The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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WINES.                                           427
bruised in a tub or vessel, in such quantities as to insure each berry being broken without crushing the seeds. Pour the water, which should be warm, over the fruit, squeeze and stir with the hand until all the pulp is removed from the skin and seeds, and cover the whole 24 hours; after which strain through a coarse bag and press it with as much force as can conveniently be applied to extract the whole juice and liquor the fruit may contain. To every 40 or 50 pounds of fruit 1 gallon more of hot water may be passed through the husks, in order to obtain any soluable matter that may remain, and be again pressed. The fruit should be put in a tub or vessel of sufficient size to contain all of it, and the sugar added to it. Let it be well strred until the sugar is dissolved, and place the tub in a warm situation ; keep it closely covered and let it ferment for a day or two. It must be drawn off into clean casks, placed a little on one side for the scum that arises to be thrown out and the casks kept filled with the remaining "must" or unfermented juice that should be reserved for that purpose, When the active fermentation has ceased the casks should be plugged standing upright, and again be filled, if necessary, the bungs be put in loosely, and after a few days, when the fermentation is a little more languid, which may be known by the hissing noise ceasing, the bungs should be driven in tightly and a spile hole made to give vent if necessary. In five or six months the wine should be racked from its lees into clean casks, which may be rinsed with brandy. After a month it should be examined to see if sufficiently clear for bottling, if not, it should be purified with isinglass, which may be dissolved in some wine. 1 ounce will be sufficient for 2 gallons. The bottling should be done on a clear, warm day.
Damson Wine.—Gather dry the small damsons, which beat and crush with your hand, then put them into a vessel that has a mouth or hole in it for a faucet. To every 12 pounds of fruit add 1 1-2 gallons of boiling water, which must be poured over the fruit scalding hot. After standing 48 hours draw it off into a clean cask, and to every gallon put 2 1-2 pounds of sugar. The cask should be quite full, and the longer it stands the better. After remaining some months, bottle it up, and into each bottle put a piece of loaf sugar.
Rhubarb Wine.—Grate the stalks on a coarse grater, strain the juice, and to each quart add 3 quarts of water and 3 lbs. of brown sugar. Fill a demijohn to the brim with it, and keep some to fill it, as this works over. When it has done fermenting put a little isinglass in to clarify it, and bottle it.' It will be good for use in 2 months, and the flavor will resemble champagne.
Ginger Wine.—Three gallons ot water, 3 pounds of sugar, 4