Before we start, let's discuss the reliability of this source. The author seems to have been Scottish, or at lest lived in Scotland. He had direct contact with someone working in the brewing industry. These are all plus points. One the negative side, this is a very short article in quite a general book.
Absol. Alcohol per cent. Extract per cent. Water per cent. Export Ale 7.96 3.75 88.29 India Ale 8.97 2.75 89.28 No. 3 Ale 7.055 5.7 87.25 No. 4 Ale 7.855 6.675 85.47
Scottish Ale Brewing.—To brew 20 barrels of ale, 80 bushels of malt and 80 lbs. of hops are required Three or four barrels of water at 180º are let down into the mash tun, and at the same time the sluice of the malt bung is opened, and the malt and remainder of the liquor at 175° run down together, and stirred. The mashing requires three hours, when the sparger (sprinkler) is fixed to the head of the tun. The sparger is a copper cylinder five or six inches in diameter, closed at both ends, and nearly so to within a foot of the centre, which is open, with a cross division against which a run of liquor by a spout from the copper strikes and sends it round the. tun. An iron bar is fixed across the latter, on which the sparger is placed on a pivot. Its two arms extend the width of the tun, the inferior side of these being pierced with small holes similar to the mouth of a watering-pan, from which as it revolves, the liquor escapes and sprinkles the mash. The water in the boiler being tempered to the heat required for sparging, (185°,) the taps of the mash tun are slacked, and the worts permitted to flow out slowly, the sparger being set in motion—this operation being merely a continuation of the mashing. I may add, that having examined most of the waters used by the Edinburgh ale brewers, I have found them all very hard waters, containing a large quantity of carbonate of lime. If any virtue is to be attributed to the water, it may be presumed that the carbonate may act by neutralizing any acid as soon as it is formed. The 30 barrels of wort, 72 lbs. saccharine extract per barrel, are boiled for half-an-hour, and 40 lbs. hops added; another half-hour's boiling takes place, the remaining hops are added, and the wort boiled for another half-hour. Worts of the gravity of 50 lbs. extract per barrel strengthen 5 lbs. per barrel in one hour's boiling, and worts of 100 lbs. in one and a halfhour strengthen 15 lbs. So that the brewer can easily judge of the amount of boiling required by the use of the saccharometer. The worts, after a quarter of an hour, are run into the hop back, and then spread on the coolers, where they remain twelve hours; during this time they lose one-eighth of their bulk by evaporation. The worts being cooled to 53°, one barrel of wort is run into the gyle, and 6 gallons of yeast added, and thoroughly mixed; the remaining wort is then added. In Scotland, the temperature for commencing the fermentation is about 52.5°, in England 62.5°. In twenty-four hours the first stage ends, the surface being characterized on the edges by a white circle, and irregular patches of white breaking through, and soon being covered with froth. The head of froth is beat down, and the process continued for twenty-four hours more. In eight days the heat has increased 10°. The brewer judges of the period to stop the fermentation by the saccharometer, which indicates the amount of sugar which has been converted into alcohol. The next process is cleansing. In Edinburgh the ale is run finished from the gyle into the casks in which it is sold. In Alloa and Stirling it is run into butts, from which it is rocked into casks, a pint of fillings or prepared wort being put at the same time into each."
"Dictionary of chemistry with its applications to mineralogy, physiology and the arts" by Robert Dundas Thomson, 1870, pages 26 - 27.
In the first paragraph it sounds like he's confusing Burton Ale and Burton Pale Ale. It's a mistake many have made. I'm not convinced by that description of Scottish mashing, either.
Beer details. I always love those. No gravitites, but we do have the ABV. Or is that ABW? It's ABW, I believe. Here are the ABV's:
|No. 3 Ale||8.82|
|No. 4 Ale||9.82|
All pretty strong. But something doesn't makes sense. Why is the No. 4 stronger than No. 3? Usually they were numbered from the top down, No. 1 being the strongest. At least that's how William Younger did it. Talking of which, here are their versions of No. 3 and No. 4 from the same period. I haven't bothered with the grist, because both were 100% pale malt.
|Wm Younger Ales in 1868|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Attenuation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||dry hops (oz / barrel)|
|16th Sep||1868||3||Strong Ale||1077||1022||7.28||71.43%||11.39||4.94||1.75||2||58º||19.28|
|28th Sep||1868||4||Strong Ale||1068||1022||6.09||67.65%||12.50||4.44||2||2.5||59º||17.78|
|William Younger brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/21|
As you can see, they're a good bit weaker than the beers from Perth. But maybe No. 4 was their strongest. Who knows.
The second description of the mashing process is more like it. Let's compare it to the mashing scheme for the William Younger's No. 4 in the table above. That had a strike heat of 170º, as opposed to the 175º given by Thomson. Younger's beer was mashed for 16 minutes, then left to stand for two yours. Thomson isn't very specific, just saying it takes three hours. Younger's beer was sparged twice, at 190º, and 185º. Thomson says 185º. All in all, the two are roughly similar.
Now for the hopping. The rate Thomson gives is 10 lbs per quarter, 4 lbs per barrel. The Younger's No. 3 was 11.4 lbs per quarter, 4.94 per barrel; the No. 4 12.5 lbs per quarter, 4.44 per barrel. A little more. A comparable Whitbread beer, KK from 1868 of 1073º had more still, 14.5 lbs per quarter, 5.23 per barrel.
90 minute boil? That's about right, I suppose. The Younger's beer were boiled a little longer: 1.75 and 2 hours for No. 3, 2 and 2.5 hours for No. 4.
Where I do take issue with Thomson is the matter of picthing temperatures. 52.5º F? Not at Younger. Their pitching temperatures ranged from 56º F for the really strong Ales - over 1100º - to 60º F for beers around 1055º. It wasn't much different at Whitbread, where they pitching at between 58º F and 64º F, depending on gravity. The 1868 KK I've been using for comparison was pitched at 58º F, much the same as the Younger's beers. I can't see any huge difference between English and Scottish practice.
At Younger, the fermentations were faster and warmer than Thomson describes: 5 days at most and rising 15º F or more, hitting a maximum temperature of 70º F
I think he means "racked" rather than "rocked into casks". William Younger did, indeed, rack straight into trade casks.
Has that taught us anything? Are we now more confused than ever? You work it out.