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of a rougher civilization; just as we know that it could not survive in our own age of nervousness, excitability, and overwork. The wage-earners, who constitute the main body of present day beerdrinkers, try to obey the laws which give the victories in life's battles to the fastest, strongest, and brightest, and they call for beers which are practically liquid foods, combining nourishment and stimulation, and possessing various high qualities of taste, aroma, and stability, undreamed of by ancient epicures.
It is from the time when scientific schools and universities in all parts of the world began to be attracted to the study of plant life and of fermentation (say, a hundred years ago) that the manufacture of malt liquors has gradually evolved itself out of chaos by using the discoveries of scientists and disinterested investigators. An enormous amount of research and laboratory work, resulting in a great accumulation of technical data on brewing materials, yeasts, and other micro-organisms, has built up a theory of brewing which has finally been reduced to practice.
The brewer of to-day, therefore, is no longer a dunce, or empiricist, like his ancestor, but an educated observer of scientific laws, who has an adequate knowledge of chemistry and biology, and who follows out well established rules in his every-day work, in order to conform to the requirements of modern taste and modern economy. Because of his enlightened methods, but mainly because he is a chemist, there has been a notion among the thoughtless or uninformed that the manufacture of a food product by a chemist, in accordance with chemical laws, naturally involves the indiscriminate use of chemicals; but this is one of those false hypotheses, the absurdity of which can readily be demonstrated to the sincere and earnest inquirer by a mere glance at a familiar illustration. The water supply of a brewery is well known and admitted to be one of the most important factors in the production of good beer, but how could a brewer, if unequipped with the necessary chemical knowledge, determine whether the water were pure or unfit; how could he decide whether it was suitable for the purposes of malting or brewing, or boiler feed; how could he ascertain whether it contained any organic or inorganic constituents which might make it deleterious to his processes or his product? We all know that he could not do it by taste or smell, because modern chemistry has amply proved that many waters which are perfectly agreeable to the taste, perfectly colorless, and perfectly
clear and limpid, are frequently the abundant sources of disease, as well as of trouble and failure in the brewery. The brewing industry is no exception to the great rule; why should not chemistry play the leading part in its development, as it has in that of every other great art known to the world? Through chemistry, and through it alone, the modern brewer has succeeded in increasing the production, lessening the cost, and improving the quality of our beers, and what greater justification of its work or beneficent influence could be looked for in the present stage of our common knowledge?
The modern brewing of beer, when reduced to its simplest expression, may be described as the art of making an alcoholic drink by the fermentation of prepared cereal grains, but it must needs be divided into two main operations, the first of which is strictly chemical, and the second purely biological. By the term chemical it is meant that certain radical and fundamental changes are brought about in barley by causing it to undergo germination, whereby it is transformed into what is commercially known as malt. When malt is ground and mixed with water at proper temperatures, further radical chemical changes take place, causing the greater portion of its constituents to go into solution, which after being drained off from the insoluble residue, is boiled with hops, and after sufficient concentration, is cooled off in sterilized air. By the term biological, it is meant that the boiled and cooled malt solution is mixed with pure culture yeasts (saccharomyces cerevisiæ) which cause it to enter into fermentation and transform it into beer, which is stored in asepticized vessels in properly cooled cellars, until sufficiently mature for consumption. There is nothing haphazard in any of these operations; everything is done in the full light of scientific knowledge and ascertained fact. The modern brewer, when he commences to make a brewing, can foretell with certainty what kind of malt liquor he is going to produce. He is an expert in the analysis and valuation of his raw materials; he knows to a nicety how to change and modify his brewing process to meet any requirements; he is a past master in sanitation and cleanliness, and is an adept in the preservation and care of his ferments.
The malt liquors brewed in the United States are divided into two classes (dependent upon the kind of fermentation) and are called respectively "top" and "bottom." "Top" fermen
tation produces ale, and is carried on at temperatures ranging from 55 F. to 75 F., the yeast being collected from the surface, and the main fermentation lasting about seven days. "Bottom' fermentation (which lasts from ten to twelve days) produces lager beer, and is carried on at a temperature of from 40 to 52 F., the yeast subsiding to the bottom. In both of these fermentations. there are generally found a great many organisms quite different from the yeasts in nature and appearance, and classified under the general term "bacteria." It is to the action of these foreign germs that chemists and biologists have traced practically all the various troubles in the brewing process, and it has become quite common in all important breweries throughout the country to employ what is known as "pure yeast culture," in order to eliminate them. Their origin being primarily the earth, and the form in which they are carried being that of dust in the air, the utmost care is devoted to cleanliness, the air admitted to the fermenting rooms is filtered and sterilized, and very cold temperatures are preserved in all storage cellars by means of modern ice machines.
In such a vast and important industry as that of modern brewing it is only natural that many attempts should have been made to define and classify malt liquors, in order to bring them under rational scientific control by adherence to certain standards of purity and quality, and it has resulted from official investigation, and is a fact of which the brewers may be justly proud, that there is no universally consumed food product in this country which has been found so generally free from adulteration, or so generally wholesome in character as beer. The representatives of the brewing industry spared no pains to foster the passage of the Federal Pure Food Bill, which became a law in June, 1906, nor have they hesitated to comply with its provisions. The chief obstacles in the way of adopting any of the "standards" hitherto proposed appear to lie: (1) In the inconsistency with modern ideas of liberty and progress, of aiming at the establishment of any other than standards of purity; (2) In the expediency and injustice of attempting to do more than prohibit the use of harmful or unhealthful brewing materials; (3) In the difficulty of making laws that cannot be carried out by the means prescribed for enforcing them. What these obstacles really are, will be better understood by realizing (a), That there are at the present time no practical and certain methods of analysis known to chemists by
which they can determine the nature of the raw materials from which a finished malt liquor of good quality has been brewed; and (b), that no practical way is recognized by any branch of science by which the age of a finished malt liquor can be estimated, or by which the length of time for which it was stored in the brewery, before being placed on the market, can be ascertained. The only legislation for controlling the manufacture of malt liquors that can be effective, must be based either on arbitrary enactments, or on common sense. As examples of consistency and non-discrimination, we have the Empire of Germany, and the Dominion of Canada, where it is illegal to brew malt liquors from any other substances than malt, yeast, hops and water. In Great Britain, as in the United States, brewers are allowed to work under what is known as "the free mash tub system" which leaves them absolute choice of their brewing materials, so long as they use nothing harmful or injurious. In the Republic of France (which is rapidly becoming one of the great beer drinking countries) a law signed by the President in July, 1908, regulating the sale and manufacture of beers, defines malt liquor as "the product of the alcoholic fermentation of a wort made from barley, malt and hops, with or without the addition (to the maximum extent of equal parts) of other malted or unmalted cereals or starchy bodies, or invert sugar, or glucose. It may be colored by the use of caramel, or of extracts made from torrefied cereals. The use of all antiseptics save sulphurous anhydride (sulphites) is prohibited. The maximum amount of sulphurous anhydride (free or combined) that may be contained in a litre of beer is 50 milligrammes." It will not be doubted that the framers of these laws were guided equally by a desire to safeguard the interests of those engaged in the brewing industry, and to meet the requirements and protect the rights of those who drink the beer. They have made the necessary allowance for working out those best of all regulations and safeguards of the public, trade rivalry and competition.
In order to give some idea of the chemical composition of average American beer wort, and of average American beers and ales, as compared with the products of other countries, the following tables have been compiled as fairly representative: