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cane skimmings

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[Note: Parts of this entry were previously at cane beer.]

cane skimmings n pl chiefly GA, FL Cf cane beer n

The material skimmed from the surface of sugarcane juice as it is boiled into syrup; esp this material after it has fermented, used directly as a beverage or distilled into moonshine.
1885 Boston Weekly Globe (MA) 24 Mar 6/7 neFL, A generous quantity of cane skimmings was brought forth. . . and the men drank of the skimmings. With the exception of stonefence, there is perhaps no other beverage more bewildering than this product of the cane field. 1889 Atlanta Constitution (GA) [15 Jan 5]/2 ( ceGA, Williams’s affidavits are to the effect that . . he also found about twenty-four barrels and kegs of cane skimmings or beer hard by the still. 1924 in 2017 (acc) Lexis–Nexis Legal Research State Case Law: AL (Internet), The fact that the still was found set up and warm . . 142 yards from the back of his garden, where was found buried five barrels, one of which contained cane beer and another cane skimmings, . . together with some other circumstances . . , was sufficient upon which to base a verdict of guilt as to Jim Dickey. 1933 Rawlings South Moon 49 FL, In the second October after his wife’s death Lantry ran a few quarts of liquor from his cane-skimmings. 1955 AmSp 30.158 GA, Other names [for sugarcane beer] . . are: . . cane skimmings. 1965–68 DARE (Qu. DD28b, . . Fermented drinks . . made at home) Inf FL17, Cane skimmings; (Qu. DD25, . . Nicknames . . for beer) Inf GA26, Cane skimmings; (Qu. DD31, Joking names for homemade hard liquor; total Infs questioned, 75) Inf FL35, Cane skimmings. 1965 DARE Tape FL43, Whoever was operating the mill, he would take the foam off the top of the vats and dip it into a barrel. . . This foam would settle into a liquid and let it set for, oh seven, nine, maybe ten days and it’d ferment and it’d make a wine. It’s quite tasty for a wine. It’s a little bit sweet, but it’s about 90 proof. . . A barrel of—they call it cane skimmins—would usually last a year on the farm. 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance (Home-brewed beer or whiskey) 1 inf, swGA, Cane skimmings—also called “wine”; 1 inf, swGA, Cane skimmings—spirits at top of syrup; 1 inf, swGA, Cane skimmings, cane-skimmings liquor; 1 inf, nwFL, Cane skimmings—used to make beer; 1 inf, csAL, Cane skimmings—liquor; 1 inf, swGA, Cane-skimming whiskey. 2001 Carter Hour Before Daylight 174 swGA, These “cane skimmings” were poured into a barrel alongside the cooking vat. Quickly fermenting with the heat, they became a potent brew within a few days, which Daddy usually let the cane-mill workers imbibe—but not until after noon on Saturdays. 2007 in 2017 DARE File—Internet sGA, [Resp to a question about buying sugar in large bags:] I doubt the ATF would find anyone in there [=Sam’s Club] that would be sharp enough to remember what they sold to who. Cane skimmings are definitely under the radar as well. Or so I have heard.
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