Page:Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, v. 4.djvu/317

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273
BREWING


the conclusion that the use of sulphur was beneficial to the hop, and not injurious to fermentation. It is frequently used while the plant is growing to cure the various diseases to which the hop, like the vine, is liable. The last process before the hops are brought to market is " bagging/ This used to be done by " footing," that is, letting the empty bag drop through a hole in the floor, and having the hops stamped down by one man, whilst two others filled ; after which they were pressed by hydraulic power. Under a new process the whole operation is effected by machinery in about eight minutes. Hop-growers, as a rule, have no stores or convenience for warehousing hops for more than a month or two ; the consequence is the whole growth, whether large or small, gets into the hands of a few great hop merchants, who command the market.

The best hops have a yellow, golden colour, and an agreeable smell ; when rubbed between the hands they leave a yellow, odoriferous, sticky powder on them, with out any broken parts of the leaves, and yield to boiling alcohol from 12 to 15 per cent, of soluble yellow matter. A very pale green colour indicates that the hops have been gathered before they are fit ; whilst a deep brown shade would show they were allowed to hang too long before being gathered, or that they have been over dried on the oast-house floor. A fair test in choosing hops for India pale ale is to make a strong decoction of them with boiling water, putting it into a white bottle, corked and exposed to the sun ; if in twenty-four hours the colour has become dark they are not fit for the purpose.

During the year 1852 only 34,622 K) of foreign hops were imported; in 1853 this increased to 4,739,307 Ib, and in 1871 to 24.685,808. Before the hop-duty was taken off there was a great deal of betting on the crop, which was computed as equal to so much duty ; and the appearance in the Borough of a hop leaf covered with fly from one of the most favoured districts used to cause much consternation. Since the repeal of the duty brewers have been allowed to use any bitter instead of hop, provided such bitter does not give a factitious strength to beer, and thus become a substitute for malt. Many preparations are, iu consequence, offered for sale as partial substitutes for hops ; but in these none of the noxious, forbidden articles, such as Cocculus indicus, &c., <fcc., are found, for we learn from the laboratory returns of the Inland Revenue that, in the year 1872, only six samples of beer tested were found to ba adulterated. Considering the enormous extent of our brewing industry (it is calculated that 900,000,000 gallons of beer are brewed annually), such testimony to the purity of the beer is highly creditable to those engaged in the trade. From tho same source, we learn that in every instance where an adulterant of a dangerous nature was used, the offending parties have been those who brewed and retailed their own beer on a very small scale.

Age alters and deteriorates the character of hops in a marked and distinct degree, much more so than in most aromatic substances ; indeed, it changes them to such an extent that, at the end of two years (wheu they are called "old olds"), they retain little but the bitter, the aroma being gone.

In the year ending 30th September 1874, the hops imported into Great Britain were—

Cwt. From Belgium 60,338 ,, Germany 39,459 Holland 16,035 ,, United States 2,809 ,, Other countries 4,875 123,516 being a decrease on 1873 of 11,626 cwt.

Hops arc grown with success in Tasmania, upwards of 450 acres being under cultivation. The Australian market, it is supposed, will be eventually supplied from thence. At present between 600 and 700 tons of hops are exported from England yearly.


Chloride of Sodium 10-12 Sulphate of Potash 7 65 ,, Lime 18 96 ,, Magnesia 9 95 Carbonate of Lime 15 51 ,, Magnesia 170 ,, Iron 0-60 Silicic acid... . 079 65-28 The water of another large firm in the same town gives by analysis 5 4 5 grains of sulphate, and 9 9 3 of carbonate of lime. The temperature of water used to be a great con sideration for refrigerating the worts ; but this is now of little consequence, aa in most large breweries the water used for that purpose is first brought to a point just above freezing, by means of ether spray.

We now come to the actual process of brewing, or the