THE AMERICAN PRACTICAL BREWER AND TANNER:
IN WHICH IS EXHIBITED
THE WHOLE PROCESS OF
Brewing without boiling.
Brewing strong Beer with the extract only of the Hop, leaving out the substance.
A simple method of giving new Beer all the qualities of age, thereby fitting it for the bottle before it is three weeks old.
A simple method of preventing Beer bursting the bottle.
An economical mode of constructing Vats above ground, possessing the temperature of the best cellars and thus rendered fireproof.
An economical mode by which every Housekeeper may brew his own Beer.
A method of brewing good Beer from Bran and Shorts, and of preserving it.
The Bordeaux method of making and preparing Claret Wine for shipping, which may be successfully applied to the wines of this country, particularly those of Kaskaskias.
The best method and season for malting Indian Corn, from which alone good Beer can be made, a process highly important to Brewers.
The best mode of raising Hops.
The best mode of preparing Seed Barley for sowing.
Best construction and aspect of Breweries and Malt Houses in this country.
The French mode of tanning the heaviest Soal Leather in twenty-one days, and Calf Skins in three or four. (Highly important.)
BY JOSEPH COPPINGER. Practical Brewer.
NEW-YORK: PRINTED BY VAN WINKLE AND WILEY, No. 3 Wall Street.
Transcriber's Note: Part of the last sentence in Footnote 6 is illegible and has been marked [remainder of text is illegible]. In addition, the Contents were moved from the rear to the front of this text for the convenience of the reader.
The best position for placing a brewery and malt house, also the best aspect, with different arrangements of the vessels 11
A description of the form and plan of a brewery, distribution of the vessels; the most judicious and convenient manner of placing them, with a view to economy, cleanliness, and effect 13
Malt house, the best construction of, with proper barley lofts, dropping room, and flooring, how, and in what manner made, and best likely to last 18
Wooden kilns, how constructed 23
A new and economical construction of vats for keeping beer, which, in this way, may be rendered fire proof, whilst at the same time possessing the temperature of the best cellars, although above ground 29
Grinding, how substituted for 31
Plain practical process of malting 44
Malting winter barley 50
Malting oats ib.
Malting rye ib.
Malting wheat ib.
Indian corn, how malted 51
Hops, how cultivated 99
Barley cultivation 109
Table beer 112
Small beer for shipping 113
Keeping table beer 114
Small beer of the best kind 116
Another method to brew small beer 118
Another process for brewing small beer 120
Single ale and table beer 123
Strong beer 126
Table beer, English method of brewing it 129
Unboiled beer 131
Strong beer, brewed with the extract of hops, leaving out the substance 134
Table beer for housekeepers, well worth their attention 136
Fermenting and cleansing in the same vessel 138
Plate of the worker 139
A new method of fermenting strong beer, that will produce a pure and good liquor 140
Process of brewing Windsor ale, on a small scale 142
Reading beer, how brewed 145
Two-penny amber beer, as brewed in London 147
London ale, how brewed 149
Windsor ale, on a large scale 151
Welsh ale, how brewed 154
Wirtemberg ale 156
Scurvy grass ale 160
Dorchester ale 162
Porter process No. I. 167
Porter process No. II. 170
Porter process No. III. 172
Porter malt 174
Porter colouring 176
Strong beer 182
Filtering operation (with a Plate) 189
Returned beer, how to make the most of 193
To Bring several sorts of beer, when mixed, to one uniform taste 194
Finings, the best method of preparing them 195
Bottling beer 198
Brewing coppers, the best method of setting them 202
Pumps, the best construction of, and how freed from ice in winter 205
Cleansing casks 208
To make mead wine 210
To make ginger wine 212
To make currant wine 213
Yest, how prepared to keep good in any climate 214
To make a substitute for brewer's yest 217
Another method 218
Another method 220
Process of making and preparing claret wine for shipping, as practiced in Bordeaux and its neighbourhood 221
Brewing company 227
The author's notice about plans and sections of elevation for breweries and malt houses 230
French mode of tanning 232
In the Advertisement, 4th page, 6th line, first word, for wine read vine; and in the next line, first word, for it read its produce.
In page 25, 25th line, the last word should be omitted, and read thus, malt or grain intended to be dried on it, requiring less fuel, &c.
In page 36, 25th line, first word, for proportion read preparation.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the fourteenth day of September, in the fortieth year of the independence of the United States of America, Joseph Coppinger of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words and figures following, to wit:
"The American Practical Brewer and Tanner: in which is exhibited the whole process of Brewing without boiling; Brewing Strong Beer with the extract only of the Hop, leaving out the substance; a simple method of giving new Beer all the qualities of age, thereby rendering it fit for the Bottle before it is three weeks old; a simple method of preventing Beer bursting the Bottle; an economical mode of constructing Vats above ground, possessing the temperature of the best Cellars, and thus rendered fireproof; an economical mode by which every Housekeeper may brew his own Beer; a method of brewing good Beer from Bran and Shorts, and of preserving it; the Bordeaux method of making and preparing Claret Wine for shipping, which may be successfully applied to the vines of this country, particularly those of Kaskaskias; the best method and season for malting Indian Corn, from which alone good Beer can be made, a process highly important to Brewers; the best mode of raising Hops; the best mode of preparing Seed Barley for sowing; best construction of Breweries and Malt Houses in this country; the French mode of tanning the heaviest Soal Leather in twenty-one days, and Calf Skins in three or four—highly important. By Joseph Coppinger, Practical Brewer."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act entitled "an act, supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
THERON RUDD, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
Since writing the Preface, I have been induced to make an addition to this little work, in order to increase its usefulness, by giving the French mode of tanning, as practised by the famous Mr. Seguine. Of such importance did the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Paris consider this improvement, that they thought it worth while to appoint a committee of their own members to go down to one of the provinces where this gentleman resides, and there, on the spot, superintend his operations, which they did with minute attention; and it is from the journal of their reports to the academy, that the different processes of tanning leather in this ingenious artist's way are here given; an improvement that can, no doubt, be successfully applied to that important manufacture in this country, affording the tanner the opportunity of turning his capital twelve or fourteen times in a year, instead of once. This single advantage alone so forcibly recommends its adoption, particularly in a country like ours, where capital is scarce, that further comment is unnecessary. I have also added the Bordeaux method of making and preparing claret wine for shipping, as practised in that city and its vicinity; which practice may possibly hereafter be successfully applied to the red wines of this country. The more so, when it is known that in the reign of Louis XVI., the merchants of Bordeaux presented a memorial to that monarch, praying him to put a stop to the importation of the wines of Kaskaskias into France, as likely, if permitted, to be injurious to the trade of Bordeaux. There was at that time a College of Jesuits established in that country, the superiors of which caused the wine to be cultivated with great success, and quantities of it were at that time sent to France. As that territory is now in our possession, and its soil and climate peculiarly favourable to the growth of the grape, which is indigenous there, may it not be an object well worth the attention of our government, to encourage and improve the growth of the wine in that section of the union; which wise measure would, probably, in a few years, supply our own consumption, and leave a considerable surplus for exportation. To offer an apology for giving these subjects a place in this publication, seems wholly unnecessary, when their importance is considered.
Brewing, in every country, whose soil and climate are congenial to the production of the raw materials, should be ranked among the first objects of its domestic and political economy. If any person doubt the truth of this position, I have only to request him to cast an eye on England, where the brewing capital is estimated at more than fifteen millions sterling; and the gross annual revenue, arising from this capital, at seven million five hundred thousand pounds sterling, including the hop, malt, and extract duties. Notwithstanding this enormous excise of 50 per cent. on the brewing capital, what immense fortunes have been made, and are daily making, in that country, as well as in Ireland and Scotland, by the intelligent and judicious practice of this more than useful art. Yet how much stronger inducements for similar establishments in this country, where we have no duty on the raw materials, or the extract; and where the important article of hops is raised in as high perfection as in any part of Europe, and often for one third of the price paid in England. But a still more important consideration is the health and morals of our population, which appears to be essentially connected with the progress of the brewing trade. In proof of this assertion, I will beg leave to state a well known fact; which is, that in proportion as the consumption of malt liquors have increased in our large towns and cities, in that proportion has the health of our fellow citizens improved, and epidemics and intermittents, become less frequent. The same observation holds good as respects the country, where it is well known that those families that brew their own beer, and make a free use of it through the summer are, in general, all healthy, and preserve their colour; whilst their less fortunate neighbours, who do not use beer at all, are devoured by fevers and intermittents. These facts will be less doubted, when it is known that yest, properly administered, has been found singularly successful in the cure of fevers. This the practice of the Rev. Doctor Townsend, in England, places beyond all doubt, where he states, that in fifty fever cases that occurred in his own parish, (some of which were of the most malignant kind,) he only missed a cure in two or three, by administering yest. Having considered the produce of the brewery as it is connected with health, we may, with equal propriety, say it is not less so with morals; and its encouragement and extension, as an object of great national importance, cannot be too strongly recommended, as the most natural and effectual remedy to the too great use of ardent spirits, the baneful effects of which are too generally known, and too extensively felt, to need any particular description here. The farmer and the merchant will alike find their account in encouraging and improving the produce of the brewery. The farmer can raise no crop that will pay him better than hops; as, under proper management, he may reasonably expect to clear, of a good year, one hundred dollars per acre. Barley will also prove a good crop, if proper attention be paid to seed, soil, and time of sowing. The merchant will alike find his account in encouraging the brewery, from the many advantages derivable from an extensive export of its produce to the East and West Indies, South America, the Brazils, but particularly to Russia, where good beer is in great demand; large quantities are annually sent there from England, at a much higher rate, it may be presumed, than we could afford to supply them from this country. All these considerations united seem forcibly to recommend giving the breweries of the United States every possible encouragement and extension. Here, it is but justice to state, that the brewers of New-York deserve much credit for the high improvement they have made in the quality of their malt liquors within a few years, which seem to justify the hope that they will continue these advances to excellence, until they realise the opinion of Combrune and others, that it is possible to produce a "malt wine."
