Brewing, the manufacture of beer. The process consists in producing a saccharine extract from barley or other grain, adding to this hops for flavoring and preserving, and causing it to undergo the vinous fermentation. Water, composing as it does about 88 parts in 100 of beer, is an important ingredient, and great attention should be paid to its selection. The freer it is from all decaying and impure matters the better, not only as far as the quality of the product is concerned, but also its quantity, for the elimination of the impurities has been found to involve a loss. There is a difference of opinion as to whether hard or soft water is better for brewing. The celebrated English ales, Allsop's, Bass's, and Salt and co.'s, are made with very hard water containing large quantities of earthy sulphates. The brewers of Bavarian beer, however, prefer either soft water, or that which contains less mineral matter. Although grains and other substances are used in making beer, barley has been found to be the most suitable, being the most easily managed, and furnishing the best beer. There are two species of the grain in this country, hordeum vulgare and hordeum distichum, the former having four and the latter two rows of seeds in the head.
Besides these there is a third species, cultivated in Europe, called hordeum hexastichum or six-rowed barley, known in Scotland by the name of bigg, a hardy plant, well adapted to cultivation in that country. The two-rowed yields the larger and heavier grain. The common four-rowed barley of this country is preferred by the maltsters of the United States and Canada. It has a thinner husk, contains a larger proportion of starch, and is said to make the best wort. The hop, the female catkin of humulus lupulus, gives the principal flavor, and also aids in clarifying the liquor by the removal of albuminous matter. The various parts of the catkin are the scales, nuts, and lupuline grains, the last being of most importance, but the other parts are all valuable. As the lupuline grains contain about two per cent, of volatile oil, it is important to have the hops well pressed at the time of gathering. They should have a uniform golden yellow color, and when rubbed in the hands should make a yellow stain and yield a strong odor. - The art of brewing may be divided into - 1, malting; 2, preparing the wort; 3, fermenting; 4, clarifying.
Malting consists of three distinct stages: 1, steeping; 2, couching, sweating, and flooring; 3, kiln-drying. In making malt great attention must be given to the temperature of the air. It cannot be carried on in hot weather, so that the work of the maltster is confined to the autumn, winter, and spring months. The steeping, which has for its object the expanding of the grain with water to prepare it for germination, is performed in large cisterns of wood, stone, or cement. Water of ordinary temperature is turned in to a certain height, and as much barley is introduced as, when levelled, will allow the water to cover it to a depth of six inches. The steeping generally lasts from 50 to 65 hours. Too long a time is injurious, interfering with the germination and causing waste. The process is completed when the grain may be easily pierced with a needle or easily bent. Some maltsters carry the process further than others, and prefer to have the grain soft enough to be mashed between the fingers. If it is continued too long, so that the contents have become milky, the barley is spoiled for malting; it has lost the capacity to germinate. Barley imbibes about 50 per cent, of its weight of water in the process of steeping, and increases in bulk about 20 per cent.
It is well to wash it several times while steeping with fresh water. This causes no waste, prevents souring, and therefore promotes the uniform germination of the seed. After the steeping has been carried to the proper point, the water has to be drawn off and the barley placed upon the couching floor, which is usually constructed of stone or cement. The temperature of the room should be between 50° and 55° F., to allow the maltster to have the best control of the process. Still, the process can be conducted with fair results until it reaches 60°. When it rises above that temperature malting should be discontinued. When taken from the steep the malt is placed upon the floor in beds about 18 inches high, and far enough apart to allow of the necessary spreading afterward, and there allowed to lie for 12 hours, when it is turned over, but without being spread. In 12 hours after this, or 24 after removal from the steep, the grain has attained its greatest bulk. The kernels are no longer wet on the surface, and to the touch feel almost dry.
