• Old Recipe: "Bee Wine"

    From fryjeremy96@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Mon Oct 17 07:15:02 2016
    Hi all. I have seen "literary" references to this in both George Orwell's Coming Up for Air and Bill Naughton's

    Orwell's narrator merely describes it as, "filthy stuff" - very Orwell!

    In "The Bees Have Stopped Working," a short story, the reader is given a good look at how the bees (exactly what they are is never wholly clear, although there is one reference to 'fungus') are set to work and, also, how potent the brew is. Given all
    that sugar, not entirely surprising. ...

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  • From rgjmaurice@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Nancy Jenner on Sun Feb 14 10:37:54 2016
    Dorothy Hartley's excellent book on food history called "Food in England has a recipe for "Bee Wine", which lists Saccharomyces Pyriformia and Bacterium Vermiforme as the elements required to make "Bee Wine". In searching for means to acquire these to
    try to make the stuff (which I am just in the process of researching), I discovered reference to these two elements in the making of ginger beer at the following site : http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/967/#b
    I'm just in the process of getting the bits required to try these recipes, but I hope this information is in some way useful to you.

    On Saturday, August 3, 1996 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-7, Nancy Jenner wrote:
    Some time last year I posted a note asking for some input on a recipe I'd found in with some family papers. A couple of people expressed interest
    and asked for copies of the recipe. Naturally, the day after I made the initial inquiry the sheaf of papers got misplaced, and I never did get
    back to anyone. The papers have resurfaced, and I'd like to start over.

    Anyway, for a little provenance, this recipe was tucked in a cookbook
    that belonged to my great-grandmother. She had worked in a her father's bakery in Victorian England, and the handwritten recipes in the book are
    for confections such as hot-cross buns and wedding cakes. The recipe
    itself seems to be of a later vintage, as it is a type-written carbon

    My thoughts are that either this is some sort of sickly-sweet English
    "folk" beverage, or that it is from later, when the family moved to California, which means it could possibly be a Prohibition era home-brew.
    I could probably try to track down the brand name "Brer Rabbit Molasses"
    to see when and where it came from.

    In any case, it looks like it would produce a rather thick, vile
    concoction. Nevertheless, I'd like to give it a try for curiosity's sake.

    My questions are:

    1)Does it look like it would work?
    2)Has anyone seen this type of recipe, with the dried fruit and molasses, before?
    3)Where in the world am I going to find these "Yeast barnacles," or
    "Bees" particularly since the folk wisdom is that I'm not supposed to buy them?
    4)Is anyone familiar with the term "bee" applied to this sort of yeast formation? Is it an obsolete term? Is it regional?

    The hard part, obviously, will be identifying and locating some "bees."
    I wonder if the term refers to a now extinct strain of yeast?

    I've typed up the recipe. Aside from correcting a couple of obvious
    typing errors, I haven't changed anything, as I rather like the style.
    I think the title is supposed to be "Champagne" but on the off-chance
    that "Champagene" is a real term, I left it in.

    I welcome any advice or general musings-- or donations of bees.

    --Nancy Jenner

    Bee Wine Or Champagene (sic.)

    The Bees or wine barrel barnacles should be given to you after being thoroughly washed by several changes of water until they are a white mass,
    i.e., they should have no odor of the preceding fermentation. They
    should be pure white and smell yeasty.
    Two quarts of Bees makes four gallons and at the end of fermentation the
    growing of these strange multiplying joys will be nearly doubled. So:
    hand them (those you do not need) to some poor guy with his tongue
    hanging out of his mouth and make him do the work himself.
    Tradition says: Never sell or buy or the strange work of nature will cease.
    After bees are thoroughly cleansed, put in glass, earthen or porcelain receptacle and cover with water (cold) and add one half cup of cane sugar.
    In twenty four hours pour off water and repeat. This is called resting and the required time is supposed to be 48 hours.
    Now gently put bees in a 5 or 6 gallon jar and pour in with them a two pound and four ounce can of yellow label light brown Brer Rabbit Molasses.
    Now gently stir (the hand is best) until it all becomes one or
    thoroughly mixed. Let this stand 24 hours.
    Now add four gallons of water (cold), also two pounds of small seedless
    raisins washed, stemmed, ground and put in a loose woven bag and three
    cups of cane sugar stirring gently; Repeat the three cups of sugar every day for seven days after which let it stand 48 hours.
    Filter through a cloth (the slime accumulated during fermentation makes
    this a tedious proposition). If the weather isn't too warm it can stand
    in a five gallon bottle loosely corked until clear, bottle and cap or tie down corks, ready in three or four weeks.
    Press the raisins in bag gently daily during fermentation.
    The liquid must be removed from jar with dipper or something and poured
    through a strainer into the cloth filter to catch the bees.
    The bees must then be washed by going through several changes of water,
    bulks of it at a time, then rested or sugared as described above before
    used again, or they can be dried; however if you dry them they must not
    be sugared after washing.
    To dry them spread them out on a large towel or cloth placed in the hot
    sun with paper over them to keep flies etc. off. When dry they are very small and brown in color, put in a fruit can (glass) and screw down air tight. Be sure they are thoroughly dry or they will blow up. To use
    again soak and proceed as above.

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  • From storyofafangirl69@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 1 00:33:26 2017
    So, I am about to make it myself. The Bees are a term for the formation as it is called Bee wine. The formula I have for this is so much simpler. 2 tablespoons of sugar, to a pint of water. Boil to a syrup, then drop a dime size worth or yest in, and
    either Tartaric acid or Citric. Start it off at blood heat, and then jar till the yest begins to bubble and grow. Giving it it's name. This is one of the "old formulas" but a bit off yet it should work.

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  • From nikki-shaw@live.co.uk@21:1/5 to All on Thu Aug 3 07:59:20 2017
    Hi all, I'm in the UK and was given a 'bees culture' many years ago, after finding an address in a winemaking book. I kept it going for a few months and just used it in my recipes in place of shopbought. The resulting wines tended to be quite dry and
    with added syrup at racking or bottling, become sparkling more often than not. It may have just been beginners luck.
    Anyway. Point of this reply... Last year I was given a water kefir culture to try out and the 'grains' looked very similar to the bees starter. After a while, I didn't strain them daily and the end result became quite alcoholic and I added it to a stuck
    quince and green fig wine - with the resulting ferment starting again with 'bees' floating up and down in exactly the same way, despite straining the gelatinous lumps out.
    It's now a clear golden colour and finished fermenting with very little sediment. It smells pleasantly dry, and is next on the list to rack, although I may bottle depending on its alcohol content and if I can scrounge champagne bottles.

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