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Old 11-06-2011, 02:34 AM   #1
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My mother was going through some of my great grandfather's stuff she's had in her basement for many years. She found a recipe neatly tucked away in his 1888-1892 expense ledger:

1 lb raisins
1/4 lb prunes
2 1/2 lb sugar
1/4 lb caraway seed
1/2 cake yeast

1 gallon boiling water, make tea out of caraway seed and put in water and mix well. Add yeast and when not to hot and let it stand two or three weeks and mix every day.

It doesn't have a name, and I haven't tried making it yet, but I thought I'd share it. I plan on making this sometime next week, so I'll also share my thoughts on it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:54 AM   #2
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Doesn't sound good, but who knows. Keep us posted.

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Old 11-06-2011, 03:16 AM   #3
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i guess this qualifies as a fruit wine since it has no barley or hops in it. plus, all that sugar in only a gallon of water will make it quite strong.

i'm also guessing that if he just used bakers yeast, the yeast would quit before all the sugar was converted to alcohol. the finished product might be really sweet/sugary.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing that. It's brew history, and we need more of it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogphish View Post
. . .

i'm also guessing that if he just used bakers yeast, the yeast would quit before all the sugar was converted to alcohol. the finished product might be really sweet/sugary.
That's probably what all the caraway seed is for. 1/4 lb in one gallon is quite a bit. Should add a little bite to counteract the sweetness.

I hope this doesn't get blackholed for being a "hooch" thread. Seems like a pretty fascinating bit of history to me. OP, please add some pics and tasting notes when you're done giving it a try.

 
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:25 AM   #6
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Neat, an old herbal wine recipe! The raisins were more than likely for nutrient much like a JOAM. Prunes...more nutrient and some flavors other than raisin. While this may not be for everyone, I bet it will be like a herbal cidery brandy or similar to it.

My grandfather used to make some sort of carrot/raisin wine that was rumored to either explode in the cupbords or be drier than a bad turkey...
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Finding caraway seed in bulk is almost impossible. The best I've found so far are the little 1.75 oz jars, but they're about $6 each. Seems pricey for an experiment. Maybe I'll just have to bite the bullet, and spend the money. Hopefully this will be drinkable.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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Amazon.com - did a quick search, many inexpensive options - the third down was a pound for $5.00+$4.99 shipping; I'm sure there are less expensive options too.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Check out Penzy's Spices. Perhaps there is one near you.

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:09 AM   #10
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find the closest Indian / Asian grocery store in your area. the always sell a LARGE array of whole spices by the pound for one tenth the price you would pay in a regular grocery store.
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