This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Fermented milk. This is a regular article of sale in the large cities. The taste is much like buttermilk. Some like it as a beverage, others drink it for their health. At the drug stores where sold it is in bottles kept on ice, and the purchaser is asked whether he wishes it fresh, medium, or old. The old bottled koumiss contains a small per cent, of alcohol, developed from the yeast-fermentation of the milk, it discharges the cork from the bottle with force like wine. The Real Original Koumiss Is Made Of Mare's Milk And Is A Russian Tartar drink, originated by the tribes on the steppes of Tartary. Koumiss maae in this country is of cow's milk. There are certain differences which result in there being less alcohol in American than in Russian koumiss. Goteminent Report: "Fermented mare's milk has long been a favorite beverage in the East, where it is known as 'koumiss.' Although the Tartars and other Asiatic tribes use mare's milk for the manufacture of koumiss, yet it is not the only kind that can be employed. Since the consumption of milk-wine has extended westward cow's milk is chiefly employed for making it both in Europe and America. Mare's milk is considered most suitable for fermentation because of the large percentage of milk-sugar which it contains.
Dr. Stahlberg, who brought forty mares from the steppes of Russia to Vienna for the purpose of using their milk for Roumiss, found its percentage of lactose to be 7.26. On the other hand, ordinary mares that were kept at work gave a milk containing only 5.95 per cent, sugar. The quantity of milk-sugar in a mare's milk is great, but there is a deficiency of fat and other solids. It appears to contain fully 89 per cent, water, while cow's milk does not have more than 87 per cent. The mares from which the milk was taken were on exhibition at the London International Exposition for 1SS4. These animals were obtained from the South-eastern Russia. The mares were from 5 to 6 years old, and were cared for and milked by natives of the country from which they were taken. When milked rive times daily the best of these mares gave from four to five litres of milk. The process of manufacture is not uniform. In the East the mare's milk is placed in leathern vessels; to it is added a portion of a previous brewing, and also a little yeast. In thirty to forty-eight hours the process is complete. During this time the vessels are frequently shaken. Good cow's milk, however, is suitable for the manufacture of koumiss after most of the cream has been removed.
Should it be desired to make a koumiss richer in alcohol, some milk-sugar could be added. In the samples analyzed by me the milk was treated with a lactic ferment and yeast After twenty-four to forty-eight hours' fermentation the koumiss was bottled. The bottles were kept in a cool place, not above 50 degrees F., and in a horizontal position. When shipped to me they were packed in ice. After they were received in the laboratory they were kept on ice until analyzed. The samples analyzed were kindly furnished by Mr.------------of Indianapolis. This koumiss makes a delighfully refreshing drink. When drawn from the bottle and poured a few times from glass to glass it becomes thick like whipped cream, and is then most palatable. It is much relished as abeverage, and is highly recommended by physicians in cases of imperfect nutrition.
Asmallquan-tity of a preparation, usually consisting of yeast, honey, alcohol, and a little flour, is added to warm milk or milk and water. The whole is stirred, both to aerate it and to prevent it from turning acid; a faint odor announces the establishment of fermentation, and at the proper time it is poured into bottles, like those used for champagne, which are then corked and wired.
Fill a quart champagne bottle up to the neck with pure milk; add two tablespoonfuls of white sugar, after dissolving the same in a little water over a hot fire; add also a quarter of a two-cent cake of compressed yeast. Then tie the cork on the bottle securely, and shake the mixture well; place it in a room of the temperature of 50 to 95 degrees F., for six hours, and finally in the ice box over night.