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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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HOW TO PRESERVE CASKS.                        435
HOW TO PREPARE CASKS AND RESTORE WINES.
Glazing for Frescoes or Casks.—Mixed with benzole or Canada balsam, parafine is said to be superior to soluble glass for glazing over frescoes. By covering the interior of wine casks with a film of pure white parafine when in a melted state, the wine is prevented from spoiling or evaporating, as it will otherwise do through the wood.
Racking Wine.—It is better to do this in cool weather. A sy­phon, well managed, will be found better than a faucet, in order not to disturb the dregs or foul portions, which can be strained through a bag and made into vinegar or added to some other inferior wines.
To make Wine Settle.—Boil i pint of wheat in a quart of water till it breaks and becomes soft, then squeeze through a linen bag and put a pint of the liquor into a hogshead of unsettled white wine ; stir it thoroughly about and it will become pure.
Wine, to restore when sour or sharp.—Fill a bag with leek-seeds, or grape leaves, or twists of vines, and put either of them to infuse in the cask.
To Improve poor Wines.—Mix 2 pounds of clear honey and a pint or two of brandy together and put them in the cask of wine.
To Stop a Leak,—Make a paste of yellow soap and whiting, and apply it to the leak, and it will stop it.
German Method of Restoring sour Wines.—Put a small quan­tity of charcoal into the wine, shake it and let it remain 2 days; pour off and put into a clean cask or bottles.
To Improve Wine that is Becoming Acid.—To each gallon of wine allow 1 oz. of bitter almonds ; scald and crush them in brandy, draw the wine off, put the almonds into the cask, then add the wine on them. As soon as the acidity is gone off, bottle it.
To cure a musty Pipe, Hogshead, Cask, or any other Vessel of Wine.—Apply the crumb or soft part of a large wheaten or household loaf to the bunghole, and let it remain 6 or 7 days. A certain remedy to take away the must.
To make a Match for Sweetening Casks, Hogsheads, Etc.— Melt some brimstone and dip into it a coarse linen cloth, of which, when cold, take a piece about an inch broad and 5 feet long, set it on fire and put it into the cask with one end fastened under the bung, which must be fastened very tight. Let it remain some hours.
Finings for Wine.—Take the whites and shells of 3 fresh eggs, beat them in a wooden vessel till they become a thick froth ; add to them a little wine and whisk it up again. If the cask be full, take out 4 or 5 gallons and give it a good stirring; next, whisk up the finings and put them in, after which stir up the whole well. Or