On Brining Wheat

[ On Brining Wheat ]

Date: 1769/07/13

Publication Format


stone lime
wheat seed

Nova Scotia

Source: Nova Scotia Gazette
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: Nova Scotia Newspapers on Microfilm | Reference: Microfilm Reels 990, 8162, 8163, 9466


Instructions for brining wheat to prevent smut. Vol. 3, No. 102. Microfilm Reel 9466.


    To the Printer of the Nova-Scotia Gazette.
As the following may be of use to some of your Country
Readers, you are desired to give it a Place in your
next Gazette, and you will oblige

                Your’s, &c.      E. M.
      From the St. James’s Chronicle.
Letter from Mr. John Reynolds, of Addisham
in Kent, to Dr. Peter Templeman, Secretary to
the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &c.
in the Strand.
                On BRINING WHEAT.
   Worthy Sir,
FINDING what has been communicated
by me relating to Husbandry and Agricul-
ture, &c. acceptable to the Hon. Society of Arts,
&c. and being willing to render myself as use-
ful as I possibly can to the community, and withal
oblige those respectable gentlemen you have the
honour to represent; I shall, by your means, lay
before them a useful method that I have long
practised, to prevent the smut in our wheat crops,
a thing of so small consequence to the public in
general, but extremely prejudicial to the owner,
and makes our bread both black and ill-tasted.
    The following receipt will assuredly prevent the
smut, and render both the sowing and drilling of
the wheat much more easy and certain (I mean as
to the quantity) than any other method hitherto
practised, that I ever heard of, by the following
    A tub is to be procured that has a hole at bot-
tom, in which a staff and tap hose is to be fixed
over a whisp of straw, to prevent any small Pieces
of lime passing, as in the brewing way; this done, 
we put 70 gallons of water, then a corn bushel
heap-full of Stone lime, unslacked, stirring it well, 
till the whole is dissolved or mixed, letting it stand
about 30 hours, and then run it off into another
tub as clear as we can (as practised in beer) this
generally produces a Hogshead of good strong
lime-water; then add theree pecks of salt, 42
pounds, which, with a little stirring, will soon
dissolve; thus we have a proper pickle for the pur-
pose of brining and liming our seed wheat without
any manner of obstacle, which is more than can be
said in doing it the common way, and greatly fa-
cilitates the drilling.
    Herein we steep the wheat in a broad-bottomed
basket of about 24 inches diameter, and 20 inches
deep (for large sowings made on purpose) running 
in the grain gradually in small quantities from 10
to 12 gallons up to 16 gallons, stirring the same:
what floats we skim off with a strainer, and is not
to be sown ; then draw up the basket, to drain
over the pickle, for a few minutes ; all which
may be performed, within an hour, sufficiently
pickled; and so proceed as before. This done,
the wheat will be fit for sowing in 24 hours, if re-
quired ; but if designed for drilling, two days
pickled will be found best ; and if prepared four
or five days beforehand, in either case it makes no
difference at all that I know of ; but should the 
seed be clammy, and stick to the notches in the


drill-box, more lime must be added to the lime wa-

ter ; here the master must use his discretion, as the

case requires, for some lime has much more drying

or astringent qualities in it than others. -- if Sea-

water can be obtained conveniently, much less

salt will suffice, but some will be found necessary

even then, otherwise the light grains will not float,

a thing of more consequence than is generally

imagined, and ought to be skimmed off and thrown

aside for poultry, &c. &c.

   I say this from well-grounded experience, hav-

ing practised the methods for 30 Years past, and

never had any black Wheat when prepared as

above, either from sowing or drilling, on great

variety of soils, and large quantites too ; all which

is confirmation enough to continue its practice. And

thus seeing its utility, I throw another Mite into

the noble treasury of arts, &c. for the benefit of

my countrymen, which I trust will be acceptable.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant,

                                    JOHN REYNOLDS.

      The Society have received information, that

on experiment it has been found, the Wheat may

be sown in two hours after being put into the

Brine, provided the Brine is strong enough, and 

due attention is paid to the strengh of the Lime


    Published by Order of the Society,

                      Peter Templeman, Sec.

Defined by the OED as "A fungous disease affecting various plants, esp. cereals, which are spoiled by the grain being wholly or partly converted into a blackish powder."