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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mrs Dalgairns 1840

From Mrs. Dalgairns, 1840.

Gooseberry Wine to resemble Champagne.
The fruit must be selected when about full grown, but before it has shown the least tendency to ripen; those gooseberries which have the least flavour when ripe are to be preferred, and perhaps the green bath are the best; the smallest should be separated by a sieve, the unsound or bruised fruit rejected, and the remains of the blossoms and fruit-stalks rubbed off, or otherwise removed. For a cask of ten gallons, forty pounds of such fruit are to be put into a tub that has been carefully cleaned, and that will hold fifteen or twenty gallons; it is to be bruised in successive proportions, by a pressure sufficient to burst the berries without breaking the seeds, or materially compressing the skins. Four gallons of water are then to be poured into the vessel, and the contents are to be carefully stirred, and squeezed in the hand, until the whole of the juice and pulp are separated from the seeds and skins; the materials are then to remain at rest from six to twenty-four hours, when they are to be strained through a coarse bag by as much force as can conveniently be applied to them; one gallon of fresh water may afterwards be passed through the mash.

Thirty pounds of loaf sugar are now to be dissolved in the juice thus procured, and water added, to make the whole eleven gallons in quantity; this, together with three ounces of tartar in its crude state, being put into a tub, a blanket is thrown over it, which is again covered with a board, and the vessel placed in a temperature varying from 55° to 60° of Fahrenheit; here it may remain for twenty-four hours, or two days, as the fermentation may be more or less rapid; from this tub it is to be drawn off into the cask in which it is to ferment; and, as the fermentation proceeds, the superfluous portion of juice made for the purpose, must be poured in, so as to keep the liquor still near the bung-hole for ten or twelve days, or until the fermentation becomes a little languid, as may be known by the diminution of the hissing noise; the bung is to be driven in, and a hole bored by its side, into which a wooden peg is to be fitted; it may be loosened every two or three days, for the space of eight or ten days, to give the air vent, so as to prevent the cask from bursting. When there appears no longer any danger, the spike may be permanently tightened.

The wine thus made may remain over the winter in a cool cellar. If the operator is not inclined to bestow any farther labour or expence upon it, it may be examined in some clear cold day towards the end of February or beginning of March, when, if fine, as it will sometimes be, it may be bottled without farther precaution. To ensure its fineness, however, it is a better practice to rack it, towards the end of December, into a fresh cask, so as to clear it from its first lees; or should it then prove too sweet, instead of racking it, the fermentation may be renewed by stirring up the lees, or by rolling the cask. At whatever time it is racked, it should be fined in the usual way with isinglass. Sometimes it is found expedient to rack it a second time, and to repeat the fining; and, in any case, bottle it during the month of March.

If it is wished to have a very sweet wine, as well as a brisk wine, the quantity of sugar may be increased to forty pounds; and to ensure briskness, without excessive sweetness, the proportion of fruit may be fifty pounds when the sugar is thirty. If there should appear any danger of the sweetness vanishing altogether from wine thus formed, the fermentation may be checked by racking and fining, when it will be speedily fit for use.

Cheap Beer
For a ten-gallon cask allow three ounces of hops, ten pounds of bran, two ounces bruised ginger, four pounds treacle, four ounces good yeast. Boil the hops and ginger in fifteen gallons of water for an hour and a quarter, add the bran, and boil twenty minutes longer; strain the liquor on the treacle; stir the mixture well, and let it stand till it becomes milk-warm, or from 60° to 70° Fahrenheit; then strain it through a thick cloth laid over a riddle or sieve; add four or five ounces of yeast, stir it well, and when cold, put it into the cask; keep filling up the cask till it has done working, which may be in two days. It must then be bunged up, and will be fit for drinking in two days. It will keep good in the cask for ten days or a fortnight – or it may be bottled.
This beer will not be so strong nor so cheap as the mangel-wurzel beer.

Mangel-wurzel beer.
For a ten-gallon cask, boil in fourteen gallons of water sixty pounds of mangel-wurzel, which has been well washed and sliced across, putting some kind of weight on the roots to keep them under water; having boiled an hour and a half, they may be taken out, well broken, and all the liquor pressed from the roots; put it, and that in which they were boiled, on again to boil, with four ounces of hops; let them boil about an hour and a half, then cool the liquor, as quickly as possible, to 70 degrees Farenheit; strain it through a thick cloth laid over a sieve or drainer; put it into the vat with about six ounces of yeast, stir it well, cover it, and let it stand twenty four hours; if the yeast has then well-risen, skim it off, and barrel the beer, keeping back the thick sediment. While the fermentation goes on in the cask, it may be filled up with the beer left over, or any other kind at hand; when the fermentation ceases, which may be in two or three days, the cask must be bunged up, and in a few days more, the beer may be used from the cask, or bottled.
The smaller proportions are here given to suit the convenience of the humblest labourer; but the beer will be better made in larger quantities; and its strength may be increased by adding a larger proportion of mangel-wurzel. By this receipt, good table-beer will be obtained.

Finnan or Aberdeen Haddocks.
Clean the haddocks thoroughly, and split them; take off the heads, put some salt on them, and let them lie two hours, or all night, if they are required to keep more than a week; then, having hung them two or three hours in the open air to dry, smoke them in a chimney over peat or hardwood saw-dust.
Where there is not a chimney suitable for the purpose, they may be done in an old cask open at both ends, into which put some saw-dust with a red-hot iron in the midst; place rods of wood across the top of the cask, tie the haddocks by the tail in pairs, and hang them on the sticks to smoke; the heat should be kept as equal as possible, as it spoils the fish to get alternately hot and cold. When done, they should be of a fine yellow colour, which they should acquire in twelve hours at farthest. When they are to be dressed, the skin must be taken off. They may be boiled, or broiled; and are generally used for breakfast.

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