Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines
The idea of compiling this little volume occurred to me while on a visit to some friends at their summer home in a quaint New England village. The little town had once been a thriving seaport, but now consisted of hardly more than a dozen old-fashioned Colonial houses facing each other along one broad, well-kept street. A few blind lanes led to less pretentious homes; and still farther back farmhouses dotted the landscape and broke the dead line of the horizon.
The best method of making these wines is to boil the ingredients, and ferment with yeast. Boiling makes the wine more soft and mellow. Some, however, mix the juice, or juice and fruit, with sugar and water unboiled, and leave the ingredients to ferment spontaneously. Your fruit should always be prime, and gathered dry, and picked clean from stalks, etc. The lees of wine are valuable for distillation, or making vinegar. When wine is put in the cask the fermentation will be renewed. Clear away the yeast as it rises, and fill up with wine, for which purpose a small quantity should be reserved. If brandy is to be added, it must be when the fermentation has nearly subsided, that is, when no more yeast is thrown up at the bung-hole, and when the hissing noise is not very perceptible; then mix a quart of brandy with a pound of honey, pour into the cask, and paste stiff brown paper over the bung-hole. Allow no hole for a vent peg, lest it should once be forgotten, and the whole cask of wine be spoiled. If the wine wants vent it will be sure to burst the paper; if not the paper will sufficiently exclude the air. Once a week or so it may be looked to; if the paper is burst, renew it, and continue to do so until it remains clear and dry.
A great difference of opinion prevails as to racking the wine, or suffering it to remain on the lees. Those who adopt the former plan do it at the end of six months; draw off the wine perfectly clear, and put it into a fresh cask, in which it is to remain six months, and then be bottled. If this plan is adopted, it may be better, instead of putting the brandy and honey in the first cask, to put it in that in which the wine is to be racked; but on the whole, it is, perhaps, preferable to leave the wine a year in the first cask, and then bottle it at once.
All British wines improve in the cask more than in the bottle. Have very nice clear and dry bottles; do not fill them too high. Good soft corks, made supple by soaking in a little of the wine; press them in, but do not knock. Keep the bottles lying in sawdust. This plan will apply equally well to raspberries, cherries, mulberries, and all kinds of ripe summer fruits.
COLORING FOR WINES
One pound of white sugar. Put into an iron kettle, let boil, and burn to a red black, and thick; remove from the fire, and add a little hot water, to keep it from hardening as it cools; then bottle for use.
FINING OR CLEARING
For fining or clearing the wine use one quarter pound of isinglass, dissolved in a portion of the wine, to a barrel. This must be put in after the fermentation is over, and should be added gently at the bung-hole, and managed so as to spread as much as possible over the upper surface of the liquid; the intention being that the isinglass should unite with impurities and carry them with it to the bottom.
TO FLAVOR WINE
When the vinous fermentation is about half-over, the flavoring ingredients are to be put into the vat and well stirred into the contents. If almonds form a component part, they are first to be beaten to a paste and mixed with a pint or two of the must. Nutmegs, cinnamon, ginger, seeds, etc., should, before they are put into the vat, be reduced to powder, and mixed with some of the must.
TO MELLOW WINE
Wine, either in bottle or wood, will mellow much quicker when only covered with pieces of bladder well secured, than with corks or bungs. The bladder allows the watery particles to escape, but is impervious to alcohol.
TO REMOVE THE TASTE OF THE CASK FROM WINE
Finest oil of olives, one pound. Put it into the hogshead, bung close, and roll it about, or otherwise well agitate it, for three or four hours, then gib, and allow it to settle. The olive oil will gradually rise to the top and carry the ill flavor with it.
TO REMOVE ROPINESS FROM WINE
Add a little catechu or a small quantity of the bruised berries of the mountain ash.