The couch, however, soon begins to grow warm, and gradually increases in temperature, until at about the end of the second day it has reached 60° or 65° F. It gives off an agreeable fruity odor resembling that of apples, and a dew appears upon the surface of the grain. This is the sweating stage, during which the germination commences. The fibrils of the radicle sprout from the tips of the kernels, and a white elevation is formed which separates into three or more radicles. About 24 hours after this, generally toward the end of the third day, the plumula, called the acro-spire, appears at the same point, and turns back under the husk, toward the other end of the seed, and would there issue as a green leaf if its growth were not arrested. Consequently the couch is spread out till it is not more than eight or ten inches deep. The temperature, however, continues to rise until the end of the fourth day, varying somewhat, according to circumstances, until it has reached 80° F. This is thought by the best maltsters in this country to be the limit to which it should be allowed to go; and they keep the grain at this temperature until the sprouting has proceeded almost far enough. Then the beds are spread still further, with great care.
This is a critical time, and requires much judgment on the part of the maltster. The acrospire has now very nearly reached the other end of the seed, and the transformation of the starch has been carried as far as desirable. The barley, or malt, as it may now be termed, is carefully turned over two or three times a day, being spread more at each turning, until at the end of the process the depth is only three or four inches. This constitutes the flooring, as it is technically termed; but the couching, sweating, and flooring are only different stages of the same process. The temperature at the last spreading is said to be in England about 62° F., and in Scotland, five or six degrees lower. In this country careful maltsters keep the temperature near 70° till very near the close, alleging that by not too suddenly checking the growth of the sprout they secure more uniform development. The couching and flooring occupy about two weeks in England, and in Scotland a somewhat longer time. In this country the grain is usually kept on the floor about nine days in the most favorable weather, and in the spring and fall sometimes only seven or eight days.
It is the object of some maltsters to convert as much of the starch as possible into sugar, while others rely upon accomplishing this in the kiln, and in the succeeding operations of the brewer. "While the acrospire has been growing a wonderful transformation has been going on within the seed. The contents have become whiter, and crumble between the thumb and finger like meal. The albumen has disappeared and the gluten has diminished in quantity. About half of the starch remains unchanged, but the other half has been converted into dextrine and grape sugar. If the germination continued, the roots and stem would appropriate these substances in their growth. The unchanged starch is not lost, but is converted into sugar in succeeding processes. How has this transformation been accomplished? At the commencement of germination, in malting, as well as when a seed is placed in the earth, a substance is formed at the base of the sprout by a change which has taken place in the albumen in consequence of the influence of the vitalizing principle in the germ, which has been awakened under the influence of heat and moisture. This substance is called diastase, and possesses the power at ordinary temperatures of converting starch into dextrine and grape sugar.
This transformation can also be effected by gluten, but it requires a longer time. In malting, if the germination is allowed to proceed until the rootlets and stem attain a certain size, it will be found on examination that all the starch, sugar, and gluten have disappeared; the starch having passed into the soluble condition of sugar, and, together with the gluten, having been appropriated by the growing stem and fibrils. The object of the maltster in causing germination is, through the action of diastase, to convert the starch of the grain into dextrine and grape sugar, which is the natural sugar of vinous fermentation. When the greatest amount of dextrine and sugar has been produced, with the least loss in the growth of the rootlets and plumula (acrospire), the operation is arrested by subjecting the malt to the heat and dry air of the kiln. The malt kiln is a chamber having a floor made of sheet iron, perforated with numerous holes sufficiently small to prevent the grain from falling through. This floor is heated by an ascending current of hot air, by means of a furnace below, which not only warms the iron floor, but passes up through the malt, warming and drying it at the same time.
The malt should be spread upon the floor about five or six inches deep and raised to a temperature of 80° F., the heat gradually increasing until at the end of the operation it has reached 130° or sometimes 140°. The malt is to be turned over about every three hours, until toward the close, when, the heat increasing, it should be turned every hour, to secure even drying and even color. Kiln-drying usually takes two days, including the time occupied in placing the malt in the kiln and removing it. It is then taken to another apartment and spread out, or it may be put in heaps and further manipulated and improved in color. When it is desired to make beer of a deep color, the heat of the kiln is increased. For the brewing of porter, a portion of the malt is almost charred, or the whole of it may be made of a deeper color. When taken from the kiln the grain has lost about 20 per cent, of its weight before steeping; but as the raw grain would have lost by the same degree of drying 12 per cent., the loss occasioned by malting is only about 8 per cent. The kiln not only dries the grain and prevents the further growth of the rootlets and acrospire, and thereby the loss of sugar, but also serves to convert a considerable portion of the unchanged starch into dextrine.
