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In no treatise on brewing which I have seeni 
have I been able to find any distinct or specific 
rules for taking the proper temperatures of 
mashing liquors ; nor have I ever found, what 
may be called the most important, though least 
understood operation in the process of brewing, 
viz. fermentation, treated^ of or explained in 
such a manner, as to be aily guide to a brewer 
under the various circumstances in which he 
may be placed. 

In the following treatise I have endeavoured 
to supply these deficiencies, and have in the 
first place given such directions for the mashing 
temperatures, as I would fain hope cannot be 

A 2 


In the next place, after fully describing all the 
different processes of fermentation, both good 
and bad, which during a long experience have 
come under my own observation, I have given 
the proper directions for the prevention of ir- 
regular fermentations, and the remedies which 
may be resorted to when such fermentations 
have occurred. 

The art of brewing, notwithstanding the 
volumes which have been written on the sub- 
ject, must be considered as still in its infancy, as 
a science. Many eminent chemists in England 
as well as on the continent have bestowed great 
attention on the subject, and have given such 
information to practical men as might have 
proved highly beneficial, had they been dis- 
posed to avail themselves of it. In most cases, 
however, if the beer can only be made to please 
their customers, brewers are averse to altera- 

All tastes, generally speaking, are acquired ; 
and from use, we have heard of even rancid 


butter being preferred to sweet. We also read 
that the Chinese prefer rotten eggs to fresh, as 
having a higher and to them more agreeable fla- 
vour. Taste, therefore, can be no criterion by 
which to judge of the wholesomeness or quality of 
beer, but as malt liquor may now be considered 
one of the necessaries of life among the work-, 
ing classes, it is of the greatest importance that 
they be supplied with such an article, as may 
not prove injurious to their health. An honest 
brewer, therefore, should not rest altogether 
satisfied with being able to please the palates 
of his customers, but should endeavour to pro- 
duce what he knows to be a really wholesome 
and nourishing, as well as an agreeable drink. 

I have endeavoured as much as possible to 
avoid all extraneous matter, confining myself 
principally to my own practice, and although 
the treatise may appear short, I trust that useful 
information will be found in almost every page. 

Having no pretensions to literary acquire- 
ments^ and never having before written for the 


press, I must crave indulgence for the homeli- 
ness of my style. My aim has been to avoid 
mystery, and to convey useful information in 
language that shall be intelligible to all, and if 
I have succeeded in accomplishing this, my 
highest literary ambition will be gratified. 

William Black. 

65, Comhilly London, 



Introduction ••••• ••• 1 

Of Electricity 11 

On Malt 15 

The Brewery, — 

The Site of a Brewery • • • 26 

Construction of the Brew-house • 27 

Of Brewing • 32 

* Of Sprinkling or Sparging 38 

Of Boiling 39 

Of Fermentation . • • . . . 41 

Of Hop Dreg in the Worts 46 

Of Yeast 48 

Close Fermentation • • . • • 55 

Inert Fermentation • • 56 

Winter Brewing 1 59 

Summer Brewing 63 

Of Fining Beer 66 

Of Storing and Keeping Beer 70 

Of Drugs 74 

Of Charcoal 79 

Of Ropiness • 81 

Of Marrying or Mixing Beers 84 

Of Greyness in Beer • 86 

■ • • 



Of the Flavour of the London Porter 90 

Of Sound Old Beer 93 

Practical Brewing 96 

Of the Saccharometer 1 00 

Tables — Process of Brewing, — 

No. I.— Best Ale 107 

No. II. — XXX — 68s. per barrel 109 

No. III. — XX — 58s. per barrel Ill 

No. IV. — X — 485. per barrel 113 

No. V. — Table Ale, 36s. per barrel 115 

No. VI. —Brown Stout 117 

No. VII. — Porter 119 

Irregular Fermentation 121 

Table VIII 123 

The Fretting or Fretful Fermentation 125 

Inert Fermentation 127 

Boiling Fermentation • 129 

Of Skimming '. 131 

General Summary . • . , • . 1 32 . 

Appendix — 

Diastase • 143 

Of Tests for Water 148 



So many practical and theoretical treatises 
on brewing have already been published, that 
the subject might, to some, appear to be ex- 
hausted. Many of these treatises, however, are 
too homely; while others so abound in scientific 
technicalities as to be altogether unintelligible 
to the general reader. 

That brewing is a chemical process, is evident; 
and of course, in any scientific work on the sub* 
ject, certain chemical terms must be used. In 
the following treatise, however, it is not intend- 
ed to give any account of the production, or pro- 
perties of the gases, or other chemical agents, 
farther than is absolutely required by the subject; 



nor do I intend to give any history of the 
origin or beer, as I consider that to be un- 
important, and moreover conjectural. It must 
be allowed, that during the last and present 
century, many valuable discoveries have been 
made in almost every science ; while the art 
of brewing has remained stationary, or, as I 
am inclined to think, has retrograded, which 
may be atributed to the circumstance of few 
scientific gentlemen having turned their atten- 
tion to the subject ; while those who have 
done so, have not had it in their power to carry 
their researches to any useful result, on ac- 
count of their want of practical knowledge. 
Some of them have applied for information to pro 
fessional brewers, who, doubtless, from feelings 
of jealousy, have generally rather misled than 
instructed those who desired their assistance. 

Another obstacle to improvement exists in 
the fact, that almost every brewer, in the course 
of a long practice, fancies that he has discovered 
some nostrum, by which he can make his beer 
better than his neighbours. These nostrums, 
though often worse than useless to the possessors, 
might, if freely communicated to more scientific 
inquirers, have some tendency to throw light 
upon the theory and principles of brewing ; but 
they are uniformly kept secret, and thus want 
of the combination of science with practice 


throws almost insurmountable difficulties in the 
way of investigation. Had it been otherwise, there 
is little doubt that, long ere now, the art of brew- 
ing would have been much better understood. 

Having, in the course of an experience of 
nearly forty years, had occasion to work in many 
different breweries, I have uniformly observed, 
that the same process, particularly in fermenta- 
tion, will scarcely answer in any two of them. 
In confirmation of this, I would refer to the well 
known fact that practical brewers, removing 
from one place to another, although they had in 
general succeeded in their former situation, have 
frequently failed in their new locality, notwith- 
standing that they have followed precisely the 
same system. 

My intelligent friend, Mr. Robert Stein, who 
was long a practical brewer, and who has to my 
knowledge devoted as much attention to the 
science of brewing as any one, mentioned to 
me some circumstances corroborative of this 
opinion. He came from Edinburgh to Lon- 
don, and for three years tried every modifi- 
cation of process without success. At length, 
however, having succeeded in making proper 
alterations in the arrangement of his brewery, 
he experienced no further difficulty, but became 
uniformly successful during four years. He 
was removed by the St. Catherine's Dock Com- 

B 2 


pany, and it became necessary" to adduce evi- 
dence, with regard to the hazard attending re^ 
moval. He appealed to the difficulties which he 
himself had encountered and overcome, and 
adduced in corroboration many instances of the 
difficulties which other brewers had experienced 
in different situations : suffice it to mention two. 

A large brewery was erected in Scotland for 
the purpose of making Porter, similar to that 
made in London. The Company did not succeed, 
although they employed a practical London 
brewer of great experience. The concern was 
sold, and became the property of a very success- 
ful ale brewer in the same town. He could not 
however make the same quality of ale, in his 
new and enlarged premises, and therefore wisely 
retreated to his old establishment, where he has 
been a successful brewer ever since. 

The other instance occurred in Norwich, 
where a company had been successful, but they 
pulled down their old premises, and erected a 
more extensive and elegant brewery on the same 
site, where they never afterwards made good 
beer. Let me recommend it then to all success- 
ful brewers to let well alone. To all unsuccess- 
ful ones, allow me to say, alter — but alter with 
caution and circumspection — for it is evident 
that there is something connected with brewing, 
concerning which we are still very much in the 


dark. When I come, however, to treat of the 
construction of a brew-house, I shall endeavour 
to give a theoretical opinion upon this point. 

From what has been said, the difficulty of 
making sound, good beer, in all situations may 
be inferred ; but the importance of producing 
it is universally admitted. Taste is no criterion 
of good beer. In many parts of the country 
the palates of the people have become so ac-- 
customed to foul, yeast-bitten beer, from having 
none else to drink, that were good, clean, whole- 
some beer substituted, it would be some time 
before they would relish it as much as the 
other; but once accustomed to the pure bever- 
age, they would not readily relapse into their 
former taste. 

But although I have only referred to country 
brewers, I am far from admitting that the capital 
is exempt from the same evils. How often does 
it occur that the first houses, periodically get, 
what is technically termed, "out of order;" in 
other words, make foul and bad beer, and con- 
tinue to do so for weeks, without being able to 
account for, or remedy the evil, until a change 
in the atmosphere, or a change of yeast sets 
all right again ! 

I will however venture to assert that if a 
brew-house be properly constructed, these ir- 
regularities may be remedied in twenty-four 


hours at any time. I am far from affirming that 
this foul beer will not standi as it is called, or 
keep as long as that which has been well fer- 
mented^ but it can never be rendered wholesome. 
Indeed, I have known brewers purposely give 
their beer, what they call a good bite of the 
yeast as a preservative. 

I do not pretend to say that such foul beer 
will have injurious effects on the hard working 
labourer or mechanic, but it certainly will upon 
those of more sedentary employments. But of 
this physicians must be the best j udges. 

I will now proceed to give an outline of what 
I propose in the following pages. I have been, 
as I have already said, nearly forty years in the 
brewery, and have had opportunities of seeing 
and trying a great many different processes, and 
paid a great deal of money, for such informa- 
tion as it has seemed desirable to procure. All 
these processes I have endeavoured to trace to 
chemical causes ; and should I fortunately be 
able to introduce such a system of general 
brewing, as may not only ultimately benefit the 
brewer, but produce a more wholesome bever- 
age to the community, my end will be so far 
accomplished. I will not, however, pretend that 
I do not expect benefit to result to myself, from 
the publication of this treatise beyond the mere 
profits of the sale. On the contrary, as I affirm 


that it is impossible to give such instructions 
as will cure existing evils in every situation^ 
my wish is to have it understood that I shall 
be ready on moderate terms to give additicmal 
information and personal attendance to such as 
may wish to consult me on the subject. I shall 
now only briefly explain the plan of the fol- 
lowing work, and shall then proceed to the 

The only two gases, intimately connected 
with malting and brewing, are oxygen and car- 
bonic acid, on which I shall very briefly touch. 
I shall then advert to electricity as connected 
with the process ; and also to barley and malt- 
ing; the site and construction of the brew-house; 
brewing, and formation of extracts ; next, to fer- 
mentation, on which subject my remarks will 
be more copious than any I have met with in 
former treatises, considering that in this depart* 
ment the greatest skill of the brewer is required ; 
since, unless we have a good fermentation, 
no good results can with certainty be reckoned 
upon. Lastly, I shall proceed to the storing and 
keeping of beer, a point of much more impor- 
tance than it is generally thought to be. In 
the preceding observations my object has been 
to throw out instructive hints ; and in what is 
to follow, no consideration shall prevent me from 
giving my opinions, in such a way, as I think 


may be most beneficial, as well to the public 
as to the private brewer. 

It is not my intention to treat of oxygen or 
carbonic acid gas, excepting as connected 
with malting and brewing. In malting, oxy- 
gen gas is absolutely necessary during the 
vegetation of the barley, or other corn, in 
its progress to that state in which it becomes 
malt. In brewing, a certain portion of it 
may be necessary in the commencement of 
fermentation, and in fact, many great chemists 
are of opinion, that, in the fermentation of beer, 
where no artificial ferment has been added, the 
process will not commence without it. In all 
other stages, however, of the process of brewing, 
the less we have of its action the better, for 
oxygen is the acidifying principle, and if we 
would turn beer into vinegar, we have only to 
expose it to the action of oxygen as contained 
in the atmosphere, in a moderate heat for a 
given time. If we wish, therefore, to preserve 
beer, the more closely we can shut it up, the 
better. I shall have occasion to treat more 
fully on this subject when I come to the storing 
and keeping of beer. 

Carbonic acid gas, in a state of purity, is the 
destroyer of all animal, and, I believe, vegetable 
life ; it is the only gas evolved during vinous 
fermentation. As, however, a particular account 


of its production and properties more, strictly 
belongs to a treatise on chemistry, I shall con- 
tent myself with treating of it only as con- 
nected with beer. Immense quantities of 
this gas are disengaged by fermentation, and 
the beer afterwards retains, and continues to 
generate it, as long, I may say, as it is beer, 
of which, indeed, it is a component part ; for 
beer, when entirely deprived of it, very soon 
becomes acid. 

Many brewers, and even chemists, have 
thought that a good deal of spirit, or alcohol, is 
evaporated along with this gas, during fermen- 
tation, and contrivances have been made for 
condensing it, and again throwing it into the 
square, or fermenting vat. Th^nard, however, 
is of a different opinion, and says that the quan- 
tity of spirit evaporated, if any at all, is not 
above a thousandth part, and, of course, not 
worth collecting. I entirely concur with him in 
this opinion, and should even go farther, and say 
that this vapour, when condensed, and again 
thrown into the square, must be rather injurious 
than otherwise. In fact, I once saw some of 
it which had by some means been condensed 
into a liquid, in his majesty's brewhouse at 
Deptford, in the course of some experiments on 
the subject; and the liquid was so nauseous, 
both to the smell and taste, that it could do the 


beer no good when again incorporated with it. 
If a glass of the flattest beer be put into the 
receiver of an air-pump, the liquid, during the 
progress of exhaustion, froths up briskly until 
all its carbonic acid is disengaged. When 
afterwards tasted, it is quite vapid, and has lost 
all its flavour. 

The sparkling property of beer, wines, and in- 
deed all fermented liquors, is entirely owing to 
carbonic acid gas. When such liquids have 
been exposed for some time to the atmosphere, 
the greater portion of this gas escapes, and then 
the liquid drinks flat. It is, however, a popular, 
yet erroneous opinion, that the flatness is owing 
to the escape of the spirit. 



It has long been the opinion of many eminent 
chemists^ both English and French, that electri- 
city is a powerful agent in fermentation, as 
well as in preserving or destroying beer. The 
late Sir H. Davy was decidedly of that opinion. 
In following up, therefore, the theory of so many 
eminent men, I trust I may be allowed to say a 
few words upon the subject. I myself had long 
the same impression, but had never bestowed 
much consideration upon it until my friend 
Mr. Robert Stein again drew my attention to 
the subject. If, then, I can distinctly prove its 
action in the first place, and afterwards point 
out a mode for couixteracting its bad effects, I 
hope I shall obtain a better reputation than that 
of a mere theorist. Many strong indications 
of the action of electricity, not only on fermen- 
tation, but on the storing and keeping of beer, 
have come under my own notice ; although I 
have not as yet been able to ascertain whether 


it is the positive or negative state of it which 
affects the worts or beer. Among others, I 
shall select two instances ; one with respect to 
fermentation, and the other regarding beer. In 


the summer of 1828, I was called into a town in 
Surry to superintend some brewings. On going 
there, I found the squares or gyle tuns im- 
bedded in a ground floor. I at once expressed 
my disapprobation of this mode of placing them ; 
having previously found a difficulty in sum- 
mer brewing, with squares so placed. I, how- 
ever, got on pretty well for two or three brew- 
ings; but on the morning of the 3rd July, (I had 
brewed on the 2nd,) I found the fermentation 
quite stationary, both with regard to heat and 
attenuation, and could not forward it by any 
means I had then in my power to apply. 1 felt 
satisfied in my own mind that these extraordi- 
nary appearances and effects were owing to the 
action of electricity ; and this I stated to the pro- 
prietor of the brewery, at the same time predict- 
ing to him that we should very soon have a thun- 
der storm. I then cleansed the beer by pumping 
it from the square into casks placed on wooden 
stillions about one foot and a half high, when the 
beer immediately began to work very well, and 
gained about six degrees in attenuation while 
throwing out its yeast. Early that same even- 
ing, as I had foretold, we had a most tremendous 


thunder-storm. This, I am sure, will be attested 
by the proprietor of the brewery, although 
an after difference between us prevented me 
from going there again at the proper season, 
as I should have considered myself bound in 
honour to do, to give him my best advice at a 
time when it would have been more beneficial 
to him than it could be during summer, par- 
ticularly with his squares so placed. The 
other instance was the following. I had a gyle 
of beer all stowed in one cellar in hogsheads or 
barrels : one portion of it, however, was placed 
on stillions, and the other on the ground with- 
out any bearers. The portion placed on stil- 
lions kept quite sound and good, while that on 
the ground, although it did not get absolutely 
pricked, was 'much more forward, and by no 
means so good. In confirmation of this, we may 
instance the fact that in dairies, where the milk is 
put into porcelain vessels and placed upon wooden 
shelves, it is seldom afiected by lightning ; but 
when contained in wooden or leaden vessels, and 
placed on the ground, it almost invariably turns 
sour. This shows that other liquids besides 
worts and beer are similarly afiected by elec- 
tricity. When 1 come to the construction of 
the brewhouse, I shall say something more upon 
the subject of placing the squares and other 
utensils ; but I fear we shall not be able to 


come to any certain conclusion with regard to 
the action of electricity on beer, until philoso- 
phers are better agreed as to the nature of that 
extraordinary fluid. Of this, however, we are 
pretty sure — that the preservation or destruc- 
tion of beer depends upon electricity ; and the 
most certain mode of preservation is to insu- 
late, as much as possible, both the squares and 
all other utensils or vessels connected with the 
brewing or storing of beer. 



