Guybert on Sugar Part II
The second part of Philbert Guybert’s The Charitable Physitian is titled The Charitable Apothecary. In the first treatise in this part is a section on the clarification of sugar and honey and on sugar boiling. Here then is that section on how an apothecary might clarify sugar and honey.
CHAP. II. The manner to clarifie Sugar and Honey:
GOod Sugar, which is white, hard, solid, and cleare, and of a good smell; ought not to be clarified, for it will yeeld little or no scumme; But for sugar which is not cleare, nor hard, shall be clarified as followeth.
Take (for example) two pound of Sugar, break it and cut it into small pieces, put it into a pan, and poure upon it a pint of water decoction or infusion to melt it, and while it is a melting, take two whites of egges with the shells, and beate them very well together in another pan or bason, pouring by little and little into it another pint of water or decoction, which being well beaten together with a whiske or little rod; then take the sugar being melted from the fire, and beate them all together, then put them upon the fire, and when you see the scumme rise and it begins to boyle, then take it from the fire, and straine it through the blancket made fast to the foure corners of the wooden square, with a bason underneath to receave that which is strained.
If the said sugar being strained seeme not to be clarified enough, you may passe it againe through the blanket, and so you may doe two or three times, but it must be done while it is hot.
When the said sugar is faire enough, one need not take the paines to clarifie it for Syrups, &c. but onely at the end of their boyling, take them from the fire and scumme it with a silver spoone, or with a spoone with holes you may take of the scum.
That if you clarifie sugar, you must put for each pound of sugar a pint of water decoction or infusion, and one white of an egge with the shell; but if the Sugar bee soule, you must put more of the liquor, and more whites of eggs, according to the dampnesse thereof.
That those syrups which are made of Iuices, are made with good white sugar; as those of Raspas, Quinces, Mulberries, Cherries, and the like: for if they be often clarified, they loose their strength and vertue.
Also that to make syrup of Lymons, Granates, and others, you must have of the best sugar, and it must bee boyled to the height as you make your sugar of Roses, but if you cannot get that which is very white, you must first clarifie it, and then boyle it and scumme it as is aforesaid.
At the end when your sugar is strained, you must not presse and squeeze the blancket, but let it straine by little and little untill it be all dropt into the rest. [p 67-68]
For to clarifie Honey, take a pound or two, or the quantity you please of the best Honey; put it into a pan with as much water or other liquor, and put it upon the fire, and when it hath boyld a walme or two, straine it through a strong linnen cloath; and for every two pound of honey take a white of an egge with the shell; (as is aforesaid in the clarification of Sugar) and the second straining shall bee boyled to what consistence the Physician shall see fitting.
If the honey bee very foule, you must put more liquor and whites of egges, as is said of Sugar; Note, that when you straine your honey it must bee very hot, but the sugar ought to coole a little before you passe it. [p 69]
The Charitable Apothecary then moves on to include information on working with boiling sugar.
CHAP. XVI. The manner to boyle Sugar to the consistance; to make Sugar of Roses.
BOyle a pound of Sugar, or what quantity you please, that is to say to a pound of Sugar, halfe a pint of water into the consistance or height which you shall know by these signes following.
First, the summe that riseth from the sugar in the skillet or other vessell will be very little, when the sugar is almost boiled.
Secondly, taking a little up upon the end of the spatule, and throwing it upon the ground, a little of it
will flye away, and that which is one ground doth not cleave thereto: Also you may know by putting a little upon a trencher and let it coole; also in taking a little upon the end of the spatule or spoone, and pouring it down, maketh a long thred by those signes, you may know when it is boyled to the consistance, you shall know also when it is halfe cold by the thicknesse of it. [p 76-77]
CHAP. XVII. To boyle Sugar to make Tablets or Lozinges with powders.
TO make the said Lozinges or Tablets, if you have not of the best Sugar, take some midling Sugar, and when it is almost boyled, scum it very well; this Sugar must not be boyled to that height as the Sugar of Roses, you may know when it is enough by taking a little upon the Spatule or upon a trencher, and it groweth thicke and doth not runne, but yet it sticks to the trencher; also if you take a little upon the end of the spatule, it maketh a thred but not so long as that of Sugar of Roses.
And to tell you in one word, you must have judgement to judge of the boyling thereof, for sometimes there is put two drammes of powder, for two ounces of Sugar, and sometimes a dramme for two ounces.
Onto Part III
Onto Part III