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Making fruit, vegetable and flower wines
The term wine is properly applied only to the fermented juice of the grape, but is popularly used in a more extended sense. What are termed domestic wines made from the currant, gooseberry, etc., are often supposed to be more wholesome and less intoxicating than the wine of the grape. This is an error; they are more acid than true wine, and have added to them sugar and spirits, neither of which are necessary with good grape juice. The culture of the grape and manufacture of wine have increased very rapidly in the United States of late years and the time is not very distant when we shall be independent of foreign sources of supply.
The varieties of grape employed in wine making, in the United States, are the Catawba, Delaware, Schuylkill (Cape), Isabella, and Scuppernong. In California, now so noted for its wine product, the vines are of Spanish origin. Of those named, the two first varieties are most prized. Vines require a dry, airy situation, preferably with a southern or eastern exposure.
Picking the Fruit
The fruit should be allowed to stay on the vines until fully ripe. If any error is committed it should be that of allowing it to remain too long. A slight frost will not injure the grape for winemaking, but rather improve it. Remove all unripe and bad berries. In some cases the berries are detached from the stem, in others not; the latter method is most usual. All vessels and utensils used in wine-making, must be most scrupulously clean when used, and should be thoroughly cleansed after using. Without attention to this good wine cannot be made. Grapes should not be gathered in damp weather nor when the dew is on them.
Extracting the Juice
The grapes are first crushed, the object being to break the skin and pulp, but not the seeds. This may be done in any of the ordinary cidermills sold at the agricultural warehouses, or on the small scale by bruising in a mashingtub. The juice is then expressed as directed in making cider. For extracting juice of fruits on the small scale the ordinary clothes-wringer will be found very useful. The expressed juice is termed must, the remaining seeds, husks, etc., after being pressed, are put on the manure pile or used for making inferior brandy.
Fermenting the Must
In this country the fermentation is performed in barrels; abroad vats are used. The barrels should, if new, be filled with pure water, and left to soak for 10 or 15 days; then well scalded out, and fumigated by means of a match made by dipping paper or rag into melted sulphur. When not in use they must be kept bunged, and each year they must be thoroughly cleansed or fumigated before using.
The barrels are to be filled within 5 or 6 inches of the top. The beginning of the fermentation is shown by a slight rise in temperature; this soon increases, the liquid froths, and carbonic acid gas escapes; in 2 or 3 weeks this ceases, the lees settle and the wine becomes clear. Fermentation out of of contact of air is accomplished by having a bung fitted with a tube which dips under the surface of a pan of water. The gas escapes through the water, but the air cannot enter the cask. This is considered a great improvement by many. The bung should not be inserted until fermentation has begun. As soon as fermentation has ceased fill up the cask and bung tightly. If you have not the same wine with which to fill the cask, put in enough well-washed flinty pebbles.
The object of racking is to draw the wine from its lees, which contain various impurities, and the yeast is the fermentation. Some rack more than once, others but once. Rehfuss recommends to draw off the wine into fresh casks in December and again in March or April, and again in the fall, after that only in the fall. Buchanan recommends one racking in March or April. It is objected to frequent racking that it injures the aroma of the wine, and renders it liable to become acid. The wine may be drawn off with the syphon or by the spigot; care being taken not to disturb the lees.
About the time that the vines begin to shoot the wine undergoes a second but moderate fermentation, after which it fines itself, and if kept well bunged will continue to improve by age. During the spring fermentation the bungs may be slightly loosened, otherwise the casks, if not strong, may burst, and the wine be lost. It is better kept in bottles. Wine may be bottled in a year after it is made, two years will be better. The bottles should be sealed and laid on their sides in a cool place.
The above directions will give a still wine of fine quality; no sugar, spirits or other addition is required. To make a sparkling wine is a matter of nicety, and requires considerable experience; and cellars, vaults and buildings especially adapted to the process. Abroad the wine is bottled during the first fermentation, although air is necessary to the beginning of fermentation, yet it will go on when once begun if air be excluded. The must continuing to ferment in the bottles, the gas generated is absorbed by the liquid under its own pressure. A very large percentage of bottles bursts.
Mr. Longworth’s Process
In the spring following the pressing of the grapes the wine is mixed with a small quantity of sugar, and put into strong bottles, the corks of which are well fastened with wire and twine. The spring fermentation is accelerated by the sugar, and the carbonic acid generated produces pressure enough to burst a considerable percentage of the bottles. At the end of a year the liquid has become clear. To get rid of the sediment the bottles are put in a rack with the necks inclining downward, and frequently shaken, the sediment deposits near and on the cork, and is blown out when the wires are cut. More sugar is added for sweetness; the bottles recorked, and in a few weeks the wine is ready for use.
Acidity of Wines
The acidity of wine made from ripe grapes is due to cream of tartar or bitartrate of potassa. The grapes always contain a larger proportion than the wine, as much of it is deposited during fermentation, forming Argols of commerce. Tannic acid always present, giving, when in quantity, astringency or roughness. Citric acid is found in wine made from unripe grapes; malic and oxalic acids in those made from currants, rhubarb, etc. The cream of tartar gradually deposits as wine grows older, forming the crust or bees-wing. Hence wine of grape improves with age. Domestic wines do not deposit their acids, which have therefore to be disguised by the addition of sugar. Acetic acid is formed by the oxidation of the alcohol of wine. When considerable in quantity the wine is raid to be ”pricked.” Moselle and Rhine wine are among the most acid, and Sherry and Port among the least so.
Such as Malaga, are made by allowing the grapes to remain on the vine until partially dried. The must is also evaporated about one-third before fermentation. Wines, such as still Catawba, Claret, etc., which contain little or no sugar, are called dry.
Proportion of Alcohol in Wines
The following gives the average proportion of absolute alcohol in 100 parts by measure: Port Madeira, Sherry, 20; Claret, Catawba, Hock, and Champagne, 11; Domestic wines, 10 to 20; alcohol gives the strength or body to wine. It is often added to poor wines to make them keep and to increase their intoxicating qualities.
