Presuming this work may be rendered more desirable to farmers, from the
introduction of some receipts for making domestic wine from the common
hedge grapes, or such as are common on fence rows and on high rich
grounds, and which are pleasantly flavored after receiving frost, and
also for making cider in the best mode for preservation. I have
extracted a few from various author's.
making Domestic Wine from the Autumn Blue Grape.
About the latter end of September or about the first white frosts,
gather the grapes which with us grow along old fences and hedges--pick
all the grapes from the stems that are juicy, allowing two bushels thus
picked a little heaped, to the barrel. Mash them well between your hands
in small parcels, either in earthen pans, or some convenient small
vessels--put them when mashed into a tub together, and add a little
water so as to soak the pumice.... After stirring them well together,
squeeze the pumice out from the liquor with your hands, as clean as you
can--then strain the juice through a hair sieve. If the juice seems not
all extracted from the pumice at one soaking and squeezing, put water to
the pumice and squeeze them over again; take care not to add too much
water, lest there should be more than the cask will hold. If after all
the ingredients are added, the cask is not full, it may then be filled
up with water. To the liquor thus prepared, add two pounds of good,
clean, rich low priced brown sugar, per gallon, stirring it in the tub
till all the sugar be dissolved; let it remain in the tub, and in a day
or two it will ferment, and the scum rise to the top, which must be
carefully skimmed off--then put the wine into a clean nice barrel--do
not bung it up tight. There is generally a fermentation in it the spring
following, when the grape vines are in blossom, but racking it off just
before that season will prevent its working too much. If it is wanted to
be soon ripe for use, put a quart of good old brandy after it is racked
off, to the barrel, and give it air by leaving the bung quite loose.
This mode of manufacturing wine for domestic use, is convenient and not
expensive to those who have it in their power to manufacture maple
sugar. But the nice housewife or husbandmen of ingenuity, will, I fancy,
devise some more neat mode of compressing the juice from the grape--as
pressing it by the hand, would seem less cleanly, though the
fermentation generally cleanses sufficiently.
Is managed in the same way. The same quantity of sugar is presumed to
answer--The juice is generally well strained thro' cloths, and when well
stirred, &c. with the sugar, and neatly racked off, is put by in a loft
to ripen, in sweet casks.