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possesses the gluten above described, which is so useful in making the bread porous and light; on which account it is more difficult to make fermented bread from the other grains : but this difficulty is obviated by adding to them a small quantity of wheat flour, and many of them afford bread nearly, as nutritious, if not entirely so, as wheat. It appears to be the fecula, or starch, that is the the most nutritive part of the grain ; the potatoe, which contains a great proportion of this substance, forms the food of the most of peasantry in Ireland.
Rye bread is of a brownish colour, and has rather a sweetish taste. It is much used in the north of Europe, and also in some parts of this kingdom; but it is more usually mixed with a quantity of wheaten flour.
Rye is also sometimes mixed with a fourth part of ground rice, and makes a good and economical household bread.
Bread has also been made by mixing turnips and flour in equal quantities. This requires rather longer baking, and has at first a sweet taste, which it loses on being kept twenty-four hours.
Rice, though usually prepared for food by boil. ing, has been made into bread by mixing with it a little flour, or potatoes.
Potatoes have also been made into bread by mixing with them a quantity of wheaten flour.
The art of brewing, or of preparing a fermented liquor called beer, from farinaceous seeds, is very ancient. It was known to the ancient Egyptians, Spaniards, Germans, Gauls, inhabitants of the British Isles, and of the north of Europe. The
liquor made by them, however, resembled more our sweet and mucilaginous ales, the use of hops being of modern invention.
Beer is made of an extract produced from malt and hops by boiling; and this extract is afterwards fermented by adding yeast to it,
Malt is made from barley by a process which is called malting. Barley is a grain consisting of fecula, or starch, albumen, and a little gluten. By the process of malting, its fecula is converted into sugar, a substance essential to the production of ardent spirit or alkohol, which is the substance that gives the intoxicating quality to every liquor. To prepare malt, the grain is put into a trough with water, to steep for about three days; it is then laid in heaps, to let the water drain from it, and afterwards turned over and laid in new heaps. In this state, the same process takes place as if the barley were sown in the ground; it begins to germinate, puts forth a shoot, and the fecula of the seed is converted into saccharine matter. When this is sufficiently accomplished, which is known by the length of the shoot, (about ; of the length of the grain) this process of germination must be stopped, otherwise the sugar would be lost, nature intending it for the nourishment of the young plant. The malt is, therefore, spread out upon a floor, and frequently turned over, which cools it, and dries up its moisture, without which the germination cannot proceed. When it is completely dried in this manner, it is called airdried malt, and is very little altered in colour. But when it is dried in kilns, it acquires a brownish colour, which is deeper in proportion to the heat applied ; it is then called kiln-dried. This malt is then coarsely ground in a mill,
The quality of the beer depends upon the
in which the malt has been prepared as well as the quantity. There are three kinds of malt generally used, pale, brown, and amber. Pale malt is dried by a slow fire, and only so much as just to check the future germination of the grain : it is dried sometimes upon hair or wire sieves, which are made to form the bottom of the kiln. Brown malt is dried with a quick fire, and the outside is in fact a little charred. Amber malt is intermediate between these two.
Pale malt is used for fine ales and pale beer : brown malt is used for porter; and amber is employed for brown ale and beer, and also to mix with brown malt for porter, a practice which many prefer.
Mashing is the next step in the process of brewing. This is performed in a large circular wooden vessel called the mash-tun, shallow in proportion to its extent, and furnished with a false bottom, pierced with small holes, and fixed a few inches above the real bottom. There are two side openings in the interval between the real and false bottom: to one is fixed a pipe, for the purpose of conveying water into the tun, and the other is for drawing the liquor out of it. The malt is to be strewed evenly over the false bottom of the same, tun, and then, by means of the side pipe, a proper quantity of hot water is introduced from the upper copper. The water rises upwards through the malt, or, as it is called, the grist, and when the whole quantity is introduced, the mashing begins, the object of which is to effect a perfect mixture of the malt with the water, so that the soluble parts may be extracted by it: for this purpose, the grist is sometimes incorporated with the water by iron rakes, and then the mass is beaten and agitated by
long flat wooden poles, resembling oars, which are either worked by the hand or by machinery.
When the mashing is completed, the tun is covered in, to prevent the escape of the heat, and the whole is suffered to remain still, in order that the insoluble parts may separate from the liquor : the side pipe is then opened, and the clear wort allowed to run off, slowly at first, but more rapidly as it becomes fine, into the lower or boiling copper.
The chief thing to be attended to in mashing is the temperature of the mash, which depends on the heat of the water, and the state of the malt. If the water was let in upon the grist boiling hot, the starch which it contains would be dissolved, and converted into a gelatinous substance, in which all the other parts of the malt, and most of the water, would be entangled beyond the possibility of being recovered by any after-process.
The most eligible temperature appears to be from 1859 to 190° Fahr.; for the first mashing, the heat of the water must be somewhat below this temperature, and lower in proportion to the dark colour of the malt made use of. For pale malt the water may be 180°, but for brown it ought not to be more than 170°.
The liquor, or wort, as it is called, of the first mashing, is always by much the richest in saccharine matter; but to exhaust the malt, a second and third mashing is required, in which the water may be safely raised to 190°, or upwards.
The proportion of wort to be obtained from each bushel of malt depends entirely on the proposed strength of the liquor. It is said that twentyfive or thirty gallons of good table beer may be taken from each bushel of malt. For ale and porter of the superior kinds, only the produce of the
first mashing, or six or eight gallons, is to be employed.
Brewers make use of an instrument called a sacchrometer, to ascertain the strength and goodness of the wort. This instrument is a kind of hydrometer, and shows the specific gravity of the wort, rather than the exact quantity of saccharine matter which it contains.
The next process in brewing is boiling and hopping.. The hop plant is well known : hops contain an aromatic and essential oil, having an agreeable bitter flavour. Hops are necessary to prevent the beer from passing into the acetic fermentation, which would take place after the vinous fermentation had ceased. They check the fermentation in a great degree, so as to occasion it to go on slowly, and thus to acquire strength; and the quantity of hops depends upon the length of time the beer is intended to be kept. Hops are best when new, as they lose much of their flavour by keeping.
If only one kind of liquor is made, the produce of the three mashings is to be mixed together; but, if ale and table beer are required, the wort of the first, or first and second mashings, is appropriated to the ale, and the remainder is set aside for the beer.
All the wort destined for the same liquor, after it has run from the tun, is transferred to the large lower copper, and mixed with a certain proportion of hops. The better the wort, the more hops are required. In private families a pound of hops is generally used to every bushel of malt; but in public breweries, a much smaller proportion is deemed sufficient. When ale and table beer are brewed from the same malt, the usual practice is to put the whole quantity of hops in the ale wort, which,