 Save five per cent. on brewery sales—a war tax.
THE AMERICAN PRACTICAL BREWER AND TANNER
The best position for placing a Brewery and Malt house, also the best aspect, with different arrangements of the Utensils.
Cleanliness being as essential in the brewery as in the dairy, it is of the greatest importance, never to lose sight of it in every part of the operations, and particularly in selecting the ground and soil to place a brewery on. The situation to be preferred should be an elevated one, and the soil either sand or gravel, as it is of great importance in the preservation of beer that the cellars be dry and sufficiently ventilated by windows properly disposed. If the cellars of the brewery be under ground, it would be very desirable to have them kept sweet and clean by properly constructed sewers, without which, pumping by a hand or a horse power is a poor substitute, as by this means (which we find too common in breweries) the washings of the cellars have time to become putrid, particularly in summer, emitting the most offensive and unwholesome effluvia, contaminating the atmosphere, and frequently endangering both the health and lives of the workmen. This is a serious evil, and should in all cases, as much as possible, be avoided. It is true, there are times, when a choice of situation cannot be made; in that case, circumstances must be submitted to, and people do the best they can. The cellars and coolers of the breweries in this country should have a northern aspect, and the cellars principally ventilated from east to west. The windows on the south side of cellars should be always close shut in summer, and only occasionally opened in winter; the floors of cellars should be paved with either tile or brick, these being more susceptible of being kept clean than either pavement or flags, and not so subject to get out of order. Supposing the brewery to have all its cellars above ground, which I conceive to be not only practicable, but, in many cases, preferable to having them under, as more economical, and more cleanly, particularly where vats for keeping strong beer are constructed on the plan herein after recommended, in which it is expected the temperature necessary for keeping beer will be as securely preserved above, as under ground, and the erections so constructed, as not only to be air, but fire proof. (See description of these vats.)
A description of the form and plan of a Brewery, distribution of the Vessels, the most judicious and convenient manner of placing them, with a view to economy, cleanliness, and effect.
The best plan of a well-constructed brewery I conceive to be that of a hollow, or oblong square, where all is enclosed by one or two gateways, (the latter the most complete,) parallel to each other. The first gateway, forming the brewery entrance, to pass through the dwelling house; the second, or corresponding gateway, to pass through the opposite side of the square, into an outer yard, well enclosed with walls and sheds, containing cooper's shop, &c. where all the empty casks might be securely preserved from the injury of wind and weather. This yard should be further sufficiently large to afford room for a hay reek, firewood, dung, &c. The brewery office should be placed in the passage of the outer gateway, so that every thing going in and out might be seen by those who are in the office. The dwelling house, vat house, and working store, to form one side of the brewery. The malt house, another. The kiln house, dropping room, and stable, a third side. The brewery, mill house, and hop room, to form the fourth side; thus completed, it would form a square, and afford security to whatever was contained within it, when the gates are locked. The sky cooler is, generally, the most elevated vessel in the brewery, and when properly constructed, is of great importance in facilitating both brewing and malting operations, as it usually supplies the whole quantity of water wanted in both. It commands the copper, and, of course, all the other vessels of the brewery: it may be so constructed as to form a complete roof to the mill loft, and in that situation be most conveniently placed for being filled from the water cistern, which should be placed contiguous to the mill walk, and so raised to the sky cooler by one or more pumps worked by the mill, with a one, two, or three horse power, according to the length of the lever, and the diameter of the mill. Sky, or water coolers, in general, are square vessels, made of the best two inch pine plank, properly jointed, from twenty to twenty-five feet square, laid on strong joists sufficiently close, and trunneled down (after pressing) with wooden trunnels from end to end, to prevent starting or warping; the joists are supported by a couple of strong beams, equally spaced; the sides of these coolers are generally raised from eighteen inches to two feet; in Europe they are generally leaded on their inside, but this expense may be saved, if they are properly made at first, and afterwards kept constantly full of water. In constructing these coolers, all the joints should be paid with white paint before laying, and the sides bolted, and screwed down; the better and easier to effect which, the thickness of the sides may be three inches after the saw; there should be a roofing all round the sides, to protect them from the weather; the bottom of the sky cooler should command the copper back, which should be made to form the cover of the copper, and to hold a complete charge of the same. These vessels, when properly constructed, are extremely useful in preventing waste and accidents by boiling over, also affording to the brewer, the opportunity of boiling his wort as fiercely as he pleases—a very important advantage in brewing porter and strong beer. A description of this back is not necessary, as every set cooper, who knows his business, is well acquainted with the proper construction of this vessel. The stuff it is made of should be two inches thick, well seasoned, and of the best pine plank. Thus placed on the copper, it should form a complete cover, water and steam tight, so that when the copper boils over, it will run into the back, and return again by a plug hole into the copper. The copper cock should be sufficiently elevated to command the hop cooler; the latter the wort coolers, No. 1 and 2. By thus running the worts from one cooler to another, you afford them the opportunity of depositing in each their feculencies, and coming nearly fine to the fermenting tuns, which should be sufficiently elevated above the troughs and casks to be filled, so that the operation of cleansing may be easily performed by one or more leaders, to communicate with a two or three piped tun dish, capable of filling two or three casks at a time. The mill stones, or metal rollers, should be sufficiently elevated to grind into the malt bin, placed over the mash tun, which bin should be sufficiently capacious to hold the whole grist of malt when ground; this bin is generally constructed in the form of a hopper, with a slide at the bottom, to let the malt into the mash tun when the water is ready, by being cooled down to its proper temperature. I would recommend making the mash tun shallow, so that the diameter shall be three times as long as the staff of the sides, above the false bottom. To the mash tun there should be a cover, in two or more pieces, according to size. The receiver, or underbank, which is placed under the mash tun, should be sufficiently elevated above ground, so as to enable the dirty or washing water to run off from its bottom by a plug hole. The fermenting tuns should be placed in a room where there is a fireplace, so as to raise the temperature in cold weather; each tun should be cribbed on its sides, with a stationary cover on the top. The cribs should be made to answer the sweep of the vessel, and to be put on or off as occasion, or the temperature of the season, may require. In one corner of the working store, I would recommend to have placed a set of drains, two in number, one over the other; the lower drain should be sufficiently elevated to get a bucket under it, so as to draw off its contents by a plug hole, placed at one corner of each drain. These drains will soon pay for themselves, by the quantity of yest that will be deposited on them, at each time of drawing them off, while the liquor will get fine, and may be applied in a variety of ways, to answer the purposes of the brewer, what in filling, starting in the tun, vatting, &c.
Malt House, the best construction of, with proper Barley Lofts, Dropping Room, and Flooring, how, and in what manner made, and best likely to last.
