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.
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
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.