Articles – D


“diacetyl” entry on page 287. The three references to the chemical names of the vicinal diketones in the first paragraph, should all have hyphens inserted between the numbers and letters for them to be technically correct. i.e., they should read, butane-2,3-dione and pentane-2,3-dione respectively.

“diastase.” in this entry it states that “Alpha amylase activity is analyzed as dextrinising units (DU) and beta amylase potential is analyzed as diastatic power (DP). DP levels do not reflect alpha amylase levels.” Yet in the following entry diastatic power it states “(DP) is the total activity of malt enzymes that hydrolyze starch to fermentable sugars. The starch-degrading enzymes contributing to this process are alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, limit dextrinase, and alpha-glucosidase.” Though the entry for diastase contains a cross reference to alpha amylase it does not cross reference to beta amylase and the OCB does not in fact have an entry for for this enzyme despite its importance in brewing.

“Distribution” in the entry at page 291 it states that: “There are about 9,000 managed pubs in the UK. These are pubs owned by a brewery. The staff of these pubs are employees of the brewery” There are thousands of managed pubs in the UK not owned by brewers. In 2007, in fact, there were indeed 9,000 managed pubs in the UK, but 6,500 were owned by pub companies, and only 2,500 by breweries. See Zythophile here.

“dormancy (of barley)” in this entry it states that “Dormancy can also be determined by staining longitudinally split kernels with tetrazolium” when in fact this method determines germinative capacity not dormancy.

“downy mildew” this entry discusses disease in barley caused by Erysiphe graminis. This is an error as this organism in fact causes powdery mildew in barley. Downy mildew affects hops, the disease being caused by the fungus Pseudoperonospora humuli. There is no entry for powdery mildew in the OCB, despite the fact it is also an important disease in hops (in this case caused by Podosphaera macularis).

“dried malt extract (DME)” in this entry it states that DME is never hop flavoured but hop flavoured dried malt extract is commercially available, see for example

“Drinking customs” in the entry on page 299 there is a missing word so it states “… the Pharoh Ramases gave 10,000 (8,522 US bbls) of free beer a year to the temple administrators” At page 300 it states that: “By the end of the first millennium, drunkenness had become so rampant in England that King Edgar, who reigned from 959 to 975, decreed, on the advice of Archbishop Dunstan of Canterbury, that any village or town henceforth was limited to only one alehouse. He also ordered that ale may be served only in drinking horns with pins fastened on the inside at prescribed intervals so that, as the law read, “whoever should drink beyond these marks at one draught should be obnoxious to a severe punishment.” There is no evidence whatsoever to support either of these two claims. The first authority for the claimed limit on the number of alehouses appears to be a book by the 18th century antiquarian Joseph Strutt called Horda: A Complete View of the Manners, Customs &c of the Inhabitants of England, published in 1774. No Old English document survive to verify this alleged law. Nor does it make sense in terms of social conditions and practices in Edgar’s time: ale selling was not a regular profession in pre-Norman England, particularly in villages, but a part-time service carried on by different individuals on different occasions. Thus no one place would be “the village alehouse”. The story about the pegs in drinking vessels being inserted under the orders of King Edgar first seems to surface in Elizabethan writings. However, again, no Old English source is known for this “law”. At page 301 it states that the yard of ale “was designed to meet the needs of stagecoach drivers who were in a rush to get to their final destinations. At intermediate steps the drivers would be hand ale in a yard glass through an inn window, the glass being of sufficient length for the driver to take it without leaving his coach.” There is no evidence at all for this in 18th century, 19th century or early 20th century publications: the earliest mention for the story seems to be from 1952, a century after stage and mail coaches stopped running. (See

“drinking vessels” despite this entry saying that “drinking vessels can make the beer” it makes no mention of the effect that the shape of a drinking vessel can have on how the aroma and flavour of beer is perceived. It also describes the nonic pint glass as “the traditional English ale pint glass” despite the fact it dates from 1960, being a much more recent glass than the “dimple” mug previously described in the entry as first appearing in the 1920s.