TO RESTORE WINE WHEN SOUR OR SHARP
1. Fill a bag with leek-seed, or of leaves or twisters of vine, and put either of them to infuse in the cask.
2. Put a small quantity of powdered charcoal in the wine, shake it, and after it has remained still for forty-eight hours, decant steadily.
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TO MAKE APPLE WINE
To every gallon of apple juice, immediately as it comes from the press, add two pounds 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 two or three weeks, or till the head begins to flatten; then skim off the head, drain it clear off and tun it. When made a year, rack it off and fine it with isinglass; then add one-half pint of the best rectified spirit of wine or a pint of French brandy to every eight gallons.
Take three pounds of sugar, and three quarts of water; let them boil together and skim it well. Then put in six pounds of apricocks, pared and stoned, and let them boil until they are tender; then take them up and when the liquor is cold bottle it up. You may if you please, after you have taken out the apricocks, let the liquor have one boil with a sprig of flowered clary in it; the apricocks make marmalade, and are very good for preserves.
Take ten pounds of sugar, six quarts of water, boil it gently for two hours; skim it well and put it into a tub to cool. Take three-quarters pound 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 twenty-four hours, stirring it often. Then close it up and let it stand six 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 BARLEY WINE
Take one-half pound of French barley and boil it in three waters, and save three pints of the last water, and mix it with one quart of white wine, one-half pint of borage water, as much clary water, a little red rose-water, the juice of five or six lemons, three-quarters pound of fine sugar, the thin yellow rind of a lemon. Brew all these quick together, run it through a strainer, and bottle it up. It is pleasant in hot weather, and very good in fevers.
TO MAKE BEER AND ALE FROM PEA-SHELLS
Fill a boiler with green shells of peas, pour on water till it rises half an inch above the shells, and simmer for three hours. Strain off the liquor, and add a strong decoction of wood-sage, or hops, so as to render it pleasantly bitter; ferment with yeast, and bottle.
The liquor of the birch-tree is to be obtained in the month of March, when the sap begins to ascend. One foot from the ground bore a hole in each tree, large enough to admit a faucet, and set a vessel under; the liquor will run for two or three days without hurting the tree. Having obtained a sufficient quantity, stop the holes with pegs. To each gallon of the liquor add one quart of honey, or two and one-half pounds of sugar. Boil together one hour, stirring it well. A few cloves may be added for flavor, or the rind of a lemon or two; and by all means one ounce of hops to four and one-half gallons of wine.
Work it with yeast, tun, and refine with isinglass. Two months after making, it may be drawn off and bottled, and in two months more will be fit for use, but will improve by keeping.
Bruise the berries well with the hands. To one gallon of fruit, add one-half gallon of water, and let stand overnight. Strain and measure, and to each gallon of juice add two and one-half pounds of sugar. Put in cask and let ferment. Tack thin muslin over top, and when fermentation stops, pour into jugs or kegs. Wine keeps best in kegs.
(other methods of making)
1. Having procured berries that are fully ripe, put them into a tub or pan with a tap to it, and pour upon them as much boiling water as will just 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 toward the top, which they usually do in three or four days. Then draw off the clear liquor into another vessel, and add to every ten quarts of this liquor four pounds of sugar. Stir it well, and let it stand to work a week or ten days; then filter it through a flannel jelly-bag into a cask. Take now four ounces of isinglass and lay it to steep for twelve hours in one pint of blackberry juice. The next morning boil it over a slow fire for one-half hour with one quart or three pints more juice, and pour it into the cask. When cool, rouse it well, and leave it to settle for a few days, then rack it off into a clean cask, and bung it down.
2. The following is said to be an excellent recipe for the manufacture of a superior wine from blackberries: Measure your berries, and bruise them; to every gallon, add one quart of boiling water. Let the mixture stand twenty-four hours, stirring occasionally; then strain off the liquor into a cask, to every gallon adding two pounds of sugar. Cork tight and let stand till the following October, and you will have wine ready for use, without any further straining or boiling, that will make lips smack, as they never smacked under similar influence before.
