The Practical Distiller: or an introduction to making whiskey, gin, brandy, spirits, &c, of better quality, and in larger quantities, than produced by the present mode of distilling, from the produce of the United States
Harrisburgh: John Wyeth, 1809. 8vo. 184pp. Paper tones, as usual.
Contemporary sheep, flat spine ruled in gilt, red morocco lettering piece
Rare early American distiller's manual, and scarce early Harrisburg imprint.
The work includes directions for making spirits from rye, corn, buck wheat, apples, peaches, potatoes, turnips, etc., with details on the practical part of distilling, and with instructions for purifying, clearing, and colouring whiskey. In addition, the work also includes receipts for making cider, domestic wines, and beer.
Just the second American book on distilling, the Practical Distiller is a classic rare and vital work on the practicalities and economics of liquor production in early 19th century America. Of particular interest is the Lancaster County author's advice to char the barrels by burning straw to "sweeten" the barrel and his use of maple charcoal filtering to give "aged flavor" to the product. The former seems a precursor to the barrel charring practiced by the best whiskey makers today while the charcoal filtering is an essential to Tennessee Whiskey.
First and only edition of one of the earliest American distilling manuals
Gabler G28530; Rink 1473; Shaw & Shoemaker 17955; Lowenstein 51.