A Service to Brewers

Originally published in the “The Review of reviews, Volume XII” in 1895

Studies on FermentationThe studies on wine prepare us for the “studies on beer,” which followed the investigation of silk worm diseases. The sourness, putridity, and other maladies of beer, Pasteur traced to special’ ferments of disease,’ of a totally different form, and therefore easily distinguishable from the true torula or yeast plant. Many mysteries of our breweries were cleared up by this inquiry. Without knowing the cause the brewer not infrequently incurred heavy losses through the use of bad yeast. Five minutes* examination with the microscope would have revealed to him the cause of the badness, and prevented him from using the yeast. He would have seen the true torula overpowered by foreign intruders. The microscope is, I believe, now everywhere in use. At Burton-on-Trent its aid was very soon invoked. At the conclusion of his studies on beer M. Pasteur came to London, where I had the pleasure of conversing with him. Crippled by paralysis, bowed down by the sufferings of France and anxious about his family at a troubled and uncertain time, he appeared low in health and depressed in spirits. His robust appearance when he visited London, on the occasion of the Edinburgh Anniversary, was in marked and pleasing contrast with my memory of his aspect at the time to which I have referred.

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