Wine Making

Wine Making 

Grapes are the world’s leading fruit crop and the eighth most important food crop in the world, exceeded only by the principal cereals and starchytubers. Though substantial quantities are used for fresh fruit, raisins, juice and preserves, most of the world’s annual production of about 60 million metric tons is used for dry (nonsweet) wine.

Wine is of great antiquity, as every Bible reader knows, and a traditional and important element in the daily fare of millions.  Used in moderation, it is wholesome and nourishing, and gives zest to the simplest diet.  It is a source of a broad range of essential minerals, some vitamins, and easily assimilated calories provided by its moderate alcoholic content.

In its beginnings, winemaking was as much a domestic art as bread making and cheese making.  It still is, wherever grapes are grown in substantial quantity. Though much wine is now produced industrially, many of the world’s most famous wines are still made on what amounts to a family scale, the grape grower being the winemaker as well.

Production of good dry table wine for family use is not difficult, provided certain essential rules are observed.

The right grapes.

Quality of a wine depends first of all on the grapes it is made from.  As is true of other fruits, there are hundreds of grape varieties.  They fall in three main groups.

  • First, there are the classic vinifera wine grapes of Europe. These also dominate the vineyards of California, with its essentially Mediterranean climate.  But several centuries of trial have shown that they are not at home in most other parts of the United States.
  • Second, there are the traditional American sorts such as Concord, Catawba, Delaware, and Niagara, which are descendants of our wild grapes and much grown where the vinifera fail.  They have pronounced aromas and flavors, often called foxy, which, though relished in the fresh state by many, reduce their value for wine.
  • Third, there are the French or French-American hybrids, introduced in recent years and now superseding the traditional American sorts for winemaking.  The object in breeding these was to combine fruit resembling the European wine grapes with vines having the winter hardiness and disease resistance of the American parent.  They may be grown for winemaking where the pure European wine grapes will not succeed.

What wine is.

Simply described, wine is the product of the fermentation of sound, ripe grapes.  If a quantity of grapes is crushed into an open half-barrel or other suitable vessel, and covered, the phenomenon of fermentation will be noticeable within a day or two, depending on the ambient temperature.  It is initiated by the yeasts naturally present on the grapes, which begin to multiply prodigiously once the grapes are crushed.

Fermentation continues for three to ten days, throwing off gas and a vinous odor. In the process, the sugar of the grapes is reduced to approximately half alcohol and half carbon dioxide gas, which escapes.  Fermentation subsides when all the sugar has been used up. The murky liquid is then drained and pressed from the solid matter and allowed to settle and clear in a closed container.  The resulting liquid is wine-not very good wine if the constituents of the grapes were not in balance, and readily spoiled, but wine nevertheless.

Beneath the apparent simplicity, the evolution of grapes into wine is a series of complex biochemical reactions. Thus winemaking can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it.  The more you understand and control the process, the better the wine.

The following instructions cover only the essentials of sound home winemaking.  Under Federal law the head of a household may make up to 200 gallons of wine a year for family use, but is first required to notify the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on Form 1541.

Making Red Wine

The grape constituents which matter most to the winemaker are (a) sugar content of the juice, and (b) tartness or “total acidity” of the juice.  Sugar content is important because the amount of sugar determines alcoholic content of the finished wine.

A sound table wine contains between 10% and 12% alcohol.  The working rule is that 2% sugar yields 1% of alcohol.   Example: a sugar content of 22% yields a wine of approximately 11 % alcohol.

California grapes normally contain sufficient sugar.  Grapes grown elsewhere are often somewhat deficient, and the difference must be made up by adding the appropriate amount of ordinary granulated sugar which promptly converts to grape sugar on contact with the juice.

Sugar Correction Table

What the  saccharometer shows For wine of 10% by volume. add For wine of 12% by volume, add
Ounces of sugar per gallon
10 11.8    16.2
11 10.1    14.8
12 8.9    13.3
13 7.4    11.9
14 5.9    10.4
15 4.6     8.9
16 3.0     7.5
17 1.5     6.0
18     4.3
19     2.9
20     1.4

 

     Note: The result is not precise. yield of alcohol varying under the conditions of fermentation. Adapted from Grapes Into Wine by Philip M. Wagner.