Bottling and Corking
Fine clear weather is best for bottling all sorts of wines, and much cleanliness is required. The first consideration, in bottling wines, is to examine and see if the wines are in a proper state. The wines should be fine and brilliant, or they will never brighten after.
The bottles must be all sound, clean and dry, with plenty of good sound corks.
The cork is to be put in with the hand, and then driven well in with a flat wooden mallet, the weight of which ought to be 1 1/4 lbs., but, however not to exceed 1 1/2 lbs., for if the mallet be too light or too heavy it will not drive the cork in properly and may break the bottle. The corks must so completely fill up the neck of each bottle as to render them air-tight, but leave a space of an inch between the wine and the neck.
When all the wine is bottled, it is to be stored in a cool cellar, and on no account on the bottles’ bottoms, but or their sides and in saw-dust.
Mr. Carnell’s Receipt for Red Gooseberry Wine
Take cold soft water, 10 galls.; red gooseberries, 11 galls., and ferment. Now mix raw sugar, 16 lbs.; beet-root, sliced, 2 lbs.; and red tartar, in fine powder, 1 oz. Afterwards put in sassafras chips, 1 lb., and brandy, 1 gall., or less. This will make 18 galls.
Another. - When the weather is dry, gather gooseberries about the time they are half ripe; pick themclean, put the quantity of a peak into a convenient vessel, and bruise them with a piece of wood, taking as much care as possible to keep the seeds whole. Now having put the pulp into a canvas bag, press out all the juice; and to every gallon of the gooseberries add about 3 lbs. of fine loaf sugar; mix the whole together by stirring it with a stick, and as soon as the sugar is quite dissolved, pour it into a convenient cask, which will hold it exactly. If the quantity be about 8 or 9 galls., let it stand a fortnight; if 20 galls., 40 days and so on in proportion taking care the place you set it in be cool. After standing the proper time draw it off from the lees, and put it into another clean vessel of equal size, or into the same, after pouring the lees out, and making it clean: let a cask of 10 or 12 galls. stand for about 3 months and 20 galls. for 5 months, after which it will be fit for bottling off.
Red and White Gooseberry Wine
Take cold soft water, 3 galls; red gooseberries, 1 1/2 galls.; white gooseberries, 2 galls. Ferment. Now mix raw sugar, 5 lbs.; honey, 1 1/2 lbs., tartar, in fine powder, 1 oz. Afterwards put in bitter almonds, 2 oz.; sweetbriar, 1 small handful, and brandy, 1 gall., or less. This will make 6 galls.
White Gooseberry or Champagne Wine
Take cold soft water, 4 1/2 galls.; white gooseberries, 5 galls. Ferment.
Now mix refined sugar, 6 lbs.; honey, 4 lbs.; white tartar, in fine powder, 1 oz. Put in orange and lemon-peel, 1 oz. dry, or 2 oz. fresh, and add white brandy, 1/2 gall. This will make 9 galls.
Gooseberry Wine of the Best Quality, resembling Champagne
To each pint of full ripe gooseberries, mashed add one pint of water, milk warm, in which has been dissolved one pound of single-refined sugar; stir the whole well, and cover up the tub with a blanket, to preserve the heat generated by the fermentation of the ingredients, let them remain in this vessel 3 days, stirring them twice or thrice a day; strain off the liquor through a sieve, afterwards through a coarse linen cloth; put it into the cask; it will ferment without yeast. Let the cask be kept full with some of the liquor reserved for the purpose. It will ferment for 10 days, sometimes for 3 weeks; when ceased, and only a hissing noise remains, draw off 2 or 3 bottles, according to the strength you wish it to have from every 20 pint cask, and fill up the cask with brandy or whiskey; but brandy is preferable. To make it very good, and that it may keep well, add as much Sherry, together with 1/4 oz. of isinglass dissolved in water to make it quite liquid: stir the whole well. Bung the cask up, and surround the bung with clay; the closer it is bunged the better; a fortnight after, if it be clear at top, taste it, if not sweet enough, add more sugar; 22 lbs. is the just quantity in all for 20 pints of wine; leave the wine 6 months in the cask; but after being quite fine, the sooner it is bottled the more it will sparkle and resemble Champagne. The process should be carried on in a place where the heat is between 48o and 56o Fahr. Currant wine my be made in the same manner.
Gooseberry and Currant Wine
The following method of making superior gooseberry and currant wines is recommended in a French work: For currant wine, 8 lbs. of honey are dissolved in 15 galls. of boiling water, to which, when clarified, is added the juice of 8 lbs. of red or white currants. It is then fermented for 24 hours, and 2 lbs. of sugar to every 2 galls. of water are added. The preparation is afterwards clarified with the whites of eggs and cream of tartar. For gooseberry wine, the fruit is gathered dry when about half ripe, and then pounded in a mortar. The juice, when properly strained through a canvas bag, is mixed with sugar, in the proportion of 3 lbs. to every 2 galls. of juice. It is then left in a quiet state for 15 days, at the expiration of which it is carefully poured off, and left to ferment for 3 months when the quantity is under 15 galls., and for 5 months when double that quantity. It is then bottled, and soon becomes fit for drinking.
Another. - Take cold soft water, 5 1/2 galls.; gooseberries and currants, 4 galls. Ferment. Then add, raw sugar, 12 1/2 lbs.; tartar, in fine powder, 1 oz., ginger, in powder 3 oz., sweet marjoram, 1/2 a handful; whiskey, 1 qt. This will make 9 galls.
Red Currant Wine
Take cold soft water, 11 galls.; red currants, 8 galls.; raspberries, 1 qt. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 20 lbs., beet-root, sliced, 2 lbs.; and red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz. Put in 1 nutmeg, in fine powder; add brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Another. - Put 5 qts. of currants and 1 pint of raspberries to every 2 galls. of water; let them soak a night; then squeeze and break them well. Next day rub them well through a fine sieve till the juice is expressed, washing the skins with some of the water, then, to every gallon, put 4 lbs. of the best sugar, put it into your barrel, and set the bung lightly in. In 2 or 3 days add a bottle of good Cogniac brandy to every 4 galls.; bung it close, but leave out the spigot for a few days. It is very good in 3 years, better in 4.
