BREWING Year. 1878 1883 1890 1895 1900
of Sugar, Percentage of Quantities of Malt Quantities Rice, Maize, &c., Substitutes and Corn used in used in Brewing. used to Total Brewing. (Bushels.) (Bushels.) Material. 59,388,9051 51,331,451 1 55,359,964 53,731,177 57,354,904
Inclusive of rice and maize.
3,825,1482 4,503,6802 7,904,708 10,754,510 16,727,536 2
6-05 8-06 12-48 16-66 22-56
Exclusive of rice and maize.
If we take into account the fact that roughly 8,000,000 bushels of malt are used by brewers who do not employ substitutes, the net amount of sugar and its equivalents used in beer brewed with malt adjuncts was in 1900 somewhat over 25 per cent, on the total material. Some brewers have used as much as 60 to 70 per cent, of sugar, but these cases may be regarded as exceptional. With regard to the nature of the substitutes for barley malt more generally employed, raw grain (unmalted barley, wheat, rice, maize, &c.) is not used extensively in Great Britain, but in America brewers employ as much as 50 per cent., and even more, of maize, rice, or similar materials. The use of such a high proportion of these materials makes it necessary to work with malts made from coarse-skinned, highly diastatic barleys, in order to ensure efficient drainage and conversion of the goods in the mash-tun. The maize, rice, or other grain is usually gelatinized in a vessel entirely separated from the mashtun—termed a “ converter ”—by means of steam at about 200° F., mostly with, but occasionally without, the addition of a little malt meal. After about half an hour the gelatinized mass is mixed with the main mash, and this takes place shortly before taps are set. This is possible inasmuch as the starch, being already in a highly disintegrated condition, is very rapidly converted. By working on the limited decoction system (see below) it is possible to make use of a fair percentage of raw grain in the mash-tun proper, thus doing away with the “converter” entirely. The maize and rice preparations mostly used here are practically starch pure and simple, substantially the whole of the oil, water, and other subsidiary constituents of the grain being removed. The germ of maize contains a considerable proportion of a very objectionable oil, which has to be eliminated before this material is fit for use in the mash-tun. After de-germing, the maize is unhusked, wetted, submitted to a temperature sufficient to rupture the starch cells, dried, and finally rolled out in a flaky condition. Bice is similarly treated. The sugars used are chiefly cane sugar, glucose, and “invert” sugar—the latter commonly known to brewers as “saccharum”—in approximately equal quantities. Cane sugar is mostly used for the preparation of heavy mild ales and stout, as it gives a peculiarly sweet and full flavour to the beer, to which, no doubt, the popularity of this class of beverage is largely due. Invert sugar (the ordinary method of preparation) is still substantially the same as that described in the ninth edition. Of late years it has become the practice among many brewers to prepare their own invert sugar, either by the ordinary acid process, or by the method introduced by Tompson, which makes use of the inverting power of one of the enzymes (invertase) contained in ordinary yeast. The cane-sugar solution is pitched with yeast at about 55° C., and at this comparatively high temperature the inversion proceeds very rapidly, and fermentation is practically impossible. When this operation is completed, the whole liquid (including the yeast) is run into the boiling contents of the copper. The chemical equation representing the conversion (or inversion) of cane sugar is :—
C12 H22 Ou + H20 = C6 H12 06 + C6 H12 06 Cane sugar. Glucose. Fructose. ■> ^^ Invert sugar. Invert sugar is so called because the dextro-rotation (of the plane of a ray of polarized light) of the original cane sugar is changed or inverted by the action of acid or invertase, the resultant mixture being laevo-rotatory. Invert sugar is Isevo-rotatory because the rotation due to the laevo-rotatory fructose is greater than that caused by the dextro-rotatory glucose. Glucose, which is one of the constituents of invert sugar, is largely used by itself in brewing. It is, however, never prepared from invert sugar for this purpose, but directly from starch by means of acid. By the action of dilute boiling acid on starch the latter is rapidly converted first into a mixture of dextrin and maltose and then into glucose. The proportions of glucose, dextrin, and maltose present in a commercial glucose depend very much on the duration of the boiling, the strength of the acid, and the extent of the pressure at which the starch is converted. In England the materials from which glucose is manufactured are generally purified maize, sago, and rice. In Germany potatoes (potato starch) form the most common raw material, and in America purified Indian corn (maize) is ordinarily employed. The causes which have led to the largely increased use of substitutes in the United Kingdom are of a somewhat complex nature. The brewer has found, to begin with, that the brewing operations are simplified and accelerated by the use of a certain proportion of sugar, and that he is thereby enabled appreciably to increase his turnover—i.e., he can make more beer in a given time from the same plant. Moreover, with the exception, perhaps, of the very finest class of brewing sugar, substitutes are cheaper than malt. In view of the ever-growing competition in the brewing trade, due largely to the development of the “tied house ” system and the steady increase of taxation, this is a matter of considerable economical importance. Having regard to the enormous consumption of beer in the United Kingdom, it is obvious that the extensive use of malt substitutes in brewing is a question of interest not only to the brewer and agriculturist, but also to the general public. Beer is not, perhaps, a food in the ordinary sense of the word, but it possesses a certain food value, and the consumption is so great that its albuminous and carbohydrate constituents form an appreciable percentage of the total proteid and carbohydrate food of the nation. Shortly after the repeal of the Malt Acts a serious agitation against the unrestricted and undeclared use of malt substitutes was started by an influential section of the community. This movement attained such dimensions that the Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed a Departmental Committee to consider the whole question. The Beer Materials Committee, as it was called, sat during 1896-98, and the arguments on the main points of controversy are shortly set forth in the following summary:— The advocates of “pure beer” (the anti-substitute party) pleaded:— (1) That by the use of substitutes, more especially of sugar, an article is produced which is materially diflerent from the product obtained from barley malt alone ; that the consumer desires to have an “all-malt ” beer, and that it is deceiving the latter to sell him an article which is not of the “nature, substance, and quality” desired. The consumer has (owing to the “tied house” system) in many cases no choice but to drink the beer offered him, and is therefore practically not a free agent. (2) That cceteris paribus a beer brewed with a proportion of sugar contains proportionally less nutritive matter—less extract and less of the valuable by-products which are the chief characteristics of beer—as compared with other spirituous liquors. (3) That foreign substances are introduced into beer by means of substitutes, as these are in many cases not pure. Some of these