Good malt is plump, sweet to the taste, has a pleasant odor, breaks easily between the teeth, and is full of soft flour. Barley of one grade and age only should be used at one steeping, as new barley germinates more quickly than old. After kiln-drying, the radicles, -which have become brittle and have fallen off, are separated by a wire sieve. - The preparation of the wort is the next process in the art of brewing. Ordinarily the brewer commences here, because he generally buys his malt of the maltster. The process consists of three different stages: 1, mashing, or the extraction of the saccharine material from the malt; 2, boiling the wort and adding the hops; 3, cooling. The mashing is performed in a vessel called the mash tun, which is a large tub from six to eight feet in height and from twelve to fifteen feet in diameter, and capable of containing from 100 to 300 barrels. It is made of wood and bound with iron hoops, like an ordinary tub, which it resembles, except that it is usually larger at the bottom than at the top. It is furnished with machinery for stirring the mash, and has a double bottom, the upper one, which is from five to ten inches above the lower, being perforated with small holes to allow the wort to pass through.
Mashing has for its object the conversion of the unchanged starch left in the malt into dextrine and grape sugar, and the extraction of it, together with the dextrine and sugar already formed in the malting, and also of the gluten which remains, by means of water at a suitable temperature; thus forming a solution which is called unhopped wort. An important agent in effecting this is the diastase which was produced during germination, and which still remains in the malt. To appreciate the nature of the operation, it is necessary to be acquainted with the following facts: The dextrine, or starch gum, which is the first product of the action of malt upon starch, may be preserved in that state, or still further changed into grape sugar, according to the temperature at which the mixture.is digested. If we take eight or ten parts of malt and stir it in about 400 parts of water at 80° F., then raise it to 140° and stir in about 100 parts of starch, and then further increase the temperature to 158°, and maintain it between that and 167° for about half an hour, the milky, pasty solution becomes fluid and transparent.
The starch is converted into dextrine, and if the solution is now raised to the boiling point and evaporated, the dextrine will be obtained in the form of a viscid gum, which is used in the arts under the names of starch gum and British gum, although it is prepared by another process. The raising the temperature of the solution to the boiling point has deprived the diastase of its peculiar property of transforming dextrine into sugar. If, however, the temperature had been kept between 158° and 167° for two or three hours, the dextrine would have been converted into sugar by the continuance of the saccharine fermentation, of which the transformation of starch into dextrine is a part. This is what takes place during the process of mashing, and explains why it is performed at a certain temperature, and why great care ought to be taken that the water is not too hot when turned upon the malt.
Mashing is usually performed in the following manner: Water, at a temperature of 160° to 165° F., is introduced into the tun beneath the false bottom, while at the same time malt which has been crushed between iron rollers is poured in at the top. The proportion of malt and water used in the preparation of wort for beer of ordinary strength, is about one quarter of malt (352 lbs.) to 220 gallons of water, or in the proportion of 1 to 5 by weight. This will yield a wort having a specific gravity of about 1.06, and containing about 14.66 parts of malt extract in 100 parts of liquid. Strong beers, like Burton and India ales, are made from a heavier wort, while schenkbier, or draught lager, and other light kinds are made from lighter worts. At the commencement of the mash all the malt is run into the tun at once; if it were not, there would be a difference in time at which different portions would be acted upon, and there would be in other respects interferences with the proper conduct of the process. The water is not all let in at one time. At first enough is added to the malt to allow of thorough mixing by the revolving paddles, or agitators, which move around in the tun.