 

Saccharometer and hydrometer jar. Instrument floats at zero in plain water.  It floats higher according to sugar content of grape juice.


 1.4

Note: The result is not precise. yield of alcohol varying under the conditions of fermentation.

-Adapted from Grapes Into Wine by Philip M. Wagner.

In using non-California grapes, you need to test the sugar content in advance.  That is done by a simple little instrument called a saccharometer, obtainable at any winemakers’ shop.  This is floated in a sample of the juice, and a direct reading of sugar content is taken from the scale.  The correct amount of sugar to add, in ounces per gallon of juice, is then determined by reference to the sugar table.

If total acidity, or tartness, is too high and not corrected, the resulting wine will be too tart to be agreeable.  Again, California grapes are usually within a satisfactory range of total acidity.  Grapes grown elsewhere are often too tart, and acidity of the juice should be reduced.

In commercial winemaking this is done with precision.  The home winemaker rarely makes the chemical test for total acidity but uses a rule of thumb.  He corrects the assumed excess of acidity with a sugar solution consisting of 2 pounds of sugar to 1 gallon of water- adding 1 gallon of the sugar solution for every estimated 4 gallons of juice.  This sugar solution is in addition to the sugar required to adjust sugar content of the juice itself.

In estimating the quantity of juice, another practical rule is that 1 full bushel of grapes will yield approximately 4 gallons. The winemaker therefore corrects with 1 gallon of sugar solution for each full bushel of crushed grapes.

The pigment of grapes is lodged almost entirely in the skins. It is during fermentation “on the skins” that the pigment is extracted and gives red wine its color.

How to proceed. Crush the grapes directly into your fermenter (a clean open barrel, plastic tub or large crock, never metal).  Small hand crushers are available, but the grapes may be crushed as effectively by foot – wearing a clean rubber boot.  Then remove a portion of the stems, which may otherwise give too much astringency to the wine.

Low-acid California grapes are quite vulnerable to bacterial spoilage during fermentation.  To prevent spoilage and assure clean fermentation, dissolve a bit of potassium metabisulfite (known as “meta” and available at all winemakers’ shops) and mix it into the crushed mass. Use ¼ ounce (⅓ of a teaspoonful) per 100 pounds of grapes.

Also use a yeast “starter”.   This comes as a 5 gram envelope of dehydrated wine yeast, also obtainable at winemakers’ shops. To prepare the starter, empty the granules of yeast into a shallow cup and add a few ounces of warm water.  When all the water is taken up, bring it to the consistency of cream by adding a bit more water.  Let stand for an hour, then mix it into the crushed grapes.

After the meta and yeast are added, cover the fermenter with cloth or plastic sheeting to keep out dust and fruit flies, and wait for fermentation.  If non-California grapes are used, test and make the proper correction for sugar content.  Then correct the total acidity by adding sugar solution as described earlier. In using non California grapes, it is desirable, but not necessary at this point, to add a dose of meta.  A yeast starter is advisable.

As fermentation begins, the solid matter of the grapes will rise to form a “cap”.  Push this down and mix with the juice twice a day during fermentation, always replacing the cover.  When fermentation begins to subside and the juice has lost most of its sweetness, it is time to separate the turbid, yeasty and rough-tasting new wine from the solid matter.  For this purpose a press is necessary, preferably a small basket press though substitutes can be devised.

Be ready with clean storage containers for the new wine, several plastic buckets, and a plastic funnel.  The best storage containers for home winemaking are 5-gallon glass bottles or small fiberglass tanks.

Beware of small casks and barrels for several reasons.  They are usually leaky. They are sources of infection and off-odors that spoil more homemade wine than any other one thing.  And there is frequently not enough new wine to fill and keep them full.  Wine containers must be kept full; otherwise the wine quickly spoils.  Using glass containers, you can see what you are doing.

