This plant is a kind of fungus growing on wet sugar and treacle, and consists of a gelatinous substance of a pale brownish colour. If placed in a jar with a solution of sugar and water, or a mixture of sugar, treacle, and water, and allowed to remain for six or eight weeks in a kitchen cupboard, the solution will be converted into vinegar; the change is produced by fermentation caused by the plant. The plant grows at the same time, perpetually doubling itself when the growth is removed.
It was an observation made by Scheele, but the fact has recently been published as a new discovery, that ordinary brown vinegar will keep bright and clear for any length of time if heated to the boiling-point for a few minutes.
Vinegar is refrigerant and moderately stimulating applied externally.
Fourteen lbs. of moist sugar, 7 gallons of hot water, 8 quarts of cold water, a toast spread with yeast.
Put the sugar into 7 gallons of water, boil and skim it thoroughly; then pour in the cold water. When it is cool put in a toast spread with yeast Stir it for nine days, then put it in a clean nine-gallon cask. Cover the bunghole with a piece of slate, and set the cask in the sun. It will be ready to use in six months.
March is the best time to make it. Cost, 4-y. 10d. the cask, about 6 1/2d. per gallon.
After cider has become too sour for use, set it in a warm place; put to it occasionally the rinsings of the sugar-basin or some molasses or any remains of ale or cold-tea; let it remain with the bung open, and you will soon have the best of vinegar.
The following is Dr. Ure's receipt for making Malt-vinegar: -
"One boll of good barley malt properly crushed is to be mashed with water at 1600 Fahrenheit. The first water should have that temperature. The second must be hotter than 1600; and the third water, for the extraction of all the soluble matter, may be boiling hot. Upon the whole not more than 100 gallons of wort should be extracted. After the liquor has cooled to 750 Fahrenheit, three or four gallons of beer yeast are poured in and well mixed with a proper stirrer. In thirty-six or forty hours, according to the temperature of the air and the fermenting quality of the mash, it is racked off into casks, which are laid upon their sides in the fermenting apartment of the vinegar-works, which should be kept at a temperature of 700 at least; in summer by the heat of the sun, or by stoves. The bunghole should be left open, and the casks should not be full in order that the air may act over an extensive surface of the liquor. It would be proper to secure a free circulation of the air by boring a hole in each end of the cask near its upper end".