Malt houses intended to be annexed to breweries, should not be on a less scale than sixty feet long, by twenty-five feet wide. Unless there be a proper proportion of flooring to work the grain kindly and moderately, good malt is not to be expected. Two-floored houses are generally preferred to any other construction; would recommend placing the steep outside the house, to be communicated with from the lower floor by means of an arch way or window; the steep so placed should be covered with a tight roof; the best materials for making a steep are good brick, well grouted; the wall should be fourteen inches thick at least; this kind of steep will be found far superior to wood, as not liable to leak, or be worked on by rats; the sides and ends of this steep should be carefully plastered with tarrass mortar; the bottom may be laid with flag, tiles, or brick. Two barley lofts, the whole length of the malt house, will be found highly convenient, as affording sufficient room to different large parcels of barley, and screening the same from loft to loft as it descends into the steep over wire screens; a contrivance I have found of great advantage in the malting operation, as finishing the cleaning of the barley before getting into the steep, a precaution that should never be omitted. The bottom of the screen should be cased with wood, communicating from loft to loft with a sack fastened to hooks at the lower end to receive all the dirt and screenings that may pass through the screens. The Dutch and German maltsters generally prefer having their lower or working floor under ground; but this I take to be a bad plan, unless in elevated situations, or where the soil is dry and gravelly; for if any spring of water or damp arises in the malt-house floor, or walls so placed, the injury to the malt is very great, and should be carefully guarded against. It is also very important to lay a solid foundation for your lower floor with stones, brick bats, or coarse gravel, which should be solidly compacted by ramming for the whole length, then levelled off by stakes, with a ten-foot level, to the thickness you would wish to give your floor—say three or four inches: the former thickness, say three inches, will be found sufficient. Lay your first coat on two inches thick with hair mortar; when this coat becomes sufficiently stiff, which will happen within twenty-four hours, you are to begin to lay your second or last coat of one inch thick over the first, to be prepared as follows: Take Roche, or unslaked lime, one part, by measure; fine pit sand, one part; clinker, or forge dust, finely powdered, two parts; clay or lome, by measure also, one part: let these different ingredients (taking the precaution of first slaking the Roche lime) be well mixed together, and then screened by a wire screen, carefully keeping out of the mixture all lumps and stones; the whole may be then worked up with a due proportion of water, observing that this kind of mortar cannot be too much worked or mixed together, nor too little wetted, just sufficient to work freely with the plastering trowel; the whole floor should, if possible, be laid in one day, and for this purpose several hands should be employed; in which case it will dry more equally and firmly. As soon as the floor begins to set, and that it will bear a board on it, without sinking in, you should begin to pound it in all directions, from end to end, with pounders made of two-inch plank, sixteen inches long, and from nine to twelve inches wide, with a long handle reaching breast high, and to be placed in the middle of this board; thus the operation of pounding will proceed without stooping or much labour. One or two men, with plastering trowels, should follow the pounders, wetting it with skimmed milk as they go, and set the floor as even and close as possible. If these two operations be well conducted there will not be found a single crack in the whole floor from end to end, which is of great importance to secure the making of good malt. Each loft should have uprights under the centre of all the beams from end to end of the house; this precaution is necessary to prevent the swagging or cracking of the upper floor. Trap doors should be placed at proper distances in the upper malt-house floor, to facilitate the shovelling of the couches from the lower to the upper floor. A well constructed kiln is of great importance to insure a successful result to the malting operation, and if large enough to dry off each steep at one cast so much the better. The most approved covering for malt kilns in England (although not the most economical) is hair cloth, as it is asserted, it dries the palest and sweetest malt. Many prefer tiles, as less expensive and more lasting; others dry on boarded floors, and if this construction be well managed, I take it to be as good as any, and much cheaper than either tiles or hair cloth. (See description page 23.) The dropping room for receiving the malt as it comes off the kiln may be constructed different ways; but I take it that a ground floor covered with a two inch plank well jointed, and properly laid, is preferable to a loft for keeping malt, and in this situation might be heaped to any depth without injury or danger of breaking down. Malt thus kept, if well dried before coming off the kiln, is never in danger of heating or getting slack. The common mode of keeping malt is in bins situated on upper lofts, often injured by leaks from the roof, and at all times liable to the depredations of rats, which in the other way can be effectually guarded against, and is a highly important object of precaution to be taken by the brewer. Should weevils at any time get into, or generate in your malt, which is common when held over beyond twelve or eighteen months, the simplest and easiest way of getting rid of them, is to place four or five lobsters on your heap of malt, the smell of which will soon compel the weevils to quit the malt, and take refuge on the walls, from which they can be swept with a broom into a sheet or table cloth laid on the malt, and so taken off. It is asserted, that by this simple contrivance not one weevil will remain in the heap. Malt intended for brewing should be always screened before grinding; and for this purpose it is a good contrivance to screen it by means of the horse mill, as it runs from the hopper to the rollers or stones to be ground, the expense of which apparatus is comparatively nothing when compared to the advantages arising from it.
 By some this construction of a steep may be thought too dear; in that case, a rough wooden one may be substituted, which, instead of placing outside the house, I would place on the upper floor of the malt house, so as to afford the opportunity of getting down its contents to the lower floor by means of a plug hole, which will save the labour of shovelling; but in summer, when this steep is not employed, it should be filled with lime water to prevent leaking, and to keep it sweet.
Wooden Kilns, how constructed.
The best form for these kilns is the circular. I will suppose the diameter sixteen feet; you construct your fire-place suitably to the burning of wood at about ten feet outside your kiln house, sufficiently elevated on iron bars to secure the draft of the fire place, from which runs a proportionate sized flue into the kiln, communicating with a circular flue which is close covered at top, and rounds the kiln on the inside at the distance of two feet from the wall; on both sides of this circular flue holes are left, at the distance of twelve or sixteen inches apart, on both sides, to let out the smoke and heat; the platform or floor of this kiln is raised about four or five feet above the top of the flue, and is made of three quarter inch boards, tongued and grooved, supported by joists two inches broad, and nine inches deep, placed at proportioned distances, to give solidity to the floor. The floor or platform of this kiln should be carefully laid, and well nailed; in this floor should be placed a wooden chimney, nine inches square, on the most convenient part of the inside next the wall, with a wooden register at a convenient distance: this chimney is intended to let off the great smoke that arises in the kiln at first lighting fire, particularly if the wood be moist or green. When this has gone off, and the fire burns clear, the register may be shut within a few inches, in order to keep up a small draft. It would have been proper to state that joists, intended to support the floor of this kiln, should be levelled off to one inch, top and bottom, so as give the fire a better chance to act upon the malt; these joists should be further paid as soon as, or before, laying down, with a strong solution of alum water; as also the bottom face of the boards laid on them, which should be first planed; the inside of the chimney and register should be also paid with the alum solution. On the top of the kiln should be placed a ventilator to draw off the steam of the malt, this may be done by means of a loover or cow; the latter turns with the wind, the former is stationary.
There should be skirting boards, nine inches deep, to lie close to the floor and walls of the kiln, plastered with hair mortar on the top. This construction of kiln has been introduced by the Dutch, and will be found the most economical of any, joined to the peculiar advantage of being capable of drying malt with any kind of fuel, without danger of communicating any sort of bad flavour to the grain, while the heat can be securely raised to 120 degrees without any danger of ignition or burning; a higher heat is not wanted to dry pale malt. Of this, however, I have some doubts, as wood is a non-conductor of heat, and possibly is not susceptible of transmitting such a heat to the malt without danger of ignition. I should think that thin metal plates, one foot square, cast so as to lap on each other, or tiles, of the same make or form, would be a better covering; they certainly would convey the heat more rapidly and securely to the malt or grain intended to be dried on it, never requiring less fuel than the wooden covering, and precluding all danger of fire.
A new and economical construction of Vats for keeping Beer, which, in this way, may be rendered fire proof, whilst, at the same time, it secures a temperature for the liquor equal, it is expected to the best vaults: it further affords the convenience of having them above ground.
These vats may be constructed in different forms, either square, oval, or round; the latter I should prefer, as stronger, and less liable to leak. These circular vats, to save expense, may be bound with wood hoops instead of iron ones the splay to be given them as little as possible barely sufficient to have the hoops tight, and the vessel staunch. The bottoms of these vats should be elevated at least three and a half, or four feet from the ground, and solidly bedded in clay, earth, or sand; the clay, if convenient, to be preferred. As the earth rises, at every five or six inches, around these vats, it should be firmly pounded down and compressed, as in the case of tanners' vats; and this mode of surrounding the vats with dry earth well pounded and rammed is continued to the top; a stout, close, well-fitted cover of two inch plank is then placed on each vat, with a hole sixteen inches square, to let a man down occasionally; this hole should have a short trunk of an inch and a half plank firmly nailed to its sides, and about fourteen inches high; then a covering of earth, twelve inches deep, should be placed all over the tops of these vats, and this earth well rammed and compacted together; and when levelled off, covered with composition or a floor of tiles. Each of the trap doors should have a well-fitted, wooden cover on the top, with a ring of iron in the centre; this cover should be made fire proof on the outside. The brick wall in front of these vats need not, I apprehend, exceed fourteen inches thick, if of brick, just sufficient to resist the force of pressure from ramming the clay; vats thus placed, with their contents, may be considered fire proof, and possessing as cool a temperature as if placed fifteen feet under ground; joined to this, they will last six times as long as those in cellars or vaults, although bound in iron, at a considerable higher expense. Two ranges of these vats may be placed in one house, leaving a sufficient space for a passage in the centre, with a window at each end to light it. I have never before either heard or read of this construction; but I have little hesitation in saying it will in many cases be found preferable to the present mode of placing vats—it being more convenient, cleanly, economical, and secure, and, to all intents and purposes, as effectual in point of temperature as those expensively placed deep under ground. Under the inside of the head of these vats, and across the joints, should run a piece of scantling six inches wide, and four inches deep, with an upright of the same dimensions in the centre, in order to support the covering on the head, and to prevent sinking, or swagging, from the weight of the covering that will be necessarily placed over them, which will be from six to ten inches thick.
Grinding, how substituted for.