I NOW proceed to the selection of barley for 
malting. The best barleys for that purpose, 
are those called mellow, in contradistinction to 
hard or steely. The mellow barley, generally 
speaking, is thin-skinned, and when divided 
either by the teeth, or a pen-knife, the inside of 
the pickle appears quite white and floury. The 
steely barley may also be thin-skinned, but when 
divided in the same way, the inside has a blueish 
cast, something like rice, and this barley, al- 
though equally heavy, or even heavier than the 
other, will never produce such good malt, nor 
will the beer brewed from it, although of equal 
or greater gravity in the wort, ever be found to 
have the mellowness or richness of flavour pro- 
duced by the other. Care should also be had, 
in taking in the barleys for malting, that corn of 
different weights be placed in different binns, 

16 ON MALT. 

SO that they may be wetted separately ; as 
the heavier barley will not only require longer 
wetting, but will work differently on the floors. 
It would also be desirable, if possible, that bar- 
leys from similar soils should be wetted toge- 
ther. We always find, that in buying cargoes 
of barley grown on different soils, we can never 
make such good malt, as from that which is 
bought directly from farmers in the same part 
of the country. This proceeds from the differ- 
ence of work on the floors. 

1 now proceed to malting, about the making 
of which, there are so many different opinions. 
With regard to wetting, the law allows, in my 
opinion, sufficient latitude for the wetting of any 
kind of barley, which, however, must be steeped 
not less than forty hours. The general mode of 
ascertaining when barley has been long enough 
under water, is, first, by its increase, shown by 
the dipping rod, and then by taking the pickles 
endways between the thumb and finger, the com* 
pressibility denoting its fitness for germination. 
Only a practical maltster, however, can ascertain 
this point. When sufficiently steeped, the barley 
is thrown (or, in some instances, drops by a large 
valve or socket) from the cistern into the couch, 
where it lies so many hours, also at the discre- 
tion of the maltster, not less, however, than twen- 
ty-six hours. It is then spread out upon the 

ON MALT. 17 

floor to a thickness of from four to eight or nine 
inches, according to the season and temperature 
of the atmosphere, which latter is best ascer- 
tained by a thermometer placed by the side of 
the couch. The roots now begin to make their 
appearance, and great care must be taken to turn 
the corn gently occasionally, so as to prevent one 
fibre shooting out long, or wiry as it is called, a 
short bushy root being always desirable. No 
definite rules, however, can be laid down on this 
point ; it must be left entirely to the skill of 
the operator. 

We now come to the great point in dispute^ 
viz. sprinkling the com with liquor or water on 
the floors. Many are of opinion that this, 
about the third or fourth day, is absolutely 
necessary, while others assert the contrary. 
In my humble, and paradoxical opinion, 
both are right and both wrong. Should the 
corn be worked on a ground floor, it may per- 
haps imbibe as much moisture from the floor, 
as may be necessary for carrying on the vegeta-* 
tion ; but when it is worked on an upper floor, 
where it can imbibe no moisture, but, on the 
contrary, where there must be great evapora- 
tion, no man of common sense will venture to as- 
sert, that sprinkling may not be absolutely neces- 
sary to carry on the vegetative process, without 
which it is totally impossible to make good malt. 


18 ON MALT. 

In corroboration of this, I will mention a fact 
which came under my own observation. It 
happened in a malt-house where one half the 
wetting of barley was worked from the couch 
on a ground floor, and the other half on an 
upper floor. An intelligent officer of excise, 
who surveyed the premises, and who was at 
the same time well acquainted with the pro- 
cess, and also knew that no fraud was practised 
or intended to be practised by the trader, see- 
ing the difference in the state of the corn then 
in process, on the upper and lower floors, said to 
the trader : ** Your upper floors look very sickly ; 
you will not see me here again for so many 
hours ; " thereby intimating his knowledge of what 
was absolutely necessary to be done to keep the 
corn in a state of vegetation, without which 
the whole piece must have been ruined. He 
was afterwards quite pleased to find that his 
hint had been attended to. I have no doubt that 
this officer did his duty to the revenue quite as 
conscientiously as any self-sufficient blockhead, 
who would have acted very differently. I trust 
I have thus sufficiently explained my paradox. 
Many are of opinion that the best mode of work- 
ing on the floors, is by the help of a thermometer, 
and by turning the floors whenever that instru- 
ment indicates a certain increase of temperature. 
I do not, however, coincide with this view of the 


subjects I admit that a thermometer may be 
very useful in the hands of an inexperienced 
operator, but should he work by that alone, he 
will very often do more harm than good. I 
have no hesitation in saying, that there is as 
much mischief done by too many as by too few 
turnings : an experienced maltster having a sen- 
sitive smell, will know, immediately on entering 
a malthouse, whether the floors in general are 
in a healthy^ or unhealthy state. An experi- 
enced maltster, ^Iso, oti examining his floors, 
generally thrusts his hand to the bottom of the 
corn in different parts, and takes up a handful ; 
when the appearance, but more particularly the 
smell, will indicate whether the piece wants 
turning or not. When turning is requisite there 
is generally a kind of foetid smell, which it is im- 
possible to describe, but which a good maltster 
immediately detects, and turns the piece or not, 
according as his judgment may direct. I have 
lalready said ,that a short bushy root is always 
desirable, and the skill of a maltster will always 
be known by this criterion. As soon as the 
roots begin to appear, the spire or acrospire be- 
gins to grow down the back of the pickle, and 
as it proceeds the barley is turned into malt. 
The nearer therefore that this spire can he 
brought to the far end of the pickle, without 
growing out beyond it, the better will be the 


20 ON ItfALT. 

malt. About the fourteenth day, generally 
speaking, the malt should be fit for the kiln ; 
previously to its being sent to which, it is gene- 
rally made thicker upon the floors, so as to come 
to a temperature of perhaps 75^. I should 
have stated that in the early stages a tempera- 
ture of about 60^ is at all times high enough* 
In drying malt on the kiln, the greater quantity 
of heated air you can throw in the better ; you 
cannot therefore have too much draught, as. that 
can at all times be checked if too strong, by 
throwing open the kiln hole door. When the malt 
is first put on the kiln, begin with a gentle fire, 
which you may afterwards gradually increase, 
until the malt is finished ofi*. There are many 
different opinions as to the time and mode of 
drying off* malt. I have seen it dryed off* by a 
skilful kilnman, quite as well in twenty-four 
hours, as I have seen it done by others in four 
times that space. This, however, depends very 
much on the draught of the kiln, and the skill 
of the kilnman. When malt is thoroughly 
made before being brought to the kiln, I should 
think the time taken to dry it can make but 
little difference. When not thoroughly made, 
however, a skilful operator by a longer process 
may do a great deal of good. 

In some parts of Nottinghamshire, the malt- 
sters have a place at the far end of the floor near 

ON MALT. 21 

the kiln, made lower than the other part of the 
floor, for the purpose of giving the malt a good 
soaking with water, about the twelfth day (as 
allowed by law) previously to its being brought 
to the kiln. 

I have seen and drunk as fine ale brewed 
from this malt as I ever tasted, but not having 
malted on this plan, I am unable to say 
whether the practice is beneficial or not. I 
cannot see, however, why the law should pre- 
vent the trader from sprinkling his floors when- 
ever he may think it necessary. It may at all 
times be done, under the inspection of the officer. 

Malting I should define to be the natural pro- 
cess of vegetation, carried on by artificial means 
to a certain point, at which it is checked by 
artificial means, so as to produce the article 
called malt. In imitating nature therefore, it 
must be allowed, that the more closely we can 
follow her process the better. 

How much is young growing corn after 
drought revived by a fine shower of rain ! Must 
it not be the same, with corn progressing into 
malt, when parched by drought upon the floor ? 
A gentle sprinkling with water will equally 
revive it, and freeing it from a nasty foetid smell, 
restore it to a healthy growing fragrance. 

As I am not, however, writing a treatise on 
malting, I shall conclude my observations on that 

22 ON MALT. 

subject, by giving my opinion as to the best mode 
of selecting malt for a brewer. To a good judge, 
no hints are necessary upon that point. To a 
bad one, however, I would recommend a very 
old, and at the same time a very simple mode 
of trying it: viz. count but indiscriminately 
a hundred or two hundred pickles ; throw 
these into a tumbler of cold water ; the malt 
will all float on the surface, the un malted corns 
will sink to the bottom^ and the half malted 
corns will float endways or horizontally: you 
may thus at once discover the quality of the 
malt. If not more than five pickles in one hun- 
dred sink, and the remainder float on the sur- 
face longitudinally, the malt may be considered 
good ; if otherwise, the contrary. You should 
then ascertain the weight, or get the maltster 
to guarantee a certain weight: about 401bs. 
per bushel, or 160lbs. a sack, may be consider- 
ed a fair average weight for good malt. Should 
it be good malt, however, every pound per 
bushel above that weight, will yield a much better 
gravity in the raash-tun than all the difference 
in price. If the barley should originally weigh 
551bs. per bushel, which it sometimes does, 
the loss of weight in malting is rather more than 
one-fifth ; the same result obtains in lighter 
barleys. The value of malt therefore is deter- 
minable by its weight. 

ON MALT. 23 

I have heard it asserted even by those who 
ought to have known better, that there could 
be no good malt weighing above 40lbs. per 
bushel; and I have known some as fine malt as 
could be made rejected, merely on account of 
its too great weight. I have already stated that 
barley loses rather more than one-fifth of 
its weight when made into malt. The heavier 
the barley, therefore, the heavier must b.e the 
malt — and if it really he good inalt, it is the 
more or less valuable, according to its weight. 
There are fewer husks proportionally in heavy 
than in light malt, and according to the weight 
and paucity of husks, will be the extract in the 
mash tun. 

I should say, that a fair average extract from 
malt of 40lbs. per bushel should be from 80 to 
841bs. by Long's instrument, or from 200 to 
2101bs. by the excise instrument. I have, how- 
ever, seen an extract of 2401bs. per quarter from 
malt of a very superior weight and quality. 
In most distilleries the grist is very carefully 
weighed into their mash tuns; thus enabling 
the masters to know whether their brewers have 
made the proper extract according to the weight 
of the grist. Any brewer who wishes to have 
a check upon his working brewer, or who 
wishes to go to work scientifically, ought to do 
the sanie. I have already said that 40lbs. per 

24 ON MALT. 

bushe], or I60lbs. per sack, is a fair average 
weight for fine malt ; let that, therefore, be the 
standard, and for every quarter of malt, let 
3201bs. be put into the mash tun, which is easily 
done, either by weighing every sack before 
grinding — where it is ground into troughs — or 
by placing the sacks upon a scale, as done in the 
distillery, when ground into sacks. Every quar- 
ter of good malt thus weighed, should produce 
from 80 to 841bs., or from 200 to 2101bs., and 
the master brewer can make his calculations 
accordingly. This also affords a complete check 
upon the operative brewer, who is sometimes 
apt, when he findiS his extracts better than or- 
dinary, to make no more beer than he does 
from worse malt. I have known a master 
brewer give orders that four barrels and one 
firkin of porter should be drawn from his malt 
per quarter, let the quality of the malt be what 
it may ; and this brewer professed to rival 
the London porter, although his beer was 
at least 25 per cent, weaker, and mixed 
up with 25 per cent, more of nasty old beer. 
Were this method of weighing the malt into the 
mash tun adopted, a master brewer would also 
have an invariable check upon the maltster, as 
can be easily seen. I have long thought that 
malt ought to be bought and sold by weight, as 
in that case, the farmers would find it their in^ 

ON MALT. 25 

terest to clean and dress their barley better 
than they do at present, so as not to allow so 
many light corns to remain in the bulk, which 
adds to the duty, but deteriorates the malt, 
thus Cutting both ways at the same time. 





An airy unconfined situation, with a plentiful 
supply of pure water, should always, if possi- 
ble, be selected for the site of a brewery ; par- 
ticular attention should, at the same time, be 
paid to the quality of the water. Should it con- 
tain any mineral, it must be very unfit for brew- 
ing, and unless a supply of soft water can also 
be had, you had better look out for another site. 
Soft and hard waters are so well known by 
these names, that I should consider no chemical 
description of them necessary, in a treatise on 
brewing. Most brewers use the soft water; 
yet some prefer the hard. Hard water in my 
judgment never obtains so good an extract from 
the malt ; many, however, think that the beer 
brewed from it is not so apt iofrety as that which 
is brewed with soft. I am, of opinion, that a 
good fermentation, and subsequently good stor- 
ing, will at all times prevent fretting in the 
beer. I should therefore recommend soft water. 


That which runs over chalk or limestone, and 
which is free from sulphate of lime, {gypsum) is 
best. Where the water isi bard, I would re- 
commend throwing a little vegetable alkali 
{subcarlfonate of potash) into the liquor in the cop- 
per before mashing. In adding this salt, take 
care that the water does not turn turmeric paper 
red ; should it do so, the salt is then added in 
excess, and will do harm. 

I do not attribute the flavour of either the 
Burton or Scotch ale to any thing in the water. 


In building a brew-house, care should be 
taken to keep the boiling and piashing depart- 
ments as separate as possible^ fron^ the cooling 
and fermenting departments. This arrange- 
ment will prevent the steam froqi retarding the 
cooling of the worts, and also from coniing into 
collision with your fermentations, which h^s 
often a very injurious effect. 

I always consider that where there are pot 
two coppery, it is advantageous to have the ope 
rather too large than too small, as it gives much 
more facility to the operations of piashing apd 
boiling; a copper back is also indispensable 
where there is but one copper. This back shoyld 
be so constructed, that you may either throw 


the worts into it, or directly into the boiler at 
pleasure. It should also have a communication 
with the mash tun, so as to conduct the liquor 
or raw wort, directly from it to the mash tun. 
I would next recommend that both the mash 
tun and underbade, should be above ground, 
and placed on wooden frames, or in other words 
as much insulated as possible, to prevent the 
action of electricity. I have not the least doubt, 
that, in summer, foxing or tainting of the taps 
often happens between the mash tun and 
copper from the action of electricity ; and 
when this happens, although it is possible, 
in some measure, to cure it, the beer will 
never be so good, as when the worts are 
originally sound. It is of importance that the 
worts should at all times be for as short a period 
as possible exposed to the action of atmo- 
spheric air. The coolers therefore should be 
spacious, and each should run into the other. 
Fans are very useful not only for driving off the 
steam, but for keeping the worts in constant 
motion, by which the risk of getting tainted is 
considerably less than when they are allowed 
to remain quiescent. A proper refrigerator for 
the worts is also almost indispensable in summer; 
to have these refrigerators, however, properly 
constructed, is a point of considerable impor- 

THE BB£W£RT. 29 

After my remarks on the effects of electricity, 
I need hardly say how I would recommend the 
gyle tuns to be placed; most certainly as 
much insulated as 'possible ; in no way con- 
nected either with the earth or the walls^ but 
if placed upon baked wood the more desirable. 
You should also possess the power of shutting 
them up close, or giving them a little air at 
pleasure. I once saw a gyle tun placed di- 
rectly below an iron jack back. A few minutes 
after the boiling worts were turned into the jack 
back, the head on the top of the beer, in this 
gyle tun, which was previously looking vigorous 
and healthy, fell down and did not rise again. 