After standing fifteen or twenty minutes more water at the same temperature, or perhaps two or three degrees higher, according to the judgment of the brewer, is turned in, using altogether for the first setting a little less than one half of the whole quantity to be used in the brewing. The mash is again thoroughly stirred and allowed to stand about two and a half hours. Those brewers who do not care to have the starch mostly converted into dextrine and grape sugar during the first setting do not let the mash stand quite so long; but it is generally considered better to have the transformation well advanced during the first setting. The wort, as the liquid extract is called, is now drawn off into an underback (lower vessel), from which it is afterward pumped into the boiler. The underback is frequently dispensed with in modern breweries, and the wort is drawn immediately from the mash tun into the steam boiler which is now preferred to the old copper boiler, with a fire under it. When the wort is run into the boiler it receives its proper allowance of hops. This prevents the occurrence of changes which might interfere with the fermentation, and prevent the beer from attaining its finest quality.
The wort, when drawn off, should be transparent and about the color of the malt from which it is extracted. Turbid-ness indicates that it contains unaltered starch, which would cause the beer to become sour. This danger furnishes an argument in favor of allowing full time for the first setting. A little more than half of the water which remains to be added is now introduced at a temperature of 167° into the tun, stirred with the remaining malt, and allowed to stand from half an hour to fifty minutes. It is then "drawn off into the underback, or directly into the steam boiler as the case may be, and the requisite quantity of hops is added. The remainder of the water is then run into the mash tun at the same, or perhaps a little higher temperature, and the mash stirred and allowed to stand about half an hour. The wort, which has little strength, is then drawn off, and when introduced into the boiler the remainder of the hops is turned in also. The boiling, which has been going on for an hour or more, is continued two and a half or three hours longer. The quantity of hops that should be added varies with the kind of beer which is brewed.
In making stock ale, from five to eight pounds, but for the lighter ales and for lager and schenkbier, from two to three pounds to the barrel are used. The addition of hops to the wort is an operation about which there is a variety of opinions. Some suppose that the hop is merely added to flavor the beer, but it possesses quite as much value in preserving the beer as it does in flavoring it. The tannin contained in the scales aids in clarifying the wort, by combining with the albuminous matter that may have remained undecomposed. The other principles also, as the lupuline and the odorant oil, exert an influence during the cooling process in checking premature fermentation; and during fermentation the hop moderates the action in such a way as greatly to improve the quality of the beer. A perfectly satisfactory explanation of the manner in which the hop acts has not yet been given, nor has any substitute for it ever been found. The continued boiling of the hop being regarded as necessarily involving a great great waste of the odorant principle, it has been attempted to extract its virtues and add them to the wort after it has been boiled; but thus far success has not attended the experiment.
The flavor of the beer is good, and if it has been very carefully brewed from the best materials perhaps it has been improved, but its keeping qualities are inferior. Perhaps the addition of a little tannin to the wort during boiling might remedy the defect, but it is questionable, as the hop has other preserving qualities besides the tannin. It is found, moreover, that although in boiling hopped wort a strong odor is perceived, the loss is not as great as is often supposed. It has also been attempted to extract the virtues of the hop in the wort without bringing it to the boiling point, but this experiment has also been unsuccessful. Although the beer had a fine appearance and flavor, it would not keep as well as that made from boiled worts. In fact, the most practical brewers have found it necessary thus far to boil their worts, to arrive at satisfactory results. It is probable that the easily decomposed azotized matters cannot be with certainty eliminated in any other way without injury to the beer. The boiling is known to have continued long enough if the coagulated flocks are distinctly separated from the perfectly clear liquid in which they are suspended; or if they are found collected together in considerable quantity at the bottom of the boiler.
When the boiling is finished, the hopped wort is drawn off into another tun, called a hop back (hop vessel), which has a perforated false bottom, or strainer, for the purpose of retaining the hops. From the hop back the wort is pumped up into the coolers, which are placed in the upper story of the brewery. These coolers are wide, shallow pans, six or eight inches in depth and fifty or more feet square; they cause rapid cooling in consequence of the great amount of surface exposed to the cooler atmosphere and the great evaporation which takes place. In this country, however, this form of cooler is only used for cooling the wort of lagerbier; an apparatus called a refrigerator being used to cool the wort of ale or strong beer. This is not fermented at so low a temperature as lagerbier is, and the necessary cooling can be performed with much greater facility by means of the refrigerator, which is simply a coil or layer of pipe through which a stream of cold water may be made to pass with any required rapidity. A form of hydrometer called a saccharometer is used to measure the degree of concentration of the worts while they are passing through the various stages of preparation.