With the equipment assembled, simply bail the mixture of juice and solid matter into the press basket.  The press basket serves as a drain, most of the new wine gushing into the waiting buckets and being poured from them into the containers.  When the mass has yielded all its “free run”, press the remainder for what it still contains.

Fill the containers full, right into the neck.  Since fermentation will continue for awhile longer, use a stopper with a fermentation “bubbler” which lets the gas out but does not let air in.  When the bubbler stops bubbling and there are no further signs of fermentation, replace it with a rubber stopper or a cork wrapped in waxed paper.

Store the wine for several weeks at a temperature of around 60° F.  Suspended matter in the wine will begin to settle, and at this temperature certain desirable reactions continue to take place in the wine itself.

At the end of this period, siphon the wine from its sediment, with a plastic or rubber tube into clean containers.

At the same time dissolve and add a bit of the meta already referred to at the rate of ¼ level teaspoon per 5 gallons of wine.  This will protect against off odors and spoilage but does not otherwise affect the wine.

Clarifying. 

Next, transfer the containers to a place where the wine will be thoroughly chilled, even down to freezing.  This precipitates more suspended matter and unwanted ingredients, and encourages clarification.

Assuming that the wine was made in early fall, hold it in cool storage until after the first of the year.  By then it should have “fallen bright” and be stable.  To test its clarity, hold a lighted match behind the bottle.  The wine is then siphoned once again from its sediment, and dose of meta added at the same rate of ¼ teaspoon per 5 gallons.

If the wine is brilliantly clear, one container of it may then be siphoned into wine bottles, corked or capped, and is ready for immediate use.  Despite the common impression, most wine does not gain greatly by aging once it is stable. It continues to evolve, but not necessarily for the better.

The rest of the wine is held until after the return of warm weather to make sure there will be no resumption of fermentation, which would blow corks if the wine was bottled.  By mid-May that hazard will have passed, and the wine is ready for its final siphoning, its final dose of the same quantity of meta, and bottling.

Fining.

If in January the wine is not brilliantly clear, it should be “fined”. This consists of dissolving in a small amount of hot water and mixing in, at the time of siphoning, ordinary household gelatin at the rate of ¼ ounce (2 teaspoonsful) per 5 gallons.  This will turn the wine milky when mixed in and will slowly settle, dragging all impurities and suspended matter with it.  In two weeks to a month the process of “fining” will be complete.  The wine is then ready to be siphoned from the fining sediment and treated as above.

Making White Wine

As we have seen, red wine is fermented “on the skins” in order to extract the coloring matter and other ingredients lodged in the skins.  In making white wine, the grapes are crushed and the fresh juice immediately separated by pressing so that it may ferment apart from the skins.

This fresh juice is checked for its sugar content and acidity, as in preparing to ferment red wine, and the proper corrections are made immediately after pressing.  Likewise, a yeast “starter” is added.

The fermentation takes place in the same 5-gallon glass containers that are later used for storage.  But as fermenters they are filled only two thirds full as a precaution against any overflow or unmanageable formation of bubbles.  When the primary fermentation has run its course, the several partly filled bottles are simply consolidated—filled full and equipped with bubblers.

Subsequent siphoning from sediment, chilling, and dosing with meta are carried out as with red wine.  If fining is necessary, it differs in one respect: before mixing in the gelatin, mix in an equal amount of dissolved tannic acid to remove the impurities. Tannic acid is obtainable at drug stores or winemakers’ shops as a powder. This provides better settling out of suspended matter.

Dry table wine is a food beverage, to be used with meals.  Sweet wines are more like cordials.  The making of sweet wines takes advantage of a characteristic of the yeast organism, namely, that its activity dies down and it usually ceases to ferment sugar into alcohol after a fermenting liquid reaches an alcoholic content of around 13%.

The secret, then, is to add an excess of sugar when correcting the juice of crushed grapes before fermentation. When fermentation ceases, there is still some residual sugar in the juice.

From then on the still-sweet new wine is treated much as other wine.

