Incredible discovery for those into antique cookbooks and home wine making (a.k.a – me – someone has to have esoteric tastes!). Found it through a reference made in a separate cookbook from 1837 – as in:
“Here are some wine recipes, but if you really want to learn more, go read this book.”
British Wine Maker and Domestic Brewer.
A go-to treatise for British home wine making back in the day.
The best part of all?
Google scanned and uploaded the entire book and made it freely accessible. This is my discovery of the month!
Fascinating description of recipes, ingredients, equipment, and prices. The author writes from the perspective that homemade wine is often a second-class cousin to imported wines because the home wine maker lacks the newest wine making technology – a hydrometer. A detailed description of the hydrometer, its scale, and suggested readings throughout the primary and secondary fermentation process follows. Along with pictures!
The second interesting takeaway from the book is that the home wine maker – once s/he has figured out the proper techniques – sold the homemade wines to the local pubs for re-sale. This means that the recipes are accompanied by lists of prices for the ingredients and the expected profit margins. Very neat peak at a local wine economy from 1835.
The book mainly focuses on wine – fruit wines made to imitate French wines (gooseberries were a popular substitute) as well as fruit wines that are simply fruit wines. There is also a section on distillation and flavored spirits – which I think would be great fun to try as gifts for the holidays some day. The book ends with a treatise on brewing which would be a fascinating read for any brewers – including an overview of the equipment and how the brewery rooms should be built/arranged (I just do wine, so only skimmed this section).
Check it out: The_British_Wine_Maker_and_Domestic_Brew_1835