Another. - Boil 4 galls. of spring water, and stir into it 8 lbs. of honey; when thoroughly dissolved, take it off the fire; then stir it well in order to raise the scum, which take clean off, and cool the liquor.
When thus prepared, press out the same quantity of the juice of red currants moderately ripe, which being well strained, mix well with the water and honey, then put them into a cask or a large earthen vessel, and let them stand to ferment for 24 hours, then to every gallon add 2 lbs. of fine sugar, stir them well to raise the scum, and when well settled take it off, and add 1/2 an oz. of cream of tartar, with the whites of 2 or 3 eggs, to refine it. When the wine is well settled and clear draw it off into a small vessel, or bottle it up, keeping it in a cool place. Of white currants a wine after the same manner may be made, that will equal in strength and pleasantness many sorts of white wine; but as for the black or Dutch currants, they are seldom used, except for the preparation of medicinal wines.
Another. - Gather the currants in dry weather, put them into a pan and bruise them with a wooden pestle; let them stand about 20 hours, after which strain through a sieve; add 3 lbs. of fine powdered sugar to each 4 quarts of the liquor, and after shaking it well fill the vessel, and put a quart of good brandy to every 7 gallons. In 4 weeks, if it does not prove quite clear, draw it off into another vessel, and let it stand previous to bottling it off about 10 days.
Red and White Currant Wine
Take of cold soft water, 12 galls.; white currants, 4 galls., red currants, 3 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 25 lbs., white tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz. Put in sweet-briar leaves, 1 handful; lavender leaves, 1 handful; then add spirits, 2 qts. or more. This will make 18 galls.
Dutch Currant Wine
Take of cold soft water, 9 galls., red currants, 10 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 10 lbs.; beet-root, sliced, 2 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Put in bitter almonds, 1 oz., ginger, in powder, 2 oz.; then add brandy, 1 qt. This will make 18 galls.
Dutch Red Currant Wine
Take of cold soft water, 11 galls., red currants, 8 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 12 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Put in coriander seed, bruised, 2 oz., then add whiskey, 2 qts. This will make 18 galls.
Mixed Berries from a Small Garden
Take of cold soft water, 11 galls.; fruit, 8 galls. Ferment. Mix, treacle, 14 or 16 lbs., tartar, in powder, 1 oz. Put in ginger, in powder, 4 oz.; sweet herbs, 2 handfuls; then add spirits, 1 or 2 qts. This will make 18 galls.
To make Compound Wine
An excellent family wine may be made of equal parts of red, white and black currants, ripe cherries, and raspberries, well bruised, and mixed with soft water, in the proportion of 4 lbs. of fruit to 1 gall. of water. When strained and pressed, 3 lbs. of moist sugar are to be added to each gall. of liquid. After standing open for 3 days, during which it is to be stirred frequently, it is to be put into a barrel, and left for a fortnight to work, when a ninth part of brandy is to be added, and the whole bunged down. In a few months it will be a most excellent wine.
Other Mixed Fruits of the Berry kind
Take of cold soft water, 2 galls.; fruit, 18 galls. Ferment. Honey, 6 lbs.; tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Put in peach leaves, 6 handfuls: then add brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
White Currant Wine
Take of cold soft water, 9 galls., white currants, 9 galls.; white gooseberries, 1 gall. Ferment. Mix, refined sugar, 25 lbs.; white tartar, in powder, 1 oz.; clary seed, bruised, 2 oz.; or clary flowers or sorrel flowers, 4 handfuls, then add white brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls. Another. - Take of cold soft water, 10 galls.; white currants, 10 galls. Ferment. Mix, refined sugar, 25 lbs.; white tartar, in fine powder, 1 oz.; then add hitter almonds, 2 oz. and white brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Black Currant Wine.
Take of cold soft water, 10 galls.; black currants, 6 galls.; strawberries, 3 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 25 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 6 oz.; orange-thyme, 2 handfuls; then add brandy, 2 or 3 qts. This will make 18 galls. Another. - Take of cold soft water, 12 galls.; black currants, 5 galls.; white or red currants, or both, 3 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 30 lbs. or less; red tartar, in fine powder, 5 oz.; ginger, in powder, 5 oz. then add brandy, 1 gall. or less. This will make 18 galls.
Another, very fine. - To every 3 qts. of juice add as much of cold water, and to every 3 qts. of the mixture add 3 lbs. of good, pure sugar. Put it into a cask, reserving some to fill up. Set the cask in a warm, dry room, and it will ferment of itself. When this is over skim off the refuse, and fill up with what you have reserved for this purpose. When it has done working, add 3 qts. of brandy to 40 qts. of the wine. Bung it up close for 10 months, then bottle it. The thick part may be separated by straining, and the percolating liquor be bottled also. Keep it for 12 months.
Take of cold soft water, 7 galls.; cider, 6 galls.; strawberries, 6 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 16 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz.; the peel and juice of 2 lemons; then add brandy, 2 or 3 qts. This will make 18 galls. Another. - Take of cold soft water, 10 galls.; strawberries, 9 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 25 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz., 2 lemons and 2 oranges, peel and juice; then add brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Take of cold soft water, 6 galls., cider, 4 galls. raspberries, 6 galls.; any other fruit, 3 galls. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 18 or 20 lbs., red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz., orange and lemonpeel, 2 oz. dry, or 4 oz. fresh; then add brandy, 3 qts. This will make 18 galls.
Another. - Gather the raspberries when ripe husk them and bruise them, then strain them through a bag into jars or other vessels. Boil the juice, and to every gall. put 1 1/2 lbs. of lump sugar. Now add whites of eggs, and let the whole boil for 15 minutes, skimming it as the froth rises. When cool and settled, decant the liquor into a cask, adding yeast to make it ferment. When this has taken place, add 1 pint of white wine, or a pint of proof spirit to each gall. contained in the cask, and hang a bag in it containing 1 oz. of bruised mace. In 3 months, if kept in a cool place, it will be very excellent and delicious wine.