The three important differences are:

  • the wine is siphoned from its sediment immediately after fermentation, without the waiting period at 60° F;
  • the chilling begins as soon as possible; and
  • the dose of meta added then and at each subsequent siphoning is doubled (½ teaspoon per 5 gallons instead of ¼ teaspoon) to guard against spoilage and against any accidental resumption of fermentation.

Sweet Wine Making

Fruit Average sugar level Sugar needed per gallon to make a sweet wine Average Acid Gallons of sugar water to add per gallon
Grapes [eastern] 12-20 1 ¼-2 med. To high 0-1
Grapes [Calif.] 16-20 1-1 ½ low² to high 0
Apples 13 2-2 ½ low² to high 0-1/2
Apricots 12 2-2 ½ med. to high 0-1/4
Blackberries 6 2-3 high to very high 1 or more
Blueberries 8 2 ¼-3 low to med. 0
Cherries[sour] 14 2-2 ¼ high to very high 1 or more
Cherries[sweet] 18 1 ½-2 medium 0
Pear 12 2 ¼-2/½ med. to high 0-1/4
Plum [Damson] 14 2-2 ¼ med. to high 0-1/4
Plum [Prune] 17 1 ½-2 med. to high 0-1/4
Peach 10 2-2 ½ med. to high 0-1/4
Raspberries 8 2 ½-3 high to very high 1 or more
Strawberries 5 2-3 ¼ med. To high 0-1/2
1.) To maintain proper sugar level when the acidity is reduced by adding water, it is easier to make up a sugar solution by dissolving three pounds of sugar in enough water to fill 1-gallon jug.

2.) Addition of some acid[citric or tartaric] may help. This can be done “to taste” after the active fermentation is over.

Dry table wines made from other fruits are rarely successful, but agreeable sweet wines may be made from them. The point to remember is that most fruits are lower in sugar than grapes and higher in acid.  Corrections for both are almost always necessary, plus sufficient excess “Sugar to leave residual sweetness after fermentation.  These fruits, with the exception of apple juice, are fermented in a crushed mass in order to obtain a maximum extraction of characteristic odors and flavors.  Once fermentation is concluded, they are treated like sweet grape wine. The table will serve as a rough guide to their relative sugar content and total acidity.

Vinegar

If a cork happens to pop out unnoticed and air reaches the wine for several weeks, there is a good chance that bacterial action will begin to convert the alcohol in the wine into acetic acid. Once the presence of acetic acid can be detected (a vinegarlike odor) the wine will lose its appeal as wine.  A usable vinegar can be retrieved by encouraging the process to go to completion.

Vinegar produced from an undiluted wine will be overly strong, so an equal volume of water should be added.   The container should be less than three-quarters full and closed with a loose cotton plug or covered with a piece of light cloth to keep out fruit flies.

If wine vinegar is your desired goal and no wine has started to sour, use a vinegar starter.  A selected strain of vinegar starter can be purchased from some winemakers’ shops, or a wild starter may be used.  Frequently the water in an air-bubbler will have a vinegar-like smell.  This can be used to start a batch of vinegar.  The wine is diluted with an equal volume of water and the container partly filled and covered as above.

A warm, but not hot, location will speed the process.  In a month or two the vinegar should be ready.  The clear portion of the vinegar can be poured or siphoned off for use. If another batch is wanted, more of the wine-water mixture can be added to the old culture.

by Philip Wagner and J. R. McGrew

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Houdini is a short strong stocky man with small feet and a very large head. Seen from the stage, his figure, with its short legs and its pugilist’s proportions, is less impressive than at close [...] Read more →

A Conversation between H.F. Leonard and K. Higashi

H.F. Leonard was an instructor in wrestling at the New York Athletic Club. Katsukum Higashi was an instructor in Jujitsu.

“I say with emphasis and without qualification that I have been unable to find anything in jujitsu which is not known to Western wrestling. So far as I can see, [...] Read more →

Vitruvius Ten Books on Architecture

VITRUVIUS

The Ten Books on Architecture

TRANSLATED By MORRIS HICKY MORGAN, PH.D., LL.D. LATE PROFESSOR OF CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY

IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND ORIGINAL DESINGS PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HERBERT LANGFORD WARREN, A.M.

