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history of brewing.

No notice is taken of beer or ale in the Books of Moses; from which it is probable that they were unknown till after the death of that legislator. All the ancient Greek writers agree in assigning the honour of the discovery of beer to the Egyptians, whose a country, being annually inundated by the Nile, was not adapted to the cultivation of vines. Herodotus, who wrot^ about 450 years before the commencement of the Christian era, informs us that the Egyptians made their wine from barley, because they had no vines. Oifffi 8* fx xgiôtuv vwruntiimp dta^tovrou ou yaç <r$tv ma îv rji yjaffl a/junXoi. Herodoti, lib. ii., c. 78. Pliny says that this liquid in jEgypt was called zythum (Plinii Hist Naty lib. xxii., c. 25). The same name was given to it by the inhabitants of Galatia, who, according to Diodorus Siculus, were unable to cultivate grapes on account of the coldness of their climate. Beer was distinguished among the Greeks by a variety of names. It was called o/m xgtOtvov (barley wine) from its vinous properties, and from the material employed in its formation. In Sophocles, and probably other Greek writers, it is distinguished by the name of figvrov. Dioscorides describes two kinds of beer, to one of which he gives the name of and to the other xouy« ; but he gives us no description of either sufficient to enable us to distinguish them from each other. (Dioscorides, lib. ii., c. 79 and 80.) Both, he informs us, were made from barley ; and similar liquids were manufactured in Spain and Britain from wheat.

Tacitus informs us, that, in his time, beer was the common drink of the Germans ; and from his imperfect description of the process which they followed, it is not unlikely, or rather there can be no doubt, that they were acquainted with the method of converting barley into malt. u Potui humor ex hordeo aut frumento in quandam similitudinem vini corruptus." {De Morttms German. c. 23.) Pliny gives us some details respecting beer, though they are by no means satisfactory. He distinguishes it by the name of cerevisia or cervisia, the appellation by which it is always known in modern Latin books.

This liquid does not seem to have come into general use in Greece or Italy; but in Germany and Britain, and some other countries, it appears to have been the common drink of the inhabitants, at least as early as the time of Tacitus, and probably long before. It has continued in these countries ever since, and great quantities of beer are still manufactured in Germany, in the Low Countries, and in Britain.

The first treatise published on the subject, as far as we know, was by Basil Valentine. This treatise, according to Boerhaave, is both accurate and elegant. In the year 1585, Thaddeus Jiagecius ab Hayek, a Bohemian writer, published a treatise entitled De Cervisia ejusque conficiendi ratione, natura, viribus et facultatibus. This little treatise, consisting only of fifty pages, is written with great simplicity and perspicuity, and gives as accurate a description of the whole process of brewing as any treatise on the subject which we have seen. In the early part of the eighteenth century, Mr Combrune, who, we believe, was a practical London brewer, published a book, entitled The Theory and Practice of

Brewing. This book has gone through many editions, and, we believe, is still reckoned the standard book on the subject. But the attempts' made in it to give a rational theory of brewing are far from being satisfactory. Nor can any stress be laid upon the experiments which it contains on the colour of malt, according to the temperature at which it is dried. The fact is, that malt may be rendered brown, or even black, by exposure to a very low heat; while it may be exposed to a very considerable temperature without losing its colour. The writer of this treatise has seen malt exposed on the kiln to a heat of 175° F. without losing its colour, or without being deprived of the power of vegetating when put into the ground; and he has reason to believe that these properties would have remained unaltered had the temperature been raised still higher. It is not the degree of heat applied, but the rapidity with which it is raised, that darkens the colour of malt. If the heat at first does not exceed 100°, and if, after the malt is dried as much as it can be at that temperature, the heat be raised to 120°, kept some time at that temperature, and then raised gradually higher, and if we continue to proceed in this manner, the temperature of the kiln may be elevated at least to 175° without in the least discolouring the malt.

In the year 1784 Mr Richardson of Hull published his Theoretic Hints on Brewing Malt Liquors, and his Statical Estimates of the Materials of Brewing, shewing the use of the Saccharometer. These books are reprehensible, on account of the air of mystery in which the subject is invested, and the avowal of the author, that he conceals certain parts of the processes. If a brewer conceives he knows more of his art than his neighbours, and chooses to keep his knowledge to himself, there is nothing to be said ; but if he publish a book upon the subject, and yet persists in his concealment, he deserves no quarter. His book, in such a case, can be looked upon in no other light than as a quack bill to advertise the goodness of his wares. Mr Richardson, however, deserves considerable praise for the saccharometer, which he appears to have been the first to bring under the notice of the brewer. This instrument is of material service, by making brewers acquainted with the strength of their worts, and consequently with the proportion of soluble matter which is furnished by the materials that they employ. Mr Richardson's saccharometer^ indeed,was not accurate, because it was founded on an erroneous principle. The method which he followed was to determine the weight of a barrel of pure water. The liquid being then converted into wort, a barrel of it was weighed again, and the increase of weight was considered as the matter which the water held in solution. Mr Richardson did not seem to be aware that, when water dissolves the sweet portion of malt, its bulk is altered; and that, for this reason, the specific gravity of it does not indicate the quantity of solid matter which it holds in solution. A set of experiments made on purpose, by dissolving determinate weights of the solid extract of malt in given quantities of water, is necessary to determine the point. The same objection applies to the saccharometer of Dring and Fage, and to various others in common use. That of Dicas is nearly correct, having been constructed upon proper principles. But perhaps the best is one constructed about forty-five years ago by Dr Thomson, and used by the excise-officers in Scotland. It indicates the specific gravity of the wort; from which, by means of a sliding rule, which accompanies the instrument, the weight of saccharine matter contained in it is at once determined.

One of the latest books on the subject which we have seen, is entitled Practical Treatise on Brewing and Distilling. This book was published in quarto in the year 1805. The author, whose name is Shannon, appears to have had some practical knowledge of brewing; but he must have been extremely illiterate, as he was totally unable to write either grammar or common sense. The book is a tissue of absurdities from beginning to end; and the impracti-bility of his proposed improvements is surpassed only by the absurdity of his theory, which consists of scraps and sentences taken out of chemical books, and tacked together, so as to have no meaning whatever.

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