3. Gather when ripe, on a dry day. Put into a vessel, with the head out, and a tap fitted near the bottom; pour on them boiling water to cover them. Mash the berries with your hands, and let them stand covered till the pulp rises to the top and forms a crust, in three or four days. Then draw off the fluid into another vessel, and to every gallon add one pound of sugar. Mix well, and put into a cask, to work for a week or ten days, and throw off any remaining lees, keeping the cask well filled, particularly at the commencement. When the working has ceased, bung it down; after six to twelve months, it may be bottled.
FINE BRANDY SHRUB
Take one ounce of citric acid, one pint of porter, one and one-half pints of raisin wine, one gill of orange-flower water, one gallon of good brandy, two and one-quarter quarts of water. First, dissolve the citric acid in the water, then add to it the brandy; next, mix the raisin wine, porter, and orange-flower water together; and lastly, mix the whole, and in a week or ten days it will be ready for drinking and of a very mellow flavor.
Seven quarts good cider (crab-apple cider is the best), one pint best fourth-proof brandy, one quart genuine champagne wine, one quart milk, one-half ounce of bitartrate of potassa. Mix and let stand a short time; bottle while fermenting. An excellent imitation.
To two ounces of powdered loaf sugar, put the juice and rind of one lemon pared thin; pour over these a large glass of dry sherry, and let it stand for an hour; then add one bottle of sparkling champagne and one bottle of soda water, a thin slice of fresh cucumber with the rind on, a sprig of borage or balm, and pour on blocks of clear ice.
To every five pounds of rhubarb, when sliced and bruised, put one gallon of cold spring water. Let it stand three days, stirring two or three times every day; then press and strain it through a sieve, and to every gallon of liquor, put three and one-half pounds of loaf sugar. Stir it well, and when melted, barrel it. When it has done working, bung it up close, first suspending a muslin bag with isinglass from the bung into the barrel. To eight gallons of liquor, put two ounces of isinglass. In six months bottle it and wire the bottles; let them stand up for the first month, then lay four or five down lengthways for a week, and if none burst, all may be laid down. Should a large quantity be made, it must remain longer in cask. It may be colored pink by putting in a quart of raspberry juice. It will keep for many years.
Fourteen pounds loaf sugar, twelve pounds brown sugar (pale), ten gallons warm water, one ounce white tartar. Mix, and at a proper temperature add one pint yeast. Afterwards, add one gallon sweet cider, two or three bitter almonds (bruised), one quart pale spirit, one-eighth ounce orris powder.
Champagne cider is made as follows: To five gallons of good cider put three pints of strained honey, or one and one-eighth pounds of good white sugar. Stir well and set it aside for a week. Clarify the cider with one-half gill of skimmed milk, or one teaspoonful of dissolved isinglass, and add one and one-half pints of pure spirits. After two or three days bottle the clear cider, and it will become sparkling. In order to produce a slow fermentation, the casks containing the fermenting liquor must be bunged up tight. It is a great object to retain much of the carbonic gas in the cider, so as to develop itself after being bottled.
CHAMPAGNE CIDER, NO. 2
One hogshead good pale vinous cider, three gallons proof spirit (pale), fourteen pounds honey or sugar. Mix, and let them remain together in a temperate situation for one month; then add one quart orange-flower water, and fine it down with one-half gallon skimmed milk. This will be very pale; and a similar article, when bottled in champagne bottles, silvered and labelled, has been often sold to the ignorant for champagne. It opens very brisk, if managed properly.
TO MAKE ENGLISH CHAMPAGNE, OR THE FINE CURRANT WINE
Take to three gallons of water nine pounds of Lisbon sugar; boil the water and sugar one-half hour, skim it clean. Then have one gallon of currants picked, but not bruised. Pour the liquor boiling hot over them, and when cold, work it with one-half pint of balm two days; then pour it through a flannel or sieve; then put it into a barrel fit for it, with one-half ounce of isinglass well bruised. When it has done working, stop it close for a month. Then bottle it, and in every bottle put a very small lump of double refined sugar. This is excellent wine, and has a beautiful color.