When the wort reaches the cooler or the refrigerator it usually has a temperature of about 200° or more, according to the rapidity with which it has been pumped. It is desirable to have it cool as quickly as possible, so that no premature fermentation may take place before the yeast is added in the fermenting tun. Wort which is to be subjected to the ordinary top or rapid fermentation should be brought to a temperature of 60° or 63°. As soon as it is run into the fermenting tun, yeast is added to induce the vinous fermentation. The quantity used depends upon the extent to which it is desired to carry the fermentation, and also upon the amount of saccharine matter in the wort. For the fermentation of Bavarian beer much less is used, and that of a different kind, than for the ordinary English ale. For the stronger kind about one gallon of yeast is used in fermenting 100 gallons of wort, but for lighter ales one part to 150 or 200 is sufficient. The yeast is taken from the last preceding fermentation, and should have been produced from similar beer. It is generally prepared a short time before using by mixing it with a portion of wort and putting it in a warm place till it begins to ferment. This mixture, which is called lobb, is then stirred into the wort.
Too much yeast will cause excessive action, consume too much of the sugar, and make the process more unmanageable. The principal constituents of the wort, or gyle (as it is termed by the English brewers after reaching the fermenting tun), are grape sugar, dextrine which has not yet passed into sugar, gluten, lupuline (the bitter principle of the hop), and other odorant principles. The brewer's problem now is, to produce in this infusion, from the elements it contains, a certain quantity of alcohol and carbonic acid, and to bring the liquor to a palatable condition, and one in which it may be preserved for use. The yeast is added to convert the dextrine into grape sugar, and this into alcohol. No part of the process of brewing requires such careful attention as the fermentation. A certain degree of imperfection in the wort may be remedied to a large extent by skilful fermentation; but an error in the latter process cannot be corrected. In a space of time varying from six to twelve hours, depending upon the condition of the yeast and the temperature of the wort and of the surrounding air, the fermentation commences, and a foam rises in little hillocks to the surface.
This foam, which is composed of yeast, gluten, and sugar, made into fine bubbles by carbonic acid gas, appears in this form because the bubbles of acid ascend in separate columns, which are maintained by the motion which has been established in the liquid. The foam becomes thicker toward the middle of the tun, where it is thickest and rises to the height of two feet or more. After a time the color of the top changes to a light brown, probably the result of oxidation. The fermentation is generally better when this appearance is slight. The disengagement of gas is in proportion to the quantity of sugar converted into alcohol, and the temperature rises correspondingly, or would rise if it were not repressed by passing cold water through a coil of pipe placed in the tun; this is called the attemperator, and may be used for either lowering or raising the temperature. After a time, varying from 24 to 36 hours, the head of yeasty froth falls, and the newly formed yeast becomes more viscid, and the fermentation much less active. If it were allowed to proceed without the removal of this yeast, much of it would be precipitated, and, continuing to act upon the remaining sugar, would in time convert all of it into alcohol, and finally into acetic acid.
It is therefore removed by skimming, and in the best breweries the liquid, or gyle, is drawn off into a second fermenting tub, or stillion, as it is sometimes called, and the fermentation allowed to proceed there until the process is completed. Here perfect yeast, formed from the gluten still remaining in the wort, rises to the surface, as a tough, partially organized scum, which is used in the fermentation of the succeeding brewing. The process for strong stock ale is continued for six or eight days, but for lighter ales, such as are called "present use," the time occupied is only four or five days. During the fermentation, from the diminution of the quantity of sugar and the production of alcohol, the fluid becomes thinner, and its specific gravity less; hence the fermenting process is also called by brewers the attenuation. The temperature rises during the fermentation, so that it may reach 80° or more; but the more careful brewers, except for special reasons, repress it, and endeavor to keep it below 70°. In Scotland the fermentation is often conducted at a temperature below 60°, and the process prolonged considerably, occupying from ten days to a fortnight.
