longer than until they break pure. Three-quarters of an hour is generally sufficient for that purpose; but that is scarcely long enough to concentrate them sufficiently. We recommend them to be boiled one hour and a quarter; and, should they become high coloured, a little powdered charcoal may be thrown in the worts when boiling. This will destroy the colour, and impart no unpleasant flavour. Or, a double copper may be substituted for the ordinary one, the inner one made rather thin. Six or eight inches space may be left between the inner and outer coppers, at the bottom and sides: this space being filled with liquor, and made to boil, causes the wort in the inner copper to boil; it acts on the same principle as a glue pot. The inner copper may be supported by straps of iron running under the bottom and up the sides.
Ales boiled in this way will possess very little colour; and, were distillers to adopt this method in boiling their wash, their spirits would be nearly tasteless. It is true, a little longer time is required, ere the worts boil; but when a very pale beverage is required, no other method can well supply its place. Charcoal is used sometimes as a substitute.The effort put into to stopping the wort caramelising and darkening is striking. Clearly at this point a pale colour was very highly prized. Contrast this with Bass No. 1 around 1900 which, though brewed from 100% pale malt, was deliberately caramelised in the boil to produce a dark beer.
Burton ales are not attenuated so low as ales generally are; but, as the gravity is so great, more unattenuated saccharine may, with greater safety, be left in this ale, than would be prudent to leave in ales of low gravity. There is not much risk of souring, if the cooling of the worts have been quick, and the fermentation properly managed. The great quantity of alcohol will prevent acidity, and the saccharine left will create fulness of flavour. Most generally, a quarter of an ounce of powdered orange-pea per barrel, is added in the copper, a quarter of an hour before drawing off, to heighten the flavour.If Burton Ales were attenuated in a similar way to Scotch Ales as is suggested in this passage, the final gravity would be in the range 1035 to 1045. (Based on the FGs listed in "Scottish Ale Brewer".) I assume "powdered orange-pea" is a misprint and that "orange-peal" is correct. Whatever they added, it was illegal for a commercial brewers.
The fermentation will be best conducted, as before stated under that head. Owing to the great gravity of this ale, not less than two or three pounds of yeast must be used. The heat during fermentation may be allowed to reach sixty-eight degrees, but not more: the attenuation not reduced so low, by three pounds, as is stated under the head of attenuation. The fermentation in some breweries is allowed to be rather rapid: such may be permitted, if the ale is for immediate consumption; but if it is to be kept, the attenuation must be slow. Four pounds decrease in gravity every twenty-four hours, produces the richest flavoured, most potent, brilliant, and sparkling article. In fact. the slower the fermentation of ales is, the more superior the article will be, in every respect. When the article is intended for long keeping, the air must be sedulously kept from it during fermentation. A small tap should be inserted about the middle of the gyle-tun, to fill the essay jar.The fermentation method for keeping beer is similar to that for Scotch Ale - slow and relatively cool. Assuming a total gravity drop of 24 to 29 pounds during fermentation, at the rate of 4 pounds per day the fermentation would last around 7 days. Not quite the three weeks Scotch Ale could take, but more than the usual 3 or 4 day fermentation of most Ales.
The pitching heat of this ale is about fifty-four degrees, or even less in summer, unless the gyle-tuns are beneath the surface of the ground.