One lemon sliced, one tablespoon tartaric acid, one ounce of race-ginger, one and one-half pounds sugar, two and one-half gallons of boiling water poured on the above. When blood warm, add one gill of distillery yeast, or two gills of home-brewed. Let it stand in the sun through the day. When cold, in the evening, bottle, cork, and wire it. In two days it is ready for use.
CHEAP AND AGREEABLE TABLE BEER
Take four and one-half gallons of water and boil one half, putting the other into a barrel; add the boiling water to the cold with one quart of molasses and a little yeast. Keep the bung-hole open until fermentation ceases.
Four quarts of wild cherries stemmed and well washed, four quarts of water. (I put mine in a big yellow bowl, and cover with double cheese-cloth, and set behind the kitchen stove for two weeks.) Skim every few days. Then strain, add three-quarters pound sugar to each quart of liquid, and let ferment again. This takes about two weeks. When it stops working, add rum,—about two bottles full for this quantity. (It is good without any rum.)
CHERRY BOUNCE, NO. 2
One quart of rum to one quart of wild cherries, and three-quarters pound of sugar. Put into a jug, and at first give it a frequent shake. Let it stand for several months before you pour off and bottle. A little water put on to the cherries left in the jug will make a pleasant and less ardent drink.
CHERRY BOUNCE, NO. 3
One gallon of good whiskey, one and one-half pints of wild black cherries bruised so as to break the stones, two ounces of common almonds shelled, two ounces of white sugar, one-half teaspoonful cinnamon, one-quarter teaspoonful cloves, one-quarter teaspoonful nutmeg, all bruised. Let stand twelve to thirteen days, and draw off. This, with the addition of one-half gallon of brandy, makes very nice cherry bounce.
TO MAKE CHERRY WINE
Pull off the stalks of the cherries, and mash them without breaking the stones; then press them hard through a hair bag, and to every gallon of liquor, put two pounds of sugar. The vessel must be full, and let it work as long as it makes a noise in the vessel; then stop it up close for a month or more, and when it is fine, draw it into dry bottles, and put a lump of sugar into every bottle. If it makes them fly, open them all for a moment, and then stop them up again. It will be fit to drink in a quarter of a year.
CHERRY WINE, NO. 2
Fifteen pounds of cherries, two pounds of currants. Bruise them together. Mix with them two-thirds of the kernels, and put the whole of the cherries, currants, and kernels into a barrel, with one-quarter pound of sugar to every pint of juice. The barrel must be quite full. Cover the barrel with vine leaves, and sand above them, and let it stand until it has done working, which will be in about three weeks; then stop it with a bung, and in two months' time it may be bottled.
2. Gather the cherries when quite ripe. Pull them from their stalks, and press them through a hair sieve. To every gallon of the liquor add two pounds of lump sugar finely beaten; stir all together, and put it into a vessel that will just hold it. When it has done fermenting, stop it very close for three months, and then bottle it off for use.
GENERAL RULES FOR MAKING CIDER
Always choose perfectly ripe and sound fruit. Pick the apples by hand. (An active boy with the bag slung over his shoulder will soon clear a tree. Apples that have lain any time on the soil contract an earthy taste, which will always be found in the cider.)
After sweating, and before being ground, wipe them dry, and if any are found bruised or rotten, put them in a heap by themselves, for an inferior cider to make vinegar.
Always use hair cloths, instead of straw, to place between the layers of pomace. The straw when heated, gives a disagreeable taste to the cider.
As the cider runs from the press, let it pass through a hair sieve into a large open vessel that will hold as much juice as can be expressed in one day. In a day, or sometimes less, the pomace will rise to the top, and in a short time grow very thick. When little white bubbles break through it, draw off the liquor by a spigot, placed about three inches from the bottom, so that the lees may be left quietly behind.