In some breweries an apparatus is attached to the second fermenting tubs, or stillions, by which the yeast is carried off as fast as it forms. In others, however, it is allowed to remain floating upon the surface of the beer until the latter is drawn off. When the fermentation has perfectly converted the gyle into beer, it is drawn off into casks, for storage or for sale. This is sometimes done by running it into a third tun, called a racking tub, from which, after standing a short time, it is drawn off into the casks. These are then immediately bunged up and kept at a temperature of from 60° to 64°. The lighter ales may be drawn for use in three or four days after casking, but the stock ales are stored for six or more months. The temperature at which wort is fermented produces not only a difference in the products, but also in the mode in which the process is carried on. The conversion of sugar into alcohol and carbonic acid proceeds very slowly at a temperature as low as 45°; but the conversion of soluble gluten into insoluble ferment, when acted upon by a like ferment in the presence of air at such a temperature, is effected with facility. - The problem solved in the fermentation of Bavarian beer is the elimination of the gluten and other azotized matters that may be present, without the conversion of all the sugar into alcohol and carbonic acid, or the conversion of alcohol into acetic acid, and leaving the beer in a condition in which the sugar and alcohol are not liable to further change from exposure to the air.
This is effected by a peculiar kind of fermentation, in which the yeast does not form upon the surface of the wort, but falls to the bottom, where it undergoes but little further change, thus leaving the surface of the liquid freely exposed to the air, by the action of which the soluble gluten becomes oxidized and transformed into insoluble yeast. The reason that ordinary yeast remains upon the surface of the wort is that it is held there by bubbles of carbonic acid, which is generated in great quantity in rapid fermentation. The yeast of slow fermentation falls to the bottom because the carbonic acid, disengaged from the slowly decomposing sugar, ascends in bubbles too minute to give sufficient buoyancy. The reduction of temperature allows the oxidation of the gluten to proceed more rapidly than the conversion of the sugar into alcohol and carbonic acid, so that before all the sugar is consumed the gluten is eliminated and has fallen to the bottom, where it possesses but little power, especially at the low temperature at which the wort is kept. This low temperature also prevents the alcohol from passing into acetic acid.
If, after all the gluten is thus rendered insoluble and deposited at the bottom of the vessel, the beer is drawn off, it no longer contains any substance which is capable of being converted by oxidation into a ferment, and therefore possesses the quality of keeping a long time without becoming sour.
In the ordinary process of fermentation, in which the yeast rises to and remains at the surface, the gluten is not all rendered insoluble, but some of it remains in the beer, and on exposure to the air absorbs oxygen, and produces a ferment by which the remaining sugar is transformed into alcohol and carbonic acid, and the alcohol, again, into vinegar. The fermentation of Bavarian beer occupies a much longer time than that of common ale. The latter, as we have seen, occupies only six or eight days, while the other requires from four to six weeks, or even longer. The wort, which is prepared very much in the same manner as for other beers, is pumped from the hop back into the shallow coolers in the upper story of the brewery, and is reduced, either in them or by afterward passing it over the refrigerator, to about 45° F., as speedily as possible. It then passes into the fermenting tuns, which are placed in cool rooms or cellars having a temperature of 40° to 45°. The yeast is stirred into the wort, and in the course of two or three days the fermentation commences with the appearance of very minute bubbles of carbonic acid gas, which ascend and carry some of the yeast and the gluten to the surface, but do not retain it there; for the gluten absorbs oxygen from the air, and the insoluble ferment which it forms is deposited, at the bottom of the tun as a viscous sediment, leaving the surface of the liquid exposed to the action of the air.