Malt, for brewing, may be prepared in three different ways, by grinding, bruising, or pounding; modern practice, however, almost universally gives the preference to bruising between metal rollers. This preference, where malt is of the very first quality, may be justified; but where it is of an inferior quality, which is but too generally the case, grinding with stones is preferable, as more capable of producing a fine grist, which, with indifferent malt, is important, as it will always produce a richer extract, by being finely, rather than coarsely ground; and it is more soluble in water of suitable temperature than that malt which is only bruised or cracked, and for this simple reason, that all imperfect-made malt has a great proportion of its bulk unmalted, and, of course, in a crude hard state, which will partially dissolve in water if ground fine, but will not dissolve at all if only cracked or bruised. A further object of the brewer's attention should be to prevent the dispersion, or waste, of the finer parts of the malt, so apt to fly off in the grinding, if not prevented by having the malt bin close covered, as well as the spout leading into it from the stones; trifling as this precaution may seem, it is well worth the brewer's attention. Here it may not be improper to observe, that in all cases of horse, or cattle mills, where the shaft of the main wheel is perpendicular, no better ingredient can be placed in the chamber of the lower box than quick silver, which is far superior to oil or grease, and will not require renewing for a long time. The brass of a mill, managed in this way, might be expected to last twenty years, and the movement smoother and easier. This economical substitute for oil and grease can, with equal advantage, be applied to water mills, whether their shafts be horizontal or perpendicular; in a word, to all kinds of machinery, where the preservation of the gudgeons and brasses are an object.
The production of good malt is, without question, the key-stone of the arch of brewing; therefore the brewer's attention should be invariably directed to this point, as the most difficult and important part of his operations. The process of making malt is an artificial or forced vegetation, in which, the nearer we approach nature in her ordinary progress, the more certainly shall we arrive at the perfection of which the subject is capable. The farmer prefers a dry season to sow his small grain, that the common moisture of the earth may but gently insinuate itself into the pores of the grain, and thence gradually dispose it for the reception of the future shower, and the action of vegetation. The maltster cannot proceed by such slow degrees, but makes an immersion in water a substitute for the moisture of the earth, where a few hours infusion is equal to many days employed in the ordinary course of vegetation, and the grain is accordingly removed as soon as it appears fully saturated, lest a solution, and, consequently, a destruction of some of its parts should be the effect of a longer continuance in water, instead of that separation, which is begun by the introduction of watery particles into the body. Were it to be spread thin after this removal, it would become dry, and no vegetation would ensue; but being thrown into the couch, a kind of vegetative fermentation commences, which generates heat, and produces the first appearance of a vegetation. This state of the barley is nearly the same with that of many days continuance in the earth after sowing, but being in so large a body, it requires occasionally to be turned over and spread thinner; the former, to give the outward parts of the heap their share of the acquired warmth and moisture, both of which are lessened by exposure to the air; the latter, to prevent the progress of the vegetative to the putrefactive fermentation, which would be the consequence of suffering it to proceed beyond a certain degree. To supply the moisture thus continually decreasing by evaporation and consumption, an occasional, but sparing, sprinkling of water should be given to the floor, to recruit the languishing powers of vegetation, and imitate the shower upon the cornfield; but this should not be too often repeated; for, as in the field, too much rain, and too little sun, produces rank stems and thin ears, so here would too much water, and, of course, too little dry warmth, accelerate the growth of the malt, so as to occasion the extraction and loss of such of its valuable parts as, by a slower process, would have been duly separated and left behind. By the slow mode of conducting vegetation here recommended, an actual and minute separation of the parts takes place; the germination of the radicles and acrospire carries off the cohesive properties of the barley, thereby contributing to the preparation of the saccharine matter, which it has no tendency to extract, or otherwise injure, but to increase and meliorate, so long as the acrospire is confined within the husk; and by as much as it is wanting of the end of the grain, by so much does the malt fall short of perfection; and in proportion as it is advanced beyond, is that purpose defeated.
This is very evident to the most common observation, on examining a kernel of malt, in the different stages of its progress. When the acrospire has shot but half the length of the grain, the lower part only is converted into that mellow saccharine flour we are solicitous of, whilst the other half exhibits no other signs of it than the whole kernel did at its first germination: let it advance to two thirds of the length, and the lower end will not only have increased its saccharine flavour, but will have proportionably extended its bulk, so as to have left one third part unmalted. This, or even less than this, is contended for by many maltsters, as a sufficient advance of the acrospire, which, they say, has done its business, so soon as it has passed the middle of the kernel. But we need seek no further for their conviction of error, than the examination here alluded to.
Let the kernel be slit down the middle, and tasted at either end whilst green, or let the effects of mastication be tried when it is dried off; when the former will be found to exhibit the appearances just mentioned, the latter to discover the unwrought parts of the grain, in a stony hardness, which has no other effect in the mash tun, than that of imbibing a large proportion of the liquor, and contributing to the retention of those saccharine parts of the malt which are in contact with it; whence it is a rational inference, that three bushels of malt, imperfect in their proportion, are equal but to two of that which is carried to its utmost perfection. By this is meant the farthest advance of the acrospire, when it is just bursting from its confinement, before it has effected its enlargement. The kernel is then uniform in its internal appearance, and of a rich sweetness, in flavour equal to any thing we can conceive obtainable from imperfect vegetation. If the acrospire be suffered to proceed, the mealy substance melts into a liquid sweet, which soon passes into the blade, and leaves the husk entirely exhausted. The sweet thus produced by the infant efforts of vegetation, and lost by its more powerful action, revives, and makes a second appearance in the stem, but is then too much dispersed and altered in its form to answer any of the known purposes of art.
The periods of its perfect appearance are in both cases remarkably critical. It is at first perfect at the instant the kernel is going to send forth the acrospire, and form itself into the future blade; it is again discovered perfect when the ear is labouring at its extrication, and hastening the production of the yet unformed kernels; in this it appears, the medium of nature's chemistry, equally employed by her in her mutation of the kernel into the blade, and her formation thus of other kernels, by which she effects the completion of that circle to which the operations of the vegetable world are limited. Were we to inquire by what means the same barley, with the same treatment, produces unequal portions of the saccharine matter in different situations, we should perhaps find it principally owing to the different qualities of the water used in malting, some of which are so much better suited to the quality of the grain than others, that the difference is truly astonishing. Hard water is very unfit for every purpose of vegetation, and soft will vary its effects according to the predominating quality of its impregnations. Pure elementary water is in itself supposed to be only the vehicle of the nutriment of plants, entering at the capillary tubes of the roots rising into the body, and here depositing its acquired virtues, perspiring by innumerable fine pores at the surface, and thence evaporating by the purest distillation into the open atmosphere, where it begins anew its rounds of collecting fresh properties, in order to its preparation for fresh service. This theory leads us to the consideration of an attempt to increase the natural quantity of the saccharum of malt by adventitious means; but it must be observed, on this occasion, that no addition to water will rise into the vessels of plants, but such as will pass the filter, the pores of which appearing somewhat similar to the fine strainers of absorbing vessels employed by nature in her nicer operations; we by analogy conclude, that properties so intimately blended with water as to pass the one, will enter and unite with the economy of the other, and vice versa.
Supposing the malt to have obtained its utmost perfection, according to the criterion here inculcated, to prevent its further progress, and secure it in that state, we are to call in the assistance of a heat, sufficient to destroy the action of vegetation, by evaporating every particle of water, and thence leaving it in a state of preservation fit for the present or future purpose of the brewer. Thus having all its moisture extracted, and being by the previous process deprived of its cohesive property, the body of the grain is left a mere lump of flour, so easily divisible that, the husk being taken off, a mark may be made with the kernel, as with a piece of soft chalk. The extractable qualities of this flour are saccharum, closely united with a large quantity of the farinaceous mucilage peculiar to bread corn, and a small portion of oil enveloped by a fine earthy substance, the whole readily yielding to the impression of water, applied at different times, and different degrees of heat, and each part predominating in proportion to the time and manner of its application. In the curing of malt, as nothing more is requisite than a total extrication of every watery particle, if we had in the season proper for malting a sun heat sufficient to produce perfect dryness, it were practicable to produce beer nearly colourless; but that being wanting, and the force of custom having made it necessary to give our beers various tinctures and qualities resulting from fire, for the accommodation of various tastes, we are necessitated to apply such heats in the drying as shall not only answer the purpose of preservation, but give the complexion and property required; to effect this with certainty, and precision, the introduction of the thermometer is necessary, but the real advantages of its application are only to be known from experiment, on account of the different construction of different kilns, the irregularity of the heat in different parts of the same kiln, the depth of the malt, the distance of the bulb of the thermometer from the floor; for though similar heats will produce similar effects in the same situation, yet the distribution of heat in every kiln is so irregular, that the medium spot for the local situation of the thermometer as a standard, cannot be easily fixed for ascertaining effects upon the whole. That done, the several degrees, necessary for the purposes of porter, amber, pale beers, &c. are easily discovered to the utmost exactness, and become the certain rule of future practice.
Though custom has laid this arbitrary injunction of variety on our malt liquors, it may not be amiss to intimate the losses we often sustain, and the inconvenience we combat in our obedience to her mandates.