The cider must be drawn off into very clean, sweet casks and closely watched. The moment the white bubbles before mentioned are perceived rising at the bung-hole, rack it again. When the fermentation is completely at an end, fill up the cask with cider, in all respects like that already contained in it, and bung it up tight, previous to which a tumbler of sweet oil may be poured into the bung-hole.
After being made and barrelled it should be allowed to ferment until it acquires the desired flavor, for perfectly sweet cider is not desirable. In the meantime clean barrels for its reception should be prepared thus: Some clean strips of rag are dipped into melted sulphur, lighted and hung in the bung-hole, and the bung laid loosely on the end of the rag. This is to allow the sulphur vapor to well fill the barrel. Tie up a half-pint of mustard-seed in a coarse muslin rag and put it into the barrel, then put your cider in. Now add the isinglass, which “fines” the cider but does not help to keep it sweet. This is the old-fashioned way, and will keep cider in the same condition as it went into the barrel, if kept in a cool place, for a year.
The sulphur vapor checks the fermentation, and the sulphur in the mustard-seed keeps it checked. We hear that professional cider dealers are now using the bisulphite of lime instead of the mustard-seed and the sulphur vapor. This bisulphite of lime is the same as the “preserving powder.” It is only another form of using the sulphur, but it is more convenient and perhaps more effectual. Another method is to add sugar, one and a half pounds sugar to a gallon of the cider, and let it ferment. This makes a fermented, clear, good cider, but sweet. It lasts sweet about six months, if kept in a cool situation.
Preparatory to bottling cider it should be examined, to see whether it be clear and sparkling. If not, it should be clarified in a similar way to beer, and left for a fortnight. The night before it is intended to put it Into bottles, the bung should be taken out of the cask, and left so until the next day, when it may be bottled, but not corked down until the day after, as, if this be done at once, many of the bottles will burst by keeping. The best corks and champagne bottles should be used, and it is usual to wire and cover the corks with tinfoil, after the manner of champagne. A few bottles may be kept in a warm place to ripen, or a small piece of lump sugar may be put into each bottle before corking, if the cider be wanted for immediate use, or for consumption during the cooler portion of the year, but for warm weather and for long keeping this is inadmissible. The bottled stock should be stored in a cool cellar, when the quality will be greatly improved by age.
TO CAN CIDER
Cider, if taken when first made, brought to the boiling heat, and canned, precisely as fruit is canned, will keep from year to year without any change of taste. Canned up this way in the fall, it may be kept a half-dozen years or longer, as good as when first made. It is better that the cider be settled and poured off from the dregs, and when brought to boiling heat the scum that gathers on the surface taken off; but the only precaution necessary to preservation of the cider is the sealing of it air tight when boiling hot.
The juice of other fruit can, no doubt, be preserved in the same way. To all tastes not already corrupted by strong drinks, these unfermented juices are very delicious. The juice of the grape is better than wine a century old, and more healthy. Churches believing in literal eating and drinking at the Lord's supper could in this way avoid the poisonous fermented spirits and drink the pure unfermented juice of the grape, as was doubtless done by the primitive Christians.
To prepare cider for boiling, the first process is to filter it immediately on coming from the press. This is easiest done by placing some sticks crosswise in the bottom of a barrel,—a flour barrel with a single head is the best,—wherein an inch hole has been bored, and covering these sticks with say four inches of clean rye or wheat straw, and then filling the barrel to within a foot of the top with clean sand or coal dust,—sand is the best. Pour the cider as it comes from the press into the top of this barrel, drawing it off as soon as it comes out at the bottom into air-tight casks, and let it stand in the cellar until March. Then draw it out with as little exposure to the air as possible, put it into bottles that can be tightly and securely corked, and in two months it will be fit for use.
