Chemistry and Technology - Wines and Liquors

Front Cover
Read Books, 2008 - Science - 384 pages
CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY OF WINES AND LIQUORS. Originally published in 1935. PREFACE: It is hoped that the present volume will, in a sense, serve to mark the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. Man kind has had certain arts from time immemorial. Weaving, smelting, pottery, and the production of alcoholic beverages are noteworthy among these. And they share, besides great age, the distinction of having reached a fairly high peak of perfection without that intensive application of scientific development which has been characteristic of the newer arts whose origin has been in the advance of scientific knowledge. This is not to say that they have been untouched by science until the twentieth century. In particular the art of alcoholic beverages owes much to the workers of the nineteenth century. Pasteur, Hansen, Lavoisier, and many of the immortals of sci ence have left their imprint and monuments in this field as well as in many others. More recently, but still apart from the mod ern age were the great investigations by the Royal Commission in Great Britain and President Taft's Board in this country into the question What is Whiskey? In our wine production, the work of the beloved Harvey W. Wiley culminating in the Amer ican Wines at the Paris Exposition had a far-reaching decisive effect. This summary cannot do more than pay its respects to the thousands of earnest workers here and abroad who by their labors have added vastly to our knowledge of the art of making alcoholic beverages and their composition. The beverage art, however, has been distinguished in an other way. It has had to suffer under the inherent conservative tendency of any old art, and also it has been specially hampered by various legal bedevilments. The era just past in the United States, prohibition, may be likened, by not a too strained analogy, to the Dark Ages in Europe from the fourth to the fourteenth century. During the prohibition period, the beverage art, under the necessity of continuing its existence to satisfy a demand which would not cease even at an official behest, and yet under the need of concealment to evade legal requirements, went through a curious semi-comatose state. The time happened to coincide with a period in our national life when in all other arts, the sciences, especially the science of chemistry and the growing knowledge of chemical engineering, were finding broad new fields of extensive and intensive applica tion. The vast results of these applications both in new products and in increased and improved productiveness are too well known to require illustration. Hence the repeal of prohibition found the beverage art as a sort of stepchild. Chemical science was ready to step in. Chem ical engineering had its techniques ready. But the art to which these were to be applied was demoralized. Bootlegging required very little of its product. A very bare resemblance to its proto type and a substantial kick were sufficient to satisfy the market. Quality of product was generally unattainable by bootleg manu facturer, and really unnecessary to his market. Economy of production was a relatively minor consideration when the liability to government seizure and the maintenance of an army of thugs and wholesale bribery constituted the larger items in the final selling price of the product. In this historical background, the present volume is offered. The authors are unaware of any other summary of the art as it now exists which has been published recently and they feel that there may be a need for it. On this account the authors have felt it necessary to include between the same covers a wide diversity of material of varying degrees of technical density, and they have been thereby forced to an equal diversity of t

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