Of working the Liquor.
In this, regard must be had to the water: liquor naturally grows warm in working; therefore, in mild weather, it should be cold before it be set on, but a little warm in cold weather. The manner of doing it, is to put some good sweet yeast into a hand-bowl or piggin, with a little warm wort; then put the hand-bowl to swim upon the wort in the working tub, and in a little while it will work out, and leisurely mix with the wort, and when you find the yeast is gotten hold of the wort, you must look after it frequently; and if you perceive it begins to heat and ferment too fast, lade some of it out into another tub; and when grown cold, it may be put back again; or if you reserve some of the raw wort, you may check it leisurely, by stirring it in with a hand-bowl. The cooler you work your liquor, the better, provided it does but work well.[Pg 168]
If you happen to check it too much, you may forward its working, by filling a gallon stone bottle with boiling water, cork it close and put the bottle into the working tub.—An ounce or two of powdered ginger will have the same effect.
There are a variety of methods in managing liquors whilst they are working.—Some people beat the yeast of strong beer and ale, once in two or three hours, for two or three days together.
This they reckon makes the drink more heady, but withal hardens it so as to be drinkable in two or three days; the last day of beating it in, (stirring the yeast and beer together) the yeast, as it rises, will thicken; and then they take off part of the yeast, and beat in the rest, which they repeat as often as it rises thick; and when it has done working, they tun it up, so as it may just work out of the barrel.
Others again do not beat it in at all, but let their strong drink work about two days, or till they see the ferment is over; and then they take off the top yeast, and either by a tap near the bottom, let it off sine, or else lade it out gently, to leave the sediment and yeast at the bottom.[Pg 169]
This way is proper for liquor that is to be drank soon: but if it be to keep, it will want the sediment to feed upon, and may probably grow stale, unless you make artificial lees: This you may make of a quart of brandy, and as much flour of wheat as will make it into dough; put them in lumps into the bung hole as soon as it has done working. Or else take a pound of the powder of oyster shells and mix it with a pound of treacle or honey, and put it in soon after it has done working.
It would add to the goodness, as well as sining of your malt liquor, if you took two quarts of wheat, and make them very dry and crisp in an oven, or before the fire, and boil them in your first copper of wort.—They would strain off with your hops, and might be put with them into the second copper.[Pg 170]
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