hist-brewing: Egg whites in mead

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Wed Mar 3 06:55:19 PST 1999

I checked in Menagier d'Paris last night, and he gives two examples
of using eggs to clear wine.  One is for 'muddy' wine where is 
says to use egg whites only.  The second reference called for 
stirring up the wine (suspending the lees) and adding a 1/2 lb. of
beaten eggs (yolk and all, presumabley) and some 'alum.'  Anyone
have any idea what he meant by alum - because I don't think it's
the same stuff we use in baking today?  I'm working from the
Eileen Powers translation - anyone have a Janet Hinson translation
that they could check this word.  Thanks.

At 07:05 PM 3/2/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Some undoubtly were murky, however our ancestors were not stupid.  If
>something as simple as egg whites would have cleared a mead it seems
>logical that someone would have tried it.
I agree - the question is what ills would they have used the 
egg whites for.  I suggest that what we would call 'cloudy'
or 'hazy' would have been considered pretty clear in period.
Descriptions that I've found so far (and I'm still looking)
call for the egg white treatment for 'muddy' or 'ropey'
(ewwwww) wines - a far cry from a little chill haze.


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