On a dry day gather mulberries, when they are just changed from redness to a shining black; spread them thinly on a fine cloth, or on a floor or table, for 24 hours, and then press them. Boil a gall. of water with each gall. of juice; putting to every gall. of water 1 oz. of cinnamon bark and 6 oz. of sugar candy finely powdered. Skim and strain the water when it is taken off and settled, and put to it the mulberry-juice. Now add to every gall. of the mixture a pint of white or Rhenish wine. Let the whole stand in a cask to ferment for 5 or 6 days. When settled, draw it off into bottles and keep it cool.
Take of cold soft water, 16 galls.; Malaga raisins, 50 lbs.; elderberries, 4 galls., red tartar in fine powder, 4 oz. Mix ginger in powder, 5 oz.; cinnamon, cloves, and mace, of each 2 oz., 3 oranges or lemons, peel and juice; then add 1 gall. of brandy. This will make 18 galls.
Another. - In making elder juice let the berries be fully ripe, and all the stalks clean picked from them; then, have a press ready for drawing off all the juice, and 4 haircloths, somewhat broader than the press. Lay one layer above another having a hair-cloth betwixt every layer, which must be laid very thin, and pressed a little at first and then more till the press be drawn as close as possible. Now take out the berries, and press all the rest in the like manner, then take the pressed berries, break out all the lumps, put them into an open-headed vessel, and add as much liquor as will just cover them. Let them infuse so for 7 or 8 days; then put the best juice into a cask proper for it to be kept in, and add l gall. of malt spirits not rectified, to every 20 galls. of elder-juice, which will effectually preserve it from becoming sour for two years at least
Another. - Pick the berries when quite ripe, put them into a stone jar, and set them in an oven, or in a kettle of boiling water, till the jar is hot through, then take them out, and strain them through a coarse sieve. Squeeze the berries and put the juice into a clean kettle. To every quart of juice put 1 lb. of fine sugar; let it boil and skim it well. When clear and fine, pour it into a cask. To every 10 galls. of wine add 1 oz. of isinglass dissolved in cider, and 6 whole eggs. Close it up, let it stand 6 months, and then bottle it.
Having procured berries that are fully ripe, put them into a large vessel of wood or stone with a cock in it, and pour upon them as much boiling water as will cover them. As soon as the heat will permit the hand to be put into the vessel, bruise them well till all the berries are broken. Then let them stand covered till the berries begin to rise towards the top, which they usually do in 3 or 4 days. Then draw off the clear into another vessel, and add to every 10 quarts of this liquor 1 lb. of sugar. Stir it well and let it stand to work a week or 10 days in another vessel like the first. Then draw it off at the cock through a jelly-bag into a large vessel. Take 4 oz. of isinglass and lay it to steep 12 hours in a pint of white wine. The next morning boil it upon a slow fire till it is all dissolved. Then take 1 gallon of blackberry-juice, put it in the dissolved isinglass, give them a boil together, and pour all into the vessel. Let it stand a few days to purge and settle, then draw it off and keep it in a cool place.
To make an Imitation of Cyprus Wine
To 10 galls. of water put 10 qts. of the juice of white elderberries, pressed gently from the berries by the hand and passed through a sieve, without bruising the seeds; add to every gallon of liquor 3 lbs. of sugar, and to the whole quantity 2 oz. of ginger sliced, and 1 oz. of cloves. Boil this nearly an hour, taking off the scum as it rises, and pour the whole to cool, in an open tub, and work it with ale yeast, spread upon a toast of bread for 3 days. Then turn it into a vessel that will just hold it, adding about 1 1/2 lbs. of bruised raisins, to lie in the liquor till drawn off, which should not be done till the wine is fine. To make Elder-flower Wine, or English Frontignac. Boil 18 lbs. of white powdered sugar in 6 galls. of water and 2 whites of eggs well beaten, skim it, and put in a quarter of a peek of elder-flowers; do not keep them on the fire. When cool stir it and put in 6 spoonfuls of lemon juice, 4 or 5 of yeast, and beat well into the liquor; stir it well every day, put 6 lbs. of the best raisins, stoned, into the cask, and tun the wine. Stop it close and bottle in 6 months. When well kept, this wine will pass very well for Frontignac.
Another. - To 6 galls. of spring-water put 6 lbs. of sun raisins out small, and 12 lbs. of fine sugar. Boil the whole together for about an hour and a half. When the liquor is cold put half a peek of ripe elder-flowers in, with about a gill of lemonjuice, and half the quantity of ale yeast. Cover it up and, after standing 3 days, strain it off. Now pour it into a cask that is quite clean, and that will hold it with ease. When this is done put a quart of Rhenish wine to every gallon; let the bung be slightly put in for 12 or 14 days, then stop it down fast, and put it in a cool, dry place for 4 or 5 months, till it be quite settled and fine; then bottle it off.
Imitation of Port Wine
Take 6 galls. of good cider, 1 1/2 galls. of Port wine, 1 1/2 galls. of the juice of elder-berries, 3 qts. of brandy, 1 1/2 oz. of cochineal. This will produce 9 1/2 galls. Bruise the cochineal very fine, and put it with the brandy into a stone bottle; let it remain at least a fortnight, shaking it well once or twice every day. At the end of that time procure the the cider, and put 5 galls. into a 9 gallon cask; add to it the elder-juice and Port wine, then the brandy and cochineal. Take the remaining gallon of cider to rinse out the bottle that contained the brandy; and, lastly, pour it into the cask, and bung it down very close, and in 6 weeks it will be ready for bottling. It is, however, sometimes not quite so fine as could be wished: in that case add 2 oz. of isinglass, and let it remain a fortnight or 3 weeks longer, when it will be perfectly bright. It would not be amiss, perhaps, if the quantity of isinglass mentioned was added to the wine before it was bunged down; it will tend very considerably to improve the body of the wine. If it should not appear sufficiently rough flavored, add 1 oz. or 1 1/2 oz. of roche-alum, which will, in most cases, impart a sufficient astringency.