TO CLEAR CIDER
To clear and improve cider generally take two quarts of ground horseradish and one pound of thick gray filtering paper to the barrel, and either shake or stir until the paper has separated into small shreds, and let it stand for twenty-four hours, when the cider may be drawn off by means of a siphon or a stop cock. Instead of paper, a preparation of wool may be taken, which is to be had in the market, and which is preferable to paper, as it has simply to be washed with water, when it may be used again.
CIDER, TO PRESERVE AND KEEP SWEET
1. To one barrel of cider, put in one pound of mustard-seed, two pounds of raisins, one-quarter pound of the sticks (bark) of cinnamon. 2. When the cider in the barrel is in a lively fermentation, add as much white sugar as will be equal to one-quarter or three-quarters of a pound to each gallon of cider (according as the apples are sweet or sour); let the fermentation proceed until the liquid has the taste to suit, then add one-quarter of an ounce of sulphite (not sulphate) of lime to each gallon of cider, shake well, and let it stand three days, and bottle for use.
The sulphite should first be dissolved in a quart or so of cider before introducing it into the barrel of cider. 3. When fermentation commences in one barrel, draw off the liquor into another one, straining through a flannel cloth. Put into the cider three-quarters of an ounce of the oil of sassafras, and the same of the oil of winter green, well shaken up in a pint of alcohol. But one difficulty is said to pertain to this preparation of cider. It is so palatable that people won't keep it long.
Five gallons good cider, one quart spirit, one and one-quarter pounds honey or sugar. Mix, and let them rest for a fortnight, then fine with one gill of skimmed milk. This, put up in champagne bottles, silvered, and labelled, has often been sold for champagne. It opens very sparkling.
Seven gallons of apple cider, two quarts of dried black cherries, one pint of dried blueberries, one-half pint of elderberries, eighteen pounds of brown sugar.
The apples, after being plucked, are left in heaps in the orchard for some time, to complete their ripening, and render them more saccharine. They are then crushed between grooved cylinders, surmounted by a hopper, or in a circular trough, by two vertical edge-wheels of wood moved by a horse; after passing through which, they are received into large tubs or crocks, and are then called pomace. They are afterwards laid on the vat in alternate layers of the pomace and clean straw, called reeds. They are then pressed, a little water being occasionally added. The juice passes through a hair sieve, or similar strainer, and is received in a large vessel, whence it is run into casks or open vats, where everything held in mechanical suspension is deposited.
The fermentation is often slow of being developed; though the juice be set in November or December, the working sometimes hardly commences till March. Till this time the cider is sweet; it now becomes pungent and vinous, and is ready to be racked for use. If the fermentation continue, it is usual to rack it again into a clean cask that has been well sulphured out, and to leave behind the head and sediment; or two or three cans of cider are put into a clean cask, and a match of brimstone burned in it. It is then agitated, by which the fermentation of that quantity is completely stopped. The cask is then nearly filled, the fermentation of the whole is checked, the process of racking is repeated until it becomes so, and is continued from time to time till the cider is in a quiet state and fit for drinking.
If it is desired to bottle this cider by manufacturers of small drinks, you will proceed as follows: five gallons hot water, thirty pounds brown sugar, three-quarters pound tartaric acid, twenty-five gallons cold water, three pints of hops or brewers' yeast worked into paste with three-quarters pound flour, and one pint water will be required in making this paste. Put all together in a barrel, which it will fill, and let it work twenty-four hours, the yeast running out at a bung all the time, by putting in a little occasionally to keep it full. Then bottle, putting in two or three broken raisins to each bottle, and it will nearly equal champagne.
Stir the powder and cider until intimately mixed, and return the emulsion to the fermenting liquid. Agitate briskly and thoroughly for a few moments, and then let the cider settle. Fermentation will cease at once. When, after a few days, the cider has become clear, draw off carefully, to avoid the sediment, and bottle. If loosely corked, which is better, it will become a sparkling cider wine, and may be kept indefinitely long.