I am afraid that there is too much of iron, 
and other metals, in some of the larger es- 
tablishments. Of that, however, the parties 
concerned must be the best judges. I at- 
tribute the failure in the process, at the new 
brew-house in Scotland, mentioned in the in- 
troduction, to the neglect of some of the pre- 
cautions I have suggested. Indeed I should 
think it can be traced to no other cause. 

I would also recommend the cleansing stil^ 
lions to be made of wood, so that the mains 
from the gyle tuns, may have no connection 
with the walls or earth, during the process of 
cleansing the Beer. 

In short, if the opinions of some of the most 

30 THE fikEWERY. 

eminent chemists in Europe, may be relied on, 
too much care cannot be taken, in placing all 
the utensils connected with the fermenting 
and storing of beer, in as insulated positions as 
possible. I am aware that I have broached a 
somewhat new doctrine, with regard to the 
operative department of brewing, but refer- 
ring, not merely to my own practice, but to 
the authority of Sir H. Davy, and others, — the 
most eminent men in Europe,— I hope I shall be 
acquitted of presumption, when I say that it 
deserves attention ; and I have not the least 
doubt that when put in practice, the most bene- 
ficial results, both as regards the quality and 
preservation of beer, will ensue. 

Having said thus much of the construction of 
a brew-house, and the placing of the utensils, 
and given what I think will be, to any scien- 
tific man, pretty strong reasons for such arrange- 
ments, I care not if I may be met by the trite 
observation of ** There has been very good beer 
brewed here before^ and such as has generally 
pleased our customers, and I can see no good 
reason for making any alteration." The an- 
swer I should give, would be : * Although 
there may have been very good beer brewed 
here, have you never brewed any bad beer, 
and such as has not pleased your customers ?' 
** Oh, yes!" will be the rejoinder, " we have 


certainly brewed some bad beer, but that is 
always the result of carelessness. If good beer 
is brewed at one time, why should it not be good 
at all times ?" My reply would be : 'In the 
first place, the placing of your squares or other 
utensils, and many other causes distinct from 
carelessness, prevent it.' I have already said 
that tainting, or unsoundness in worts, is often 
produced by the action of electricity, between 
the mash tun and copper. How often does this 
happen in summer, without our being able to 
trace it to any particular cause ! I therefore 
maintain^ that probability at least is in favour 
of my hypothesis as to the effect of electricity. 
Wherefore, then, incur any risk, since the ex- 
pense of raising the underback a little distance 
from the ground is comparatively trifling ? 

Another cause may be found in the sluggish- 
ness or unsoundness in the yeast ; but this will 
be more fully discussed when we treat on the 
subject of yeast. 



The first thing to be attended to in the brewing 
department, is cleanliness in all its branches. 
From want of cleanliness the worst and most 
irretrievable consequences may arise ; such for 
instance, as tainted worts, &c. I have known a 
whole brew-house contaminated by a small por- 
tion of the worts remaining in the wort-pumps 
from one brewing to another, and it was only at 
a very considerable expense that the evil was 
at last remedied. 

It has long been a disputed point, whether 
malt gives the best extract, when ground with 
stones or rollers. When the malt is of very fine 
quality, I have never perceived any difference. 
When, however, it is steely, stone grinding will 
give the best extract. There are also various 
opinions as to the fineness or coarseness of the 
grist, or grinding, some contending that if the 


pickle be at all broken by the rollers, the malt 
will not only give as good an extract, but that 
their taps will spend finer ; a point to which 
many attach great importance. I am, however, 
of opinion, that finer grinding will produce 
rather better extracts ; and if the first liquor be 
properly taken, and allowed to remain long 
enough on the goods, there will be very little 
difference in the fineness of the worts ; at all 
events, they will be quite as bright in the jack, 
or hop back, and perhaps also a little stronger, 
than those from the coarser grist. 

The next subjiect we shall discuss, is the heat 
and quantity of liquor to be turned over the first 
mash. This is a point of very great importance, 
as I may say the whole after success of the 
brewing depends upon it. 

In my judgment the whole of the extract 
should be made in the first mash, all that is re- 
quired afterwards being merely to wash out 
what remains in the goods. Those who go 
farther may do more harm than good, as they 
only obtain mucilage, which instead of enrich- 
ing, impoverishes the beer. That the extract 
is obtained in the first mash, is distinctly shown 
in regularly mashing with the same quantity of 
liquor, when by comparing the gravities of the 
different taps it will be seen, that you go on in 
regular gradation washing out the extract, until 


you get all that you can. Many people make a 
very great mystery of their heats for mashing 
all through. I hold the heats after the first 
mash, to be a point of very little importance, if 
you get your extract properly in the first in- 
stance. Others say, that high or low tempera- 
tures in your mashing, make very great difFer-> 
ences in your fermentations. All that I can state 
is, that I never found it so. I do not say so, 
however, with regard to the first mash, because 
unless you take a proper temperature for that, 
you will not make a good extract, but on the 
contrary, perhaps, produce an unsound one, 
which may materially injure your fermentation. 
After the first mash, however, I will allow 
any — the first brewer in England-r-to dictate 
my heats from 180° to 204°, and I will under- 
take that both my extract and fermentation shall 
be quite as good as his, and either slow or fast 
as he may choose. 

I shall now proceed to give such certain 
rules as to the temperature of the first mash, 
and the quantity of liquor to be turned over, as 
I think no one can mistake. I believe it is an ad- 
mitted point that if your first taps when half run 
down, show by the thermometer a temperature 
between 138° and 152° you cannot be far wrong; 
I shall take 145° as the medium. For pale 
beers therefore your taps should be from 145° 


to 152°, allowing a range of seven degrees ; for 
brown beers your taps should be from 138° to 
145°. All we have to do therefore is to regulate 
the heat of the liquor, so as to produce this effect. 

To accomplish this, you must first ascertain 
by the thermometer, the heat of the grist in the 
mash tun, which may range from a temperature 
of 32° to 80°, according to circumstances, and 
the season of the year.* 

I shall take, again, a medium, say, 58° for the 
heat of the grist ; a temperature then of 176° 
for pale beer will generally make your taps 
spend within the given range, and 160° to 165° 
for brown beer will do the same. We never, 
however, require a difference in the temperature 
of the mashing liquor of more than from 10° to 
15°, let the temperature of the malt be what it 
may. I always consider that a stiff mash in 
the first instance, ultimately produces the best 
extract from the malt : I should therefore say, 
that if we have sufficient power, which a steam 
engine and mashing machine always command, 
we should at first turn on only about a barrel and 
a half per quarter. After having mashed a suffi- 
cient time, which may be from forty minutes to an 

* Malt is in my opinion the better for being ground one 
or two days before brewing, as it will produce a better ex^ 
tract ; and when ground it should be excluded as much as 
possible from the atmosj>here. 

D 2 


hour, according to your strength of machine or 
oars, dip a therinometer into the goods in your 
mash- tun, and should you find the temperature too 
low, so as that your taps would not run within 
the given range, turn on half a barrel more 
per quarter, at any temperature which may be 
requisite to bring the whole up to the desired 
heat. You now run no risk of setting the goods. 
If your thermometer shows, on the contrary, too 
high a temperature, adopt the reverse mode, viz. 
turn on half a barrel per quarter, at such a 
temperature as will bring your taps down to 
the desired range : the liquor, however, so intro- 
duced should not be below 150° of heat. The 
lower temperature should never be used unless 
the goods be partially set, and the only use of re- 
serving the half barrel when first turning on, is 
to give you a certainty of having a proper tempe- 
rature for making the extract. It is always desir- 
able in turning over your first quantity, to be 
rather under than above the mark, as it is better 
to increase than lower ybur temperature in the 
first mash. I trust I have thus laid down such 
rules for the first liquor, as no one can mistake. 
The next thing is the time of standing. I 
would always recommend for the first mash at 
least one hour and a half. Two hours in cold 
weather will do no harm. Half an hour's standing 
is quite enough for any of the subsequent 


mashes. The process book subjoined to this 
treatise will show the different quantities of 
liquor, to be turned over for the different quali- 
ties of beer, in the subsequent mashes. 

Having alluded to ** setting the goods,** I 
think it proper to mention that the safest prac- 
tice to avoid it, is to begin mashing at a low 
temperature, and afterwards to raise the heat 
to such a pitch as may be found necessary to 
form the extract, from the particular malt made 
use of as before directed ; the change of colour 
which takes place, will give a sure indication of 
this to every practical brewer. 

Many brewers, when they try, by the advice 
of others, different temperatures for mashing, 
and find that their fermentation does not get on 
well, immediately attribute their want of suc- 
cess to their change of heats ; but it may be 
referred to a variety of other causes. In short, 
in brewing we very often attribute effects to 
wrong causes, and thus confirm ourselves in error. 

So able a treatise on the subject of taking 
the lengths, has been written by the late Mr. 
Richardson of Hull, that I need say little on 
that subject, presuming that few brewers are 
without a copy of it. I would therefore beg 
leave to refer them, on that subject, to his trea- 

The top of the goods in the mash-tun should 

38 6f brewing. 

be sprinkled over with a little dry, ground 
malt when you have done mashing, as it will 
effectually prevent the rise of steam, and the 
consequent reduction of the temperature of the 
goods ; that is, the malt in a state of infusion. 



Many of our best brewers have now adopted 
sprinkling or sparging, or, in other words, drain- 
ing liquor through the mashed goods, in pre- 
ference to mashing ag^ain. This mode of work- 
ing has certainly many advantages to recom- 
mend it. In the first place, it saves labour ; in 
the next place, when we wish to make very strong 
beers, either ale or stout, we can more easily 
throw in the desired gravity by sprinkling than 
mashing. I should, therefore, on all occasions 
of brewing very strong beers, resort to sprinkling. 

When beer of not more than 24lbs. gravity is 
brewed, with a raw wort to follow, it matters 
little which mode is adopted. Where there is 
00 raw wort, however, sprinkling will always be 
found most advantageous. Some prefer run- 
ning off their first mash before they begin to 
sprinkle : others, after having thoroughly mash- 
ed with one and a half barrel per quarter, as 
formerly directed, immediately begin sprinkling 


from a temperature of 190® to above 200®, This, 
however, must be done very slowly, and the 
liquor should be made, by means of an appara- 
tus for the purpose, to descend like rain all over 
the top of the goods ; care must also be taken 
that the goods keep rising as the liquor is going 
on. When about half a barrel more per quarter 
is turned on in this manner, which may take 
from one to one and a half hour, the tap is 
immediately set : you must then keep sprink- 
ling and running off precisely the same quanti* 
ties, gradually decreasing your heats^ until you 
have got all you want for your strong beers. 
Afterwards continue the same process, either 
for small beer, or raw wort, until you have ex- 
hausted your malt. This process goes very far 
to prove what I have before stated, that the 
whole extract is made by the first mash, and 
that the subsequent mashes merely wash lliat 
extract out« By means of either a dipping rod, 
or any mark in the mash tun, you can regulate 
your running on and oiF in equal quantities 
during process. 


About this> also, there are various opinions : 
many think that long boilings particularly of the 


last worts, tends to make the beer keep sound. 
I am not aware, however, of any preservative 
quality, imparted by long boiling ; but, on the 
contrary, I have seen grey beer produced, after 
very long boiling ; the result, probably, of some 
injurious extract from the hops. The high 
colour produced by bad boilings is a mere eye 
sore. The brick red I have seen come upon 
very pale worts, during fermentation. I have 
also seen ale, intended to be pale, made of 
a brick-reddish colour, after too long boiling. 
Whether this proceeded, however, from the 
long boiling, or from the copper not being alto- 
gether safe before turning out, I cannot say. Long 
boiling undoubtedly adds to the strength of the 
worts by evaporation, and thus enables us» 
where there is no raw wort, to take a few 
barrels more from our goods. I doubt very 
much, however, whether the expense of coals 
and time does not more than counterbalance the 

In 1832, I brewed a small gyle of pale beer 
for the India market. The first worts were 
boiled one hour, the second one and a half 
hour. I beg leave to subjoin the report made 
upon it in Calcutta. 

*' Calcutta, 8th August, 1832. — Report on 
two hogsheads of Black's pale ale, examined in 
the custom house godowns of Messrs. Lyall, 


Matheson and Co. — Two hogsheads of Black's 
pale ale. — This pale ale, of superior quality, 
is well adapted for the India market, both 
in colour, body, and flavour. 

(Signed) John Brown and Co., 
Coopers to the Honour able Company. 

Another lot of this same beer went to Messrs. 
Watson and Co., and I beg leave, also, to insert 
a short extract of their letter to me, of date, 
Calcutta, 9th April, 1833. 

" We wrote to you on the 17th of November^ 
to which we refer you. — Your beer is now ripe, 
and confirms what we then wrote you ; it is 
really most excellent, and, as such, we are dis- 
posing of it in small quantities, so as it may be 

This, at all events, proves that long boiling is 
not essential to the preservation of beer ; and I 
have come to the conclusion, that long boiling 
can do no good, but may do harm. Unless, 
therefore, longer time should be required for 
strength, I should say, that one hour's boiling 
will suflBciently break the first worts, and two 
hours, at the utmost, will do the same by any 
other wort. 


I now come, to what I consider to be, by far 


the most difficult, and least understood part of 
the process of brewing, viz. fermentation ; about 
which we are still very much in the dark. I 
trust, however, that in the following pages, I 
shall be able to throw a little new light upon 
the subject. My views may, in many caes, 
differ from those of others who have preceded 
me ; but if, upon trial, my system should prove 
to be more beneficial, my purpose accom- 
plished, and nothing will give me greater plea* 
sure, than to find other operators, better in- 
formed than myself, improving upon my sug« 

Fermentation is undoubtedly a chemical pro- 
cess, by which, with the assistance of an arti- 
ficial ferment, the component parts of worts are 
changed and more intimately combined, and 
thus converted into beer. I am of opinion, that, 
upon a good or bad fermentation, depends all 
the flavour, as also all the preservative qualities 
of the beer. I shall therefore endeavour to give 
all the information on the subject I have been 
able to gather, in the cour^ of nearly forty 
years' experience in the brewery : and, as I have 
not seen, I may say, any regular treatise on thii$ 
most material part of the process, in any former 
publication, I shall be the more copious in this. 

Unless worts go into the copper sound, they 
cannot come sound out of it, and no after treat- 


ment can thoroughly cure them, although they 
may, to a certain extent, be ameliorated by 
a skilful brewer. The worts, also, often get 
tainted in the coolers, by lying there too long, 
particularly in warm or close weather. If we 
have not a sound wort, we never can have a tho- 
roughly good fermentation, although that also 
may be bettered by proper means. Every arti- 
ficial aid, therefore, ought to be resorted to, 
for the purpose of cooling the worts as soon as 
possible, so as to prevent the bad effects of 
being too long exposed on the coolers, and there- 
by imbibing oxygen from the atmosphere. I 
should, in the first place, strongly recommend 
fans, as they not only drive off the steam, but 
keep the worts in a constant state of agitation, 
which is a great preservative against foxing or 
tainting ; and if a small portion of the dreg from 
the hops be allowed to run into the coolers with 
the worts, it will assist in preserving the latter, 
while it will prove no detriment, if swept along 
with them into the square. This is, I know, 
quite contrary to the opinion of many brewers ; 
but I have no hesitation in sayings that it will 
be found to be beneficial, rather than hurtful in 
the fermentation. I would also strongly recom- 
mend refrigerators^ both for cooling the worts 
and for regulating the temperature in the 
squares. Applied to the latter, however, they 


may more properly be called regulators. In 
summer they are particularly useful, and with- 
out them I would never undertake to be an- 
swerable for the result of my work. It is stated 
by many eminent chemists, that the acetous 
fermentation commences, and is best carried on 
at a temperature of from 76^ to 90° or 100°. 
Such high temperatures should therefore be 
carefully avoided in the vinous fermentation, 
as we do not wish to brew vinegar, or what 
would soon become vinegar, by exposure to the 
atmosphere : we will, therefore, for the vinous 
fermentation, take a range of from 50° to 76°, 
stopping before we can run any risk of getting 
into the acetous. 

This range, in my humble opinion, is quite 
suflScient for the acquirement of any flavour or 
attenuation, that may be wanted in either ale 
or porter^ I have heard of brewers commenc- . 
ing their fermentations at 75° or 80° of heat, 
and cleansing at, or above 1 00° ; thus carrying 
on the acetous fermentation during the whole 
process. The beer thus brewed, would only 
require a little exposure to the atmosphere to 
make it good or bad vinegar : I should there- 
fore doubt, whether, even when drank immedi- 
ately, it can be so wholesome, as when fer- 
mented at the vinous temperatures. 