After it is bottled it must be packed in as cool a place as possible. It will be fit for using in a few months, but if kept longer it will be greatly improved.
Whortleberry or Bilberry Wine
Take of cold soft water 6 galls., cider 6 galls., berries 8 galls., ferment. Mix raw sugar 20 lbs., tartar in fine powder 4 oz.; add ginger in powder 4 oz.; lavender and rosemary leaves 2 handfuls, rum or British spirits 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
The season for obtaining the liquor from birchtrees is in the latter end of February, or the beginning of March, before the leaves shoot out, and as the sap begins to rise; if the time is delayed the juice will grow too thick to be drawn out. It should be as thin and clear as possible. The method of procuring the juice is by boring holes in the trunk of the tree and fixing faucets of elder; but care should be taken not to tap it in too many places at once, for fear of injuring the tree. If the tree is large it may be bored in 5 or 6 places at once, and bottles are to be placed under the aperture for the sap to flow into. When 4 or 5 galls. have been extracted from different trees cork the bottles very close, and wax them till the wine is to be made, which should be as soon as possible after the sap has been obtained. Boil the sap, and put 4 lbs. of loaf sugar to every gallon, also the peel of a lemon cut thin; then boil it again for nearly an hour, skimming it all the time. Now pour it into a tub and, as soon as it is almost cold, work it with a toast spread with yeast, and let it stand 5 or 6 days, stirring it twice or 3 times each day. Into a cask that will contain it put a lighted brimstone snatch, stop it up till the match is burnt out, and then pour the wine into it, putting the bung lightly in, till it has done working. Bung it very close for about 3 months, and then bottle it. It will be good in a week after it is put into the bottles.
Another. - Birch wine may be made with raisins in the following manner: To a hogshead of birchwater, take 400 Malaga raisins; pick them clean from the stalks and cut them small. Then boil the birch liquor for an hour at least, skim it well, and let it stand till it is no warmer than milk. Then put in the raisins and let it stand close covered, stirring it well 4 or 5 times every day. Boil all the stalks in a gallon or two of birch liquor, which, added to the other when almost cold, will give it an agreeable roughness. Let it stand 10 days, then put it in a cool cellar, and when it has done hissing in the vessel, stop it up close. It must stand at least 9 months before it is bottled.
Take of cold soft water, 18 galls., Malaga or Smyrna raisins, 35 lbs. juniper-berries, 9 quarts, red tartar, 4 oz., wormwood and sweet marjoram, each 2 handfuls; whiskey, 2 quarts or more. Ferment for 10 or 12 days. This will make 18 galls.
To make Damson Wine
Take of cold soft water 11 galls., damsons, 8 galls. Ferment. Mix raw sugar, 30 lbs., red tartar, in fine powder, 6 oz. Add brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls. ”When the must,” says Mr. Carnell, ”has fermented 2 days, (during which time it should be stirred up 2 or 3 times) take out of the vat about 2 or 3 quarts of the stones and break them and the kernels, and then return them into the vat again.”
Take a considerable quantity of damsons and common plums inclining to ripeness; slit them in halves so that the stones may be taken out, then mash them gently and add a little water and honey. Add to every gallon of the pulp 1 gall. of spring-water, with a few bay-leaves and cloves; boil the mixture, and add as much sugar as will sweeten it; skim off the froth and let it cool. Now press the fruit, squeezing out the liquid part, strain all through a fine strainer, and put the water and juice together in a cask. Having allowed the whole to stand and ferment for 3 or 4 days, fine it with white sugar, flour, and white of eggs; draw it off into bottles, then cork it well. In 12 days it will be ripe, and will taste like weak Port, having the flavor of Canary.
Another. - Gather the damsons on a dry day, weigh them and then bruise them. Put them into a cask that has a cock in it, and to every 8 lbs. of fruit add 1 gall. of water. Boil the water, skim it and put it scalding hot to the fruit. Let it stand 2 days, then draw it off and put it into a vessel, and to every gallon of liquor put 2 1/2 lbs. of fine sugar. Fill up the vessel and stop it close, and the longer it stands the better. Keep it for 12 months in the vessel, and then bottle, putting a lump of sugar into every bottle. The small damson is the best for this purpose.
Take of soft cold water, 10 galls., cherries, 10 galls. Ferment. Mix raw sugar, 30 lbs., red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz. Add brandy, 2 or 3 quarts. This will make 18 galls. Two days after the cherries have been in the vat, take out about 3 quarts of the cherry-stones, break them and the kernels, and return them into the vat again.
Another. - Take cherries nearly ripe, of any red sort, clear them of the stalks and stones, then put them into a glazed earthen vessel and squeeze them to a pulp. Let them remain in this state for 12 hours to ferment, then put them into a linen cloth not too fine and press out the juice with a pressing-board, or any other convenient instrument. Now let the liquor stand till the scum rises, and with a ladle or skimmer take it clean off; then pour the clear part, by inclination, into a cask, where to each gallon put 1 lb. of the best loaf sugar, and let it ferment for 7 or 8 days. Draw it off when clear, into lesser casks or bottles; keep it cool as other wines, and in 10 or 12 days it will be ripe.
To make Morella Wine
Cleanse from the stalks 60 lbs. of Morella cherries, and bruise them so that the stones shall be broken. Now press out the juice and mix it with 6 galls. of Sherry wine, and 4 galls. of warm water. Having grossly powdered separate ounces of nutmeg, cinnamon and mace, hang them separately in small bags in the cask containing the mixture. Bung it down and in a few weeks it will become a deliciously flavored wine.
To make Peach Wine
Take of cold soft water, 18 galls., refined sugar 25 lbs., honey, 6 lbs., white tartar, in fine powder 2 oz., peaches, 60 or 80 in number. Ferment. Then add 2 galls. of brandy. This will make 18 galls.
The first division is to be put into the vat, and the day after, before the peaches are put in, take the stones from them, break them and the kernels, then put them and the pulp into the vat and proceed with the general process.