NELSON ROBINSON JR. PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE IN HARVARD [...] Read more →

Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

Mortlake Tapestries at Chatsworth House

Click here to learn more about the Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

The Mortlake Tapestries were founded by Sir Francis Crane.

From the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13

Crane, Francis by William Prideaux Courtney

CRANE, Sir FRANCIS (d. [...] Read more →

The Stock Exchange Specialist

New York Stock Exchange Floor September 26,1963

The Specialist as a member of a stock exchange has two functions.’ He must execute orders which other members of an exchange may leave with him when the current market price is away from the price of the orders. By executing these orders on behalf [...] Read more →

Banana Propagation

Banana Propagation

Reprinted from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA.org)

The traditional means of obtaining banana planting material (“seed”) is to acquire suckers from one’s own banana garden, from a neighbor, or from a more distant source. This method served to spread common varieties around the world and to multiply them [...] Read more →

Classic Restoration of a Spring Tied Upholstered Chair

?

This video by AT Restoration is the best hands on video I have run across on the basics of classic upholstery. Watch a master at work. Simply amazing.

Tools:

Round needles: https://amzn.to/2S9IhrP Double pointed hand needle: https://amzn.to/3bDmWPp Hand tools: https://amzn.to/2Rytirc Staple gun (for beginner): https://amzn.to/2JZs3x1 Compressor [...] Read more →

Wine Making

Wine Making

Grapes are the world’s leading fruit crop and the eighth most important food crop in the world, exceeded only by the principal cereals and starchytubers. Though substantial quantities are used for fresh fruit, raisins, juice and preserves, most of the world’s annual production of about 60 million [...] Read more →

The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

Man looks at severed hand and foot….for refusing to climb a tree to cut rubber for King Leopold

Click here to read The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

Victim of King Leopold of Belgium

Click on the link below for faster download.

The [...] Read more →

The Perfect Salad Dressing

The following recipes are from a small booklet entitled 500 Delicious Salads that was published for the Culinary Arts Institute in 1940 by Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. 153 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill.

If you have been looking for a way to lighten up your salads and be free of [...] Read more →

Origin of the Apothecary

ORIGIN OF THE APOTHECARY.

The origin of the apothecary in England dates much further back than one would suppose from what your correspondent, “A Barrister-at-Law,” says about it. It is true he speaks only of apothecaries as a distinct branch of the medical profession, but long before Henry VIII’s time [...] Read more →

A History of the Use of Arsenicals in Man

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

Of the Room and Furniture

Crewe Hall Dining Room

 

THE transient tenure that most of us have in our dwellings, and the absorbing nature of the struggle that most of us have to make to win the necessary provisions of life, prevent our encouraging the manufacture of well-wrought furniture.

We mean to outgrow [...] Read more →

Country Cabbage and Pea Soup

Add the following ingredients to a four or six quart crock pot, salt & pepper to taste keeping in mind that salt pork is just that, cover with water and cook on high till it boils, then cut back to low for four or five hours. A slow cooker works well, I [...] Read more →

Pickled Eels

Vintage woodcut illustration of a Eel

 

This dish is a favorite in Northern Europe, from the British Isles to Sweden.

Clean and skin the eels and cut them into pieces about 3/4-inch thick. Wash and drain the pieces, then dredge in fine salt and allow to stand from 30 [...] Read more →

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Officers and men of the 13th Light Dragoons, British Army, Crimea. Rostrum photograph of photographer’s original print, uncropped and without color correction. Survivors of the Charge.

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the [...] Read more →

Clairvoyance and Occult Powers

Vishnu as the Cosmic Man (Vishvarupa) Opaque watercolour on paper – Jaipur, Rajasthan c. 1800-50

 

CLAIRVOYANCE AND OCCULT POWERS

By Swami Panchadasi

Copyright, 1916

By Advanced Thought Pub. Co. Chicago, Il

INTRODUCTION.

