Charles Herman Sulz: A Treatise on Beverages
One of my favorite early references was authored by
Charles Herman Sulz, a technical and analytical chemist in
Another plus is that Sulz's book
was written from the viewpoint of a chemist who also had a thorough
working knowledge of the bottling business.
Using the third person to describe his own qualifications to
publish this massive 818 page tome, Sulz said “The author, having
traveled in various parts of the globe, has handled all kinds of
machinery and manufactured all sorts of beverages, and having acquired a
great deal of practical information and experience, he has concluded to
take upon himself the task of gathering together all the practical
hints, suggestions and points, pertaining to the subject.”
It is also important to note that Sulz’s book was written and
published during the heart of the
Three centuries ago the manufacture of artificial mineral waters was a thing but little known to the public; and scientific men of all nations have since made efforts to imitate the healing effects of various natural mineral waters, distinguished for their beneficial action on the human system.
These waters are now partly imitations of natural ones, prepared according to the results of the most accurate chemical analysis, and partly certain saline solutions prepared according to an empirical formula for medicinal purposes.
The historical data bearing upon this point are interesting, and at the risk of repeating facts, presumably familiar to the trade, a few of the leading events are briefly referred to here.
The first attempt was made by Thurneisser, in 1560,
which was followed by those of Hoffmann in 1685, and Geoffroy, in 1724,
but without success. Van
Helmont, in the early part of the Seventeenth Century, first discerned
carbonic acid gas as a gas entirely distinct from common air.
Dr. Black, in 1757, distinguished carbonic acid from all other
gases under the name of “fixed air;” and Lavoisier identified it and
gave it its true name, as a compound of carbon and oxygen.
It was only, however, on suggestion of Venel, in 1750, to employ
a solution of carbonate of soda in muriatic acid in a closed vessel,
that the production of carbonic acid gas can be fairly said to have
taken a step in the right direction.
In 1772 Priestly first suggested the employment of water impregnated with carbonic
acid gas. (Note: Joseph
Priestly’s book was entitled
Directions For Impregnating Water With Fixed Air; In order to
communicate to it the peculiar Spirit and Virtues of Pyrmont Water, And
other Mineral Waters of a similar Nature.)
In 1787 Meyer had already commenced the manufacture of Selters
Struve (note: Frederick Adolf Struve was a medical doctor and proprietor of the “Salomoni’s Apotheke,” in the City of Dresden, Germany) first commenced their manufacture in 1815, in Dresden, where he introduced numerous improvements, and was the author of several important observations on the constitution of mineral waters; and to him belongs the credit of having produced the first artificial mineral water, exactly identical with the natural, and to him also we owe the introduction of artificial mineral waters into medical use. However, it was reserved for the progress of Chemistry of the Nineteenth Century to ascertain by most careful analyses the ingredients contained in the natural mineral waters, and to enable us to imitate such waters, which are refreshing for the sick as well as for the healthy, and to combine those substances which are of medicinal importance and refreshing, and to omit those without use or advantage to the consumer.
The present use of artificial mineral waters is very large, and constantly increasing, and, in the course of time, the manufacture has become a formidable industry, which requires a great deal of skill, intelligence, and knowledge to successfully conduct the business. Nearly all branches of industry have their separate literature, from which the trained manufacturer gathers his references and refreshes his memory, and from which the beginner is enabled to obtain directions and suggestions for the start. The mineral-water trade, at its present development, has not yet found the proper consideration in literature it is deservedly entitled to. In regard to natural and artificial mineral water, the German literature comprises valuable works, such as those of Hager and Hirsh, but with the contents (the former being written in Latin), the average bottler is probably unfamiliar.
The modern mineral-water manufacturer differs from those of former times. The latter knew but one class of mineral water, viz.: the real mineral or medicinal waters or their imitations. The present time comprises also under mineral waters those kind of carbonated waters which we know under the collective name of “carbonated saccharine beverages,” the number or variety of which has reached considerable prominence. The compounding of these beverages, the scientific comprehension or understanding of the principles governing their composition, the acquaintance with the various apparatus and appliances necessary for their manufacture, and the knowledge of their ingredients, and directions for a systematic process, have hitherto not found the appreciation they are entitled to. Faint efforts have been made, by some writers, it is true, to cast some light on the subject, but they have rather muddled the question…
In laying this work before the trade and public in general, the author begs to state expressly that it has been made up and written for the practical manufacturer, and not for the theoretical student of the trade.
In his chapter on “
Patent Stoppers. Probably nothing has contributed more to the popularizing of carbonated beverages than the different kinds of stoppers which have been so successfully developed. As may be expected, the system of corking or stoppering has undergone some changes, which pertain, however, more to the design of the stopper than anything else. There is a great difference of opinion still respecting the merits of the old and familiar method of corking and the use of patent stoppers. The latter are designed for a particular purpose, outside of all considerations of economy in the purchase of corks, and fill a limited field of usefulness. Beverages intended for shipment, or to be stored and preserved any length of time, are stoppered with corks almost exclusively. The system of patent stoppers is chiefly for home consumption only, where the beverages are soon to be consumed, and for this purpose they can be recommended and are a welcome contrivance for fast bottling. The material of the patent stopper must be a substance free from objectionable properties, and non-corrodible, so as to have no influence whatever on the beverage. Numerous kinds of patent stoppers are competing, and many of them have been favorably introduced in the trade