Alcohol -

Occurs as the result of fermentation - i.e., the effect of the growth of YEAST cells, either wild or cultivated (see YEAST) - of liquid containing a moderate amount of any one of several forms of "sugar." The sugary element is the result of the conversion of starch, either by natural growth in grapes, sugar beets, etc., or by the action of malt diastase, etc., on the starch of grains (see Whisky), potatoes, etc. The Alcohol is extracted from the fermented liquid by the process of Distillation (which see).

Pure Alcohol is transparent and colorless, agreeable in odor, of strong and pungent taste and highly volatile and inflammable, burning with a pale blue or smokeless flame. If thoroughly refined, the product is identical - both by chemical analysis and in appearance, flavor, etc. - no matter what the source of the original starch.

Brandy and Whisky generally contain about one-half Alcohol in volume. "Proof spirit" contains approximately half in weight but somewhat more by volume.

In addition to its use in spirituous liquors, Alcohol is employed in an almost infinite variety of ways - in the arts, in the electrical world, in the manufacture of artificial silk, leather, etc., by perfumers, chemists, extract makers, anatomists, naturalists, etc. As Denatured Alcohol (see following), its scope has been greatly widened within the last few years.

Arround Alcohol in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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