My Fig Wine recipe (with pictures)

sandsquid(7a)November 30, 2007

Heat up 4 Liters of water and 1-1/2 Lb. Sugar in a big Stainless Steel pot. Once it warms up and sugar is dissolved, take off the heater.

Get a big bag of "fresh" whole figs from the deep-freezer:

slice up and put in processor (while still frozen):

Dump into muslin bag:

Crush up 1 Campden tablet:

Add 1T + 1t Acid Blend

Dump it all into the pot of tepid water:

And wait 24 Hours :

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pezzuti9(z5 PA)

Come on give us the rest of the story. Why must the figs be frozen? Is it ready to drink after the 24-hour waiting period? Does it better with age? Is it a sweet or dry wine? What is the end color? Is it worthwhile making?

I'm asking because I have a friend that makes it but not in the same manner.

Lou NE., PA

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 3:28PM
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After 24 hours you check the Specific Gravity to ensure you have enough fermentable sugars to get the requisite alcohol content needed/desired. You add more sugar or dilute with water to hit you numbers. THEN you "pitch"(add) your wine, not bread, yeast.

Then you let it ferment for a while and wait for primary fermentation to finish most of the sugar is used up, or the alcohol content is so high the yeasts start to die. then transfer to a glass jug to let it "clear" the dead or dormant yeasts fall to the bottom along with all the bits of fruit that escaped the bag.

Pictures soon!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 8:33PM
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After 24 hours check Specific Gravity using a hydrometer, while you re-hydrate the yeast.

Contrary to popular advice/wisdom I use 1/2 Tbs of yeast for a 1 to 3 Gal. batch.
It has never caused me any problems and I get two batches out of 1 sachet.. I save a whopping $0.375 over using a whole sachet... whatever.

Once yeast proofs, pitch it in the must

After 6-12 hours it should have a good head of foam

After 2-3 days (once aerobic ceases and anaerobic fermentation starts) Clap the lid on and put it under an air-lock.

After a week check SG and if 1.000 or less transfer to glass to begin clearing.

It should fall clear eventually.
(the jug on the right is "clear"

You will note that the "full" jug of fig had started to fall clear, in the first picture, but is quite a bit cloudier in the second picture.

This is because I was not 100% pleased w/ the taste so I added 1/4 cup of local honey... Figs and honey are a beautiful combination to eat, so why not in a wine?

I'm not a "clear" wine freak, if it stays cloudy, I'm not too concerned, since our harvest was so sparse this year I'm only going to get maybe 6 bottles, so I don't plan on sharing.

I might even put it up in 12oz capped beer bottles so we can ration it more.. 2 glasses at a time.

be sure to stay tuned for the next installment:
(more) clearing
and bottling!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 12:34PM
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Just an update...

After 8 months in the bottle this wine is AMAZING, but a little light on that golden figgyness flavor.

This year I will bump it up to 5 pounds of figs per gallon and add some banana to give it some extra body.

I have 30 pounds of figs already in the freezer and will be making a 6 gallon (or more) batch this year.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:52PM
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Lu asked (and I was remiss in answering)

>Why must the figs be frozen?

They dont NEED to be frozen but I do so for two reasons:

1) My figs do not all ripen at the same time, and I can "hold" them till I collect enough to fire off a batch.

2) Freezing helps break down the tissue and I get a better extraction of juices, flavors and fermentable sugars.

I chop up the frozen figs because if I just let them thaw they are a soggy mess of pulp and juice.

>Is it ready to drink after the 24-hour waiting period?

It takes several weeks to ferment (yeast conerts sugar into alcohol). at this pount the wine is still coudy and very "hot" (has a harsh alchohol bite).

After it clears and goes into bottles and ages the hotness mellows and the flavor comes out.

> Does it better with age?

Much better with age! I usually do not drink it for at least a year after it's been bottled, but I just had to taste this batch to see how it's coming along after a months

>Is it a sweet or dry wine?

