PROCESS OF .11A NUFACTPRE. Spirits were first distilled from wine, but an endless variety of substances are now used in their mannfneture. Alcohol, however, is the essential element in all spirits. It results from the decomposition of sugar, which, by the process of fermentation, is icsolved into carbonic acid and alcohol. Sugar is therefore the direct source of alcohol, and for this reason sweet vegetables and fruits may he converted into spirits. But starch is readily converted into sugar by means of the substance called diastase, which i- found in malt and in germinating seeds generally. (see BEER and IIREwtxu.) Hence, starchy as well as sweet vegetables may be used in the manufacture of spirits. In making distilled liquors, when the taw material is a fermented liquor, it is ready to be distilled without further preparation; when it is a sugar, however, it must first be fer mented and then distilled; when it is a starch, another initial process, to convert the stareh into sugar, is necessary.
AlASILING OR PREPARATION OF THE WORT. To saccharify the starch is the object of the initial process, teelinieally known as nmshi»g. This consists in mixing the raw grain, properly ground. with malt and with water at a temperature of about F. Barley, oats, and rye are the grains commonly used. In Eng land and the United states most distillers use a mixture of raw and malted grain,„in which the larger proportion is raw. The first mashing requires front one to four hours, during which time the mash is kept at a uniform temperature of 145° F. by successive additions of hot water.
After this saccharine infusion. technically called wort. has acquired its maximum density, as in dicated by a saecharometer, it is off. Fresh water is then poured upon the residue and allowed to stand to form a second wort. This is added to the first. A third wort, used to infuse a new mixture of grain. is sometimes made. In this method of direct mashing. nearly 10 per cent, of the grain is not decomposed. The waste may be reduced to 5 per cent. by heating the grain and water before the malt is added.
In Germany, where potatoes are used for the manufacture of spirits. the potatoes are steamed before the malt is applied. This is advisable because potatoes contain a much smaller pro portion of starch than the cereals. By steam infr• the starch-cells are thoroughly broken and the starch reduced to a condition in which it is easily acted upon. Several different forms of apparatus have been devised for this purpose. In that of Henze, which is largely used, the steam is applied under pressure and the potatoes are reduced to a pulpy liquid. in which form they run into the mash-tub front an opening in the bottom of the apparatus. After this mass has cooled to the proper temperature. the malt is added and the wort formed as described above.