THE EARLY DAYS
by Arnold James Cooley
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The text which follows is reproduced from various articles published in, A Cyclopaedia of Six Thousand Practical Receipts...in the Arts, Manufactures, and Trades, by Arnold James Cooley, Practical Chemist. Philadelphia, 1846. That text, in turn, is a re-printing of the London text.
In 1838, The Repository of Arts and Sciences (Edinburgh), published much the same information, but that text was notably short on science. Taste, smell, and touch formed the basis for decision making. There is some of that in the text which follows, but now it is buttressed by a growing understanding of chemistry. Good thermometers were relatively new, and, although the principle of specific gravity was well known, the development of high quality hydrometers greatly extended their use.
These two tools permitted a precision and repeatability in brewing unfamiliar to the authors of the Repository. It was a firm step toward understanding the reactions involved in the production of ale and beer in terms which are sensible to us, today. The pioneer work of the German chemist Justus von Liebig on fermentation is referenced in the document which follows. Liebig's work was invalidated by Louis Pasteur.
It was not a happy time in the history of chemistry, but Pasteur's researches were proven to be correct. There have been others, and some of them are among us today, augmenting our knowledge of brewing biochemistry.
The last chapter has not yet been written, and the text which follows is only one of many stepping stones on the path to understanding.