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Beer

malt, corn, brewing, rice, barley, added and preparation

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BEER. The word "beer" as now used applies to all undistilled fermented malt liquors excepting those which travel under the special classifications of ale and porter or stout. Its principal constituents are prepared barley, called "malt" (which see) and hops with corn or rice, or both, added in varying proportions. Its flavor and quality depend not only on good materials and correct brewing, but also on the natural characteristics of the water employed—which explains the fact that, with all other conditions equal, some parts of the country enjoy a higher reputation for their beer than others are able to attain.

The history of beer proper dates from the thirteenth century, but its predecessor "barley wine" was drunk in Egypt at least four thousand years ago. Herodotus de scribes barley wine as made from barley malt, the principal ingredient of modern beer, and history tells that the Romans and later the early Britons, Danes and Germans prac ticed the part of brewing it and consumed it in large quantities.

In this country, in the early colonial days, every man was his own brewer. This statement is meant literally, for home beer brewing was as much a part of the house wife's duties as the making of fruit preserves. The local government encouraged however the establishment of public breweries and, their product supplementing the increase in the of imported beers as ocean traffic developed, the result was that in time the custom of home brewing died out as unnecessary.

The beers biewed then—and for many succeeding generations—were all of the English style—ale,' porter etc.,—much heavier in alcohol than the product we know, darker in color, and more or less "muddy" in appearance. The greater percentage of alcohol was required to keep the liquor in good condition as brewing had not reached the scientific perfection of to-day.

The English style of beers continued in universal use until the introduction of "lager beer" from Germany in the early half of the 19th century. The lighter bever age met with almost instant favor and in a few years the demand for it had revolution ized the brewing industry. Under different titles and brands it constitutes by far the greater part of the beer now consumed in this country.

Formerly, beer was manufactured almost exclusively of barley malt and hops, and some varieties of both imported and domestic are still so brewed, but the addition of either rice or corn (or both) has become very general for several reasons—principally because of the preference of the general public for a very brilliant, sparkling brew and because of the high prices and limited quantity of high class barley malt produced. To these reasons may be added the fact that much even of high grade American malt contains too many insoluble albuminoids which tend to make the beer cloudy.

The average proportion is 70% malt and 30% rice or corn, or 30% of corn and rice mixed. The rice is, perhaps, preferable to corn as giving a finer, cleaner taste, because of the absence of vegetable oil. The difference is, though, slight as very little oil is left in the corn after preparation.

Only No. 1 white flint corn and fine ground imported Burma rice are used in high grade breweries.

The preparation of the barley malt and the grinding of the corn ( to a very fine hominy) are now frequently businesses separate from brewing, because of the magni tude of preparation, separating, cleansing, etc.

The first stages in brewing itself are the crushing of the malt and the prolonged boiling of the ground rice or corn.

The crushed malt is run into the mash "tun" or tank and mixed with warm water. Then the rice and corn, still at the boiling point, are added to it, the diastase of the malt converting the starches of the grain into "sugar" (maltose and dextrin).

The "wort," as the liquid product is then called, is next run off through a filter ing apparatus into covered steam-jacketed copper boilers and there boiled, by steam pipes connection, for two or three hours. The hops, in the proportion of about one pound to a barrel, are added to the liquid as soon as it commences to boil. The liquid is next pumped through a hop strainer into the cooling tanks and thence as rapidly as possible through coils of cooling pipes into the ferment tanks. Here yeast is added and fermentation takes place. On the judgment and experience displayed in the preparation and handling of the yeast depends largely the success of the brew.

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