The further we pursue the deeper tints of colour by an increase of heat, beyond that which simple preservation requires the more we injure the valuable qualities of the malt. It is well known that scorched oils turn black, and that calcined sugar assumes the same complexion; similar effects are producible in malts, in proportion to the increase of heat, or the time of their continuing exposed to it. The parts of the whole being so intimately united by nature, an injury cannot be done to the one without affecting the other; accordingly we find that such parts of the subject as might have been severally extracted for the purpose of a more intimate union by fermentation, are, by great heat in curing, burned and blended so effectually together, that all discrimination is lost—the unfermentable are extracted with the fermentable, the integrant with the constituent, to the very great loss of spirituosity and transparency. In paler malts the extracting liquor produces a separation, which cannot be effected in brown, where the parts are so incorporated, that unless the brewer is very acquainted with their several qualities and attachments, he will bring over with the burned mixture of saccharine and mucilaginous principles, such an abundance of the scorched oils, as no fermentation can attenuate, no precipitants remove; for being themselves impediments to the action of fermentation, they lessen its efficacy; and being of the same specific gravity with the beer, they remain suspended in, and incorporated with, the body of it—an offence to the eye, and nausea to the palate, to the latest period. From this account it is evident the drying of malt is an article of the utmost consequence concerning the proper degree of heat to be employed for this purpose. Mr. Combrune has related some experiments made in an earthen pan, of about two feet diameter, and three inches deep, in which was put as much of the palest malts, very unequally grown, as filled it to the brim. This being placed over a charcoal fire, in a small stove, and kept continually stirred from bottom to top, exhibited different changes according to the degrees of heat employed on the whole. He concludes, that true germinated malts are charred in heats between one hundred and seventy-five, and one hundred and eighty degrees, and that as these correspond to the degrees in which pure alcohol, or the finest spirit of the grain itself boils, or disengages itself therefrom, they may point out to us the reason of barley being the fittest grain for the purpose of brewing.
From these experiments, Mr. Combrune has constructed a table of the different degrees of the dryness of malt, with the colour occasioned by the difference of heat. Thus, malt exposed to one hundred and nineteen degrees, is white; to one hundred and twenty-four, cream colour; one hundred and twenty-nine, light yellow; one hundred and thirty-four, amber colour; one hundred and thirty-eight, brown; one hundred and fifty-two, high brown; one hundred and fifty-seven, brown, inclining to black; one hundred and sixty-two, high brown speckled with black; one hundred and seventy-one, colour of burned coffee; one hundred and seventy-six, black. This account not only shows us how to judge of the dryness of malt by its colour; but also, when grist is composed of several kinds of malt, what effect the whole will have when blended together by extraction. Experience proves that the less heat we employ in drying malt, the shorter time will be required before the beer that is brewed from it is fit to drink, and this will be according to the following table:
- A table giving the heats of different coloured malts, and the time beer takes to ripen when brewed from them. - 124 Degrees 1 Month. 138 Degrees 6 Months. 152 Degrees 15 Months. 130 Degrees 3 Months. 143 Degrees 7 Months. 157 Degrees 20 Months. 134 Degrees 4 Months. 148 Degrees 10 Months. 162 Degrees 32 Months.
The plain practical process of Malting pale Malt, according to the most approved English method.
Suppose you are about to malt spring or summer barley, and that your steep contains sixty bushels. The time generally allowed for this kind of grain to remain in steep is from forty to forty-eight hours, taking care to give two waters; the first water is to continue on the grain twenty-four hours, then run off, and fresh water put on. This precaution is essentially necessary, in order to make clean bright malt, and should never be omitted. It is further right, at each watering, to skim off the surface of the water the light grain, chaff, and seed weeds, that are found floating on it; all this kind of trash, when suffered to remain in the steep, is a real injury to the malt, and considerably depreciates its value when offered for sale, and not less so when brewed. The depth of water over the barley in the steep need not exceed two or three inches, but should not be less. When the barley has remained in steep the necessary time, the water is let off by a plug hole at the bottom of the steep, with a strainer on the inside of the hole; when the barley is thus sufficiently strained, it should be let down by a plug hole in the bottom of the steep into the couch frame on the lower floor, (or adjoining to it, which would be the better construction,) which is no more than a square or oblong inclosure of inch and a half boards ledged together, and about two feet deep, of sufficient capacity to hold the contents of the steep, and so placed, in upright grooves, as to ship and unship in this frame. The steeped barley is to remain for twenty-four hours in the frame, when it should be broke out, and carefully turned from the bottom to the top, nearly of the same thickness it was in the frame, not less than sixteen or eighteen inches, where it should be suffered to remain twenty-four hours longer, or until the germination begins to appear: but this will be always shorter or longer, according to the temperature of the season, and is generally ascertained by sinking your hand towards the middle of the heap, and bringing up a handful of the grain, which, if regularly germinated, will make its appearance in every grain of barley, by appearing white at one end; at this stage of the process, (supposing the temperature of your malt house sixty degrees,) the heap should be extended on the floor, to the thickness of eight inches; after which it should be turned three or four times a day, according to the season, and the progress of vegetation; gradually reducing the thickness of the couch to four or five inches; but it should be remarked, that as soon as the root begins to dry and wither, the watering pot is to be used; the judicious management of which is one of the most important parts of the process of malting, and should be paid particular attention to. One watering, well applied, will, in most cases, answer the purpose. Two thirds of the whole quantity of water should be given to the upper surface of the couch, then turn it, and give the remaining third of the water to the couch when turned. The whole quantity of water to be used for sixty bushels of American spring barley, may be averaged at fifty-four gallons; this quantity will, consequently, allow thirty-six gallons to be as evenly distributed over the surface of the couch for the first water, as possible; the remaining eighteen gallons to be put on in the same way: when the couch is turned after this last watering, the whole couch should be turned back again; thus, in every turning, the bottom and top should always exchange places. In this stage of the process, care should be taken to turn the couch frequently, to prevent the growth of the root, in order to give the greater facility to the growth of the blade, it being essentially requisite to keep that of the root stationary, to prevent a waste of strength in the grain. Three or four days after watering, is generally found a sufficient time for the blade to grow fully up to the end of the grain; farther than which it should not be suffered to proceed. The couch should be now checked in its growth, and thrown on the second or withering floor, where it should be laid thin, and frequently turned; this continued operation will bring it dry and sweet to the kiln, to which it may be committed without further delay. Although the common practice is to throw it up into what is commonly termed a sweet-heap, and so remain from twelve to twenty-four hours, or until you can hardly bear your hand in it; then, and not before, is it considered fit to go on the kiln. This is a practice that cannot be too much condemned, or too generally exploded, as producing the very worst consequences; a few of which I will mention. Green malt, thus treated, becomes in a manner decomposed; and beer brewed from such malt will never keep long, acquiring a disagreeable, nauseous flavour, rapidly tending to acidity, beside becoming unusually high coloured. Although the malt, before grinding, will have all the appearance of pale malt, this quality can be easily accounted for by the high heat the malt is suffered to acquire in the heap before putting it on the kiln. What I have here mentioned will, I trust, suffice to recommend a more judicious mode of practice. Forty-eight hours for malt to remain on the kiln is enough, as pale malt can be completely dried in that time, if frequently turned, and properly attended to. It is further worthy of remark, that barley malt should in no case exceed fifteen or sixteen days from the steep to the kiln, and is often more successfully effected in twelve or thirteen days. The common practice of maltsters is to allow twenty one days, which generally brings the green malt in a mouldy state to the kiln, to the great injury of flavour and preservation in beer brewed from such malts; whereas, the grain should be brought as sweet and dry as circumstances will allow of to this last and important operation of malting, every part of which requires minute and continued attention. When you suppose your malt sufficiently dry, make a round space in the centre of your kilncast by shovelling the malt to the extremities; after which, sweep this space, and shovel back again your malt from the walls and angles into it; make a round heap of the whole on the centre of your kiln, sweep your kiln all round the foot of your heap; so let it stand two hours, then throw it off; this last operation is performed to give every chance for equal drying. The practice of many maltsters is to take seventy two hours to dry their pale malt, keeping all the time a very slow and slack fire, this is another capital error, and should be corrected with the former ones. Various are the opinions entertained, as to the best mode of preserving malt after coming off the kiln: some are of opinion that the circumambient air should have a free access to it; this opinion, I admit, might have weight if such malt was to be immediately brewed; but where it is allowed to remain in heap for four or five months, and gradually become cool, the less air admitted to have access to it the better; this has been the practice and opinion of the most judicious maltsters I have been acquainted with, and, consequently, is what I would recommend, except in the case of immediate use, where exposure becomes necessary, particularly after grinding, as malt so treated will bear a higher liquor, and yield a more preserving extract.
To avoid useless and unnecessary repetitions, it is enough simply to state, that winter barley, being a weaker bodied grain than summer, requires less watering, consequently, a less time in steep, say 36 to 40 hours, and about 32 gallons of water to sixty bushels will be sufficient on the floor; the other treatment the same.
Oats the same,
with about 24 gallons of water on the floor, for sixty bushels, divided as directed in the case of summer and winter barley; the remaining part of the process the same.
Rye may be steeped 48 hours, with 48 gallons of water on the floor; the remainder of the process the same, quantity of grain sixty bushels.
