There are a few rules to be observed in brewing, which are equally indispensible as they are simple. Put all liquids into clean, dry, well fumigated casks; as a wet cask checks fermentation, and a musty one effectually spoils the liquor. Never suffer fermented liquors of any kind to overwork themselves before the spirit is added, nor bung the cask close while the hissing continues. Cleanliness and care must be the brewer’s motto, every thing depends upon watching the fermentation and the state of the vessels.
Take equal quantities of currants red, white, and black, red gooseberries, yellow, and green, mulberries, rasps, strawberries, grapes, cherries, and the best apples of all the various kinds, fully ripe; mash their all in a tub, to each gallon of fruit allow half a gallon of water, boil it twice a week for fourteen days, then pass it through a hair bag, or coarse temmy cloth. To a hogshead allow one hundred and twelve pounds raisins, with their stalks; mix it well, lay the bang loose on the top; when the fermentation is almost over strain it into another cask, squeezing the raisins, then add four gallons good spirits and a handful of bay leaves, bung it close; at the end of six months peg it, and if clear bottle it off; if not, add gill of fining and shut it up other six months. If the acid predominates, correct it by adding half a pound pounded chalk, or a little salt of tartar. It improves by keeping.
Clarify eighteen pounds lump sugar, add ten gallons water, and let it boil, skim it and pour the liquor into an open headed cask; then put in three quarters of a peck of elder flowers of the white kind, in full blossom, ten pounds Smyrna raisins bruised, and the juice of six lemons; when lukewarm, add two gills good yeast, work it well down among the liquor and stir it daily five days, then squeeze the fruit and flowers quite dry from the liquor, let it settle twenty four hours and strain it into a clean cask; when the fermentation is almost over bung it up, let it stand eight weeks, then rack it clear off into a clean cask, adding two gallons good spirits, and if not very transparent stir in half a gill of fining; bung it up and bottle it at the end of four months.
For a twenty gallon cask take nine gallons water, ten gallons (or twenty pints) good currants fully ripe, mash them well, put all through a cullender, squeeze the juice thoroughly from the fruit, repeatedly throwing the water over and squeezing again till they are quite tasteless, then add twenty-eight pounds either lump, or good raw sugar, stir till it is dissolved, and let it remain one night; then pass all through a hair sieve into the cask, with eight ounces bitter almonds pounded; let it ferment a few days, carefully filling up the cask with currant juice or water, then add a little salt of tartar, or half a pound of chalk pounded, which takes off the acidity and renders the wine more like foreign; when the fermentation is nearly over, add half a gallon spirits, and when the hissing ceases bung it up; at the end of four months bottle it off. The above receipt makes good wine, but it may be made stronger or weaker by adding or diminishing the fruit, sugar, and spirits, and rendered mild by the addition of the tartar or chalk. Blackberry, mulberry, and raspberry wine, is made after the same manner.
When the fruit is fully ripe core and bruise them, and to each gallon of juice take two pounds and a half of sugar, stirring it together till the sugar is dissolved; put it in a cask and proceed as above.
The fruit should be of the best kind and fully ripe; to every ten pounds of gooseberries, allow three quarts (choppins) of water, bruise the fruit, mix it well with the water, and let it stand all night; then squeeze it through a hair sieve, or bag, allowing nothing but the pulp to pass; to this quantity dissolve four pounds lump or good raw sugar, and put all into a clean cask; reserve a little juice to fill up the cask as it wastes; when the fermentation ceases stir in a gill of strong fining and bung it close; let it remain two months, then rack it off into another cask, and to every gallon of the liquor add one quart (choppin) of good spirits; bung it again, and when the weather is very cold bottle it off, putting one or two cloves into each, and corking it well. The above answers for all kinds of gooseberries, particularly the pearl kind.
Take eighteen good lemons, pare off the rhind very thin and lay it two days in a quart (choppin) good spirits. For a ten gallon cask (twenty pints Scots) take sixteen pounds sugar, dissolve it in four gallons of water and clarify with six whites of eggs well beat in it; bruise twenty ounces of ginger in a mortar, boil all an hour, throw it into an open headed cask, or tub, adding cold water to make up the quantity of liquor; when lukewarm squeeze in the lemon juice, mixing it well, also one gill yeast, stir it well and let it work while the fermentation seems brisk, but when it appears to weaken rack it into another cask, adding one gallon spirits, including the quart in which the rhinds were infused; when done hissing bung it close, let it remain till perfectly pure, then bottle it, observing to put it in a very cold place, as it is apt to ferment.
Take twenty pounds raisins, lay them in warm water an hour, pour it off and bruise them well; boil six gallons (twelve pints), when blood heat pour it over the raisins, stirring it well several times a day; till the strength of the fermentation is over; then take a dozen Seville oranges, pare them very thin and infuse the rhinds in half a gallon of good rectified spirits, squeeze the oranges and make a rich clarified syrup of the juice (p. 45.) with two pounds of sugar; then strain the liquor into a cask, pressing the fruit till quite dry and tasteless; strain through the syrup, add the spirits, mix all well together and bung it up for ten weeks; if you chuse add one gill of fining and a few ounces pounded chalk or magnesia, then bottle it; the longer it is kept, it will be the better. This makes an excellent raisin wine without the oranges. The flavour is varied according to the quality of the raisins, as Malaga, sun, Smyrna, denia, sultana, Belvidera, &c.