Others assert, that certain flavours can only 


be obtained by commencing their process of 
fermentation, . at what I should call very high 
temperatures, viz. 65° or 70°, and gaining heat 
during the process, Richardson says, as high as 
100° I maintain, on the contrary, that not only 
a better flavour of beer, but a more preservative 
quality will be gained at temperatures of from 
50° to 75°, never exceeding 75°, during the 
whole process of fermentation. There is an 
old saying, ^* The proof of the pudding is in 
the eating." Let any of these gentlemen brew 
a gyle of beer at these high temperatures, 
while I brew one to compare with it, cleansed 
at or under 75°, and I will stake the price of the 
gyle, that the beer fermented at the lower 
temperature shall not only be of better flavour, 
but keep sound, while the other becomes 

I speak here from dear bought experience. 
Is it reasonable to expect, that beer fer- 
mented at acetous temperatures can be so 
good, or keep so sound, as beer fermented at 
vinous temperatures? On very small scales, 
however, where the squares or gyle tiins are 
much exposed to the cold, we cannot venture to 
get below 60°, or even sometimes 65° ; but I 
would in no instance, if possible, go above 75°. 
To regulate our fermenting temperatures, there- 
fore^ refrigerators, or regulators, are absolutely 


necessary in the squares : I have invented and 
used floating ones, suspended by a rope or chain 
from the top of the square. 

They are made at a very small expense, and, 
in my opinion, answer the purpose better than 
any of the most expensive now in use : for this I 
could give very substantial reasons, of which I 
will adduce one. We all know that liquids, 
as they cool, get specifically heavier, and thus, 
the portion first cooled, on the surface, will sink 
down, while that which is warmer and speci- 
fically lighter will rise up to supply its place. 
This, therefore, acts more gradually, and of 
course better, than when the refrigerator is 
carried round the inside of the square; the 
wort is, at the same time, all kept in motion 
from the rising of the warmer, and sinking of 
the cooler parts; which I also consider to be 
advantageous. Refrigerators, when placed at 
the bottom of the square, do very little more, 
for a long time, than cool the wort to their own 
level, unless the whole be kept in a constant 
state of agitation, by means of a rouser. 


Many brewers are very much afraid of allow- 
ing any of the dreg from the hops to go into 


the coolers. I must confess that I at one time 
was of the same opinion » merely from having 
heard from others that it did harm. I con* 
tinned of this opinion, until better instructed by 
my friend Mr. Robert Stein, to whom I am 
indebted for much useful information on the 
subject. He made me, on one occasion, when 
from causes to be hereafter explained, I cer- 
tainly was very unsuccessful in my fermenta- 
tions, throw a quantity of the hop dreg into the 
coolers along with the worts, and afterwards 
sweep the whole into the square. Instead 
of hurting the fermentation, it made it deci** 
dedly more vigorous than before, and ever 
since I have successfully pursued the same 
practice. . 

The hop dreg is also a great preservative to 
the wort in the coolers. We all know that worts 
while they remain on the hops, are much less 
liable to get tainted than when drained off: pre- 
cisely on the same principle, a little of the dreg 
or fecula of the hops, is a preservative in the 
coolers, and the greater the quantity that goes 
over, the less is the risk of taint. I sometimes 
therefore rouse the hops in the hop back, while 
the worts are draining off, for the purpose of 
throwing over more of Xht fecula into the coolers, 
than would have otherwise run over, ^long 
with the worts. I well know the prejudice that 


exists on this subject, but I boldly start an op- 
posite doctrine, in the full confidence, that the 
experiment once made^ will ensure the perma- 
nent adoption of my system. 


Yeast when taken out of the stillions, and al- 
lowed to stand about in reservoirs or tubs, be- 
gins to work and fret itself, in such a way as to 
expend its strength ; and thus becomes unfit 
for carrying on a regular fermentation in the 

It should therefore at all times (if there be 
not too long an interval between the brew- 
ings) be allowed to remain in the stillions with 
a portion of the drawings, until wanted for use. 
The drawings should then be carefully removed 
in the usual way, and the yeast taken up. It 
is a point of the utmost consequence, that yeast 
should at all times be quite fresh, and free from 
any acidity. I believe that a great deal of mis- 
chief happens in summer, from this point not 
being sufficiently attended to, and I have often 
had occasion to recommend the use of lesser 
quantities of malt, and more frequent brewings to 
accomplish the preservation of the yeast. Where, 
however, this cannot be done, I would advise 


that, when the yeast must be taken up from the 
stillion, it should be placed in the coolest part 
of the work, and a quantity of cold liquor 
thrown over it, (a piece of ice would be better) 
to prevent its fretting. If the yeast should have 
to stand long, this cold liquor should be occa- 
sionally poured off and replaced, and the yeast 
will thus be kept infinitely more sound and fit 
for use, than it would otherwise be. 

The next thing we have to consider, is the 
quantity of yeast necessary to be used in 
fermentation. The most generally received 
notion I believe is, that the stronger the beer, 
the less yeast is necessary. I totally differ from 
this opinion, and contend that if an artificial 
ferment be at all necessary, the quantity should 
be in proportion to the work it has to do ; in 
other words, in proportion to the saccharine 
matter to be attenuated. I do not say, that the 
same attenuation may not perhaps be ultimately 
obtained by a smaller quantity of yeast, but 
this is leaving in a manner to chance that which 
may be effected with certainty, in a much 
shorter time, by a different process ; and I main- 
tain that beer, both ale and porter, may be pro- 
duced equally as good, by what I would call a 
short process of fermentation, as by the longest 
process now in use. I am also of opinion, that 



the beer brewed by a short process will be 
found to retain its vinosity and soundness much 
longer than the other. 

Indeed, I firmly believe, that the long pro- 
cess in fermentations of the Scotch ales, and the 
after exposure of the beer to the atmospheric air, 
to flatten, as it is termed, is the great cause of 
its so often going off, or getting unsound in sum- 
mer. The exposure of beer to flatten, is without 
doubt a partial carrying on of the process for 
making vinegar ; for vinegar is generally made 
by exposure of the liquor to the atmosphere, 
for the purpose of its imbibing oxygen, the acidi- 
fying principle. 

I have seen the regular acetous fermentation 
actually commenced, in a gyle of beer exposed 
in an open tun in this way to flatten it, and had it 
remained there much longer, it must have even- 
tually become vinegar. The quantity of yeast, 
however, to be used, either for a long or a short 
process of fermentation varies so much accord- 
ing to seasons and circumstances, that it be^ 
comes very difiicult to lay down any certain 
rules concerning it. I have already said that 
it is hardly possible to carry on precisely the 
same process of fermentation in any two dif- 
ferent brew-houses, and this sufficiently ac- 
counts for the want of success of many brewers 
when they change their situations. Brewing 


with hard or soft liquor makes a difference ; the 
bard requiring more yeast. High and low pitch- 
ing, the situations of the squares, and various 
other circumstances will also cause a difference. 
In summer one-half the quantity used in winter 
may often be found sufficient, and the quality 
and vigour of the yeast itself has to be taken 
into account. 

I shall, however, I think, be able to lay down 
such rules as may easily guide an experienced 
brewer, should he at any time find himself in 
difficulty ; and to the private brewer I would al- 
ways recommend an ample quantity of good 
yeast and early cleansing. Using yeast by 
measure should never be attempted, as there 
may be sometimes many pounds difference in 
weight per gallon. 

Before proceeding further, however, I must 
endeavour to describe what I should call a 
regularly good fermentation. In all regular and 
good fermentations there should be five distinct 
changes. In the first we see a substance like 
cream forming all round the edges of the gyle 
tun : this extends itself towards the centre un- 
til the whole is creamed over, which is the first 
change. There next appears a fine curl like 
cauliflower, which likewise extends all over the 
square, and according to the strength and ap- 
pearance of this curl you may expect a good or 

E 2 


bad fermentation : this I call the second change. 
What is technically called the stomach or vinous 
vapour now begins to be smelt, and continues to 
acquire strength until the process is concluded, 
and by the power and vinosity of the smell of thia 
vapour and the regular attenuation of the wort, 
the vigour of the fermentation may be determined. 
An experienced brewer is very much guided in 
his operations by the smell of this vapour. I shall 
not here give the difierent periods at which the 
above and after changes should take place, as they 
may vary a little in ale and porter. They will 
be found, however, in the process table at the 
end of this treatise. 

The third change is the cauliflower or curling 
top, rising to a fine rocky or light yeasty head ; 
this should after a certain time fall down a little, 
which I call the fourth change. The head should, 
lastly, rise to what is called close-yeasty, having 
the appearance of yeast all over. About this 
period the gas becomes so powerful as to puff 
up occasionally in little bells or bladders about 
the size of a walnut, which immediately break ; 
sometimes the gas escapes without bursting 
those bells ; but in either case it is of very little 
importance, provided the bells, when they do 
rise, appear bright and clear. If, however, they 
should be opaque or whey-coloured, you may 
rest assured there has been some unsoundness 


in your wort, and no time should be lost in en-^ 
deavouring to ascertain the cause* in order to 
avoid the evil in future. 

The v^hole art and mystery, therefore of judg* 
ing of the necessary quantity of yeast, is to give 
such an allowance as will carry your fermenta*- 
tion through those five changes at the regular 
periods^ and at the same time regularly gaining 
heat. As I have before said, however, the 
quantities vary so much according to circum- 
stances, that no definite rules can be laid down 
upon the subject. But the operator, if he be 
guided by the directions I have given, can have 
very little difficulty, in finding out the different 
quantities to be used at the various seasons, and 
also almost under any circumstances. 

Should your fermentations, however, unfor- 
tunately go on irregularly, you may rest assured 
that it must proceed either from some unsound«- 
ness in the worts, or the bad construction of 
your utensils, by which they are exposed to the 
action of electricity. 

If you find you have given too little yeast, 
you can do no harm by adding a little more 
during any stage of tlie process. In some 
brew-houses feedings as it is called, or adding a 
little more yeast, when the light yeasty head 
falls, may be found to be uniformly necessary. 
Yeast, however, should never be used, without 


being previously mixed, and set working with 
a little of the wort ; and should the yeast be 
sluggish, the wort should be added at a temper- 
ature of 80** or 90°. The quantities I have been 
in the practice of using will also be found in 
the process tables. 

If your yeast should be of such a quality as 
to . act but sluggishly in the square, you are al-^ 
ways exposed to the risk of your beer becoming 
yeast-bitten or foul. The more your yeast lies 
about and frets, before being used, the more 
likely it is to produce this effect. And if you 
should at any time find your fermentation at a 
stand still, that is, not making any progress 
either in heat or attenuation, you are pretty 
sure to get yeast-bitten, if means be not im- 
mediately taken to set it again in motion by an 
addition of yeast. Should you, however, use 
the same sluggish yeast you will make it worse. 
But if you have, or can procure good light yeast 
immediately thrown off, from a more vigorous 
fermentation, you may use it in any quantity 
without risk, until you again set your fermenta- 
tion in action. Previously to this, however, a 
little flour of malt sifted all over the tun will be 
found a great assistant. Dr. Thomson states 
that if you skim off the whole creamy-like 
top, which floats on the surface of yeast, after 
standing a short time in a vessel, the remaiu- 


der will be almost good for nothing, and this 
I know to be the case. I would, therefore, 
recommend, that when old yeast must be used, 
you should take what you want from as near 
the surface as possible, and always mix it up 
with a little hot wort, and see that it has begun 
to work before throwing it into the square. 


Many are of opinion, that their fermentations 
are better when the gyle tuns are shut up close, 
so as to prevent any contact with the atmo- 
spheric air. In as far as regards the atmosphere 
this opinion is correct ; but when a fermenta- 
tion is going on vigorously, there can be no con- 
nection with the air ; the rising and escape of 
the gas totally preventing it. Carbonic acid gas 
is heavier than atmospheric air (its specific 
gravity being 1.627, air being 1.000,) and 
while it floats on the surface of the beer, con- 
stantly making its escape, atmospheric air can 
scarcely interfere. 

About 1823-4, Mr* Gray, of Westham, on 
Madame Gervais' principle, attempted to intro- 
duce close fermentations into this CQuntry : I 
believe it was tried in several places, but I have 
never heard of its being permanently adopted. 
My objection to very close fermentation is, in the 


first place, the difficulty of seeing into your 
squares which, in a common gyle tun, you can do 
without trouble, every time you pass. In the next 
place, the gas, when in some measure com- 
pressed, prevents the rise of the head upon the 
worts or beer. I would, therefore, never shut 
up very closely, except to keep out cold. It 
may do no harm, but I never saw very close fer- 
mentations attended with advantage, particularly 
when they are languid. 


The next kind of fermentation I will mention, 
is what I call inert and erroneous, perhaps the 
most deceitful of any; and very few, except 
the most experienced brewers are aware of 
it. This fermentation has, sometimes, all the 
appearance of proceeding remarkably well, in 
the square, and an inexperienced brewer would 
be quite satisfied that every thing was going on 
perfectly right. The beer, however, ynll al- 
ways be mawkish and heavy, and almost without 
any vinosity, although the attenuation may have 
been carried far enough. This inert fermenta- 
tion can only be discovered from the taste of 
the wort, which is always mawkish, and the 
want of vinosity and pungency in the smell of 


gas, rising from the square. It follows, there* 
fore, that a good brewer must always be pos* 
sessed of an accurate taste and smelly with- 
out which requisites, it is iilipossible he can 
judge correctly of his processes. Whence this 
imperfect or inert fermentation proceeds^ I have 
never been able to discover : I should suppose,, 
however, that it must arise either from unsound- 
ness in the extract, or from the action of elec- 
tricity; or, it may probably proceed from the 
bad quality of the yeast. As it is the most de- 
ceitful, and difficult of detection, I consider it 
the most dangerous; and I fully believe, that 
more indifferent beer is produced by this erro- 
neous process, than by any other means. How 
often do we hear brewers blamed for their 
beer being mawkish, when they cannot in any 
way account for it? They may rest assured, 
however, that in nine instances out of ten, it 
proceeds from an inert fermentation, and not 
from want of boiling, to which it is generally 

I cannot point out any other tests of the re- 
sult of this inert fermentation, than those I 
have already mentioned, viz., mawkishness in 
the taste, and the want of vinosity in the smell. 
The only remedy for it, is the promotion, of 
a more vigorous fermentation. I shall at present, 
however, say nothing more upon this subject ; 


but when I come to treat of practical brewings 
all the different anomalies in fermentation which, 
have come under my own observation will be 
described more at length, and the proper reme- 
dies pointed out for the prevention or cure of 
such fermentations as may require it. 



A GENERAL opinion has for a long time prevailed 
that October is one of the best months in the year 
for brewing all sorts of beer. I can only say for 
myself^ that I have often found it quite the reverse^ 
and that I have had quite as much difficulty 
in getting my fermentations to go on properly 
during that month, as during any other month 
in the year. Whether this may have proceeded 
from the muggyness of the weather, or from the 
falling of leaves and other vegetables into the 
brewing liquor, which might cause a putridity, 
1 cannot determine. In noblemen and gentle- 
men's families, where they brew their own beer, 
I believe the month of October is still preferred 
for that purpose. I hold that, however, to be 
no criterion, as they commonly brew with pure 
spring liquor. The goodness of their beer, gene- 
rally speaking, depends fully as much on the 
care of their butler, as on that of their brewer. 
The beer being brewed excessively strong is al- 
ways left by the brewer in a state of unattenu- 


ated wort, as a saccharometer would very readily 
show. It has then to undergo a second fer- 
mentation before it is fit to be drunk, and upon 
this second fermentation being well or ill con- 
ducted by the butler, depends the quality of the 

The worts, being originally very strong, re- 
tain a sufficient quantity of saccharine, after 
the brewer has done with them, to prevent tbe 
approach of the acetous fermentation. When 
the second fermentation, therefore, comes on, the 
skill of the butler is required to give vent when 
necessary, and sometimes to rack the beer into 
other casks, in order to stop the fermentation 
when he finds that it has proceeded far enough. 
This, however, is trusting a great deal more to 
chance, than can possibly be allowed in the 
brewery. And as the beer, in general, is not 
quite so strong as that which is brewed in noble^ 
men and gentlemen's families, there would be 
less chance of its undergoing the second fermen- 
tation so well as the other, and the beer would of 
course get pricked. I would never, therefore, 
recommend the month of October as the best 
brewing month, particularly for keeping beers. 
Fine open frosty weather will always be found 
more favourable to fermentation, and such 
weather I would always select for brewing 


keeping beers. Indeed I am pretty sure that 
the beer brewed in frosty weather wUl always 
be found sounder than that brewed in muggy 
weather. In frosty weather the fermentations, 
if other causes do not prevent it, will always 
be vigorous and healthy ; and a vigorous and 
healthy fermentation is indispensably necessary, 
for all beer intended for keeping or exportation 
to a warm climate. I have often seen in the 
month of October more inert fermentation than 
in any other month in the year. And, as al- 
ready stated, this fermentation is the most de- 
ceitful which can occur. 

