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liquor, the clearer it is. The reason is plain, because in infusion, the longer it is, the greater is the part of the gross body that goeth into the liquor: but in decoction, though more goeth forth, yet it either purgeth at the top, or settleth at the bottom. And therefore the most exact way to clarify is, first, to infuse, and then to take off the liquor and decoct it; as they do in beer, which hath malt first infused in the liquor, and is afterwards boiled with the hop. This also is referred to separation.
309. TAKE hot embers, and put them about a bottle filled with new beer, almost to the very neck ; let the bottle be well stopped, lest it fly out: and continue it, renewing the embers every day, by the space of ten days; and then compare it with another bottle of the same beer set by. Take also lime both quenched and unquenched, and set the bottles in them ut supra. This instance is referred both to the even distribution, and also to the refining of the spirits by heat.
310. TAKE bottles, and swing them, or carry them in a wheel-barrow upon rough ground twice in a day, but then you may not fill the bottles full, but leave some air; for if the liquor come close to the stopple, it cannot play nor flower: and when you have shaken them well either way, pour the drink into another bottle stopped close after the usual manner; for if it stay with much air in it, the drink will pall; neither will it settle so perfectly in all the parts. Let it stand some twenty-four hours: then take it, and put it again into a bottle with air, ut supra : and thence into a bottle stopped, ut supra: and so repeat the same operation for seven days. Note, that in the emptying of one bottle into another, you must do it swiftly lest the drink pall. It were good also to try it in a bottle with a little air below the neck, without emptying. This instance is referred to the even distribution and refining of the spirits by motion.
311. As for percolation inward and outward, which belongeth to separation, trial would be made of clarifying by adhesion, with milk put into new beer, and stirred with it : for it may be that the grosser VOL. I.
part of the beer will cleave to the milk: the doubt is, whether the milk will sever well again; which is soon tried. And it is usual in clarifying hippocras to put in milk; which after severeth and carrieth with it the grosser parts of the hippocras, as hath been said elsewhere. Also for the better clarification by percolation, when they tun new beer, they use to let it pass through a strainer; and it is like the finer the strainer is, the clearer it will be. Experiments in consort touching maturation, and
the accelerating thereof. And first, touching the maturation and quickening of drinks. And next, touching the maturation of fruits. The accelerating of maturation we will now inquire of. And of maturation itself. It is of three natures. The maturation of fruits: the maturation of drinks : and the maturation of impostumes and ulcers. This last we refer to another place, where we shall handle experiments medicinal. There be also other maturations, as of metals, etc. whereof we will speak as occasion serveth. But we will begin with that of drinks, because it hath such affinity with the clarification of liquors.
312. For the maturation of drinks, it is wrought by the congregation of the spirits together, whereby they digest more perfectly the grosser parts: and it is effected partly by the same means that clarification is, whereof we spake before; but then note, that an extreme clarification doth spread the spirits so smooth, as they become dull, and the drink dead, which ought to have a little flowering. And therefore all your clear amber drink is flat.
313. WE see the degrees of maturation of drinks; in muste, in wine, as it is drunk, and in vinegar. Whereof muste hath not the spirits well congregated ; wine hath them well united, so as they make the parts somewhat more oily; vinegar hath them congregated, but more jejune, and in smaller quantity, the greatest and finest spirit and part being exhaled : for we see vinegar is made by setting the vessel of wine against the hot sun; and therefore vinegar will not burn; for that much of the finer parts is exhaled.
314. THE refreshing and quickening of drink palled or dead, is by enforcing the motion of the spirit : so we see that open weather relaxeth the spirit, and maketh it more lively in motion. We see also bottling of beer or ale, while it is new and full of spirit, so that it spirteth when the stopple is taken forth, maketh the drink more quick and windy. A pan of coals in the cellar doth likewise good, and maketh the drink work again. New drink put to drink that is dead provoketh it to work again: nay, which is more, as some affirm, a brewing of new beer set by old beer, maketh it work again. It were good also to enforce the spirits by some mixtures, that may excite and quicken them; as by putting into the bottles, nitre, chalk, lime, etc. We see cream is matured, and made to rise more speedily by putting in cold water; which, as it seemeth, getteth down the whey.
