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that trade should be bad, and the drunkard's family should have scarcely any clothes or other necessaries of life? If money is spent on these poisons it cannot be a matter of surprise that the families of moderate drinkers are often but scantily provided for, and, for want of labor, plunged into the deepest distress? Surely among all our teaching, we ought to give a few lessons on nutriment, and thus enlighten the public on this highly important subject, that men may no longer be the dupes of the ignorant or the designing, and “ spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not."
We should consider it a dire calamity if upwards of a million of acres of the best land in the country were on a sudden deluged, or by any other scourge rendered unproductive; but in growing barley for malt, the ground which God has blessed has its productive energies employed to produce disease, crime, and, alas! in many instances, perdition. The miasmata that arise from the pestilental regions of Sierra Leone, are not near so destructive to mankind as the fields in Britain which are cultivated for the purpose of producing grain to be converted into alcohol. Were all the acres thus employed to be immediately inundated, or converted into the most unhealthy marshes, the loss to the country would not be equal to what it is at present doomed to suffer from the abominable misuse of so many millions of bushels of valuable grain.
Were thirty-six millions of bushels of wholesome grain to be thrown annually into the sea, how deeply we should deplore the loss; but in forty millions of bushels of barley we have at least thirty-six millions of bushels of wholesome farinaceous food, and yet the whole of this, by being converted into poison, is worse than wasted; for the vile spirit, which the depraved taste and perverted ingenuity of man extracts from it, stalks through the land with all the powers of a destroying angel, and carries disease, misery, desolation, and death, into every house that it
Forty millions of bushels of malt, at 8s. per bushel, are worth 16,000,0007.; and, supposing bread to be eightpence the quartern loaf, sixteen millions sterling would purchase three thou
sand eight hundred and forty millions of quartern loaves, and consequently would supply upwards of two millions of persons with two pounds of bread per day for a whole year. What epithet could fitly designate the wretch who would recklessly throw into the bottom of the sea a sum of money, or a quantity of bread sufficient to feed two millions of poor people for a whole year? But if, instead of doing so, he actually converted it into a poison, which could alike produce disease of body and demoralization of character, and then commended and distributed the venomous substance—the term demon would be deemed an ap pellation far too gentle for such a man; and yet this is what we are all doing so long as we manufacture, dispense, or commend alcoholic drinks. We not merely waste what would actually feed two millions of people for a whole year, but we convert this wholesome grain into a destructive spirit, which poisons and destroys many millions; and thus, instead of feeding two millions, we poison perhaps not less than twenty.
This chapter then, has shown from incontrovertible evidence, that by manfacturing and using intoxicating drinks, we are changing the bounties of Providence into poisons; we are wasting shipping, and other property and capital to an unparalleled degree; we are robbing the laborer of employment and the poor of bread, in the most reckless and unprecedented manner: and besides all this, we are, by these abominable liquors, wasting human life, corrupting the morals of our children and neighbors, and, what is worse still, we are drowning many in perdition. Not merely intemperance, but moderation, is equally active in this work of desolation, and, therefore, to the patriot and the Christian only one course can remain, and that course is Total Abstinence.
SUGAR, or saccharine matter, is allowed by all scientific men to be the base of alcoholic drinks. The terms sugar, saccharum, and saccharine, are all derived from the Hebrew sacar or shacar, or from the Arabic shaccaron or saccaron. When we come to speak of the wines of Scripture, we shall show that shacar, which is generally rendered "strong drink," in the Bible, is palm or date wine. "This liquor," says Dr. Shaw, has a more luscious sweetness than honey."
The Arabs used the word saccaron, for date wine, by way of eminence, because of its sweetness, and also for saccharine substances generally. Dioscorides, about 35 B. c., says, “There is a kind of honey called saccharon, which is found in India and Arabia Felix.” Arrian, in his Periplus of the Red Sea, mentions it as an article of commerce, and terms it σaxxap, sacchar. The Romans used the word saccharum for honey found in reeds, canes, &c. We need not add that the English term sugar is the same word as the Hebrew and Arabic shacar, the Greek sacchar, and the Latin saccharum. We also find that these terms have always been applied to sweet or saccharine substances. This saccharine material, then, has in every age been the base of alcohol. For, as fermentation is a chimical process, and has always taken place according to the same natural laws, it has ever required the same base, and therefore sugar was as necessary to the production of alcohol in the days of Moses or Solomon as in our own time.