I would, therefore, defer brewing any keep- 
ing beers until it can be done in frosty, or at all 
events cool open weather, which may be ex- 
pected in December, January, February and 
March. During these months all keeping beers 
should be brewed, and when brewed they should 
be exposed as little as possible to the action of 
atmospheric air. I would always, however, for 
keeping beers prefer a 'moderately quick and 
vigorous fermentation, to a very slow fermenta- 
tion : since the former imparts, not only more 
vinosity, but a stronger preservative quality to 
the beer. For running beers, however, it is of 
less importance, and many are of opinion that 
the beer acquires more fullness from the slow 


than the quick fermentation. But of this, I 
am very doubtful, and leave every one, in that 
respect, to judge for himself. 

The Scotch ales are no great proof of the pre^ 
servative qualities of a slow fermentation, how 
much soever they may be agreeable to the pre- 
vailing taste, when mild and new. 



In summer it has always been found more dif- 
ficult to brew good beer than in winter, so much 
so, that some time ago, very few brewers pos- 
isessed of capital brewed in summer. Now, 
the public taste has so much altered with re- 
gard to beer, that even the largest establish- 
ments, find it necessary to brew almost through- 
out the year; and art, by means of fans, re- 
frigerators, &c. has enabled them to do so with 
greater success, than they could have done be^ 
fore the invention of these auxiliaries. 

Even now, however, with the assistance of 
all these new inventions, summer brewing is 
very uncertain and precarious, and ho one thinks 
of brewing more than absolutely necessary for 
immediate draught. 

I have always found, that the more speedily 
the whole process was carried on in summer, 
the better it succeeded. The taps or raw worts, 
therefore, should never be allowed to remain 


any time in the underback, but should be im- 
mediately pumped up into the copper, in order 
to gain heat ; nor should any time be lost be- 
tween your different mashings : in fact, every- 
thing should be carried on as speedily as possi- 
ble. In summer 1 would always prefer the 
spriukling mode of brewing, provided there are 
two coppers, so as to carry it on from begin- 
ning to end without intermission. Raw worts 
are always dangerous in summer, unless the 
greatest possible care be taken to keep them 
sound, and it sometimes requires a good judge 
to know whether they are so or not. If un- 
sound it is much better to throw them away 
than to use them, notwithstanding the apparent 
loss. Long fermentations in summer are always 
hazardous. Apply, therefore, such quantities 
of yeast, as may be found necessary to carry 
on the fermentations rapidly; never beyond 
the second day after brewing. To do this, 
however, a regulator in the tun is absolutely 
requisite to keep your temperature within due 

It is also very useful to have the means of 
cooling your beer down to a certain tempera- 
ture, as soon as it has discharged its yeast, so 
^ that it may be immediately bunged down. 
Many are of a different opinion, alleging that 
jthis flattens the beer, but a handful of ground 


rice thrown into each cask with a few hops, will 
soon remedy that. Frequent brewings also are 
absolutely necessary, to ensure a constant supply 
of good fresh yeast. It may be said we can 
get a change of good fresh yeast at any time 
from another brew-house. True, but are you 
sure that this change will answer your purpose ? 
Should the other brewer be languid or out of 
trim in his fermentations so will you ; unless 
you can by proper means make the yeast 
what it ought to be. I have worked in a large 
establishment from year's end to year's end, 
without ever having the least occasion for a 
change of yeast ; and could do so again at any 
time 'y and my fermentations shall be as healthy! 
and vigorous as any one's. 

The greatest possible attention to cleanliness 
is also indispensable. Nothing should be left in 
pumps or mains to stand over from one brewing 
to another. The cleansing casks should be washed 
after every brewing. In short, the most minute 
attention to cleanliness should be observed, even 
to what may be considered mere trifles* 

I do not approve of too much lime, that is 
to say, of constantly mixing lime with the liquor 
on the coolers. I think it penetrates too much 
into the pores of the wood, and sometimes irn* 
parts a disagreeable flavour to the beer ; a little 
pounded charcoal occasionally mixed with the 
liquor would do better. 




The most efficient fining for beer we have a» 
yet discovered, is isinglass. The best is pre- 
pared from the stomach of the sturgeon : it is, 
however, in this country, prepared from the* 
stomach of the cod fish or ling ; or, indeed, from: 
that of any other fish, and also from the skins of 
soles/ &c. Chemists state, that gelatine is dis- 
solved by liquid alkalies. The common mode, 
however, of preparing it for beer fining, is by 
first dissolving the isinglass with vinegar, or old 
stale ,beer ; it is then reduced with Ihih mild 
beer, generally brewed for the purpose, in all 
large (establishments, from a raw or return wort. 
It must next be passed through a fine hair 
sieve, by means of rubbing it .down with a 
hard hair brush and brought to its proper con^ 
sistency with thin mild beer; and if properly 
made, it will have a clear transparent appear- 


anbe, without any of the fecula floating about 
in it. , . * . , . 

i Many are very much opposed to the use of 
finings as they say it flattens and impoverishes 
the beer ; I am of opinion, that it does neither, 
to any perceptible extent. It removes any ex- 
traneous matter that may be floating about in 
the beer, and changes the beer from bright 
to brilliant ; I would therefore use it on all- 
occasions,' even to bright beer. The brighter 
the beer, the less fining will be nefces-* 
sary, and even half a pint to a barrel will 
sometimes make it brilliant. The common 
quantity used, is from a pint to a quart, or 
more, per barrel, according to the nature of the 
beer-^ Before using fining, however, it should 
be ascertained whether the beer is in a fit state 
for fining. 

^ This IS done by taking a sample of the beer,, 
and putting it into a long glass vessel, made for 
the purpose ; to this add a tea-spoonful or more 
of your fining ; then give the mixture a good 
shake, by turning it up and down with both 
hands, the palm of one being placed on the 
mouth of the vessel. If the beer has been well 
brewed, its aptitude to become bright will be 
soon shown, by the mixture getting thick and 
curdy ; a bright portion will generally make its 
appearance at the bottom or middle, and the 

F 2 


finings will at last mount up gradually to the 
top, taking all impurities along with them, and 
leaving the remainder brilliant. It has been 
stated, that the finings should have a con- 
trary effect, and at once carry the impurities 
from the top to the bottom : I never, however, 
saw this ta^e place, but with stubborn beer, which 
would not become thoroughly bright with any 
quantity of finings which could be added to it 
Fining or finings usually have a specific gravity 
of I^QIO to 1'016, and when added to beer in a 
fit condition for fining, invariably go to the top, 
and not to the bottom. Let any one fine down 
a butt or barrel of beer, leaving the same quite 
full, with the bung out: should the finings 
not make their appearance at top, he may rest 
assured, that his beer will not be thoroughly 
bright : this can easily be ascertained^ at any 
time* Should the sample fin^ down in the glass 
above mentioned, get bright, there cannot be the 
least doubt of the bulk doing the same. But if 
not, there can be no use in applying finings, a& 
they will only do harm . The better the isinglass, 
the more finings can be made from the same 
quantity. Some people, I have heard, are in 
the practice of dissolving isinglass in hoiU 
ing water, to make finings: this must be not 
only a v^ry expensive, but a very errpneous 
mode of proceeding, as the finings, when thus 


made, will immediately coagulate upon being 
applied to the beer, and at once go to the 
bottom, without producing the effect required. 

It may be observed, that hot water, warm 
beer, or even steam, applied to coarse inferior 
isinglass, does not hasten the solution, but, on 
the contrary,, hardens it, converting it into an 
insoluble fibrinous mass, from which very little 
fining can be obtained. 



The circumstaDce mentioned in my preliminary 
observations, of part of the same gyle of beer 
keeping sounds when stowed in one way, 
while a portion stowed in another way got 
stale, shows that the storing and keeping of 
beer are points of no little importance. We al- 
ways find that when beer is very much exposed 
to the action of some sort of electricity it is de- 
stroyed ; whether it might be again restored by 
another action of electricity, I have not as yet 
had it in my power to determine. I should, 
however, think this to be a point well worth the 
attention and research of scientific men. We 
also know that when beer has been very much 
exposed to the action of the atmosphere, it be- 
comes acid, by imbibing oxygen. This effect, 
however, is immediately produced by electri- 
city, but only gradually by oxygen. But elec- 
trical action is one thing, chemical action 
another ; and of the former kind of action, it is 


admitted by chemists that we know but little,-^ 
we can only j udge of it by its effects ; and there- 
fore any theoretical views in this place would be 
altogether irrelevant. I leave this part of the 
subject to philosophers, and only speak prac- 
tically. There is, however, no doubt that elec- 
tricity is the prime agent in every operation of 

/ From what has been said, it will appear that 
I am decidedly against any exposure of beer, 
either to the action of electricity or oxygen. 
Beer, therefore, immediately after having thrown 
off its yeast, should be racked, and closely shut 
up in as insulated a situation as possible. A 
Valve, however, should be put in the top of all 
large vats or reservoirs, to permit the escape of 
the excess of carbonic acid gas, produced by 
the slow insensible fermentation going on in the 

? This valve should have a considerable weight, 
so as to preclude a greater escape of gas than is 
absolutely necessary for preventing the bursting 
of the vat. All smaller casks, such as butts, 
hogsheads, barrels &c., should be placed on 
wooden bearers in as cool a place as possible, 
so that no part of the cask may touch either 
the floor or the walls. A wooden peg or sjpile 
should be put into the top of each, so as to give the 
beer a little vent when necessary, which it may 

72 OF sTomiyG and keeping beer. 

require every day for the first tea or twelve days ; 
after giving vent, however, the spile should be 
immediately replaced. Should the beer have 
been originally well brewed, but little attention 
will afterwards be requisite. Beer will likewise 
always keep better when racked off with a little 
of its own dreg, than when it approaches to finer 
ness. This may proceed from a portion of the 
fecula from the hops still remaining in the beer, 
which as it preserves the worts in the coolers, 
may also preserve the beer when fermented. 

It is a well known fact, that should beer be 
fined down and racked before being sent out to 
the India market, it never turns out so well as 
when it retains a portion of its own dregs. That 
being the case, it is equally certain, that the 
same beer when kept in this country, must be 
equally benefited by an adherence to the same 
practice. If a vat of well brewed beer should 
be opened by taking off the lid or top, in the 
middle of summer, precisely the same appear- 
ance will take place as when a bottle of beer 
is uncorked, namely, the carbonic acid gas, will 
almost immediately make its appearance on the 
top of the vat, in the shape of froth, as it does 
from the neck of the bottle in brisk beer. 

This plight frighten a young or an inexperi- 
enced brewer, but to an experienced one, it is a 
certain indication that every thing is right. This 


froth will soon subside : the lid should thea 
be immediately replaced. I would also recom- 
mend^ that the top of every vat for storing beer, 
should be covered to the depth of some inches 
with sand, over which a quantity of common salt 
should be sprinkled, and the whole moistened 
with water : this mixture when it begins to get 
dry should be again sprinkled with liquor or 
water. You thus always keep cool the top of 
the vat, and of course the beer contained in it, 
on the well-known principle^ that liquids get 
denser or lighter according to their tempera- 


Although', generally speaking, I object to 
every kind of drug in brewing, it would be folly 
to suppose, that we can at all times dispense 
with them. When every thing is going on 
well, no drug is necessary ; but when sickly^ a 
chemical remedy must be applied, and it is only 
then a brewer has it in his power to show his 
skill, by using proper remedies. He must, there- 
fore, have some knowledge of chemistry, so as 
not to make use of any thing which may be 
hurtful, or perhaps cause combinations, which 
might turn out to be poisonous. We all know 
that sugar, by a very simple chemical process, 
is converted into oxalic acid, — a deadly poison ; 
so that a brewer, having no knowledge of che- 
mistry, might, from ignorance, convert the 
saccharine of his worts into poison; or, by 
improper combinations, make his beer very 


No man, therefSce, .without some knowledge 
of chemistry, is justified in trying experiments 
with an article of general consumption. The 
law, as it at present stands, forbids the use of 
chemical remedies; but I should suppose, that 
its object is merely intended to prevent the use 
of deleterious ingredients, or substitutes for malt 
and hops. 

There is no law in France to prevent the 
flavouring of wines in anyway the manufac- 
turer may think proper, and there are very few 
French wines, which are not in some degree 
artificially flavoured. When harmless ingredi- 
jents, therefore, are employed for this purpose, I 
can see no objection to their being used ; and if 
the law of this country did not forbid their use, I 
believe the introduction of more deleterious in- 
gredients would soon be discontinued. ' Ho^^many 
travellers do we see traversing the country in 
all directions, for the purpose of selling drugs to 
brewers, and that, in such quantities, as to 
make something like an apothecary's shop of a 
man's stomach. One drug is for the purpose of ^ 
making the beer keep, a very desirable object ; 
another for giving flavour ; another to produce 
vinosity, &c. &c. : and the ignorant brewer is 
always induced to try them, by being told by 
these itinerant gentlemen, that such and such 

76 6F DRUGS. 

eminent brewers alwa3rs use them, and cannot 
do without them ; although, perhaps, those emi* 
nent brewers have never seen or heard of such 

Other brewers in the country are anxious 
to impart what is called the London porter 
flavour, and are told that it is impossible to do 
so, without the use of these noxious drugs. 
I firmly believe, however, that no house of any 
respectability in London, makes use of any 
other ingredient than those authorised by law, 
and yet the different flavours of the respective 
houses, proceeding from their various modes of 
working, are easily distinguished by a good 

Any brewer, therefore, using such drugs, with- 
out knowing their component parts, may abso- 
lutely, although very innocently, be making 
chemical combinations, . which will convert his 
beer into slow poison. Quite as good beer may be 
brewed from malt and hops alone, as can be 
produced with the assistance of any other in- 
gredients whatever. But when we hear people 
say, '' why cannot you give us beer of the same 
flavour as such another beer?" I reply, * that 
the law will not permit it ; such beer is flavoured 
with ginger, coriander seed, iris (prrice) root, 
Ike. &c., all harmless ingredients, but prohibited 
bylaw." This law, as already stated, was made 


I believe for no other purpose, than the preven- 
tion of the use of deleterious ingredients, or sub- 
stitutes for malt and hops. Were it altered, how- 
ever, so as to permit the use of harmless flavour- 
ing ingredients, not one half the quantity of de- 
leterious drugs would be consumed, which are 
now resorted to by ignorant brewers. 

Why should the brewer in England be pre- 
vented from giving to his ale a bouquet after 
the manner that the French give a bouquet to 
their wines? I am surprised that this is not 
more practised in private brewing, where there 
is no such restriction; for instance, a pine 
apple, raspberry or strawberry flavour, given to 
ale, would be very pleasant, and impart to it a 
bouquet, similar to the French champagne. 

