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Edinburgh and Alloa. Scotland's two great brewing centres. Comparisons are often made between their Ales and Pale Ales. But it seems brewing methods in the two towns weren't identical.

How do I know that? Easy. I learned it from this passage:

"With the Edinburgh brewers, little or no fermentation takes place, and ale is never racked into other casks; but in Alloa, Stirling, and Perth, which are the best districts for brewing ale next to Edinburgh, they run the finished ale into butts, and afterward rack into barrels, as orders are executed. Those two methods of cleansing the gyle, in the Scotch system of brewing, are particularly worthy of the notice of the reader: both methods are the best suitable to the respective localities. The Edinburgh brewers pursue their method because their ale is sent out at once to the customers' cellars. The Alloa district brew large quantities which are sent to Glasgow, and other parts, generally for immediate use. In racking, the Alloa brewers prepare what they term fillings, which are worts of the same brewing, set at the quick fermentation heat, 60° or 62°, and use part of this store in racking, putting an English pint into each barrel. The Edinburgh brewers rely on the fine condition of their ale, and add nothing whatever before sending out the stock. It has been necessary to be particular, that brewers may understand precisely the two methods of finishing the gyle by the Scotch system.

Sometimes brewers overturn it into a clean tun or square, to check too rapid fermentation and cool the whole brewing, or to prepare for keeping a length of time; but for immediate consumption, the two methods above described are adopted."
"The complete practical brewer" by Marcus Lafayette Byrn, 1860, pages 75 - 76.
This confirms one of the points made by Muspratt in yesterday's text: Edinburgh brewers didn't cleanse in separate vessels like most English brewers. Brewers from other Scottish towns, however, operated differently, putting beer into butts between fermentation and racking.

Those "fillings" are worth noting. They are described elsewhere in the book as half-fermented wort. The practice is a type of kräuseing, similar to the way Guinness added unfermented gyle as primings.

It sounds as if the brewers Alloa were sending out running Ales, i.e. beers to consumed immediately while Edinburgh brewers shipped beers meant to be cellared. I know there was a tradition of not fining beer in Scotland. The father of one of my brother's classmates ran a pub that sold S & N beer. He had trouble with the clarity of one barrel and the brewery suggested that he tried adding finings. They sent the beer out unfined.

There's that throwaway remark about Alloa breweries sending lots of beer to Glasgow. Not other Scottish towns, but specifically Glasgow. Could this be another cause of the lack of brewing in Glasgow?

After a slow start, my research has left heaped files of material all around me. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get through. I may have to make autumn Scottish season.