Boil fourteen pounds of good moist sugar with five gallons of water, and one ounce of hops. Shave thin the rinds of eight lemons or Seville oranges, or part of each; they must be put in the boil the last quarter of an hour, or the boiling liquor poured over them. Squeeze the juice to be added when cool, and rinse the pulp in the hot liquor, and keep it filled up, either with wine or new beer, as long as it works over; then paste brown paper, and leave it for four, six, or eight months.
The quantity of flowers is one quart of flowers to each gallon of wine. Let them be gathered on a fine, dry day, and carefully picked from every bit of stalk and green. Spread them thinly on trays, sheets, or papers, and turn them often. When thoroughly dry put them in paper bags, until the wine is ready to receive them. Put them in at the bung-hole; stir them down two or three times a day, till all the cowslips have sunk; at the same time add isinglass.
Then paste over again with paper. In six months the wine will be fit to bottle, but will be improved by keeping longer in the cask. The pips shrink into a very small compass in drying; the quantity allowed is of fresh-gathered flowers. Observe, also, that wine well boiled, and refined with hops and isinglass, is just as good used from the cask as if bottled, which is a great saving of time and hazard. Wine made on the above principles has been often praised by connoisseurs, and supposed to have been bottled half a day.
Then put the juice in a vessel,—a demijohn, keg, or barrel,—of a size to suit the quantity made, and to each quart of juice add three pounds of the best yellow sugar, and soft water sufficient to make a gallon. Thus, ten quarts of juice and thirty pounds of sugar will give you ten gallons of wine, and so on in proportion. Those who do not like sweet wine can reduce the quantity of sugar to two and one-half, or who wish it very sweet, raise to three and one-half pounds per gallon. The vessel must be full, and the bung or stopper left off until fermentation ceases, which will be in twelve or fifteen days. Meanwhile, the cask must be filled up daily with currant juice left over, as fermentation throws out the impure matter.
When fermentation ceases, rack the wine off carefully, either from the spigot or by a siphon, and keep running all the time. Cleanse the cask thoroughly with boiling water, then return the wine, bung up tightly, and let it stand four or five months, when it will be fit to drip, and can be bottled if desired. All the vessels, casks, etc., should be perfectly sweet, and the whole operation should be done with an eye to cleanliness. In such event, every drop of brandy or other spirituous liquors added will detract from the flavor of the wine, and will not in the least degree increase its keeping qualities. Currant wine made in this way will keep for an age.
2. Pick your currants when ripe on a fair day, crush them well, and to every gallon of juice add two gallons of water and three pounds of sugar; if you wish it sweeter, add another one-half pound of sugar. Mix all together in some large vessel, then dip out into earthen jars. Let it stand to ferment in some cool place, skimming it every other morning. In about ten days it will be ready to strain off; bottle and seal, or put in a cask and cork tight. The longer you keep it the better it will be.
DAMSON, OR BLACK CHERRY WINE
Damson, or Black Cherry Wine may be made in the same manner, excepting the addition of spice, and that the sugar should be finer. If kept in an open vessel four days, these wines will ferment of themselves; but it is better to forward the process by the use of a little yeast, as in former recipes. They will be fit for use in about eight months. As there is a flatness belonging to both these wines if bottled, a teaspoonful of rice, a lump or two of sugar, or four or five raisins will tend to enliven it.
To one hogshead of strong ale take a heaped bushel of elderberries, and one-half pound of juniper-berries beaten. Put in all the berries when you put in the hops, and let them boil together till the berries break in pieces, then work it up as you do ale. When it has done working add to it one-half pound of ginger, one-half ounce of cloves, one-half ounce of mace, one ounce of nutmegs, one ounce of cinnamon, grossly beaten, one-half pound of citron, one-half pound of eringo root, and likewise of candied orange-peel. Let the sweetmeats be cut in pieces very thin, and put with the spice into a bag, and hang it in the vessel when you stop it up. So let it stand till it is fine, then bottle it up, and drink it with lumps of double refined sugar in the glass.