Peach and Apricot Wine
Take peaches, nectarines, etc.; pare them and take the stones out; then slice them thin and pour over them from 1 to 2 galls. of water and a quart of white wine. Place the whole on a fire to simmer gently for a considerable time, till the sliced fruit becomes soft; pour off the liquid part into another vessel containing more peaches that have been sliced but not heated; let them stand for 12 hours, then pour out the liquid part and press what remains through a fine hair bag. Let the whole be now put into a cask to ferment; add of loaf sugar 1 1/2 lbs. to each gallon. Boil well 1 oz. of beaten cloves in a quart of white wine and add it to the above. Apricot wine may be made by only bruising the fruit and pouring the hot liquor over it. This wine does not require so much sweetening. To give it a curious savor, boil 1 oz. of mace and 1/2 an oz. of nutmegs in 1 qt. of white wine; and when the wine is fermenting pour the liquid in hot. In about 20 days, or a month, these wines will be fit for bottling.
Pare off the rinds of 6 large lemons, cut them, and squeeze out the juice. Steep the rinds in the juice, and put to it 1 qt. of brandy. Let it stand 3 days in an earthen pot close stopped; then squeeze 6 more, and mix with it 2 qts. of springwater, and as much sugar as will sweeten the whole. Boil the water, lemons and sugar together and let it stand till it is cool. Then add 1 qt. of white wine, and the other lemons and brandy; mix them together, and run it through a flannel beg into some vessel. Let it stand 3 months and then bottle it off. Cork the bottles well; keep it cool, and it will be fit to drink in a month or 6 weeks.
Another. - Pare 5 dozen of lemons very thin, put the peels into 5 qts. of French brandy, and let them stand 14 days. Then make the juice into a syrup with 3 lbs. of singlere-fined sugar, and when the peels are ready boil 15 galls. of water with 40 lbs. of single-refined sugar for 1/2 an hour. Then put it into a tub, and when cool add to it 1 spoonful of yeast, and let it work 2 days. Then tun it, and put in the brandy, peels and syrup. Stir them all together, and close up the cask. Let it stand 3 months, then bottle it, and it will be as pale and us fine as any citron-water.
Apple White Wine
Take of cold soft water, 2 galls.; apples, well bruised, 3 bushels, honey, 10 lbs., white tartar 2 oz.; 1 nutmeg, in powder; rum, 3 qts. This will make 18 galls.
To make Apple Wine.
To every gall. of apple-juice, immediately as it comes from the press, add 2 lbs. of common loaf sugar; boil it as long as any scum rises, then strain it through a sieve, and let it cool; add some good yeast, and stir it well; let it work in the tub for 2 or 3 weeks, or till the head begins to flatten, then skim off the head, draw it clear off, and tun it. When made a year rack it off, and fine it with isinglass, then add 1/2 a pt. of the best rectified spirit of wine, or a pt. of French brandy, to every 8 galls.
Apple Red Wine.
Take of cold soft water, 2 galls; apples, well bruised, 3 bushels. Ferment. Mix, raw sugar, 15 lbs.; beet root, sliced, 4 lbs., red tartar, in fine powder, 3 oz.; then add ginger, in powder, 3 oz.; rosemary and lavender leaves, of each 2 handfuls; whiskey, 2 quarts. This will make 18 galls.
To make Quince Wine
Gather the quinces when pretty ripe, on a dry day, rub off the down with a linen cloth, then lay them in hay or straw for 10 days to perspire. Now cut them in quarters, take out the cores and bruise them well in a mashing-tub with a wooden pestle. Squeeze out the liquid part bv pressing them in a hair bag by degrees, in a cider press; strain this liquor through a fine sieve, then warm it gently over a fire and skim it, but do not suffer it to boil.. Now sprinkle into it some loaf sugar reduced to powder; then in a gall. of water and a qt. of white wine; boil 12 or 14 large quinces, thinly sliced; add 2 lbs. of fine sugar and then strain off the liquid part, and mingle it with the natural juice of the quinces; put this into a cask (not to fill it) and mix them well together; then let it stand to settle, put in 2 or 3 whites of eggs, then draw it off. If it be not sweet enough, add more sugar, and a qt. of the best Malmsey. To make it still better boil 1/4 of a lb. of stoned raisins, and 1/2 an oz. of cinnamon bark in a qt. of the liquor, to the consumption of a third part and straining it, put it into the cask when the wine is fermenting.
Another. - Take 20 large quinces, gathered when they are dry and full ripe. Wipe them clean with a coarse cloth, and grate them with a large grater or rasp as near the cores as possible; but do not touch the cores. Boil a gall. of spring-water, throw in the quinces, and let them boil softly about 1/4 of an hour. Then strain them well into an earthen pan, on 2 lbs. of double-refined sugar. Pare the peel of 2 large lemons, throw them in, and squeeze the juice through a sieve. Stir it about till it is very cool, and then toast a thin bit of bread very brown, rub a little yeast on it, and let the whole stand close-covered 24 hours. Take out the toast and lemon, put the wine in a cask, keep it 3 months, and then bottle it. If a 20-gallon cask is wanted, let it stand 6 months before bottling it; and remember, when straining the quinces, to wring them hard in a coarse cloth.
Put 12 lbs. of powdered sugar, with the whites of 8 or 10 eggs well beaten, into 6 galls. of spring-water; boil them 3/4 of an hour; when cold, put into it 6 spoonfuls of yeast and the juice of 12 lemons, which being pared, must stand with 2 lbs. of white sugar in a tankard, and in the morning skim off the top, and then put it into the water; add the juice and rinds of 50 oranges, but not the white or pithy parts of the rinds; let it work all together 2 days and 2 nights: then add 2 qts. of Rhenish or white wine, and put it into the vessel.
Another. - To 6 galls. of water put 15 lbs. of soft sugar; before it boils, add the whites of 6 eggs well beaten, and take off the scum as it rises; boil it 1/2 an hour; when cool add the juice of 50 oranges, and 2/3 of the peels cut very thin, and immerse a toast covered with yeast. In a month after it has been in the cask, add a pt. of brandy and 2 qts. of Rhenish wine; it will be fit to bottle in 3 or 4 months, but it should remain in bottle for 12 months before it is drunk.