Take a dozen lemons, pare the half and infuse the rhinds in a quart of spirits, squeeze the whole, to which add half a gallon of water and sugar to render it sweet; make it boil, when cold add the infusion of the rhinds and one quart of any white wine, strain the whole through a jelly bag into a small cask, stop it, and at the end of three months bottle it off; as it is apt to fly, the corks should be wired; put it in a cool place, and in two months it will be ready.
Put an ounce of picked isinglass into a quart of the wine, letting it infuse two days in a gradual heat till it is dissolved; put it into a jar with another quart of the wine, add the whites of six or eight eggs and the shells, whisk it well up and stir it into the cask with a staff, let it have vent a day or two then stop it up; in two or three weeks bottle it off.
May, to a certain degree, be recovered by stirring in a quantity of oyster shell powder, which is obtained by first burning them and pounding all the white soft part; or, with common magnesia or chalk bruised.
May be made to drink as if stale by mixing with every gallon forty or fifty drops of the spirit of salt.
Wine or other liquor that is fading may be recovered by mixing a little of the syrup of cloves, and then fermented by adding a little yeast; when settled, bottle it, put a small bit of sugar and a clove in each bottle and cork them well.
Infuse in strong spirits a quantity of the kernels of peaches, apricots, black cherries, and geans, with an equal quantity of bitter almonds blanched and all bruised; turn up the jar or bottle twice or thrice a week for a month or more, then pour it clear off. Make a syrup of two pounds of refined sugar, add it to the liquor when it is warm; cork it close, turning up and down the jar to make all incorporate; set it in a cool place three months. If not clear filter it through blossom paper, then put it in pint bottles, cork and tie over bladders. The ratafia will be rich according to the quantity of kernels and sugar.
Take four ounces cream of tartar, the juice and parings of four lemons, put them in a large jar, pour on three gallons boiling water; when cold, add a quart of rum and sugar to your taste; strain it through a bag and bottle it, corking very tight.
To two gallons of brandy or highly rectified spirits, put a quart (choppin) of orange flour water, in which dissolve three pounds refined sugar; according as you want it in strength, add apricot kernels bruised and infused for six weeks, then filter it through blossom paper; bitter almonds are sometimes substituted in place of the kernels.
Take two ounces cinnamon, two ounces coriander seed, half an ounce cloves, four drops mace, two nutmegs, two ounces bitter, and two ounces Jordan almonds; bruise all these in a mortar and put them to one gallon strong whisky, let it stand a month, occasionally turning up the bottle the three first weeks; prepare a syrup of three pounds refined sugar well clarified; pour off the liquor, while it runs clear and filter the remaining part through blossom paper; then add the syrup warm, stirring it well to make it incorporate, cork and set it aside eight days, when you will have a most delicious cordial, by many preferred to Noyeau; bottle it in pint (mutchkin) bottles; it will keep any length of time, and in all climates.
Take two gallons raspberries, two gallons shrub gooseberries, and two gallons currants; express the juice thoroughly, then strain it into a cask with equal quantities of strong whisky, or any good spirit, and juice; clarify ten pounds sugar with half a gallon water, add a little salt of tartar, or a lump of chalk, lay on the bung loose the first day, next day stop the cask close; let it stand two months, rack it off into a clean cask, in which it may remain as long as you please; or, when you find it pure bottle it; this will keep twenty years. It may be made entirely with any one of the above fruits.
Fill a twenty gallon cask half full with cold water, make the other half boil and dissolve into it eighteen pounds treacle, and ten ounces, or a pot and a half, of fresh essence of spruce; mix it well in the cask with the cold water, when blood heat add six gills yeast, stir well together by rolling the cask, leave the bung out for three or four days to let it work, bung it close, and eight days after bottle and cork it well; put it into a very cool place on end, when it must not be moved again till ready for use, which will be in fourteen days.
For a cask of ten gallons, (or twenty pints Scots) clarify twelve pounds lump sugar with two gallons of water, stir in six ounces freshest essence of spruce, incorporate this with as much cold water as will fill the cask and half a pint (mutchkin) yeast; roll the cask to mix it well, take out the bung and let it work four days, bottle it off and it will be ready to drink in ten days. A little fining improves it much.
Boil an ounce and a half of fresh hops an hour in two or three gallons of water, add three pounds and a half of treacle, and let all boil fifteen minutes longer; strain it into a cask that will hold ten gallons, and fill it up with cold water; when it is precisely blood heat stir in two gills good yeast, mix it well and let it work till the fermentation is nearly over, add half a gallon of ale or porter, then bottle it; do not fill them too full, as it is apt to burst them. Made exactly after this receipt, it cannot, in winter, be drank pleasantly sooner than ten days, and is only in perfection after fourteen days; when kept cool it will keep good many weeks; when the family have no cellar half the quantity may be made with a less proportion of molasses, it ripens sooner, but will not keep so long. The porter or ale may be omitted at pleasure; any greater quantity may be made following the same proportion. For making yeast, see page 202; raw sugar may be substituted for molasses. Those who do not have a cask may use a large jar, can, or tub, laying a cloth doubled over, skimming off the refuse and straining it through a hair sieve, before bottling it; or the hops may be boiled in a bag.