The above time in steep, and same proportion of water on the floor, will answer to make wheat malt, suppose 60 bushels, varying somewhat according to season, the time of steeping, and bringing to the kiln; the remainder of the process the same.
Indian Corn Malt, a valuable auxiliary to Brewing materials.
This species of grain well managed, and made into malt, will be found alike useful to the brewer and distiller, but it is peculiarly adapted to the brewing of porter; further, it is known to possess more saccharine matter than any other grain used in either brewing or distilling, joined to the advantage of not interfering with the season for malting barley, as this should commence when the former ceases. The summer months are the fittest for malting this kind of grain, and can be only very defectively made at any other season, as it requires a high temperature to force germination, and cause it to give out all its sweet. The following process, it is expected, will be found to answer every purpose wished for: suppose your steep to contain sixty bushels, after you have levelled it off, let on your water as directed in malting barley; you should give fresh water to your steep at the end of twenty-four hours. If it is southern corn you are malting, it will require to remain in steep seventy-two hours in the whole; if it be northern corn, it will require ninety-six hours, there being a considerable difference in the density of these two kinds of grain; the hardest, of course, requires the most water; and, in all cases, the fresher Indian corn is from the cob the better it will malt. When you have accomplished the necessary time in your steep, you let off your water; and, when sufficiently drained, let it down in your couch frame, where it will require turning once in twelve hours, in order to keep it of equal temperature; the depth of the grain should be about two feet and a half in the frame; as it begins to germinate and grow, open your frame, and thin it down at every turning, until you reduce its thickness to six or seven inches; thus extending it on your lower floor, turning it more frequently, as the growth is rapid. The vegetation of the grain, together with the turning, will by this time make the watering pot necessary; the criterion by which you will judge of its fitness for the water, is as soon as you perceive the root or acrospire begins to wither. Two thirds of your water is to be distributed over the surface of your couch for the first watering, which will require thirty-two gallons, and when turned back again, sixteen gallons for the second watering, making in the whole forty-eight gallons of water to sixty bushels of corn. This water should be put on with a gardener's watering pot, as equally as possible. Supposing this pot to contain four gallons, it will make eight pots for the first watering, and four for the second. In this stage of the operation the turnings on the floor should be very frequent, in order to keep the grain cool, as the heat of the weather, at this season, will be sufficient to promote and perfect the vegetation. The second day after the first watering, if the blade is not sufficiently grown, water again, but in less quantity, say one half. It will be now four or five days more before the couch is ready for the kiln, which will be ascertained by the blade becoming the full length of the corn. After this it should be thrown on the upper floor, and suffered to wither for a couple of days, turning it frequently; by this time the blade will have a yellow appearance, the grain will become tender, and, if tasted, be found uncommonly sweet; in this state it may be committed to the kiln, and dried in the usual way.
N. B. It will generally take ten days after it is out of the steep to perfect the malting of southern corn, and twelve days for northern.
Notwithstanding that progress of improvement in the doctrine of fermentation has, in the last twenty years, far surpassed any thing in the same period that preceded it, we have still much to learn. Fermentation is the instrument or means which nature employs in the decomposition of vegetable and animal bodies, or reduction of them to their original elements, or first principles. Fermentation is, therefore, a spontaneous separation of the component parts of these bodies, and is one of those processes that is conducted by nature for their resolution, and the combination and fermentation of other bodies out of them; therefore, it is one of these operations in which nature is continually present, and going on before our eyes; this may be one reason that a very critical observance of it has escaped our attention. Fermentation brings us acquainted with this unerring axiom; that nothing in nature is lost; or that matter, of which all things are composed, is indestructible. For instance, the vinous process of fermentation, succeeded by distillation, produces ardent spirits, or alcohol, the elements of which are here described. If we pass this alcohol, or spirits of wine, through a glass, porcelain, or metallic tube, heated right hot, provided with a suitable condenser and apparatus to separate and contain the parts or products, it will be decomposed and resolved into its primitive elements, carbonic acid gas, or fixed air, and hydrogen gas, or inflammable air; the oxygen being decomposed and united with the oxygen, or vital air, into carbonic acid gas; the water of the spirit of wine being also decomposed, or resolved into its first principles as herein is stated, forms a part of the produce before mentioned.
Hence spontaneous fermentation, vinous, acetous, and putrefactive, is the natural decomposition of animal and vegetable matters, to which a certain degree of fluidity is necessary; for where vegetable and animal substances are dry, as sugar and glue for instance, and are kept so, no fermentation of any kind succeeds.
There can be no doubt that spontaneous fermentation first taught mankind the means of procuring wine and other agreeable beverage; observation and industry the means of making spirit and vinegar, the first of which is evidently the produce of art, combined with the operations of nature.
With nature for our guide, and our own ingenuity, fermentation has been made subservient to the various products we now obtain from saccharine and fermentable matters, such as sugar, molasses, grain, with which we have made wine, spirits, bread, beer, malt, &c.; which last has much facilitated our practice in fermentation, but proved the tide-ending, or point of stagnation to its further improvement. Relying too much on malted grain in the operation of fermentation, we are presented with some of the most pleasing and instructive phenomena of nature; the resolutions and combinations that are formed during the process of the vinous and acetous stages of fermentation, are interesting, beyond comparison, to the brewer, malt and molasses distillers, vintager, cider and vinegar maker, &c. The elastic fluids and volatile principles that are extricated and escape, formerly so little attended to, are now better understood. The method of commodiously saving, and advantageously applying them, and other volatile products, to the improvement of the fermenting and other fluids, will, I hope, not only form a new era in the progress of fermenting, brewing, distilling, &c. but a new source of profit, that may, in time, lead to a recomposition of those elements from which they were produced, or, at least, the fermentation of vinous fluids, vinegar, spirit, &c. by resorting to an inexhaustible source supplied by nature, of these important materials, and their application to the uses that may be made of that abundance so easily procurable, and at present so unprofitably wasted. But to continue our views to the business immediately before us, let us begin with the several products, by stating that carbonic acid gas, or fixed air, is copiously extracted from fluids in a state of vinous fermentation, and sundry mineral and vegetable substances, easily procurable, for which we have the testimony of our own senses; the same may be said of hydrogen gas, oxygen gas, &c. Presuming these positions granted, let us make a short inquiry into the composition of vinous fluids, &c. Apprehending there are but few people to whom these observations will be useful, but what will allow that all vinous fluids, whether intended for beer, wine, cider, &c. are the produce of saccharine matter, or fermentable matter obtained from the sugar cane, grain, fruit, &c. and the part which art at present takes in this beautiful process of nature, is to facilitate her operations in proportion to observation and experience, in conformity to the object in view, in making wine, beer, cider, spirit, &c.; or, subsequent to the vinous, to forward the progress of the acetous fermentation for the production of vinegar. The saccharine or fermentable matter of vegetables, consists in what is chemically called hydrogen gas, or inflammable air; carbonic acid gas, or fixed air; oxygen gas, or vital air; which last forms nearly one third part of the whole atmosphere, circumvolving our globe in which we breathe; or, more exactly, thirty-seven parts of oxygen, and seventy-three of azotic gas, are the component parts of our atmosphere, except the small proportion of undecomposed carbonic acid gas there may be found in it.
Beer, wine, cider, malt and molasses wash, and other product by distillation; spirit consists of these three elastic fluids or airs, in composition with various proportions of water. Water itself is a compound of vital and inflammable air; a proof of this, and of the indestructibility of matter, these two elastic fluids burned together, in certain proportions, and in a proper apparatus, reproduce water. By another chemical process, this very water is reducible to these two substances, vital and inflammable air; hence, we see, that all saccharine and fermentable matter, and their products, by fermentation, are composed of the same materials, and resolvable into the same elements.
It is scarcely necessary to give any definition of spontaneous fermentation, after what has been said on the subject; if it was, I would say it is that tendency which all fermentable matter has to decomposition, attended with intestine motion or ebullition, when sufficiently diluted with water, under a certain temperature of the atmosphere, the rapidity of which motion is always accompanied by an increase of temperature, or the change to a greater degree of heat generated within the body of the fermenting fluid, in proportion to the rapidity or augmentation of motion or ebullition excited. Fermentation produced by the addition of yest, or any other suitable ferment, in a fluid duly prepared, is governed by the same laws, and under the same influence of temperature, except when it is accelerated or protracted by the management of the operator, or by the changes induced by the influence of the atmosphere, rendered more or less subservient to his purposes, and produces a similar kind of spirit by distillation, possessing in common the properties of vinous spirit, or is converted to vinegar by the subsequent process of acetous fermentation, but much more productive in quantity and quality, so as to answer commercial purposes. In both spontaneous and excited fermentation, there is a similar escape of a large quantity of elastic fluid, or carbonic acid gas, with a considerable proportion of spirit, and some of the water of the fermented fluid. This gas is known to form a considerable part of mucilaginous substances, as sugar, molasses, honey, malt, and other saccharine and fermentable matter.