To make Parsnip Wine
To 12 lbs. of parsnips, cut in slices, add 4 galls. of water; boil them till they become quite soft. Squeeze the liquor well out of them, run it through a sieve, and add to every gall. 3 lbs. of loaf sugar. Boil the whole three quarters of an hour, and when it is nearly cold add a little yeast. Let it stand for 10 days in a tub, stirring it every day from the bottom; then put it into a cask for 12 months; as it works over fill it up every day.
Cowslip Red Wine
Take of cold soft water 18 galls., Smyrna raisins, 40 lbs. Ferment. Mixed beet-root, sliced, 3 lbs., red tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Add cowslip flowers, 14 lbs.; cloves and mace, in powder 1 oz. brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Cowslip White Wine
Take of cold soft water, 18 galls.; Malaga raisins, 35 lbs.: white tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Ferment. Mix cowslip-flowers, 16 lbs. Add white brandy, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Is made in this manner: To 15 galls. of water put 30 lbs. of honey, and boil it till 1 gall. be wasted. Skim it, take it off the fire, and have ready 16 lemons cut in halves. Take 1 gall. of the liquor and put it to the lemons. Put the rest of the liquor into a tub with 7 pecks of cowslips, and let them stand all night. Then put in the liquor with the lemons 8 spoonfuls of new yeast and a handful of sweetbriar. Stir them all well together, and let it work 3 or 4 days. Then strain it, put into the cask, and after it has stood 6 months bottle it off.
Cider White Wine
Take of cold soft water, 2 qts.; cider, 9 galls.; honey, 8 lbs., white tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Ferment. Mix cinnamon, cloves, and mace, 2 oz. Add rum, 1/2 gall. This will make 9 galls.
Cider Red Wine
Take of cold soft water, 3 galls.; cider, 16 galls.; honey, 10 lbs. Ferment. Add raw sugar, 4 lbs. beet-root, sliced, 4 lbs.; red tartar, in fine powder, 6 oz. Mix sweet marjoram and sweetbriar, 3 handfuls; rum. 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
Take of cold soft water, 4 galls.; cider, 15 galls.; honey, 12 lbs., tartar, in fine powder, 2 oz. Ferment. Mix ginger, in powder, 6 oz., sage and mint, 2 handfuls. Add whiskey, 1 gall. This will make 18 galls.
To make Raisin Wine equal to Sherry
Let the raisins be well washed and picked from the stalks; to every pound thus prepared and chopped, add 1 qt. of water which has been boiled and has stood till it is cold. Let the whole stand in the vessel for a month, being frequently stirred. Now let the raisins be taken from the cask, and let the liquor be closely stopped in the vessel. In the course of a month let it be racked into another vessel, leaving all the sediment behind, which must be repeated as it becomes fine, when add to every 10 galls. 6 lbs. of fine sugar, and 1 doz. of Seville oranges the rinds being pared very thin, and infused in 2 qts of brandy, which should be added to the liquor at its last racking. Let the whole stand 3 months in the cask, when it will be fit for bottling; it should remain in the bottle for a twelve-month.
To give it the flavor of Madeira, when it is in the cask, put in a couple of green citrons, and let them remain till the wine is bottled.
Another Raisin Wine
Put 200 weight of raisins, with the stalks, into a hogshead, and fill it almost with spring-water; let them steep for about 12 days, frequently stirring, and after pouring off the juice dress the raisins and mash them. The whole should then be put together into a very clean vessel that will exactly contain it. It will hiss for some time, during which it should not be stirred; but when the noise ceases it must be stopped close and stand for about 6 or 7 months, and then, if it prove fine and clear, rack it off into another vessel of the same size. Stop it up, and let it remain for 12 or 14 weeks longer, then bottle it off. If it should not prove clear fine it down with 3 oz. of isinglass, and 1/4 lb. of sugar-candy dissolved in some of the wine.
Ginger Wine, excellent
Put into a very nice boiler l0 galls. of water, 15 lbs. of lump sugar, with the whites of 6 or 8 eggs, well beaten and strained; mix all well while cold, when the liquor boils skim it, put in 1/2 a lb. of common white ginger, bruised, and boil it 20 minutes. Have ready the rinds (cut very thin) of 7 lemons, and pour the hot liquor on them; when cool put it into your cask, with 2 spoonfuls of yeast, put a quart of the warm liquor to 2 oz. isinglass shavings, whisk it well 3 or 4 times, and put all into the barrel. Next day stop it up, in 3 weeks bottle it, and in 3 months it will be a delicious and safe liquor.
Another. - Take of cold soft water, 19 galls.; Malaga raisins, 50 lbs.; white tartar, in powder, 4 oz. Ferment. Mix ginger in powder or bruised, 20 oz.; 18 lemons, peel and juice; add brandy, 2 qts. or more. This will make 18 galls.
Another. - Take 20 qts. of water; 5 lbs. of sugar; 3 oz. of white ginger; 1 oz. of stick liquorice. Boil them well together, when it is cold put a little new yeast upon it, but not too much, then put it into the barrel for 10 days, and after that bottle it putting a lump of white sugar into every bottle.
Another. - To 7 galls. of water put 19 lbs. of clayed sugar and boil it for 1/2 an hour, taking off the scum as it rises; then take a small quantity of the liquor and add to it 9 oz. of the best ginger bruised. Now put it all together, and when nearly cold, chop 9 lbs of raisins very small, and put them into an 8 gall. cask (beer measure), with 1 oz. of isinglass. Slice 4 lemons into the cask, taking out all the seeds, and yeast. Leave it unstopped for 3 weeks, and in about 3 months it will be fit for bottling.
There will be 1 gall. of the sugar and water more than the cask will hold at first; this must be kept to fill up as the liquor works off, as it is necessary that the cask should be kept full till it has done working. The raisins should be 2/3 Malaga, and 1/3 Muscatel. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for making this wine.