There is also a substance which was some- 
time ago in almost general use in porter, viz,, 
sulphate of iron or salt of steel. The law, how- 
ever, has. imposed severe penalties on the use 
of it, and a test is applied for detecting its pre- 
sence. The sulphate of iron is called in the 
trade, heading, and gives to the beer a fine frothy 
top, which adheres to the pot or glass from 
which the beer may be drunk. It also imparts 
to the beer a sharpness of taste, generally much 
liked by porter drinkers. This heading, when 
applied in small quantities, little more than a 
quarter of an ounce per barrel being necessary 


to produce the effect wanted, is not, in the 
opinion of medical men, deleterious, except- 
ing to those of plethoric habits who do not gene-: 
rally drink beer ; on the contrary, it is deemed 
to be a good tonic, and. in foul beer would make 
it more wholesome than it would otherwise be/ 
It is certainly not a substitute for either malt 
or hops, and as people in general prefer porter 
which carries a good head for a long time, there 
can be no good reason why it should be so 
very severely prohibited by law. A substance 
is, I understand, made and sold by a chemist 
in London resembling capillaire, of which he 
sells considerable quantities. I am told that 
about one quart of this, when put into a barrel 
of thirty-six shillings beer, gives it a fulness, 
equal to that at forty-eight shillings, and thus 
those that like very sweet beer are imposed 
upon. This, therefore, is certainly a substitute 
for malt, and should be looked after accord-* 



This article although as yet little known in the 
brewery may. sometimes be found very useful. 
Where the liquor or water for brewing is taken; 
from stagnant pools, or from running water ex-' 
posed to the falling in of leaves or other im-: 
purities, it may sometimes acquire a little pu- 
tridity ; in which case it will materially affect 
the quality of the beer, causing also putridity 
in it. It is well known that charcoal.. has. a 
great tendency to remove all putridity ; a small 
quantity of it, therefore, when used in the boiling 
of your mashing liquors, will in a great measure 
prevent the evil which might otherwise arise 
from such impurities. I have sometimes found 
it very beneficial, and used it thus : — A fine 
net bag was procured, into which was put a 
quantity of charcoal broken into very small 
pieces. This bag was suspended in the copper 
by means of a string, and the liquor made to 
boil. I had the means afterwards of soon 


bringing it to its proper temperature without 
cooling down, and then proceeded in the same 
way with my other liquors. 

I had previously to this sometimes been 
plagued with a kind of putrescency in my beer, 
for which, for a long time, I could not account, 
and at last conjectured that it might proceed 
from impurities in the liquor. After adopting 
the charcoal, however, I had none of it. I con- 
sider it a very useful discovery, which is now 
given to the public without any nwre valuable 
consideration than the price of this book. I 
have no doubt, that powdered charcoal might 
also be used very beneficially in the brewery in 
removing impurities from many of the utensils. 
Muriatic acid gas, evolved from a mixturie of com- 
mon salt and sulphuric acid, is also very pow- 
erful in removing mustiness or putridity from 
vats or other large utensils. Or still better is 
the use of chloride of lime, or bleaching powder ; 
but the utensils must afterwards be filled up 
with liquor before being used for beer, to 
dislodge the acid from the pores of the wood.* 

* I have since read that lime put into the net in pieces, 
along with the charcoal in boiling, is a great assistant in 
removing putrescency from liquor or water. 



The causes of this evil I have never been able 
to trace altogether to my own satisfaction. But 
it may be stated, that brewing from a mixture of 
unmalted com, or what is much the same, from 
steely or half made malt, will produce ropiness 
in beer* It will also occur from an injudicious 
mixture of unsound stale beer with mild beer- 
This shows the necessity of having good malt. 
I have heard master-brewers, who ought to have 
known better, assert, that if they could purchase 
malt at a certain low figure, it made little dif- 
ference whether it was good or bad, as a few 
quarters additional in a large brewing would 
make up the difference in gravity. They did 
not, however, take into consideration the risk 
they ran in having ill flavoured, and ropy beer. 
I will also maintain that beer brewed from the 
best quality of malt, although ten per cent, 
weaker, shall at all times taste five per cent. 



fuller and better than beer brewed from ill made 

The odour, for instance, of a distiller's fermen- 
tation, who works from a mixture of raw com 
and malt, is always as different as night from 
day, from that of a brewer's, who has a sound 
fermentation, and works with good malt. The 
first has always a fcetid odour, while that of 
the other is highly vinous, pungent and aro- 
matic. I have already said, that the nose is 
almost a sure guide to an experienced brewer, 
in ascertaining whether his fermentation is going 
on well or ill. But I would wish to impress 
this point more particularly on the mind, than 
I have perhaps formerly done. An experienced 
brewer with a very sensitive smell, should be 
able to judge even by walking through a 
brew-house, whether or not it is in trim, and 
I again repeat that no man who has not both 
a very sensitive smell and taste, can be a 
good brewer. Many I know will say that this 
is a fanciful idea. But how often do we see 
that even one man, who is acknowledged to have 
a good taste for wine or beer, will guide the 
opinions of a large majority in any company, as 
to the good or bad qualities of the beverage 
they are then drinking. The majority, perhaps, 
are not the best judges ; indeed I have seen men 
«o devoid of both taste and smell, that it made 


very little difference, whether putrid or fresh 
food were presented to them. I think it was 
King George the Second, who had been so 
much accustomed to stale oysters in Germany, 
that he could not relish the fine natives of 

Many remedies for ropiness have been propoit- 
ed, but I believe the best is, to put the beer into 
a vat with a false bottom, and add four or five 
pounds per barrel of hops, taken gradually away 
after the first boilings of the worts, to which 
may be added about half a pound per barrel of 
mustard seed. Rouse the beer well as you 
keep adding the hops, and in some months 
the ropiness will be pretty nearly cured. The 
beer should be drawn off from below the false 

G 2 



A GREAT deal of harm is often done in the 
brewery, by an injudicious mixture of new and 
old beers. I have known this carried so far, as 
not to leave the brewer sufficient room to work 
in ; in other words, he is said to be blocked up. 
Mild beer is now become the order of the day, 
and old beer, except when mixed with new, 
is seldom drunk. The only way, therefore, in^ 
which a brewer can get rid of his returns or 
old beer, is by a mixture with new and mild 
beer. This is sometimes done by breaking it 
gradually into his squares with the worts while 
in a state of fermentation. I consider this, how- 
ever, to be a very dangerous mode of working ; 
for should his fermentation be in the least lan- 
guid, the whole gyle or brewing will become 
unsound in a very short time after being cleansed ; 
thus adding considerably to his stock instead 
of diminishing it. Others break in their old 
beer in the breaking batch, before the beer is 


pumped away to the vats. This will be also 
attended with bad effect, unless the fermenta- 
tion of the beer has been very vigorous and 
healthy ; and equally so, should the old beer not 
be in a fit state for mixing at the time. It re- 
quires an experienced brewer or storehouse- 
man to put the old beer in a fit state for marry- 
ing, and the mode of doing it so much depends 
on the state the old beer may be in at the time, 
that no definite rules can be laid down on the 
subject. I should, therefore, recommend to 
any brewer, should he have a stock of old beer, 
that before trying to mix it, he consult some 
one well acquainted with the different modes 
of treating it, so as to bring it round to a fit 
state. for being worked off in that way. I have 
known brewers who have been at last so blocked 
up for want of room by injudicious management 
in this way, that they have been obliged to 
turn a considerable quantity of beer down the 
kennel ; and perhaps, this is often the best way 
to get rid of it. 



I HAVE never as yet been able to ascertain with 
certainty, from what cause greyness generally 
proceeds. My opinion, however, is, that it 
often arises from too long boiling of the last 
worts. It may also be occasioned by the use 
of bad malt or hops, or by various other 
causes. I have never been able to find out 
any certain cure for it. 

Formerly grey beer was much more common 
than of late years ; a frequent cause of this 
defect arose from the imperfect manner the fer- 
mentation was then conducted, assisted by the 
necessity the brewers were then placed in, of 
moving the ckaming-casks in starting the beer« 
The introduction of rounds or fixed casks, for 
cleansing, when properly placed, has been a 
great improvement. 

Should you have a vat with a false bottom, 
the same as the mash tun or jack back : you may 
run grey beer in there, and throw into it four or 
six pounds per barrel of spent hops, immedi- 
ately after taking them from the jack back, this 
after standing some time will partially take off 


the greyness. Grey beer may sometimes ap- 
pear pretty bright when viewed by transmitted 
light ; but when viewed by reflected light, it 
has always a colour like whey. Clean beer, 
when viewed downwards in a pot, has al- 
ways a fine black face, as it is called. Grey 
beer will always appear whey coloured when 
seen in the same manner. If, therefore, we 
have not good malt or hops to work from at all 
times, there is always danger to be apprehend- 
ed in some way or other. 

Whenever a brewer is unsuccessful in his 
operations, we generally hear him say that 
it is entirely owing to working with bad ma- 
terials. He thus throws the blame, sometimes 
very wrongfully, on the maltster and hop mer- 
chant, when he himself cannot tell what may 
be the cause of his want of success. 

Although I admit that the brewery is very 
much indebted to Mr. Richardson, for the intro- 
duction of the saccharometer, and for the mode 
of making the lengths, I do not agree with him 
in some of his directions as to brewing and fer- 
menting. His directions as to temperature for 
mashing are certainly not precise enough, or 
such as to be a sure guide to any one. 

In his method of fermentation, he says, " at 
75® the first flavour of mild ale commences ; 
for under that it is more properly the flavour of 
ale intended to be improved by long keeping. 



At 80° the flavour of ale is more perfect ; at 
85° it approaches the high flavour; at 90° it 
may be termed high, but is sometimes carried 
to 100° or upwards, the flavour increasing in 
proportion to the heat of the fermentation." 
In all these points I differ from Mr. R. in toto. 
I say that the best* flavours are acquired at 
vinous temperatures, which should never exceed 
75° ; and I therefore maintain that the first heat 
when all the worts are in the square should al- 
ways be such, as that the last heat shall never 
exceed 76°. I have already given a range of 
from 50° to 75°, as quite sufficient for the ac- 
quirement of any flavour that may be wanted 
if your fermentations are sufficiently vigorous. 
This, however, Mr. Richardson says, entirely 
depends upon the yeast, which can only be re- 
medied by a change of it from another brew- 
house. In this also I differ from him, and con- 
tend that an experienced brewer ought always: 
to know how to make a change of yeast for 
himself, so as not to be dependent upon other 
brew-houses, from which the change might prove 
as bad as his own. 

If Mr. Richardson's rules for cleansing were 
strictly adhered to, the whole of the beer 
in my judgment would be yeast-bitten to a 
greater or less degree. Whenever a fermenta* 
tion begins to flag, there is danger to be ap- 
prehended in some way or other, either from 


the action of electricity, unsoundness in the 
wort, or from bad yeast. An experienced brewer 
should always be able to know from which of 
those causes it does proceed, and to act accord- 

Mr. R. recommends that the fermentation 
should come to a stand still before cleansing. 
I maintain, on the contrary, that the fermenta- 
tion should be in a most vigorous state at cleans- 
ing time, and that the smell of the gas should 
be more pungent and powerful than in any other 
stage of the process. Should this not be the 
case, your beer is sure to be either mawkish or 
partially yeast-bitten. 1 quite agree with Mr, 
R. however, in the opinion, that an inspection 
of the fermentation is necessary every two or 
three hours, when it is going on languidly, in or- 
der that proper remedies may be applied ; and 
I also agree with him, that a pint of hops, after . 
the first boiling, put into a barrel of beer, is of 
service both as to brightness and keeping. 

Why should Mr. R. in his mode of fermenta- 
tion for porter limit his highest fermenting tem- 
perature to 70° or little more, when in ale he 
allows it to go as high as 1 00°? In porter I 
would be inclined to give a greater latitude in 
temperature than in ale, as the mixture of brown 
malt is not so apt to fly off to an acid, as pale 
malt alone. 




London has always been celebrated for the 
particular flavour of the porter brewed there ; 
but as there are almost as many different flavours 
as there are houses^ it becomes, in my opinion^ 
difficult to say, which is the London flavour. 
These different flavours however are produced by 
their different grists and modes of working, and 
not from artificial flavours which are generally 
supposed to be given. 

Those frequenting the public houses served 
by any one of the great brewing establishments, 
get accustomed to the particular flavour of such 
beer, and of course prefer it to any other ; and a 
great name often gives a celebrity which the beer 
does not at all times deserve. The London porter, 
however, has lately been rivalled, it is said, in the 
public estimation by Dublin stout, whether de^ 
servedly or not, I shall not pretend to say ; but 
I have lately seen, a great deal of what was said 


to be Dublin stout, quite ropy, which is no great 
proof of its good qualities. The London porter, 
TOnerally speaking, it is said, does not now pre- 
Lve the same soundness as it did in the recol- 
lection of some of its oldest drinkers. Should 
this really be the case, I have no doubt that 
it proceeds from some bad arrangement of the 
plant, so as to admit the action of electricity, or 
from the introduction of steam in some of the 
departments. Many are of opinion that, what is 
called the London flavour cannot be acquired but 
by brewing on a large scale. The opinion seems 
unfounded from the fact, that as good porter 
and stout can be brewed in a five-quarter mash<> 
tun as any brewed in London on a large scale ; 
and if this can be done in London with spring 
water, I do not see any reason why the same 
may not be done in any part of the country with 
equally good materials. — If stout and porter can 
be brewed in Dublin, which is said to rival that 
brewed in London, what should prevent the 
same being done in any other, the smallest 
town in either country ? 

No single house can imitate the different fla- 
vour of all the great London establishments; 
but the flavour of any particular house can be 
easily acquired. By the way, talking of flavours, 
I must take the liberty of relating an anec- 
dote which is said to have occurred during the 



last century. A Dutch house was at that time 
in the practice of getting whole gyles of porter 
brewed on purpose for them by one of the great 
houses in London. On one occasion one of 
their clerks was in London at the time of brewings 
and went to see the process. He unfortunately^ 
poor fellow! tumbled into a copper of boiling 
worts, and before he could be got out again was 
actually boiled to death. There were no dome 
coppers in those days. The gyle of beer 
was sent over to Holland^ and turned out to 
be very good. The next batch sent, however, 
did not turn out so well, and the Dutch house 
complained of it, saying, it had not the same 
flavour as the preceding gyle. The answer 
returned by the London house was, that they 
had no means of giving them precisely the same 
flavour, unless they would send them over another 
Dutchman. So much for flavour. 



Such an article as prime sound old beer is now 
but rarely met with, excepting sometimes in 
noblemen or gentlemen's families, where the 
beer is home-brewed. I have already stated 
that the butler has generally as much, or more, 
to do with the preservation of home-brewed 
beer than the brewer. 

The beer is originally brewed very strong, 
and given over by the brewer in a state of 
unattenuated wort to the butler. There is then 
so much saccharine left in the beer as to prevent 
the approach of the acetous fermentation, unless 
it be exposed to high temperatures and the ac- 
tion of the atmosphere. 

A second fermentation, however, is absolutely 
necessary before it can be called beer; and 
according to the management of the butler, it 
becomes good or bad . The preservative qualities 
of the best home-brewed beer, therefore, proceed 
entirely from its great strength, and not from 
any superior knowledge possessed by the 


brewer. The weaker beers are always drunk 
when new before they have time to get acid. 

In the public brewery however the case is dif- 
ferent : such strong beer as that brewed in pri- 
vate families is never wanted, and the beer is 
much more attenuated during the process of fer- 
mentation. During, or even before this process, 
however, the acetous principle is frequently com- 
municated without the brewer being at all 
aware of it ; and in a very few weeks or months 
the beer gets pricked. This, as I have already 
stated, proceeds from the action of electricity or 
other causes. Magnificent works have been 
erected by first-rate architects for brewing ; 
but from their want of knowledge of the action 
of electricity upon worts and beer in all its 
stages, these works are so constructed as to pre* 
vent the possibility of brewing really i^ound beer 
but at certain times. Such is the obstinacy 
of some people, that, were any scientific man 
to ofier to them his advice upon the subject, he 
would only be laughed at, and scornfully asked if 
he thought they wanted any information on the 
subject ? Until this information, however, be 
given and taken, the art of brewing, instead of 
progressing as other sciences have done, will still 
retrograde, as it has been said to have done for 
many years, until at last, during summer, there 
will be no possibility of producing a supply of 
really sound beer. 


Having lately had occasion to give some in- 
structions in a small brewhouse in the neighbour- 
hood of London, immediately on going into the 
work, I objected to the arrangement of some part 
of the plant, but said I would try one brewing. 
I did so, and found that I could do no good. 
I at once stated to the proprietors, that I would 
not attempt another gyle unless they would allow 
me to make an alteration ; to which they at once 
very handsomely agreed. The result has shown 
them that I was quite right, and they think I 
have done them an essential service. I have 
authority to mention their names to any one who 
may wish any further information on the subject. 
The mischief happened from a galvanic action 
giving acidity to the beer during the fermentation. 
I have the authority of a scientific gentleman 
to whom I was lately introduced to say, that he 
can at any time immediately communicate to the 
soundest beer the acetous principle, by sending 
through it a shock of electricity. 

This being the case, is it not possible, that a 
slight galvanic action may take place in the ear^^ 
lier stages of the process from causes already 
mentioned, imparting an unsoundness to the 
worts, which cannot afterwards be got rid of? 
I do not say that this does always actually bap- 
pen, I merely throw it out as a hint, to prevent 
the use of too many metals in the construction of 
any of the utensils. 



