An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jiujing 酒經

Jun 17, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

There were several books with the title Jiujing 酒經 "Classic of wine", the largest of which is Zhu Yizhong's 朱翼中 Beishan jiujing 北山酒經 from the Song period. Another writing is the Jiujing of Su Shi 蘇軾 (Su Dongpo 蘇東坡, 1037-1101).

Su Shi's book is also known as Dongpo Jiujing 東坡酒經. It is only quite short and briefly speaks of various themes like the production of predried yeast (bing 餅) or fresh ferments (qu 麯), the process of fermenting wine. It is to be found in the series Shuofu 說郛.

The chapter on wine in the early Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) encyclopaedia Gujin tushu jicheng 古今圖書集成 provides a list of early texts on wine of which the greatest part is lost. These are:

甘露經 Ganlujing (Tang) 李璡 Li Jin
酒經 Jiujing (Tang) 李璡 Li Jin
酒錄 Jiulu () NN
白酒方 Baijiufang () NN
四時酒要方 Sishi jiu yaofang () NN
秘修藏釀方 Mixiu cangniang fang () NN
酒經 Jiujing (Song) 王績 Wang Ji
酒譜 Jiupu (Song) 王績 Wang Ji
酒孝經 Jiu xiaojing (Song) 劉炫 Liu Xuan
貞元飲略 Zhenyuan yinlüe (Song) 劉炫 Liu Xuan
醉鄉小略 Zuixiang xiaolüe (Song) 胡節還 Hu Jiehuan
白酒方 Baijiufang (Song) 胡節還 Hu Jiehuan
酒譜 Jiupu (Song) 徐炬 Xu Ju
酒肆 Jiusi (Song) 侯臺 Hou Tai
酒譜 Jiupu (Song) 焦革 Jiao Ge
酒譜 Jiupu (Song) 竇革 Dou Ge (竇苹 Dou Ping)

Zhu Yizhong 朱翼中 (jinshi degree 1088), actual name Zhu Hong 朱肱 (Yizhong is his courtesy name), style Dayinweng 大隱翁 or Dayin 大隱, was famous as a physician and was granted the title of erudite (boshi 博士) by the imperial court and was a court gentleman for consultation (yilang 議郎). Because he had misused a poem of Su Dongpo he was exiled to Dazhou 達州 (modern Daxian 達縣, Sichuan). In his later years he run a wine factory near Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang.

The 3-juan-long Jiujing (also known with the title Beishan jiujing 北山酒經) begins with a general introduction into the topic, in which he also clarifies the merits and evils of wine. He says that in ancient times people only used wine for sacrifices brought to Heaven, Earth and the spirits (wei si er yi 惟祀而已), and only later the consumption of wine out of pure enjoyment spread in the world. This part ends with a description of the production of wine and alcoholic beverages in general. The middle part of the Jiujing is dedicated to the production of more than ten kinds of ferments (qu 麴). The last chapter explains concrete matters of the manufacture of different types of alcoholic beverages.

The author quotes from a lot of ancient texts, from the Classic Zhouli 周禮 "Rites of the Zhou" and the chapter Yueling 月令 in the Liji 禮記 "Records of Rites" to the dictionaries Shuowen jiezi 文解字 and Shiming 釋名 to the agricultural text Qimin yaoshu 齊民要術. He quotes from a pharmacopeia in which it is said that wine is "sweet but strong; hot; poisonous". "Although it is able to liberate from sorrows, it can make sick and may cause rotting intestines, festered marrow and ragged muscles."

The Jiujing is the oldest book in which red-fermented rice (hongqu 紅麴) is mentioned that is manufactured in a process in which temperature must be higher than for other ferments. Zhu Yizhong divides ferments into three types, namely "covered ferments" (yanqu 罨麴), "aired ferment" (fengqu 風麴) and "exposed ferment" (qubao 麴{酉+暴}). For the production of "covered ferment" the yeast is enclosed in wheat straw (maijie 麥稭) and turned from time to time. The most important production method of covered fermentis called dundici 頓遞祠 for which hop (shema 蛇麻) is used. For the production of aired ferment leaves or paper are used, and the package is hung up in a place where the air goes through. "Exposed ferment" is produced with the help of grass that can be taken off if "hair" grows.

