This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Liquors, Wines, And Cordials, Without The Aid Of Distillation", by Pierre Lacour. Also available from Amazon: Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, Without the Aid of Distillation.
1T1 be the case where the article has been prepared with great care. It (the spirit) should be offered in neat and bright packages.
For giving age to new barrels, a dilute tincture of muriate of iron with its own bulk of water, and apply with a brush or rag uniformly over the barrel.
The above acids are added to liquors, under the false impression that they add to the strength, or that they supply the strength of the deficient alcohol. In small proportions (see Formula), acid greatly improves some liquors. In some instances, where a spirit has an unpleasant taste, it acts by destroying the cause; or, where a liquor tastes flat, the acid yields quite a pleasant taste. Spirit that contains either a deficiency or an excess of saccharine matter has its peculiarities corrected by acid; in the former instance, the acidulous taste, by the addition of the acid, completely covers the deficiency; and in the latter instance, an excess of acid destroys (to the taste) the saccharine matter.
Acids should be used whenever a pleasant vinous, acidulous taste is desired in liquors. Where economy is sought, use sulphuric acid. Acetic acid or strong vinegar yields a taste and smell. The combined odor of the acid and the spirit is similar to acetic ether, and would be a desirable flavor for any liquor.
The discussion would digress from the object of this work to inquire into the propriety of the use or disuse of a mineral acid in this business. The argument that proscribes the use of it in this instance would apply with equal force to its use in the manufacture of soda and mineral waters; and as found in some brands of lemon syrup and the acidulated beverages that are prescribed by the medical faculty. The proportion used in spirit is comparatively small to that used for other manufacturing purposes, as a glassful of the spirit does not contain a greater quantity than one drop!