Molasses, or MeLasses, the gross fluid matter, which remains after refining sugar; and which cannot by simple boiling be reduced to a more solid consistence than that of common syrup, vulgarly called treacle.
In Holland, this article is chiefly used in the manufacture of tobacco, and by the poor people as a substitute for sugar. A kind of brandy is prepared from it in this country, in considerable quantities, by dissolving a certain portion of molasses in water ; fermenting it with wine-lees; and distilling the whole over a moderate fire. This spirit is, however, generally adulterated in such a manner as to ren-der it extremely pernicious to the consumer: but as it tinges the hands, or any substance immersed in it, of a fine yellow colour, it may, we conceive, be more advan-tageously converted to the purposes of dyeing.
Molasses likewise form a wholesome and agreeable beverage when prepared as a kind of Beer, of which we have already given an account, p. 237 of our first vol-Farther, this thick fluid may be divested of its mawkish taste; and thus rendered fit to be used as a substitute for sugar. We select the following process from Crell's Chemical Annals (vol1 part 2. 1798, in German), published from the experiments originally made by M. Lowitz :—Let24 lbs. of molasses, a similar quantity of water, and six pounds of charcoal coarsely pulverized, be mixed in a kettle, and the whole boiled over a slow fire. When the mixture has simmered for the space of half an hour, it must be decanted into a deep vessel, that the charcoal may subside ; after which the liquid should be poured off, and again placed over the fire, that the superfluous water may evaporate, and restore the syrup to its former consistence.- Twenty-four pounds of molasses thus refined, will produce an equal quantity of syrup.
This method has been successfully practised on a large scale, in Germany; and, we conceive it might be advantageously imitated ; for the molasses thus become sensibly milder, and may consequently be employed in various articles of food. For dishes, however, in which milk is an ingredient, or for cordials which are to be mixed with spices, it will be preferable to make use of sugar.