Take the flowers of elder, and be careful that you don't let any stalks in; to every quart of flowers put one gallon of water, and three pounds of loaf sugar. Boil the water and sugar a quarter of an hour, then pour it on the flowers and let it work three days; then strain the wine through a hair sieve, and put it into a cask. To every ten gallons of wine add one ounce of isinglass dissolved in cider, and six whole eggs. Close it up and let it stand six months, and then bottle it.
TO MAKE ELDER WINE
Take five pounds of Malaga raisins, rub them and shred them small; then take one gallon of water, boil it an hour, and let it stand till it is but blood-warm; then put it in an earthen crock or tub, with your raisins. Let them steep ten days, stirring them once or twice a day; then pass the liquor through a hair sieve, and have in readiness one pint of the juice of elderberries drawn off as you do for jelly of currants; then mix it cold with the liquor, stir it well together, put it into a vessel, and let it stand in a warm place. When it has done working, stop it close. Bottle it about Candlemas.
The proportions of this may vary. Loaf sugar is preferable to moist; some say a pound to a gallon, others a pound and a half. Some allow but half an ounce of ginger (sliced or bruised) to a gallon, others an ounce. A lemon to a gallon is the usual proportion, to which some add a quarter of an ounce or half an ounce of cream of tartar. The white of an egg to each gallon is useful for clarifying, but not absolutely necessary. Some people put a quarter of a pint of brandy to four gallons of beer by way of keeping it; half an ounce of hops boiled in it would answer the same purpose. Boil the sugar, and shaved rind of lemons; let it boil half an hour. Clear the lemons of the white pith and put them in the wine. When cool, stir in the yeast (two tablespoonfuls to a gallon), put it in the barrel without straining, and bung close. In a fortnight draw off and bottle. It will be ready for use in another fortnight, and will keep longer than ginger pop. If cream of tartar is used, pour the boiling liquor over it, but do not boil it.
GINGER BEER, NO. 2
Seven pounds crushed white sugar, eight gallons water, one-half cup of yeast, four ounces best powdered ginger, a few drops of essence of lemon, one-half teaspoonful essence of cloves. To the ginger pour one pint of boiling water and let it stand fifteen or twenty minutes. Dissolve the sugar in two quarts of warm water, pour both into a barrel half-filled with cold water, then add the essence and the yeast; let it stand one-half hour, then fill up with cold water. Let it ferment six to twelve hours and bottle.
Take four gallons of water, ten pounds of loaf sugar, one and one-quarter pounds of bruised ginger, one ounce of hops, the shaved rinds of five lemons or Seville oranges. Let these boil together for two hours, carefully skimming. Pour it, without straining, on to two pounds of raisins. When cool, put in the juice of the lemons or oranges; rinse the pulp in a pint or two of the wine, and strain it to the rest. Ferment it with yeast; mix one-half cup of solid yeast with a pint or two of the wine, and with that work the rest. Next day tun it, raisins, hops, ginger, and all together, and fill it up for a fortnight either with wine or with good new beer; then dissolve one ounce of isinglass in a little of the wine, and return it to the rest to fine it. A few days afterward bung it close.
This wine will be in full perfection in six months. It may be bottled, but is apt to fly; and if made exactly by the above directions, and drawn from the cask, it will sparkle like champagne.
For currant wine four pounds of honey, dissolved in seven gallons of boiling water, to which, when clarified, is added the juice of four pounds of red or white currants. It is then fermented for twenty-four hours and one pound of sugar to every one gallon of water is added. The preparation is afterward clarified with 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 is mixed with sugar in the proportion of three pounds to every two gallons of juice. It is then left in a quiet state for fifteen days, at the expiration of which it is carefully poured off and left to ferment for three months, when the quantity is under fifteen gallons, and five months when double that quantity. It is then bottled and soon becomes fit for drinking.