Each single step of the fermenting process is described, like preparing steep water from wheat and allow it to turn sour (wojiang 卧漿), washing glutinous rice with running water till clean (taomi 淘米), boiling steep water until the right acidity and consistency is obtained (jianjiang 煎漿), soaking cleaned rice in hot steep water for several days (tangmi 湯米), steaming sour rice and spreading it on a table to cool (cheng cumi 蒸醋麋), preparing inoculum with ferment and steamed rice ( 用麴), taking leaven yeast from active fermentation or using predried material (hexiao 合酵), preparing fermenting batch by mixing sour steamed with with malt, yeast and ferment in a jar and layer in some rice steep water (tumi 酴米), steaming clean, prewashed sweet rice and cooking it on a table (cheng ganmi 蒸甜麋), adding additional charged of steamed rice as needed depending on the seasons (touru 投醹), preparing pottery jars by washing and curing with oil (jiuqi 酒器), transferring fermented mash on trough for pressing (shangcao 上槽), draining, pressing and collecting wine in jars (shoujiu 收酒), steaming jars to stabilize the wine and cooling slowly (zhujiu 煮酒), and fire-pressuring wine in a sealed jar (huobi jiu 火迫酒).

From this product, other types of alcoholic beverages might be manufactured, like exposed wine (paojiu 曝酒), white sheep wine (baiyangjiu 白羊酒), earth-yellow wine (dihuangjiu 地黄酒), chrysanthemum wine (juhuajiu 菊花酒), tubaojiu 酴䤖酒, wine from grapes (putaojiu 葡萄酒), "hedgehog" wine (weijiu 猥酒), immortals' wine (shenxianjiu 神仙酒) and cold well wine (lengquanjiu 冷泉酒). The author also provides recipes for many types of wine or beer, with exact quantities of a large amount of additives and flavouring substances.

The transmitted version of the Jiujing included an appendix with quotations of Yuan Hongdao's 袁宏道 (1586-1610) Shangzheng 觴政 and Wang Ji's 王績 (585-644) Zuixiangji 醉鄉記. This appendix is left out in the Siku quanshu 四庫全書 version of the Jiujing. The Beishan jiujing is also to be found in the series Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書 and the Xu guyi congshu 續古逸叢書.

Li Bao 李保, also from the Song period, has written the supplement Xu Beishuan jiujing 續北山酒經 with 46 methods of fermenting alcoholic beverages, but its scholarly quality does not reach that of Zhu Yizhong's original. It is included in the series Shuofu (Weiwan Shantang 宛委山堂 edition).

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1861.
Shi Zhengkang 施正康 (1994). "Beishan jiujing 北山酒經", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Jingji 經濟 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 175.
Tao Wentai 陶文臺 (1995). "Beishan jiujing 北山酒经", in Zhongguo pengren baike quanshu 中國烹飪百科全書 (Beijing: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 39.
Zeng Kang 曾抗 (1996). "Beishan jiujing 北山酒經", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 766.
Zhou Jiahua 周嘉華 (1995). "Dongpo jiujing tiyao 《東坡酒經》提要", in Guo Zhengyi 郭正誼, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Huaxue 化學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 849-850.
Zhou Jiahua 周嘉華 (1995). "Beishan jiujing tiyao 《北山酒經》提要", in Guo Zhengyi 郭正誼, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Huaxue 化學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 853-854.
Zhu Baoyong 朱寶鏞, Zhang Kechang 章克昌, eds. (2000). Zhongguo jiujing 中國酒經 (Shanghai: Shanghai wenhua chubanshe), 26-28.
蜀漢 (221-263)