But sugar alone is not sufficient to the production of alcohol. Science has long since demonstrated that there must be a portion of gluten, barm, or yeast, mixed with this sweet solution, or else vinous fermentation will not take place. In grapes and apples gluten is found in different proportions, and hence in fermenting the juice of these fruits, the addition of yeast is not re
quired; but in the malting of barley a certain portion of its natural yeast or gluten is destroyed, and to make up for this deficiency, barm is employed in the fermentation of beer.
Donovan, in his work on "Domestic Economy," in Lardner's Cyclopædia, has stated that the following things are absolutely necessary to the vinous fermentation of the juice of the grape.
1. As already shown, there must be saccharine matter or gluten.
2. The temperature should not be below 50, nor above 70 or 75 degrees.
3. The juice must be of a certain consistence. Thick sirups will not undergo the vinous fermentation. An excess of sugar is unfavorable to this process, and, on the other hand, too little sugar, or, which is the same thing, too much water, will be deficient of the necessary quantity of saccharine matter to produce a liquor that will keep, and for want of more spirit, the vinous fermentation will almost instantly be followed by the acetous.
4. The quantity of gluten or ferment must also be well regulated. Too much or too little will impede and prevent fermentation.
5. Grape juice will not ferment when air is completely excluded. When air has once been admitted in sufficient quantity to cause fermentation to begin, it will then proceed without the admission of more, but until some has entered the fermenting vat it will not commence. Hence, Columella directs, that in making unfermented wines the vessels should be completely filled and immediately closed.
6. By boiling down the juice, or in other words evaporating the water, the substance becomes a sirup which, if very thick, will not ferment.
7. If the juice be filtered and deprived of its gluten, or ferment, the production of alcohol will be impossible.
8. Fermentation of grape juice proceeds very slowly if the quantity fermented is small.
It appears that Donovan borrowed several, if not all, of these rules from Chaptal, who was an agriculturist, chimist, and wine manufacturer on a large scale. And the reader will do well to bear these conditions necessary to vinous fermentation in mind,
as we shall have occasion to appeal to them when we come to speak of the unfermented wines of the ancients. It should also be observed, that most of these rules apply to the fermentation of malt liquor, except that in making beer, there does not appear to be such a necessity for the admission of air as is requisite to the fermentation of the juice of the grape.
The reader may be reminded that there are four, if not more, descriptions of fermentation; the vinous, the acetous, the putrefactive, and the panary. The vinous is the only one that produces inebriating drinks, and it is to this species of fermentation alone that the rules just given apply.
By the acetous fermentation, vinegar is produced. It takes place at a higher temperature than the vinous. Every one knows that beer, cider, or wine, exposed to heat, will soon turn sour-a very little increase of temperature has been known to spoil a whole cellar of these liquors.
The putrefactive fermentation takes place in the decomposition of bodies, and of course alcohol is not the result. By this process, the elements that compose various bodies are separated and set free in their original state. In putrefaction, bodies are decomposed, but by vinous fermentation a new chimical composition takes place.
The panary fermentation occurs in the manufacture of bread. Some scientific men assert that this process is nothing more than the vinous fermentation-others that it is the acetous. In consequence of there being a small portion of spirit in brewers' barm, or from some other cause, a weak kind of alcohol has been detected in the oven of the baker. Some time ago, a speculation was set on foot for the purpose of condensing and collecting the spirit, but upwards of twenty thousand pounds have been squandered upon this scheme without any adequate return, and we believe the project is now abandoned.
If the panary fermentation is the same as the vinous, still it is impossible that any spirit should remain in bread after it is baked; because alcohol is given off at the heat of 170 degrees; and, as the baker's oven must be much hotter than this, whatever quantum of spirit may be in the dough, must be evolved during the process of baking. If panary fermentation really