BREWING (fee., cannot be employed for malting, could be used for that purpose if it were cultivated and malted on the lines indicated by modern experiments in the field, laboratory, and malt-house. Before the malt tax was repealed it was in the brewer’s interest to use as heavy a malt as possible, but this is by no means the case nowadays. A heavily manured, highly nitrogenous barley is not suited for brewing light-gravity beers, but many barley-growers have not yet adapted themselves to the new conditions, and continue to produce an article which was suited to the requirements of the past generation of brewers, but is of little use at the present time. The following is a short summary of the views generally held nowadays with regard to the cultivation of malting barley :— The Soil.—It was formerly held that only a rich, friable loam, or a loose sandy soil with a calcareous subsoil, was suitable for barley, but good crops can be grown on heavier soils provided the ground is well worked to provide a fine tilth, and that the drainage is satisfactory. The clearage of all weeds is a most important matter ; it has been found that the crop may be reduced by as much as onethird by neglecting to pay proper attention to this point. With regard to rotation, it is considered that the most satisfactory malting barley is obtained by taking barley after wheat or other corn crop. The old Norfolk four-course rotation—roots, barley, clover (or beans), and wheat—is probably still adopted by nine farmers out of ten, but it is open to little doubt (Lawes and Gilbert, Munro and Beavan, &c.) that it is better not to grow barley after roots fed off by sheep, as this rotation leaves the land, even if it be of a light description, in too “high” a condition, and a steely, hypernitrogenous barley is likely to be produced. By taking barley as a second corn crop, the latter following roots fed off, or a “high” crop, not only is a better malting barley produced, but this arrangement will be found suitable for the farmer in many other respects. With regard to manure, it has been abundantly proved that an excess of nitrogenous manure is particularly undesirable, and that of all nitrogenous manures the ordinary farmyard variety is the least suitable for malting barley. Nitrogenous manure, preferably in the shape of nitrate of soda, should only be used very slightly (part as top dressing), and in conjunction with a sufficiency of phosphates and potash salts. The latter are not indicated to any extent except where the soil is relatively poor in potash, but phosphatic manure appears to be an essential. Excess of nitrogen tends to produce steely, unkindly barleys, which not only cause trouble in the mashtun, but also retard the clarification of the beer. Excessive potash also tends to increase the nitrogen of the grain unduly. The seed should be carefully chosen, kiln-dried if necessary, and sown by mechanical means to ensure evenness, both as regards depth and spacing. Two to three inches is considered the most suitable depth for drilling. The barley should be allowed to become dead ripe before cutting, but directly the latter operation is completed, and the undergrowth dry and withered, the grain should be stacked at once. Before stacking, the grain and straw should be quite dry, as damp stacking leads to heating, discolouring, mould, and other evils. As soon as the stack has ceased sweating, the barley will be ready for threshing. Kiln-drying after threshing is strongly recommended, as it not only prevents the defects alluded to above, but also to a great extent supplies the want of sun in an unkindly barley. Threshing machines are apt to damage barley if unskilfully used, and damaged barley will give rise to mould on the floors, but if the machine is of the right type, is evenly fed, and provided with properly adjusted screens, the results should be excellent in every respect. The following figures with regard to the importation of barley will be of interest in view of what has been said above. [iV. B.—The figures apply to barley generally, and not only to malting barley] I. Average Annual Quantities of Barley imported into the United Kingdom in Triennial Periods since 1875. Period. Quantity (Cwts.). Value (£). 1875-77 11,261.000 4,593,000 1881-83 13,936,000 5,113,000 1887-89 17,649,000 4,932,000 1893-95 25,902,000 6,135,000 1897-99 20,201,694 5,474,226 II. Approximate Percentage of Net Imports to Total Supply. Period.
1886-88 1889-91 1892-94
Period. 1893-95 1897-99
Per Cent. 44-0 44-0
III. Percentage of Total Imports contributed by various Countries. Country. 1887-89. 1875-77. Russia, per cent. 16-6 257 50-7 59-6 42-1 Turkey and Balkan States, per cent. 33-1 34-3 21-9 22-5 32-4 Other countries, per cent. . 50-3 40-0 27-4 17-9 25-5
Malt and Malting.—The repeal of the Malt Acts not only gave a free hand to the brewer with regard to materials, but also removed the many irksome restrictions to which the maltster was subjected prior to 1880. The liberty thus accorded to the maltster, the tendency to apply scientific methods to industrial operations, and the riper knowledge of the true inwardness of the malting processes are the chief factors to which the modern mechanical improvements in malting may be ascribed. The machinery for cleaning and grading the grain, for instance, has been brought to a high state of perfection, and (more especially on the Continent of Europe) the old process of turning the malt on the kiln by hand has been, in many malt-houses, replaced by automatic stationary or travelling turning appliances actuated by clockwork or otherwise. The automatic regulation of heats and of the air-supply on the kiln by thermo-regulators, fans, and other contrivances is also a feature in modern malting. Up to 1881 malt kilns in England were invariably constructed with a single drying floor, but in that year the first kiln with two floors (Stopes’s system) was tried, and this modification of the older methods of working has given satisfactory results. The advantages of the doublekiln system are that it admits of great regularity of temperature on both floors, and effects considerable economy with regard to fuel and labour. Another novelty, which in a sense may be regarded as a corollary to the pneumatic (see below) system of malting, is Free’s patent kiln, which is practically an air-tight chamber from which the moisture of the green malt can be rapidly removed by means of an air propeller fitted in the apex of the kiln. This arrangement considerably reduces the kilning time, and permits of materially greater depths of malt on the kiln without a corresponding increase of temperature. It is also possible to work at higher temperatures without affecting the colour of the malt as would be the case on an ordinary kiln. The pneumatic system of malting, which has been developed since the article in the ninth edition was written, is worthy of notice. The principle of this is that the malt is grown, not on an open “ floor ” to which the air has free access, but in an enclosed space which is continuously provided with a fresh supply of air, the gases exhaled being simultaneously removed. Pneumatic malting may be briefly described as a system which permits of absolute control of temperature and the condition of the air-supply. The system devised by Mr Galland consists of a series of closed drums from which the air and evolved gases are exhausted by a suction pump or fan, which also draws in a continuous fresh supply of air, the latter being cooled and moistened by passing over a bed of coke which is sprayed with cold water. The drums revolve periodically or continuously, thus preventing the grain from growing together in a tangled mess. Apart from the advantages already mentioned, it is held by many authorities that the pneumatic system effects considerable economy as regards primary cost, space, labour, and other working expenses. Pneumatic malting, although extensively employed on the Continent and in America, has not, so far, attained the results that were anticipated of it in England, but the improvements which have been 3 effected (more especially by Hemming) in this system 2 are very marked, and it seems probable that in time it will find a wide application in Great Britain also. S. II. — 46