Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 01-11-2014, 02:11 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Old Recipe: "Bee Wine"



I ended up here after reading a mention of Bee Wine in "Cooking in a Bedsitter" by Katharine Whitehorn, published in 1961 in the UK. In the Epilogue, she describes a (what we'd call today) foody friend's bedsit/kitchen: "On one end of this mantlepiece, which was broad, a large jar of bee wine was in full activity, the bees with awful deliberation floating very slowly up and down."

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Old 17-10-2016, 03:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Old Recipe: "Bee Wine"

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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Old 01-07-2017, 08:33 AM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Old Recipe: "Bee Wine"

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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Old 03-08-2017, 03:59 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Old Recipe: "Bee Wine"

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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