In preparing this series of lessons for students of [...] Read more →

Of Decorated Furniture

DECORATED or “sumptuous” furniture is not merely furniture that is expensive to buy, but that which has been elaborated with much thought, knowledge, and skill. Such furniture cannot be cheap, certainly, but the real cost of it is sometimes borne by the artist who produces rather than by the man who may [...] Read more →

British Craftsmanship is Alive and Well

The Queen Elizabeth Trust, or QEST, is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of British craftsmanship through the funding of scholarships and educational endeavours to include apprenticeships, trade schools, and traditional university classwork. The work of QEST is instrumental in keeping alive age old arts and crafts such as masonry, glassblowing, shoemaking, [...] Read more →

A Few Wine Recipes

EIGHTEEN GALLONS is here give as a STANDARD for all the following Recipes, it being the most convenient size cask to Families. See A General Process for Making Wine

If, however, only half the quantity of Wine is to be made, it is but to divide the portions of [...] Read more →

The Basics of Painting in the Building Trade

PAINTER-WORK, in the building trade. When work is painted one or both of two distinct ends is achieved, namely the preservation and the coloration of the material painted. The compounds used for painting—taking the word as meaning a thin protective or decorative coat—are very numerous, including oil-paint of many kinds, distemper, whitewash, [...] Read more →

Cocktails and Canapés

From The How and When, An Authoritative reference reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco. The Marco name is of a Chicago family that were involved in all aspects of the liquor business and ran Marco’s Bar [...] Read more →

Some Notes on American Ship Worms

July 9, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 25

Some Notes on American Ship-Worms.

[Read before the American Fishes Congress at Tampa.]

While we wish to preserve and protect most of the products of our waters, these creatures we would gladly obliterate from the realm of living things. For [...] Read more →

The First Christian Man Cremated in America

Laurens’ portrait as painted during his time spent imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was kept for over a year after being captured at sea while serving as the United States minister to the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War.

The first Christian white man to be cremated in America was [...] Read more →

Something about Caius College, Cambridge

Gate of Honour, Caius Court, Gonville & Caius

Gonville & Caius College, known as Caius and pronounced keys was founded in 1348 by Edmund Gonville, the Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk. The first name was thus Goville Hall and it was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. [...] Read more →

Blunderbuss Mai Tai Recipe

Blackbeard’s Jolly Roger

If you’re looking for that most refreshing of summertime beverages for sipping out on the back patio or perhaps as a last drink before walking the plank, let me recommend my Blunderbuss Mai Tai. I picked up the basics to this recipe over thirty years ago when holed up [...] Read more →

The Hunt Saboteur

The Hunt Saboteur is a national disgrace barking out loud, black mask on her face get those dogs off, get them off she did yell until a swift kick from me mare her voice it did quell and sent the Hunt Saboteur scurrying up vale to the full cry of hounds drowning out her [...] Read more →

Target Practice

Nov. 12, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 396

The Veterans to the Front.

Ironton. O., Oct. 28.—Editor Forest and Stream: I mail you a target made here today by Messrs. E. Lawton, G. Rogers and R. S. Dupuy. Mr. Dupuy is seventy-four years old, Mr. Lawton seventy-two. Mr. Rogers [...] Read more →

AB Bookman’s 1948 Guide to Describing Conditions

AB Bookman’s 1948 Guide to Describing Conditions:

As New is self-explanatory. It means that the book is in the state that it should have been in when it left the publisher. This is the equivalent of Mint condition in numismatics. Fine (F or FN) is As New but allowing for the normal effects of [...] Read more →

U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act – Full Text

WIPO HQ Geneva

UNITED STATES PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION ACT

TITLE I – PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION OFFICE Chapter Section 1. Organization and Publications . 1 2. Legal Provisions as to the Plant Variety Protection Office . 21 3. Plant Variety Protection Fees . 31

CHAPTER 1.-ORGANIZATION AND PUBLICATIONS Section [...] Read more →

Thomas Jefferson Correspondence – On Seed Saving and Sharing

The following are transcripts of two letters written by the Founding Father Thomas Jefferson on the subject of seed saving.

