With magic of the fermentation process, they have also

With that technological and scientific
knowledge, we can look into the past, see the alternatives used, and see how
beer making has changed throughout the years. The fondness of humanity for
consuming alcohol is common to all civilizations and pre-dates recorded
history. Examples of alcoholic beverages may be found on every continent. They
have been consumed as a part of a diet but because of the physiological effect
of alcohol and the apparent magic of the fermentation process, they have also
often been associated with religious or ritual ceremony (Boulton et al). Beverages
such as beer produced by primitive societies have been made from a source of
fermentable sugar, usually a cereal, to provide the alcohol and with additional
flavoring materials. Presumably, these early fermentations were accidental. Therefore,
wherever any natural source of sugar is to be accompanied by yeast
contamination, providing a supply of water, fermentation would occur. It is
known that the preparation of some native beers that used cereals as a source
of extract involved a step where the grains where chewed by the brewer. “The addition
of saliva, which contains the amylase, ptyalin, would partially degrade the starch
content of the grain and thereby increase the fermentability of the wort.”(Boulton
et al)

The beneficial effects of fermentation
extend to the quantity of bacteria of the product. In addition, the preparation
of many beers includes boiling, which alone would have a sterilizing effect. In
historical times, therefore, beer was a useful source of nutrients.

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Origins of the
discovery of fermentation are lost. However, archaeological records indicate
that brewing has been an organized community activity for at least five
thousand years.

It is reported that in ancient
Mesopotamia forty percent of cereal crops were used for brewing (Corran, 1975).
The the skills of malting cereals, to release fermentable sugars from starch,
were also discovered (Samuel & Bolt, 1995; Samuel, 1996). It must be
assumed that this also was an accident. Corran (1975) speculates that it may
have been based on the observation that cereal grains used for brewing which
had been stored under wet conditions would potentially give an increased yield
of alcohol.It  is  likely that such experience would have
provided a powerful stimulus for further experimentation. However, the same author
also suggests that primitive malting may also have arisen as part of ordinary
cooking. Cooking would renders and makes the grain more nutritious and
digestible. The classical civilizations, such as Greece and Rome, have no
history of brewing, since they drank wine, probably another skill acquired by