Although the doctrine of fermentation, as a science, does not enable us to alter the spontaneous course of nature; yet if, by the assistance of the instruments, and means recommended, we are enabled to foresee and provide for the changes induced by the alterations of the atmosphere, we can guard against the inconveniences in some cases, and make them subservient to our purpose in others; so as more securely to conduct the process in each to advantage; and that with unusual facility; complex as it at present appears: it will not only be a great improvement in the present mode of fermentation; but facilitate our progress to still greater improvements in the doctrine of fermentation. Therefore, the rule of our conduct, in these pursuits, should be to watch the operations of nature with the closest attention, and assist her when languid, and control her when too violent; that is, by spurring in one instance, and bridling in the other, and accurately and undeviatingly apply the means proposed in the manner recommended, until experience enables us to improve it; otherwise, we shall only admire, without improving or profiting by her choicest phenomena.
The motions of the planets, perplexed and intricate as they must have appeared in the infancy of astronomy, are now calculated and known with ease and precision.
Attenuation is a term not unaptly applied to fermentation, the property of attenuation being to divide, then dilute, and rarify thick, gross, viscid, and dense substances, in which some degree of fluidity is pre-supposed; it is, therefore, that kind of dilution or fluidity which is promoted by agitation, and very aptly applied to mark the progress of fermentation, which is itself the process of nature, for decomposing vegetable and animal substances under a convenient degree of fluidity; it exists in intestine motion, either spontaneous or excited, accompanied with heat, which, under certain limits, is proportioned to the vigour of the fermentation, which ends in the decomposition of one class of bodies, and the composition of another; and which may be instanced in the resolving saccharine substances into hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, and the combining them into inflammable spirits, or alcohol, and inflammable acids or vinegar; to which may be added, the lower you attenuate, the lighter and more spiritous the fermenting fluid becomes; and that attenuation, which is the offspring of fermentation, like the parent process, has its bounds, and can only be conducted with certainty and advantage by the use of the hydrometer, thermometer, &c. In this only lies the difference between the old word fermentation, and the new word attenuation, every thing used as a ferment, or to promote fermentation, is attenuant. The tendency of the vinous process of fermentation is to evolve or disentangle the hydrogen of the fermenting fluid, and unite it, with the carbon and oxygen of the same fluid, into ardent spirit, wine, beer, or alcohol, which last is well known to be inflammable. The tendency of the acetous process of fermentation, is to involve or entangle the hydrogen and carbon of the fermented fluid, with a greater proportion of oxygen, into vinegar, which is uninflammable. The fixed air, or carbonic acid gas, so abundantly extricated during the vinous process of fermentation, which every one concerned in the process is presumed to be acquainted with, is either composed of hydrogen and oxygen, or is a composition of carbon and oxygen, on which philosophers are divided in opinion. As the result is the same with respect to the formation of wine, beer, and spirit, I shall enter into no controversial reasoning on this head, instead of which, I shall endeavour to point out the most effectual mode of saving and profitably applying it, and the other elements, in the composition of wine, beer, spirit, and acid.
As in fermentation, spontaneous or excited, there is a sensible escape of carbonic acid gas, or fixed air, it may not be improper to note, that fermentable, or saccharine matter, consists of about twenty-eight pounds of carbon, eight pounds of hydrogen, and sixty-four pounds of oxygen, reducible into fixed, inflammable, and vital air, weighing one hundred subtile pounds in toto, or that every one hundred subtile pounds of saccharine matter consists of such proportions of these airs and gasses.
Attenuation is the result of a due resolution of the fermentable matter produced by excited fermentation, which divides mucilages, resolves viscidities, breaks down cohesions, generates heat and motion, extricates the imprisoned gasses, and, by frequent commixture, promotes the action and re-action of the component particles on each other, and by continually exposing a fresh surface and opposition of matter, brings them within the sphere of each other's attraction.
As their original attraction is weakened by heat and motion, their expansion is increased by repulsion; and as they revolve, and recede from each other in this way, they are fitted, by the change in their modification, to involve each other, and from new attractions combining with each other into new substances, according to affinity, under changes induced in their nature conducive to this end, which not being exactly known, cannot at present be fully defined. In every brewing, or preparation of saccharine fluid for fermentation, the following phenomena occur: first, heat is either disengaged or fixed: secondly, an elastic fluid is either formed or absorbed in a nascent state: these two indisputable facts form the uniform and invariable phenomena of fermentation, and may be admitted as an established axiom, that the proportions, extrication, and action of heat, with the fermentation and fixation of elastic fluids, during the process, are the foundation of the vinous products of the fermenting fluid. In conformity to so rational a theory, I have for many years regulated my practice, the result of which is the object of these papers. These, therefore, are the three great objects which should engage our attention; not only in fermentation, but in every similar process in chemistry, and are the fundamental principles of our doctrine. FERMENTATION being not only a decomposition of the fermentable matter, but of the water of the fluid also; and the fixed air formed during the process being composed of the hydrogen and oxygen of the fermentable matter, and the water of the fluid also, there is a perpetual decomposition and recomposition of that water, which gives fluidity to the whole mass, taking place during the continuance of the process, part of the hydrogen and oxygen of which escapes under the form of fixed air, for want of a proper substance being presented of affinity enough to absorb and combine with it into wine, beer, or spirit, or some other necessary assistance in heat, light, motion, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, &c. or an intermedium to facilitate the formation of wine, beer, or spirit, in preference to fixed air. Fixed air, or carbonic acid gas, consists of about twenty-five parts of oxygen, and nine of carbon, devested of the mucilage and yest that rises with it. It should be recollected, that the decomposition of pyrites, the formation of nitre, respiration, fermentation, &c. are low degrees of combustion, and though it is the property of combustion to form fixed and phlogisticated airs, both the modes of doing it, and the quantity of the products, depend on the manner of oxygenating them in the changes brought about by the different modes of combustion, or fermentation in the vinous, acetous, and putrid process, which show the affinity between them.
Fermentation is a subsequent low combustion of the vegetable oxydes or grain, that has undergone a previous, but partial combustion, something like the slightly charring, or oxydating of wood or pit-coal, by which the oxygenation is incomplete in both, and rendered more complete in the former. An ultimate combustion of the fermentable matter employed, is found only in the putrid process of fermentation, which is a final or total decomposition of vegetable and animal substances, in the actual combustion or burning of wood, charcoal, or bones.
In the vinous process we have seen the escape of carbonic acid gas; in the acetous process there is a great escape of azotic gas, or phlogisticated air, from the decomposition of the air of the atmosphere consumed in this process, which consists of about two-thirds of azotic gas, and one third of oxygen gas, the oxygenous part being absorbed in the acetous process, and azotic set free with more or less hydrogen and acetic gas, proportioned to the existing heat. If the heat is beyond a certain degree, a portion of the ethereal part of the new-formed acid escapes also.
 Twenty-seven parts of oxygen gas, and seventy-three of azotic gas.
In the putrid process, the hydrogen escapes under the acriform shape of inflammable air and azotic gas, and nothing more remains than mere earth or water, or both, as the case may be, which is exactly similar to other combustions, of which nothing remains, (if we except phosphorus) but earth or ashes, with what small portion of alkaline or other salts they may contain. This alkaline matter being present during the formation of carbonic and azotic gas, absorbs, to saturation, a due proportion of them, and generates tartar.
Experience has taught us the truth or justness of this definition, and though it has brought us acquainted with the results of those three stages of fermentation, combustion, or decomposition, we have certainly overlooked the means of applying them with all the advantage they admit of in the business which is the subject of these papers, and which a little time and close observation must convince us of; and how much has been hitherto lost, with the means of saving it in future, shall be presently explained, and particularly pointed out.
In the prosecution of this design, where I may not be able to give an unexceptionable demonstration, I hope always to be provided with a practical proof, which may prove equally beneficial.
Let us now see what passes in a state of low combustion, such as may be the result of fermentation in vegetables, arising from heat, moisture, and motion, when impacted together. The most obvious occurrence of this nature is found in new hay, which, under these circumstances, for want of care and attention, often spontaneously takes fire, particularly in wet seasons.
Fermentation, being one of the lowest degrees of combustion, is here the spontaneous effect of the moist hay being impacted together, and not properly made, that is, without the superfluous juices being dried out of it, by which it retains a sufficient degree of fluidity or moisture to begin a fermentation, in which heat and motion are generated, and light, in a nascent state, extricated; these appearances accumulated and accelerated by incumbent pressure, the redundant moisture being soon exhausted, and the heat and motion increasing, the actual combustion of the mass takes place, which is much facilitated by a decomposition of the water of this moisture, and the air of the atmosphere, unavoidably insinuated between the interstices formed by the fibres of the hay, as they are impacted together into cocks, or stacks, breaks out into actual flame, or light visible. These are no novel appearances, but such as fall within the observation of every one; and the candid maltster will acknowledge, that from the same cause, though differently produced, similar effects may, and sometimes do, happen in the malt house, in the preparation of that modern article of luxury, by which we are enabled to make malt wine; and these instances are sufficient to prove fermentation to be a low degree of combustion, and to both simplify and explain the justness of this doctrine. The malting of corn is the first stage of vegetation, low combustion, and fermentation.
