Old brewing manuals can be frustrating. For what they miss out. Often it's assumed that you already know how to brew standard stuff like Ales. So they don't bother describing the recipe or process. Where detailed instructions do appear, it's usually for new-fangled things. Like Pale Ale.
That's what we'll be looking at today. Instructions on how to brew the latest fad: India Pale Bitter Ale.
"INDIA PALE BITTER ALE.Let's explain those numbers. 18 lbs of hops per quarter a 3 barrels per quarter is 6 lbs a barrel. Or a load. Assuming a yield of 80 brewers pounds per quarter, that would give a gravity of about 1074, which seems rather on the high side. The finishing gravity of 4 lbs per barrel is about 1011. Or around 85% apparent attenuation, which does seem more like it. Early Pale Ales had a very high degree of attenuation.
This beverage, so highly recommended by the Faculty for its digestive and invigorating properties, has become, from its extensive demand, a profitable branch of business.
Bitter Ale differs from other ale only in the quantity and proportion of material employed in its production; that prepared for the home market is, however, less bitter and spirituous than that which is prepared for exportation to India. The spirit of hop, which enters largely as a constituent in this beer, has ascribed to it several valuable qualities,—the following among others:—that it is cordial and warm, aperitive, digestive, diuretic, stomachic, and sudorific. It certainly acts as a tonic and anti-spasmodic; and its aromatic bitter restores the depraved appetite, corrects unwholesome nutriment, promotes digestion, and increases the nutritive virtue of all food united with it.
"The brewer: a familier treatise on the art of brewing" by William Loftus, 1856, pages 59-61.
The range of pitching temperatures suggested, 55 to 62º F, is pretty wide. A few years later, in 1866, Whitbread's PA was pitched at 58º F, or just about bang in the middle.
Great care in was taken to fully ferment out the beer before racking. But that dry hopping. That's just crazy, man. Two pounds per barrel. One pound is the most I've seen in brewing records. Though many logs don't record the dry-hopping so my sample size is smaller than usual. In 1900, Barclay Perkins used 0.75 lbs of dry hops in their PA, half a pound in the their weaker Bitter, XLK.