The gluten is thus converted into yeast by atmospheric oxidation, and in time is entirely removed without the decomposition of all the sugar. Only as much has been transformed into alcohol and carbonic acid as it is desirable to have the beer contain. This kind of fermentation is called Untergdhrung, or bottom fermentation, and the yeast, which differs from common yeast, is called Unterhefe, or bottom yeast. Ordinary fermentation, in which the yeast forms upon the surface of the wort, is called Obergdhrung,or top fermentation,and the yeast thus formed, Oberhefe, or top yeast, and, according to Liebig, is in a state of putrefaction, while bottom yeast is in a state of eremacau-sis, or decay. The precipitated yeast has not the capacity of exciting ordinary fermentation, but ordinary yeast may be employed in exciting slow fermentation at a low temperature, which causes a yeast to be deposited at the bottom which, by being used a few times, may be converted into the yeast of bottom fermentation. After the beer has been fermented sufficiently it is drawn off into large casks and allowed to lie for several months in cellars or cool rooms, which are kept at a temperature of between 40° and 45° F. A very slight fermentation and fining process here continues, until at last the beer is perfectly transparent and free from all fermentable matter.
On account of this treatment it is called Lagerbier. Many of the modern lagerbier breweries now use enormous quantities of ice to cool the rooms in which the beer is fermented and stored. These rooms may be so constructed that the temperature can be perfectly controlled; and as the air retains no more moisture than it does in a cellar, it being generally near the dew point in either case, the ice-cooled rooms are liked by those who use them, particularly as the brewing can be conveniently carried on during the summer months. Manufactured grape sugar is now used by many of the lagerbier brewers to furnish an excess of material for the production of alcohol, thus allowing a smaller percentage of gluten in the wort. As the gluten in the Bavarian process is the chief substance to be eliminated, this practice allows the fermentation to be completed in a shorter time than when malt only is used. When the grape sugar contains no acid or other objectionable matters, the practice results in economy, but only on account of the saving of time, as the price of the manufactured sugar is fully equal to the cost of producing it in the wort from malt. - Adulterations. A few years ago ale drinkers were alarmed by a report that strychnine was used in the manufacture of ale.
Dr. Tire gives the following reasons for considering this report-groundless: "1. Strychnine is an exceedingly costly article. 2. It has a most unpleasant metallic bitter taste. 3. It is a notorious poison, and its use in any brewery would ruin the reputation of the brewer. 4. It cannot be introduced into an ordinary beer brewed with hops, because it is entirely precipitated by infusions of that wholesome, fragrant herb. In fact, the quercitannic acid of hops is incompatible with strychnia and all its kindred alkaloids. Hence, hopped beer becomes in this respect a sanatory beverage, refusing to take up a particle of strychnia, and other noxious drugs of a like character." Mr. Herepath has given a test for the detection of picrotoxine, the active principle of the cocculus fridicus, which is based upon the property possessed by charcoal of separating it from its aqueous solution. An excess of acetate of lead is added to the beer to throw down the lupuline and other extractive matters, the excess of lead in the filtrate removed by sulphuretted hydrogen, and the excess of this gas removed by boiling. . The solution is then evaporated to a sirup, and agitated with animal charcoal, which will absorb any picrotoxine that may be present.
On cooling, the charcoal is collected on a filter, washed with a small quantity of water, and dried at 212° F. The charcoal is then boiled in pure alcohol, which being filtered will upon evaporation yield crystals of picrotoxine if the beer was adulterated with it. If the evaporation is slowly and carefully conducted, the picrotoxine will separate in well defined quadrilateral prisms, sometimes in needles, and, when the evaporation has been rapid, in beautiful plumose tufts. Picrotoxine is inodorous, intensely bitter, and neutral to vegetable colors; dissolves in 150 parts of cold, in 25 parts of boiling water, and in 3 parts of boiling alcohol of specific gravity 0.800. Picric acid, which is said to be used in the adulteration of beer, may be detected by Rolil's test, which is exceedingly delicate, and consists in boiling unbleached sheep's wool in the suspected beer for eight or ten minutes, and then washing the wool. If picric acid is present to the amount of only one part in 125,000, the wool will have a decided canary color. Chalk is sometimes used to neutralize the acid of sour beer. It may be detected by finding more than the usual quantity of lime in the ash.
Carbonate of soda is often added to summer beer in kegs, particularly to that which has not been sufficiently fermented, and is liable to become sour. Common salt is frequently used, and can be quite readily detected by the taste, and by the thirst it creates.