From observation and reasoning on what passes before our eyes, we discover the low species of fermentation, in which the malting of corn consists, to be a low degree of combustion, which, for want of due attention, may break out into actual flame. We were always acquainted with the effect: now reasoning on the subject brings us to a knowledge of the cause.
To any one well acquainted with the nature of fermentation, it must be manifest, that the malt distillers have paid more attention, and made greater progress in the improvement of the process than any other class of men interested in the success, though far from having arrived at their ne plus ultra.
The introduction of raw or unmalted corn; the close compactness of their working tun, or fermenting backs; the order and progressive succession with which they conduct the process; and the pains they necessarily take to arrive at a perfect attenuation, by a long protracted fermentation, with the early conviction of a reward proportioned to their diligence, and the success attending their best endeavours, when not frustrated by intervening causes, must be stronger inducements with them to delight in this instructive process of nature's formation, than with the brewer, who has not these immediate tests to encourage his labours, which the others daily derive from distillation, and which so quickly and uniformly terminates their hazards and success. The principal object in their view being a high and deliberate attenuation, with a full vinosity, without any further regard to the quality or flavour of their mash, as the combination of these qualities alone produces the required strength, in the cleanest manner.
The brewer's cares are many, and of longer duration: he is the vintager of our northern climates: his porter or ale should be an agreeable malt wine, suited to the palate of the district or neighbourhood he lives in, or, ultimately, to the taste of his customers. The time he has allotted himself for attenuation was first founded in error, derived from ignorance of the subject, and slavishly continued by that invincible tyrant, custom. Hurry marks the progress of his fermentation, which can only be corrected by his speedy mode of cleansing, and the consequent but necessary perishing of a part. He must begin with more accuracy at the mash tun than the malt distiller, as it is there he must not only regulate the strength, but, partially, the flavour and transparency of his malt wine. His object does not end with the malt distiller's, nor, like his, concentre in one focal point, the solution of the whole of the farina of the plant or grain employed, regardless of milkiness or transparency; he must carefully take the heats of his liquor, so as to solve and combine the qualities he has in view; which, if he misses in the first mash, is partly irremediable in the succeeding ones. His cares do not end here; independent of the minutiae of fermentation and cleansing, he has the flavour, fining, and bringing forward of his malt wines, nearly as much as the strength, to consider and employ his attention.
It will scarcely be supposed that I would make these observations merely with a view of drawing this comparison, though even it might throw some light on the subject, without an attempt at supplying the defects pointed out, and remedying the evils represented.
When the carbonic acid gas, or fixed air, so often mentioned in these papers may be rendered subservient to part of the improvements I have in view, and which is the constant, abundant, and uniform result of low combustion, or vinous fermentation, in proportion of thirty-five pounds weight to every hundred of saccharine or fermentable matter, fermented in a due proportion of liquor, or water; from the decomposition of which last, and the absorption of its oxygen, it is principally obtained.
We have previously seen that one hundred pounds of fermentable matter consists of eight pounds of hydrogen, twenty-eight of carbon, and sixty-four pounds of oxygen; we have also seen that about thirty-five pounds of carbon is extricated and detached from this quantity of fermentable matter, properly diluted in water during fermentation; allowing the usual quantity of spirit at the same time to be formed by the process of this superfluous carbon, (as it now appears) must come principally from that decomposition of the water of dilution, and not from saccharine matter employed, which contains altogether but twenty-eight pounds of carbon, the whole of which must necessarily go to the formation of the fifty-seven pounds of dry alcohol produced.
But not to descend too deeply into particulars that might lead into discussions not absolutely necessary in this place, let us take the produce of ten gallons of ardent spirit, at one to ten over proof. We here find that much more carbon has been generated, and given to the atmosphere, than went to the composition of this quantity of spirit, independent of the large quantity of alcohol dissolved in, and carried off by it, in its flight as before observed.
Allowing the average quantity of fermentable matter in a quarter of malt, barley, or other grain, to be only seventy-five pounds, then four quarters will be equal to three hundred subtile pounds of raw sugar; or eighty quarters of the one will be equal to six thousand pounds of the other, or three tuns weight of unadulterated molasses.
If we estimate the superfluous carbonic acid gas of this quantity of materials at only twenty-eight pounds per hundred, that will be sixteen hundred and eighty pounds dissipated during the fermentation, which is a loss, on every brewing of this quantity of materials, of upwards of forty-one gallons of spirit, of the strength of one to ten.
What is computed here in spirit, may easily be applied to wine, porter, beer, ale, sweets, &c. In barrels allowing three gallons and three quarts of spirit per barrel to the former, and four gallons per barrel to the latter, which gives eleven barrels and three quarters of the one, and ten barrels and a quarter of the other, lost on each brewing of eighty quarters of malt, or the average of that quantity of other materials, by the mismanagement of the fermentation in one point only.
It must appear evident to every person capable of investigating this calculation, that every six or seven pounds of carbon, fixed upon each quarter of malt, or other materials, there will be an augmentation of gravity or strength on this number of quarters, of ten or twelve barrels each brewing; that is, every six or seven pounds of this fugitive carbon that we arrest and fix in the fermenting fluid, as a component part of the subsequent produce, by presenting the requisite portion of oxygen and hydrogen, for the purpose within the sphere of each others attraction, we increase our strength in the before-mentioned ratio. It is of little moment whether this redundant gas comes from the water of dilution or from the fermentable matter, as under, if we can by any means turn it to account.
We have presumed the average quantity of fermentable matter at seventy-five pounds per quarter; this must be evidently on the best goods; this will give us a length of three barrels per quarter of malt of eight bushels, of twenty-five pounds per barrel, specific gravity. Suppose the apparent attenuation of these goods to be nineteen pounds, the transparent gravity will be six pounds per barrel, viz.
Gravity of the worts in the cooler just before letting down into the guile-tun, per barrel, 25 lb. Apparent attenuation per barrel, 19 lb. Transparent gravity per barrel, 6 —- 25 lb.
Or take it as it really is, viz. specific gravity per barrel, 25 lb. Real attenuation per barrel, 13 lb. 8 oz. Yest and lees, 5 8 ———— 19 lb. Gravity per barrel, when transparent, 6 —- 25 lb.
It may be said that nineteen pounds is the real attenuation, and the yest and lees produced is part thereof, as the fluid, or beer, in a state of transparency is but six pounds per barrel specific gravity, and it may, in some degree, be allowed to be so, as there is really so much gravity lost during the process of fermentation. If we multiply thirteen pounds eight ounces, which I have called the real attenuation, by four, we shall find the result to be fifty-four pounds, which is nineteen pounds more of superfluous gas upon four barrels of worts, of twenty-five pounds gravity each, than is extricated from an equivalent quantity of saccharine matter; that is, from one hundred pounds of raw sugar or one hundred and twelve pounds of molasses, and their respective waters of dilution, when the yest and lees do not exceed five pounds eight ounces per barrel. This may be truly called an analysis of the fermentable matter, giving the component parts tolerably exact; though much depends on the management of the fermentation, and the subsequent cleansing. By this analysis it appears, that the mucilage of malt, or grain, gives out more gas than the mucilage of sugar; and leaves a doubt on the mind whether to adjudge the superfluous gas to the fermentable matter, or to the water of dilution, or partly to both; but so it is, that these are the products, whatever source we derive them from, and there is no denying facts. The yest first added is not brought into this account.
There is a great similarity of appearance between the two species of low combustion, fermentation and respiration. Fermentation, like respiration, is the spontaneous effort of involuntary motion to decomposition; and in the fermenting mass, as in the animal system, it raises the temperature of both above that of the surrounding atmosphere: that is, it is the cause of heat and involuntary motion, both in the fermenting mass and in the animal system; and, like slow combustion, consumes both, and resolves them into their first principles, from which tendency the latter is constantly withheld by the ingesta, fuel, or food, thrown in. I am well aware I must not carry this reasoning any further.
Deep investigation may be thought not to be the object of our research; but we must always have two things in view in inquiries of this nature; indeed, in every pursuit of useful knowledge, where, like the present, it is connected with the first principles, to pursue the winding path of nature, through all her meanderings, up to the ultimate source of these elements, which are the instruments of her operations; and when we are favoured with a knowledge of these, either as the reward of laboured assiduity and attention, or the result of chance, to copy the original as close as we can.
I know I shall be justly accused with tautology. I must plead guilty to the charge, not having leisure to apply the pruning hook of correction. The misfortune is, that new doctrines must appear in a new dress, by which they wear the garb of novelty, though, with respect to first principles, there is nothing new under the sun; yet the application of these principles might have remained in oblivion for ever if not called into action. The man who in an age calls them into action, and beneficially applies them for the good of that community of which he is a member, may be virtually, though not literally, called the discoverer of a principle. The man that projects, and the man that executes a voyage of discovery, have superior claims to the man at the mast head who first cries out land. The new turn that the discoveries of modern philosophers has given to natural philosophy, requiring a change of names as well as system; unusual words are unavoidably introduced to express new terms of science, which gives a different character and fashion to the whole, that I should have great pleasure in avoiding, were it possible, which it obviously is not, finding it easier to glide down the stream than oppose its torrent.