To make Koumiss, a Tartar Wine
Take of fresh mare’s milk any quantity; add to it 1/3 part of water, and pour the mixture into a wooden vessel. Use as a ferment 1/8 part of skimmed milk, but at any future preparation a small portion of old koumiss will answer better. Cover the vessel with a thick cloth, and set it in a place of moderate warmth; leaving it at rest for 24 hours, at the end of which time the milk will become sour, and a thick substance will be gathered on its top. Now, with a churn staff, beat it till the thick substance above-mentioned be blended intimately with the subjacent fluid. In this situation leave it at rest for 24 hours more, after which pour it into a higher and narrower vessel, resembling a churn, where the agitation must be repeated as before, till the liquor appears to be perfectly homogenous. In this state it is called koumiss; of which the taste ought to be a pleasant mixture of sweet and sour. Agitation must be employed every time before it is used. Sometimes aromatic herbs, as Angelica, are infused in the liquor during fermentation.
To make Rhubarb Wine
Take of sliced rhubarb, 2 1/2 oz.; lesser cardamon seeds, bruised and husked, 1/2 oz.; saffron, 2 drs.; Spanish white wine, 2 pints, proof spirit, 1/2 pint. Digest for 10 days and strain. This is a warm, cordial, laxative medicine. It is used chiefly in weakness of the stomach and bowels, and some kinds of looseness. It may be given in doses of from 1/2 spoonful to 3 or 4 spoonfuls or more, according to the circumstances of the disorder and the strength of the patient.
To make Sage Wine
Boil 26 quarts of spring-water 1/4 of an hour, and when it is blood warm put 25 lbs. of Malaga raisins picked, rubbed and shred, into it, with almost 1/2 bushel of red sage shred, and a small pitcher of ale yeast; stir all well together and let it stand in a tub covered warm 6 or 7 days, stirring it once a day, then strain it off and put it in a runlet. Let it work 3 or 4 days, and then stop it up; when it has stood 6 or 7 days, put in a quart or two of Malaga Sherry, and when it o8 fine bottle it.
To make Turnip Wine
Pare and slice a number of turnips, put them into a cider press and press out all the juice. To every gallon of the juice add 3 lbs. of lump sugar; have a vessel ready large enough to hold the juice and put 1/2 pint of brandy to every gallon. Pour in the juice and lay something over the bung for a week, to see if it works; if it does, do not bung it down till it has done working, then stop it close for 3 months, and draw it off into another vessel. When it is fine bottle it off.
This is an excellent wine for gouty habits, and is much recommended in such oases in lieu of any other wine.
Take a well-glazed earthen vessel and put into it 3 galls. of rose-water drawn with a cold still. Put into that a suf-ficient quantity of rose-leaves, cover it close and set it for an hour in a kettle or copper of hot water, to take out the whole strength and tincture of the roses; and when it is cold press the rose-leaves hard into the liquor, and steep fresh ones in it, repeating it till the liquor has got the full strength of the roses. To every gallon of liquor put 3 lbs. of loaf sugar, and stir it well, that it may melt and disperse in every part. Then put it into a cask or other convenient vessel, to ferment, and put into it a piece of bread toasted hard and covered with yeast. Let it stand about 80 days, when it will be ripe and have a fine flavor, having the whole strength and scent of the roses in it; and it may be greatly improved by adding to it wine and spices. By this method of infusion, wine of carnations, glove gilliflowers, violets, primroses, or any other flower having a curious scent, may be made.
English Fig Wine
Take the large blue figs when pretty ripe, and steep them in white wine, having made some slits in them, that they may swell and gather in the substance of the wine. Then slice some other figs and let them simmer over a fire in water until they are reduced to a kind of pulp. Then strain out the water, pressing the pulp hard, and pour it as hot as possible on the figs that are imbrued in the wine. Let the quantities be nearly equal, but the water somewhat more than the wine and figs. Let them stand 24 hours, mash them well together, and draw off what will run without squeezing. Then press the rest, and if not sweet enough add a sufficient quantity of sugar to make it so. Let it ferment, and add to it a little honey and sugar candy; then fine it with the whites of eggs and a little isinglass, and draw it off for use.
Take 40 lbs. of sugar and 9 galls. of water, boil it gently for 2 hours, skim it well, and put it into a tub to cool. Take 2 1/2 lbs. of the tops of balm, bruise them and put them into a barrel with a little new yeast, and when the liquor is cold pour it on the balm. Stir it well together and let it stand 24 hours, stirring it often. Then close it up, and let it stand 6 weeks. Then rack it off and put a lump of sugar into every bottle. Cork it well, and it will be better the second year than the first.
To make Scurvy-Grass Wine
Take the best large scurvy-grass tops and leaves, in May, June, or July; bruise them well in a stone mortar, put them in a well-glazed earthen vessel and sprinkle them over with some powder of crystal of tartar; then smear them with virgin honey, and being covered close, let it stand 24 hours. Set water over a gentle fire, putting to every gallon 3 pints of honey, and when the scum rises take it off and let it cool, then put the stamped scurvy grass into a barrel, and pour the liquor to it, setting the vessel conveniently endways, with a tap at the bottom.
When it has been infused 24 hours, draw off the liquor, strongly press the juice and moisture out of the herb into the barrel or vessel, and put the liquor up again; then put a little Dew yeast to it, and suffer it to ferment 3 days, covering the place of the bung or vent with a piece of bread spread over with mustard seed, downward, in a cool place, and let it continue till it is fine and drinks brisk. Draw off the finest part, leaving only the dregs behind; afterwards add more herbs, and ferment it with whites of eggs, flour, and fixed nitre, verjuice, or the juice of green grapes, if they are to be had; to which add 6 lbs. of the syrup of mustard, all mixed and well beaten together, to refine it down, and it will drink brisk, but is not very pleasant; being here inserted among artificial wines rather for the sake of health, than for the delightfulness of its taste.
To make Cheap and Wholesome Claret
Take a quart of fine draft Devonshire cider, and an equal quantity of good Port. Mix them, and shake them. Bottle them, and let them stand for a month.
- From the Household Cyclopedia,1881