I NOW proceed to practical brewing. I must, 
however, in the first place, make a few additional 
remarks on the construction of the brew-house 
and other matters. 

. Wherever I have found the brew-house con- 
structed in the manner I have before recom- 
mended, I never experienced the slightest diffi- 
culty in managing the fermentations as I pleased, 
when working with good materials. In others 
differently constructed, however, I was always 
obliged to force the fermentations, and often in 
such a way as to incur the risk of getting yeast- 
bitten. This has quite confirmed me in the 
opinion that electricity is a powerful agent in fer- 
mentation. Wherever I have found the utensils 
placed in insulated situations, I have found no dif- 
ficulty in fermenting. But wherever the squares 
or gyle tuns have been imbedded in the ground, 
or connected with it by means of metal pipesi 
my fermentations have been very precarious 


and uncertain. So much so that I would never 
again attempt to work, in a brew-house so con- 
structed. This, being a new doctrine, may 
perhaps be laughed. at by many who reckon 
themselves very successful brewers. But while 
I am supported in my opinion by such authority 
as that of Sir H. Davy, and many other gen- 
tlemen of undoubted scientific knowledge, in 
chemiistry and philosophy, both at home and 
abroad, I shall at all events be laughed at in 
good company. And if it be afterwards dis^ 
covered that this new doctrine should be the 
means of generally improving the beer through- 
out the country, I may perhaps be allowed to 
laugh in my turn. I have no hesitation in say* 
ing that I could, if necessary, bring forward a 
host of evidence to prove the action of elec^ 
tricity on fermentation, as also on destroying 
beer, but as I have no wish to swell out this 
treatise to a book-making size, I shall content 
myself with the two instances already men- 
tioned under the head of electricity. 
. The great desideratum in my opinion is to 
produce a clean well-flavoured wholesome beer, 
such as will not hurt the stomach more than the 
best wines. To that, therefore, 1 rfiall confine 
myself. A very able treatise on brewing ha* 
lately been published by Mr. David Booth, 
under the superintendence of the Society for 



the Diffusion of Usefiil Knowledge.: In Parts 
III. and IV., he gives .a very accurate ac- 
count of the different modes of brewing beer 
on all parts of the continent. From long habit 
the consuipers get accustomed to the different 
palates of their own beers, but I doubt Tery 
much whether even the best of them would suit 
the English taste. 

I shall, therefore, confine myself to the re- 
sults of my own practical experience. The 
late Mr. Richardson of Hull, had the honour 
and merit of first causing the art of brewing 
to be regarded as a science in this country, by 
the invention of the saccharometer, and no man 
could possibly carry his researches farther than 
he did, as to the most scientific mode of making 
the extracts. But I must differ from him a little 
as to the intoxicating qualities of beer of dif- 
ferent gravities. I think, that when worts of 
401bs. gravity have only been attenuated 18*4 lbs. 
and when worts of 24*3 lbs. gravity have been 
attenuated 18 lbs. the inebriating effect, if drank 
immediately, would be pretty nearly the same. 
But if both are allowed to stand over six or 
twelve months it will be found, that the worts 
of 40 lbs. which had only originally been at* 
tenuated 18*4 lbs. will then be attenuated per- 
haps 12 or 14 lbs. more, by what is called the 
insensible fermentation during that period, while 


the Other will remain pretty nearly the same. 
This, therefore, will account for the difference 
of the inebriating effect of the beer brewed from 
the worts of the greater original gravity. 

Perhaps, also, his distillations ipight have 
been made from new mild beer, which would 
account for the little difference of the quantity 
of spirit produced from each : were this not the 

case, how could we account for the difference 


of the quantity of spirit produced from distillers' 
wash, according to the extent to which the fer- 
mentation has been conducted. Mr. Richard* 
son was certainly a gentleman of great practi- 
cal science, and I may perhaps be wrong in my 
conclusions, but I cannot at present find any 
other mode of accounting for the little difference 
which he made in the quantity of spirit extract- 
ed, or for the difference in the inebriating ef- 
fects of the two, unless both were older when 

As the saccharometer had been then only 
newly introduced, perhaps he might not have 
thought of ascertaining the difference of attenua- 
tion made by the insensible fermentation. It is, 
therefore, absolutely necessary in making ex- 
periments of this kind, that the different fer- 
mented liquors to be tried should be of the same 

H 2 



I HAVE already stated that Mr. Richardson was 
the first inventor of this instrument for trying 
the density of worts, and for which the trade 
in general is very much indebted to him. Be- 
fore his time, rude instruments had been con- 
structed by different brewers for the purpose of, 
in some measure, ascertaining the value of the 
malt. Equal quantities, for instance, of wort 
and water were weighed against each other, 
but this mode was found to be troublesome, and 
was only practised by very few. Since his time 
various other instruments have been introduced 
for the same purpose ; but for real utility, I do 
not think that his instrument has been excelled 
by any, and from its having only oiie pound 
gravity on the stem, fewer mistakes can possi- 
bly occur than where you have 10 or 20lbs. in 
the same space. Mr. Dicas of Liverpool in* 
troduced an instrument for trying the specific 
gravity, and his scale is nearly as 5 to 2 of Mr, 


Richardson's, or 801bs. by Richardson's is 200 
by Dicas's. This instrument, however, being 
more complicated, with an immense number of 
weights, is not now much in use, and the more 
simple one is quitp accurate enough for the trade. 
Allan's saccharometer is generally used by the 
brewers and distillers in Scotland, and is very 
accurate; it indicates the true specific gravity. 
It was invented by Professor Thomson of Glas- 
gow. Various other saccharometers are used by 
brew;ers throughout the country ; but that of Mr. 
Joseph Long, of Tower Street (London), is to be 
preferred. This instrument goes as high as 51 to 
52Ibs. per barrel, gravity, with only one weight; 
to which he has added a thermometer, with a con- 
densation table on the scale, thus saving a great 
deal of trouble. However, the indications of any 
saccharometer or hydrometer, if accurate, may 
be easily compared and reduced to any scale, 
by recollecting that the saccharometer indicat- 
ing lbs. per barrel is founded on the fact, that 
a barrel of water at 62° weighs 3601bs., while 
the saccharometer of Allan, or Bate, indi- 
cating degrees of specific gravity has 1000* or 
1-000 for its unit. Dividing 1000 by 360 we 
obtain the factor 2*78* The rule, therefore^ 
in comparing the indications of instruments 
indicating special gravity to lbs. per barrel, iis 
simply to divide the gravity shown by 2-78, 


and the result is the lbs. per barrel by Long^s 
saccharometer ; or, to convert Long's gravity to 
the specific gravity of Allan or Bate, multiply by 
2*78. Mr. Long's may in my opinion always 
be depended upon. A drawing and description 
of Long's instrument will be found at the end 
of this book. 

In the following processes, in noting the 
weight of yeast used in the different fermenta- 
tions, will be found letters characteristic of its 
qualities. S. S. means solid stillion, or yeast 
which has been kept in the stillion for some 
days, until it has become thick or solid. L. S. 
means light stillion yeast, or what has been im- 
mediately or lately thrown off from the beer. 
M. S. S. signifies middling solid stillion, or what 
has been thrown off the beer the day before. 
S. L. S. indicates strong light stillion yeast ap- 
proaching to S. S. 

Having already, under the head Yeast, given 
directions, as to what I consider the best modes 
of preserving it for use, 1 would again beg 
leave to impress strongly on the minds of all 
brewers, the importance of attending to those 
directions. Yeast which has been long lying 
about fretting and expending its strength, will 
never produce beer of equal vinosity and flavour, 
with that which has been at once taken, out of 


the stillions before it has had time either to fret 
or get stale. 

Nothing perhaps can more strongly exem- 
plify this, than the difference of the aromas be- 
tween a distiller's and a brewer's ferment- 
ing backs in a state of vigorous fermentation. 
In a brewer's tun, if every thing ' be going on 
right, the smell, although pungent, will always 
be found to be highly aromatic and vinous. In 
all distillers' tuns, at least in all I have had an 
opportunity of seeing, the gas, although quite 
as pungent, is totally different, having always a 
sickly, and to me a foetid and disagreeable 
smell ; whether or not this difference in smell 
may be advantageous to the distiller, I cannot 
say, — I should think not. 

As some of the technical terms used may not 
be thoroughly understood in all parts of the 
country, I shall endeavour to explain them. 

Set or Setting tap means opening the cocks to 
drain off the worts from the mash tun. 

The term pitched or pitching at the commence- 
ment of the fermentations, signifies letting a small 
portion of the worts into the fermenting vessel or 
gyle tun, at a higher temperature, with a certain 
quantity of yeast ; so that the process of fer- 
mentation may be fairly commenced before the 
cooler worts are mixed with them. 


Creaming over means the first of the five stages 
or changes in a regular fermentation, when the 
tops of the worts appear as if covered with fine 
rich cream. 

A Curling or Caulifkur top indicates the second 
stage of a regular fermentation, when the appear- 
ance all over the tun is like heads of fine cauli- 
flour. By the vigour or weakness of this curl 
we may almost to a certainty judge of the 
after success of the fermentation. 

A light yeasty head indicates the third stage of 
the process, when the curl has entirely disap- 
peared, and is succeeded by a fine rocky or al- 
pine appearance all over the tun, which gradually 
gets to nearly a level. 

Ue^d falling or dropping means the dropping or 
falling of this head, which always happens in a 
good fermentation after a certain time, denoting 
the fourth stage or change. 
. A close yeasty head shows the fifth or last 
change of the regular process of fermentation, 
when the head again rises, but with quite a 
different appearance to the former, as it should 
now have an yeasty appearance all over, with 
many little transparent air bells constantly ap- 
pearing and bursting, with a discharge of carbonic 
acid ga^. 

Stomach means the pungency, but more par- 
ticularly the odour of the vapour evolved 

OF Ti{£ SACCHAIl03f£T£fl* 105 

during fermentation; by which an experienced 
brewer should at all times be able to judge how 
the process is going on. I therefore repeat, that an 
accurate smell is invaluable to a brewer, and as 
} have before said, a good taste is not less advan- 
tageous, since the union of the two furnishes a 
ready means of detecting errors, which might 
otherwise escape observation. I am not aware 
of any accurate chemical tests which can at all 
act as a substitute for these senses. 

I recollect having been on a certain occasion 
asked by an eminent brewer to give my opinion 
of the comparative merits, of two different gyles 
of beer, then in the cleansing rounds. Judging 
from smell and taste, I decided in favour of the. 
weaker beer as being the cleaner of the two. I 
was told, however, that I was quite wrong, 
because the other was stout. My opinion had not 
been asked as to strength, but if it had been, I 
should still have adhered to the opinion that the 
weaker, being the cleaner beer, was the better 
beer of the two. 

I have used the term bladdery to denote large 
bells or blisters resembling blown-up bladders 
all over the top of the tun. These are sometimes 
transparent, and sometimes opaque or whey- 
coloured ; when transparent, a supply of good light 
still ion yeast with proper treatment may remove 
them. When opaque, the evil generally proceeds 


from unsound worts, and cannot be thoroughly 
cured, at least by any means I have yet discovered. 

I shall now proceed to give a few processes 
for brewing different sorts of beer, as practised 
by myself in a small brew-house in London, not 
many years ago. In these processes, the fer- 
mentations will all be found to have gone on 
well and regularly ; and the beer was in general 
very highly approved of, and could have borne 
a comparison with any other beer at the same 

The brewings indeed were only on a small 
scale ; but the same process for making the ex- 
tracts may be adopted on any scale; by making 
the necessary calculations. 

Less yeast in proportion will be required on a 
larger scale; but, as has already been stated 
under the head of fermentation, no definite rules 
can be laid down, as to the precise quantities 
which may be necessary, as they vary according 
to circumstances. 

As I used Dicas's instrument, I have given his 
specfic gravities. They are nearly as 5 to 2 
of Long's, as shown by one of his tables which 
accompanies his instrument. 





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The following gyle of porter was brewed in 
premises I have already mentioned, where the 
gyle tuns and fermenting casks were so ill ar- 
ranged, as to prevent the possibility of any cer- 
tainty in the fermentations. A young friend who 
was then with me learning to brew, and who 
is now in London, will, I dare say, attest, that I 
often said to him, I was sorry I had never while 
there had it my power to show him a really 
regular and good fermentation. I was not then 
however so well aware of the cause as I now 
am. But had I been so, I should not have 
had it in my power to procure the necessary 
alterations. And had I mentioned my reasons 
for wishing them, I doubt if they would have 
been understood by the parties concerned. It will 
be seen by my notes on the process that the fer- 
mentation was very indifferent and irregular, and 
never had a fine close yeasty head at any time. I 
afterwards found that the best method I could 


adopt was always to give a good quantity of 
yeast, and cleanse young, although this is a very 
uncertain mode of working. — Brewed with 
Richardson*s instrument. 






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I SHALL here suppose, that we have 100 bar- 
rels of porter got together at 60°, with 1601bs» 

Second morning, a curling top turning over 
in broad flakes, like the curls of a wig. 

Evening 4, A light yeasty head, looking blue- 
ish ; a faintish stomach ; heat 63"". 

Evening 9, Head beginning to drop ; stomach 
still faintish, but pungent; heat 64^ attenuated 
to 161bs. gravity; yeast 20lbs. L. S. 

Third morning 6, Head all over large air 
bells or bladders only about two inches high, 
and a sort of undulatory motion of the beer all 
over the tun; heat 70°, attenuated to lllbs. 
With a good regulator or refrigerator in the tun, 
and a good supply of lively, light, stillion yeast, 
this fretful fermentation may sometimes be 
made healthy, if it proceeds from the use of 
bad yeast ; if, however, it arise from unsound- 


ness in the wort, no after treatment can ever 
make it good beer, although it may be partially 

Morning 1 1 , Having no lively yeast to work 
with, and finding I gain neither in heat nor at- 
tenuation, the same bladdery head and undula- 
tbry motion still going on, I cleansed, to avoid 
getting yeast bitten. The beer was mawkish, 
but no fault was found with it. If the above 
mentioned bladders, or air bells, be quite clear 
and transparent, the bad fermentation generally 
proceeds from bad yeast ; if opaque or whey- 
coloured, it is more likely to originate in un- 
soundness of the vforL 



The next process is the inert, or sluggish fer- 
mentation : — it is now, however, so long since I 
have permitted that process to go on, that I have 
not preserved notes of my extracts for the 
brewing, I shall, therefore, suppose we have 
60 barrels of porter, at 2 libs, gravity by Long's 
or Richardson's instruments, and give my notes 
during the process of the fermentation. 

25th October ; Evening 1, pitched with three 
barrels first worts, at 70^ yeast lOlbs. L. S. 
— Evening 3, first worts down at 60°, yeast 
SOlbs, S. S. — Evening 9, got altogether 
at 60°, yeast 40lbs., S. S. and L. S., equal 

26th, Morning 6, the curl just beginning 
to rise, but with an indifferent appearance, turn- 
ing over like the curls of a wig, in broad flakes. — 
Evening 6, a light yeasty head, with a blueish 
appearance : heat 62°, stomach faintish. 

27th, Morning 6, head beginning to drop, 


but Still the same faintish, but pungent stomach : 
heat 68° ; worts taste mawkish, attenuated to 
I21bs. gravity, yeast 251bs. L. S. — Morning 11, 
the head again rising, but not properly yeasty, 
and quite level all over, without a single bell, or 
small bladder: stomach or smell, very much 
like that of a distiller's tun, but not so strong or 
pungent. — Evening 6, head well risen, but not 
yeasty ; the same level appearance all over with- 
out the bell : taste and smell still mawkish : 
heat 72°, attenuated to 81bs. gravity ; cleansed* 

This beer worked apparently very well in 
casks, but with no proper yeasty appearance. 
It never lost its mawkish taste and faintish 
smell, and was destitute of the vinous quality. 

It is sometimes difficult to get the attenuation 
in this fermentation below a certain point, un- 
less you have or can procure a supply of good 
lively yeast. 



This very bad fermentation must also arise from 
some of the causes already referred to. It com- 
mences like others with a creamy top, but the 
curl rises very light and faint. The light yeasty 
head has generally a bluish appearance, and the 
stomach, although sometimes pungent, is never 
healthy or properly vinous. When the light 
yeasty head falls, no other rises^ and in a short 
time the head subsides altogether, and the tun 
assumes the appearance of a state of ebullition . 
If allowed to go on in this way the beer is sure 
to get foul or yeast bitten. If there be a good 
refrigerator or regulator in the tun to cool it down 
a little, the best plan is to put it into immediate 
operation, and then sprinkle a little fine flour of 
malt all over the top of the beer. 