315. It is tried, that the burying of bottles of drink well stopped, either in dry earth a good depth; or in the bottom of a well within water; and best of all, the hanging of them in a deep well somewhat above the water for some fortnight's space, is an excellent means of making drink fresh and quick; for the cold doth not cause any exhaling of the spirits at all, as heat doth, though it rarifieth the rest that remain : but cold maketh the spirits vigorous, and irritateth them, whereby they incorporate the parts of the liquor perfectly.
316. As for the maturation of fruits; it is wrought by the calling forth of the spirits of the body outward, and so spreading them more smoothly : and likewise by digesting in some degree the grosser parts; and this is effected by heat, motion, attraction; and by a rudiment of putrefaction: for the inception of putrefaction hath in it a maturation.
317. THERE were taken apples, and laid in straw; in hay; in flour; in chalk ; in lime; covered over with onions; covered over with crabs; closed up
in wax; shut in a box, etc. There was also an apple
hanged up in smoke; of all which the experiment sorted in this manner.
318. AFTER a month's space, the apple inclosed in wax was as green and fresh as at the first putting in, and the kernels continued white. The cause is, for that all exclusion of open air, which is ever predatory, maintaineth the body in its first freshness and moisture : but the inconvenience is, that it tasteth a little of the wax; which, I suppose, in a pomegranate, or some such thick-coated fruit, it would not do.
319. The apple hanged in the smoke, turned like an old mellow apple wrinkled, dry, soft, sweet, yellow within. The cause is, for that such a degree of heat, which doth neither melt nor scorch, (for we see that in a great heat, a roast apple softeneth and melteth ; and pigs feet, made of quarters of wardens, scorch and have a skin of cole,) doth mellow, and not adure: the smoke also maketh the apple, as it were, sprinkled with soot, which helpeth to mature. We see that in drying of pears and prunes in the oven, and removing of them often as they begin to sweat, there is a like operation; but that is with a far more intense degree of heat.
320. The apples covered in the lime and ashes were well matured; as appeared both in their yellowness and sweetness. The cause is, for that that degree of heat which is in lime and ashes, being a smothering heat, is of all the rest most proper, for it doth neither liquefy nor arefy ; and that is true maturation. Note, that the taste of those apples was good; and therefore it is the experiment fitted for use.
321. The apples covered with crabs and onions were likewise well matured. The cause is, not any heat; but for that the crabs and the onions draw forth the spirits of the apple, and spread them equally throughout the body; which taketh away hardness. So we see one apple ripeneth against another. And therefore in making of cyder they turn the apples first upon a heap. So one cluster of grapes that toucheth another whilst it groweth, ripeneth faster; botrus contra botrum citius maturescit,
322. The apples in hay and the straw ripened apparently, though not so much as the other; but the apple in the straw more. The cause is, for that the hay and straw have a very low degree of heat, but yet close and smothering, and which drieth not.
323. The apple in the close box was ripened also: the cause is, for that all air kept close hath a degree of warmth: as we see in wool, fur, plush, etc. Note, that all these were compared with another apple of the same kind, that lay of itself: and in comparison of that were more sweet and more yellow, and so appeared to be more ripe.
324. TAKE an apple, or pear, or other like fruit, and roll it upon a table hard : we see in common experience, that the rolling doth soften and sweeten the fruit presently ; which is nothing but the smooth distribution of the spirits into the parts: for the unequal distribution of the spirits maketh the harshness : but this hard rolling is between concoction, and a simple maturation; therefore, if you should roll them but gently, perhaps twice a day; and continue it some seven days, it is like they would mature more finely, and like unto the natural maturation.
325. TAKE an apple, and cut out a piece of the top, and cover it, to see whether that solution of continuity will not hasten a maturation : we see that where a wasp, or a fly, or a worm hath bitten, in a grape, or any fruit, it will sweeten hastily.
326. TAKE an apple, etc. and prick it with a pin full of holes, not deep, and smear it a little with sack, or cinnamon water, or spirit of wine, every day for ten days, to see if the virtual heat of the wine or strong waters will not mature it.
In these trials also, as was used in the first, set another of the same fruits by, to compare them; and try them by their yellowness and by their sweetness. Experiment solitary touching the making of Gold.
The world hath been much abused by the opinion of making of gold: the work itself I judge to be possible ; but the means, hitherto propounded, to effect it, are, in the practice, full of error and im