“November 27, 1818. Monticello. Thomas Jefferson to Henry E. Watkins, transmitting succory seed and outlining the culture of succory.” [Transcript] Thomas Jefferson Correspondence Collection Collection 89

The Kalmar War

Wojna Kalmarska – 1611

The Kalmar War

From The Historian’s History of the World (In 25 Volumes) by Henry Smith William L.L.D. – Vol. XVI.(Scandinavia) Pg. 308-310

The northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, as already noticed, had been peopled from the remotest times by nomadic tribes called Finns or Cwenas by [...] Read more →

Palermo Wine

Take to every quart of water one pound of Malaga raisins, rub and cut the raisins small, and put them to the water, and let them stand ten days, stirring once or twice a day. You may boil the water an hour before you put it to the raisins, and let it [...] Read more →

David Starkey: Britain’s Last Great Historian

Dr. David Starkey, the UK’s premiere historian, speaks to the modern and fleeting notion of “cancel culture”. Starkey’s brilliance is unparalleled and it has become quite obvious to the world’s remaining Western scholars willing to stand on intellectual integrity that a few so-called “Woke Intellectuals” most certainly cannot undermine [...] Read more →

Looking for a Gift for the Book Collector in the Family?

Buying a book for a serious collector with refined tastes can be a daunting task.

However, there is one company that publishes some of the finest reproduction books in the world, books that most collectors wouldn’t mind having in their collection no matter their general preference or specialty.

Travels by Narrowboat

Oh Glorious England, verdant fields and wandering canals…

In this wonderful series of videos, the CountryHouseGent takes the viewer along as he chugs up and down the many canals crisscrossing England in his classic Narrowboat. There is nothing like a free man charting his own destiny.

Fortune, Independence, and Competence

THE answer to the question, What is fortune has never been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily made. What may be a fortune for one bears but small proportion to the colossal possessions of another. The scores or hundreds of thousands admired and envied as a fortune in most of our communities [...] Read more →

Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Choosing Poultry

To Choose Poultry.

When fresh, the eyes should be clear and not sunken, the feet limp and pliable, stiff dry feet being a sure indication that the bird has not been recently killed; the flesh should be firm and thick and if the bird is plucked there should be no [...] Read more →

A Crock of Squirrel

A CROCK OF SQUIRREL

4 young squirrels – quartered Salt & Pepper 1 large bunch of fresh coriander 2 large cloves of garlic 2 tbsp. salted sweet cream cow butter ¼ cup of brandy 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar 6 fresh apricots 4 strips of bacon 1 large package of Monterrey [...] Read more →

Protecting Rare Books: How to Build a Silverfish Trap

Silverfish damage to book – photo by Micha L. Rieser

The beauty of hunting silverfish is that they are not the most clever of creatures in the insect kingdom.

Simply take a small clean glass jar and wrap it in masking tape. The masking tape gives the silverfish something to [...] Read more →

Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

If ever it could be said that there is such a thing as miracle healing soil, Ivan Sanderson said it best in his 1965 book entitled Ivan Sanderson’s Book of Great Jungles.

Sanderson grew up with a natural inclination towards adventure and learning. He hailed from Scotland but spent much [...] Read more →

Making Apple Cider Vinegar

The greatest cause of failure in vinegar making is carelessness on the part of the operator. Intelligent separation should be made of the process into its various steps from the beginning to end.

PRESSING THE JUICE

The apples should be clean and ripe. If not clean, undesirable fermentations [...] Read more →

Indian Modes of Hunting – Musquash

Hudson Bay: Trappers, 1892. N’Talking Musquash.’ Fur Trappers Of The Hudson’S Bay Company Talking By A Fire. Engraving After A Drawing By Frederic Remington, 1892.

Indian Modes of Hunting.

IV.—Musquash.

In Canada and the United States, the killing of the little animal known under the several names of [...] Read more →