If you have then a good supply of fine lively 
light stillion yeast, keep gradually adding a little 
until another head begins to rise. Old stale 
yeast will do more harm than good. It is more 
advisable, however, to avoid all those erroneous 



fermeDtations by finding out their causes, which 
can always be done by any experienced brewer. 

It may probably be supposed by some of my 
readers that I have expressed myself too confi- 
dently on many points upon which I have 
treated in these pages ; but as all that has been 
advanced is the result of long experience, I 
shall be at all times ready to confirm practically 
any statements to those who may be pleased to 
do me the honour of consulting me. 

When fermentations are going on regularly, 
there is no kind of trouble with any thing, and 
we have it in our power, to arrange so as to 
have all our cleansings in the early part of the 
day, instead of during the night, which is a great 
saving of labour to bpth masters and servants, 
besides the certainty of having all things better 
attended to. When, however, we observe the 
least irregularity in our fermentation, we should 
immediately endeavour to find out the cause, 
which must proceed from one or other of the 
reasons already mentioned in this book. In 
my general summary these causes will be set 
forth in a more condensed form, and it is only 
further necessary to add the old adage, *' one 
stitch in time saves nine." 

I have given no instruction for brewing pale 
beer for the India market ; but the documents 
from Calcutta quoted in this book, will show that 
I am acquainted with the process. 



It may be thought straoge that ao mentiou 
has been made of skimming the yeast off the 
gyle tuns, a practice now so prevalent, I have 
often tried it without finding any benefit ; on 
the contrary, I found it only a waste of time, 
as well as a considerable waste of beer. I could 
only therefore come to the conclusion, that its 
original adoption must have arisen from being 
obliged to skim off the yeast in bad fermentations, 
to prevent its falling down through the beer, and 
thus making it yeast-bitten. This practice of 
skimming can do no good, but may dp harm, 
from the length of the process exposing the beer 
to atmospheric action. 

When any beer, either ale or porter has gone 
through a regular and good fermentation, and has 
then been cleansed at the proper time, it will 
throw off its yeast quite as well in the cleansing 
casks as by skimming, and may be all racked 
and drunk before the other is out of the gyle- 
tun, a great desideratum to small capitalists. 




To any one who has attentively perused the 
foregoing pages, it must appear self-evident, 
that want of success in brewing, generally pro- 
ceeds from one or other of the following causes. 

First, firom want of attention to cleanliness. 

Second, fipom not having good malt and hops 
to brew with. 

Third, from using bad liquor or water. 

Fourth, from being exposed to any undue 
electrical influence. 

Fifth, from using bad yeast. 

First, then, let us mention want of attention 
to cleanliness. The workmen when not very 
strictly looked after in cleaning the utensils, are 
very apt to slur that part of their work over, 
and in summer particularly, this may be attend- 
ed with very injurious consequences* The 
casks in the trade, for sending out the beer, 
should also be most carefully attended to. Many 
are of opinion that if the casks do not smell 


musty, they are all right when bloum off with 
hot liquor. This, however, is not the case ; the 
casks often, from bungs &c. being left out, get 
very sour, so much so that the acidity.penetrates 
deeply into the pores of the wood, in which 
case, if means be not taken to sweeten them, 
the acidity will (particularly in hot weather) 
be very soon communicated to the beer. The 
principal cooper, therefore, in a large establish- 
ment has a very responsible situation. Where 
there is no regular cooper or storehousemah, 
this department should also be looked after by 
the brewer. . ; 

Second, not having good materials to 
brew with, viz., malt and hops. Many think 
that, by purchasing an inferior quality of malt 
at a low price, and allowing an additional quan- 
tity of such malt to a brewing, they not only 
save money, but that the beer will be equally 
good as that produced from better malt. It is 
very doubtful, however, whether they can even 
save money ; the quality of the beer never can 
be so good, and they at the same time run the risk 
of unsoundness, ropiness, &c. There cannot, 
therefore, be the least doubt that the best malt 
will ultimately prove itself to be the better pur- 

', Variety of opinions prevail with regard to 
hops. Rather too much importance, however, is 


often attached to the different shades of colour 
or flavour. Pertiaps for beer intended for imme- 
diate use^ good Sussex or Worcester hops will 
be found to answer as well as any. For keeping 
beer, the strongest and best flavoored hops, 
wherever grown, should always be selected. 
Sometimes even good judges are puzzled to find 
out which are Kent, and which are Sussex, unless 
by the marks on the bags or pockets. 

The third cause of want of success that I men- 
tioned was bad water. Where the liquor is im- 
pregnated with any mineral, it is certainly very 
unfit for brewing. Where there is any putridity in 
the liquor, that should also if possible be avoided. 
But where neither of these occur, no bad con- 
sequences need be apprehended. It is for the 
interest of those who brew particularly fine 
flavoured ales, to attribute the flavour of these 
ales to something contained in the liquor used 
for brewing, in order perhaps to deter others, 
who cannot have the same sort of liquor, from 
trying to imitate them. 

Sometime ago it was held to be quite impos- 
sible to brew porter, but with Thames water ; 
now, however, very little porter is brewed with 
Thames water. 

That locality, (proceeding, perhaps, more 
from an erroneous arrangement of the plant, 
than any thing else,) has often a great in- 


fliience in brewing, cannot well be dispu- 
ted^ because even when the same materials of 
every description, including water, have been 
transferred from one place to another, and the 
same process followed in brewing, the same re- 
sults have not been effected* In many other 
places besides Burton, water may be found run- 
ning over the same salts as it does there. Why, 
therefore, cannot equally good ale be produced 
in those places ? A different construction of 
the brew-houses may prevent it. The not using 
such good malt and hops may prevent it. Less 
specific gravity in the worts may prevent it; 
not having good fermentations may prevent it, 
want of attention to cleanliness may prevent it, 
there can be no other reasons. Ale of from 
40 to 451bs. gravity per barrel, will, if well 
brewed, always have a richer and better flavour 
than that of only 30lbs. per barrel, and the best 
Burton ales run from 40 to 451bs. per barrel or 
more. The materials, therefore, and the strength 
give the fine flavour. The weaker Burton ales 
are certainly not one whit better than those 
brewed in other places. Let others, therefore, 
(attending to all the causes of prevention stated 
above) brew ale of equal strength, with pure wa- 
ter unimpregnated with any mineral or putridity, 
and they will find out the secret of brewing a 
beer, which, if not of precisely the same flavour 


with Burton or any other particularly celebrated 
ale, will by the best judges be equally well liked. 

It is a certain fact that ale has been brewed 
even in London^ which has been preferred by 
good judges to any which could be had there, 
either from Burton or elsewhere. We cannot, 
therefore, suppose that the water either at Bur- 
ton or Edinburgh has any connection with the 
flavour of their different beers, but must attri- 
bute any superiority in flavour they are said to 
possess, to other causes* 

There is one thing which appears to be lost 
sight of, which is, that whilst brewers and 
others are continually speaking of the water 
with which they brew, as being preferable to 
other waters, they never seem to consider the 
nature of the soil on which the barley is grown. 
Now, as the wine from grapes on one soil is in- 
ferior to wine from grapes on another, so every 
farmer, from experience, will tell you that such 
and such a soil is not fit for barley, and there is 
no doubt that barley grown on such ineligible 
soils would make bad malt. In such cases, the 
water used in brewing is probably blamed, 
whilst the soil which afforded the barley escapes 

The fact is, that water, as usually met with, 
contains the following impurities : Carbonic acid 
gas, to which the sparkling property of pump or 


spring water is owing. Carbonate of lime ; this 
salt is quite insoluble in water, but it is held in 
solution in water by excess of carbonic acid. 
When water is boiled, the carbonic acid in excess 
is expelled, and the carbonate of lime falls down, 
and thus it is, that the crust is formed in boilers. 
Sulphate of lime ; this salt communicates the 
hard property, as it is called, to water, and it is 
always known to be present if the water curdle 
when soap is added to it. Besides these im-^ 
purities, water generally contains muriate of 
soda (common salt) and other muriates. By 
the term impurities^ we are not to infer any thing 
prejudicial in the water, that is, when drunk by 
itself: the term merely applies to any sub- 
stances foreign to the real composition of water. 
Even rain water, which is water naturally dis- 
tilled, contains impurities. Of mineral waters 
I shall say nothing, as no one would ever think 
of employing these in the process of brewing, 
unless from necessity. 

Fourth, To unsoundness in the worts we have 
every reason to think, may be attributed the 
great prevailing cause of almost all the evils in 
the brewery. It is impossible, therefore, to 
carry our researches too far in trying to investi- 
gate the causes of this hitherto incurable evil. 
Inferior malt may produce unsound wort; want 
of cleanliness also. Too long standing of the 


last liquors on the goods in the mash tun, will 
almost invariably produce unsoundness ; or al- 
lowing the worts to lie too long in the under- 
back or coolers. But though last, not least, . an 
electrical or galvanic action* It has been al- 
ready stated as an undisputed faot, that milk in 
a dairy, when not placed in an insulated situa- 
tion, IS immediately made sour by electricity. 
May it not have the same effect upon other 
fluids, such as worts, fee*, when they are not in- 
sulated ? I am supported not by my own prac- 
tice alone, but by the best chemical authorities, 
in not only saying that it may, but that it ac- 
tually has the same acidifying action on beer, 
and. I maintain also on worts. As long, there- 
fore, as any of our utensils are imbedded in the 
ground, or connected with the ground by means 
of iron or other metals, the same electrical 
action which sours milk, may to a certain ex- 
tent sour worts or beer. How often have 
brewers, the most attentive to cleanliness and 
every thing else, been surprised to find their 
worts tainted without being able in any way to 
account for it. Probability, therefore, is at 
least in my favour, that electricity is the hidden 
cause, and when supported, not only by the 
facts already mentioned in this book, and others 
which might be adduced, but by such autho- 
rities as I have already mentioned, I think I 


may presume to say, that when the point is 
thoroughly investigated by scientific men, elec- 
tricity or galvanism will be found to be in the 
brewery a much more powerful enemy than we 
have at present any idea of. I trust, therefore, 
that what I have said may be the means of 
drawing the attention of those most interested, 
to a thorough investigation of a subject of so 
much importance, and hitherto so little attend- 
ed to. 

Fifth, Bad yeast, which is in the first place 
produced from unsound worts, will never pass 
through a thoroughly regular fermentation, and 
the beer of course can never be depended upon. 
It is, therefore, of the utmost importance, that 
before commencing to brew, the quality of the 
yeast we have to work with, should be minutely 
examined. It should not be altogether white, 
but rather of a fine rich cream colour ; if very 
brown, we may rest assured that it is unfit for 
our purpose, and we must, therefore, endeavour 
to get better^ There is also sometimes a sort 
of blue glassy appearance in yeast, which I 
cannot describe, but it indicates its having been 
produced from an inert or sluggish fermenta- 
tion, and also, therefore, by no means to be de- 
pended upon. In short, experience alone can 
enable us to judge of the quality of yeast by 
its appearance. 


Of this, however, we may be quite certain, 
that if we have not a regular fermentation going 
through its five different changes in the proper 
progression, there must be something wrong 
somewhere, and we must set all our wits to work, 
to find out where that something wrong lies. 
The fact is, there are two kinds of observers : 
one of these are contented in merely noticing 
a fact, which may escape the observation of 
hundreds ; but here they stop : the other kind 
not only notice the fact, but they are unsatis- 
fied until they can trace the cause. 




The researches of the French chemists last 
summer will shed a new light on the nature and 
properties of malt, and the mode of extracting. 
Starch is described as consisting of minute par- 
ticles, like granules, each of them included 
in a skin or cuticle, a thick, slimy, gum-like 
body, and therefore resembling somewhat the 
structure of seeds. To the internal contents of 
these granules, M. Biot gave the name dextrin; 
it might also be called starch-gum, because in 
its properties it is quite analagous with the lat^ 
ter. The skinned integument, including the 
dextrin, prevents the starch from coming forth ; 
for starch is not soluble in cold water. But by 
breaking the cuticle this is accomplished, and 
gum produced from starch, or rather gum con^ 
tained in starch, is made free. 

For attaining this, the following means are at 
present known. — 1, Boiling. The more such 
particles are torn by the heat, the more of the 
gum is dissolved; and the more particles of 


starch are preserved in the fluid, the more 
paste-like remains the latter. — 2, Roasting. In 
both cases, the heat partly tears and partly 
annihilates the cuticles. This case sometimes 
occurs in kiln-drying. — 3, Treating it with some 
acid fluid. — 4, Treating it with malt, which, in 
a manner not yet known,' by a substance con- 
tained in it (diastase), has the power of lacerat- 
ing the cuticles of the starch granules. The 
diastase contained in malt is said to' be a solid, 
white, tasteless, uncrystalUzed body, soluble in 
water, but insoluble in alcohol. Dissolved in 
water, it turns sour very soon. Its most remark- 
able property is, that one part of it is suffi- 
cient to tear, or burst open, 2000 parts of po- 
tatoe starch diluted by 8000 parts of water, by 
which means its dextrin becomes free, and its 
insoluble cuticles are either precipitated or made 
to swim on the surface. Diastase is produced 
by diluting malt-meal, or bruised malt, in cold 
water, filtering the fluid, and heating it : it be- 
comes turbid, and some substance resembling 
white of eggs is precipitated : strain again, and 
add absolute alcohol (free of water), whereby 
the diastase falls to the bottom, while the sugar 
which was in the malt remains dissolved. It is 
then dried by a low heat, because a higher one 
would decompose it. The heating of the solu* 
tion is not necessary : or the diastase may be 


separated by the mere action of alcohol. Dias- 
tase, produced in the above manner, is not quite 
pure, still containing some azotic substance, 
which may be removed by a repeated digestion 
of the product by water, and precipitation by 
alcohol. In seeds, which have undergone ger- 
mination, it is contained in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the blade, but not in the 
rootlets. By the boiling-heat the diastase loses 
the power of converting starch into gum and 
sugar : this, therefore, is the substance by the 
action of which saccharification takes place in 
the mash-tun. 

This completely accounts for an almost in- 
stantaneous change of colour in the extract, 
which invariably takes place in the mash-tun 
during the first mash, when the heats are pro- 
perly taken. 

If, therefore, this change of colour do not 
take place, we may rest assured that our mash- 
ing temperature is wrong. 

It also proves what has been already stated 
in the foregoing pages, that nearly the whole of 
the extract is made in the first mash, and that 
all we do afterwards is merely washing out that 
which remains of the extract in the grains. 

It also shows the importance of taking our 


first mashing temperature properly. By the 
boiling temperature, say the French chemists, 
the diastase loses the power of converting starch 
into gum or sugar. Thus setting the goods in 
the tun. 

It may be possible that a considerably lower 
temperature than the boiling may have the 
same effect of destroying the power of the 
diastase; indeed we know that it does so, as 
goods have often been set at much lower tem- 
peratures than boiling. As already stated, 
therefore, under the head of Brewing, we 
should rather turn on the first liquor too low 
than too high ; for too low a temperature may 
be corrected in the after process, whilst, on the 
other hand, we now have it distinctly pointed 
out to us, that too high a temperature is de- 

This discovery of the French chemists may 
also lead to other very important results in the 
formation of extracts ; but as it has only been 
pointed out to me by a friend since writing the 
foregoing pages, we are neither of us altogether 
prepared to give the results of any practical 
observations we have as yet made upon the sub- 
ject. I know, however, that my friend, already 
mentioned, Mr. Robert Stein, had, long ago, 
ideas as to the formation of extracts, which this 
new discovery appears completely to confirm. 


I have heard that, in Bavaria, they have a 
mode of making malt in six days, which they 
dry in seven hours ; and that the quality of the 
malt is, both in colour and flavour, quite as 
good as any made in England. The friend, 
however, who gave me this information is not as 
yet altogether in possession of their process: 
but most likely our present Excise laws would 
prevent its adoption, even were it proved to be 



To those who may wish to analyze their 
Ibrewing liquor, I would beg to recommend a 
perusal of Maugham's Improved Chemical 
Reagents^ or Tests, in which will be found 
the most simple modes of ascertaining whatever 
impurities may be contained in any water. 

The London Manual of Medical Chemistry, 
by the same author, under the heads EMracts^ 
and Vegetable Chemistry, will point out some 
bad effects which may arise from too long boil- 
ing of worts. 



^ ^