Proof

Proof

The Science of Booze

eBook - 2014
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Humans have been perfecting the science of alcohol production for ten thousand years, but modern scientists are only just beginning to distill the complex reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers puts our alcoholic history under the microscope, from our ancestors' accidental discovery of fermented drinks to the cutting-edge laboratory research that proves why--or even if--people actually like the stuff. From fermentation to distillation to aging, ProofProof makes an unparalleled drinking companion.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780547898322
0547898320
Characteristics: 1 online resource (264 pages)
Contents: Introduction
Yeast
Sugar
Fermentation
Distillation
Aging
Smell and taste
Body and brain
Hangover
Conclusion.
Summary: Humans have been perfecting the science of alcohol production for ten thousand years, but modern scientists are only just beginning to distill the complex reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers puts our alcoholic history under the microscope, from our ancestors' accidental discovery of fermented drinks to the cutting-edge laboratory research that proves why--or even if--people actually like the stuff. From fermentation to distillation to aging, ProofProof makes an unparalleled drinking companion.

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fissionchips
Oct 01, 2018

p169 "Your basic carbohydrate--bread, let's say--clocks in at 4.1kcal/g, but ethanol nearly doubles that. Of course, those calories are largely empty, without vitamins, minerals, or proteins along for the ride. That's a good argument to drink beer, I guess. It's full of protein. Or you could order cocktails made with fresh juice, especially since people who drink get up to 10 percent of their total calorie intake from ethanol. Alcoholics get up to 50%."

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fissionchips
Oct 01, 2018

p119: "Barrels full of booze are exciting places, chemically speaking. Of the structural components of wood, cellulose and hemicellulose are giant chains of repeating glucose molecules, and the heat of coppering breaks those into sugars--glucose, hexose, and pentose. But the third component, lignin, is different. It's a massive molecule, too, but with nonrepeating subunits. About half of them are vanillin (vanilla flavoured), and the rest is barbecue-flavored guaiacyl, clove-flavored eugenol, and syringaldehyde. At high heat, the spicy aromatic aldehydes in the lignin undergo Maillard reactions and yield the same flavors as browned meat."

f
fissionchips
Oct 01, 2018

p53: "Just like yeast, nobody isolated and identified koji until the late 1800s --1876, to be specific. Yeast was the first living organism to have its genes sequenced, in 1996; koji didn't get its turn until 2005. What gene jockeys found was a microorganism 20 million years old, yet suited to a thoroughly modern process. It makes ten proteases, beloved by soy sauce and miso makers for breaking down protein-laden soybeans; and it makes three distinct alpha-amylases, which sake brewers depend on to saccharify rice.

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fissionchips
Sep 30, 2018

p48: "Brewers and whisky makers use barley because it's easy. Other grains are maltable, but wheat, for example, produces less starch-breaking enzyme. Oats have too much protein and fat. Corn needs too much heat to untangle the starches before malting, and the oils tend to turn rancid. Barley is the way to go."

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DPLjosie Apr 12, 2018

A fascinating read on the science and history of alcohol. Sometimes the science was a little beyond me, but the anecdotes and history were deeply interesting. Now if I could just remember everything I read to share at my next cocktail party...

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bakkerdavid
Apr 04, 2016

A fun romp through breweries and bars alike. A great cocktail of history, science, and sociology.

d
d047373761
Aug 30, 2014

Fascinating reading for oenophiles and connoisseurs of fine booze in general.

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d047373761
Aug 30, 2014

d047373761 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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