Mr. Hoffmann, a chemist in Beardstown, Ill., has invented an improved method of converting starch, corn or other grain into dextrin gum or grape sugar. He uses steam, diluted acid and water, at a much higher temperature than the boiling point of water in an enclosed and steam tight mash tub. To every bushel of grain about twelve gallons of boiling water are used, and an additional quantity in proportion to the pressure of the steam j one or two per cent of the weight of corn, of weak sulphuric acid is also employed. These are gradually added. together, and mashed under steam pressure for two or three hours, the starch of the corn 11 converted into dextrin, and by the addition of chalk or marole dust to neutralize the acid while at the atmospheric pressure, and when all the acid has been neutralized and the whole has stood for an hour or so, the starch gum can be obtained by evaporationj by continuing the steaming process for a longer period grape sugar is obtained. This process considerably cheapens the manufacture of alcohol, and for the benefit of such as may be interested, we give the claim of the patent : " What I claim as my improvement is the combination of steam and acids for converting starch, corn or other cereals into dcxtrin, gum, or sugar, when said grain is subjected to the action of diluted acids and the temperature of the mass is elevated to 225° or 300°