hist-brewing: Historical Wine Sweetening

Beth Ann Snead ladypeyton at yahoo.com
Fri May 26 07:55:52 PDT 2000


> It's a common practice today to add sugar to
> "country wines," but aside from 
> meads and similarly honeyed brews, were
> historical/period "country" wines 
> sweetened?  Were they all-juice or did they add
> boiling water as is common 
> now?

In the "The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir
Kenelme Digby, Kt. Opened: Whereby is Discovered
Several ways for making of Metheglin, Syder,
Cherry-Wine, &c." published in 1677 Digby adds sugar
to his cherry and Strawberry wines. 

> On a different but related note:  Cider is fermented
> apple juice.  Perry is 
> fermented pear juice.  Would a non-sweetened,
> all-juice ferment be a "wine" 
> or more "cider"-related?
 
In a modern sense of the word there is more to cider
than simply the purity of the ingredients.  The
alcohol level is usually no more than that of beer
(8%? asks the strictly wine, cider and meadmaker),
starts with unfiltered juice and results in a
carbonated beverage.

Wine on the other hand has an alcohol content of
12-18%.  

Beth Ann Snead
Lettice Peyton, Master Brewer int he East Kingdom
Brewer's Guild in the SCA

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