I make mine dry, or "off dry". but I don;t like sweet wines.
You can use a yeast with lower alcohol tolerance so it stops fermenting at a lower %A.B.V. and has more natural sugars retained. Or after it stops fermenting hit it with stabilizers (yeast killers) and then back-sweeten it to taste before bottling it. the stabilizers are of major importnace because if you dont kill off the yeast, it will begin to ferment in the bottle and explode.

>What is the end color?


>Is it worthwhile making?


    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:06PM
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good post, sandsquid. Long ago, I made beer and wine as a hobby.(if you dont believe me, I have a 17 year old parrot who still will greet people he doesn't know with 'let's have a beer!') Lotta fun! Great learning! Yummy! Someday, when I produce fruit (or my trees hee hee) I will try this.
Fall would be an excellent time to sit and sip, and gaze at the slanting rays of the sun . . . . . ..

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:37PM
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you can cold stabilize the wine and it will kill the yeast and if it's cloudy it will settle to the bottom. At the winery they chill it to -8 C they run the wine through the chillers.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:51PM
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How on earth do you keep the wine from souring in that aerobic period?

I make peach wine sometimes, and if I do not put the bubbler on it immediately all I get is a stinking mess of vinegar.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:21PM
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The Campden tablets in the must, and meticulous sanitation of everything else.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:25PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Sandsquid, I decided to make fig wine!

I took ideas from your recipe and a couple others on the web.

I ended up with 200 oz of figs, so I am hoping for 5 gallons. I used sugar (10 lbs) that I inverted. I also added 2 lbs honey, the juice and rind from 5 eureka lemons and 5 meyers lemons (we grow them too). To cover my bases I also added some of the acid mix, to get the malic acid. My initial specific gravity is 1.130 so if I do not dilute I will get a semi sweet wine. Yeasts are going crazy so something is working and I need to wait to put it in the secondary fermenter.

We tasted the must before adding the yeast and wow, is it yummy!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 6:05PM
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How did the next batch go? Did bumping the ratio up to 5 lb per gal and adding the banana make a big difference? I've evolved my wine making to omit the campden tablets with no bad results. Whats your opinion on campden tablets? I've found that more and more people don't like sulfites in their wine.

Little John

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 12:36PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Just planted my first fig tree. AND I love to make my own wine! Wine can be made with all things edible!!

If you are a wine nut, check out the link I have posted.

Regarding my fig tree. I have no clue what variety. Got it from "shudder" Gurneys!

Thanks for your post. I have saved it to my clippings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Worlds Best Wine Making Forums

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:16PM
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Just stumbled accross this while viewing fruit trees on another site. While I'm no expert on the subject I can recall my grandfather making fig wine in the barn back in the 50's.
He was an Italian immigrant that spoke barely an english word but he was a master at grafting fruit trees and growing them.
He had his own fig trees (not sure of the variety) and would make fig wine that was to die for!
I don't recall all this science listed here. I know he had an apparatus that had hose running from one bottle to another to which he watched the bubbling very close. He didn't freeze the figs but instead would lay them out in the sun for several days before wine preparation. He did add sugar and I'm pretty sure yeast but what variety, I don't recall. It took far more than 24 hours, I would think it was weeks but again, that's a long time ago.
When finished, he would put it in bottles......any glass bottles he had. Then he would lay it at about a 10-15 degree angle in a rigging he made and turn the bottles periodically until all the sediment was in the bottom of the bottle. We would drink the previous years wine while he made the current years.
My grandfather died when I was very young so I don't totally recall the process. One of my uncles made it as well but would never reveal the selfish of him! I would love to make some now if I could find a recipe and the proper steps to follow. Fig wine is to die for but I also think the proper variety of fig is of as much importance to a fine fig wine!!
I don't think back then they could purchase all the chemical listed here. I think they just used whatever they had in the kitchen pantry.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Just wanted to add a couple more thoughts.
I know my grandfather had a root cellar to which he would put the wine. I believe root cellars maintain a natural temperature of 56 degrees farenhiet so that may be how he stopped the fermentation......if he even did??
Also, I'm not sure about the yeast, he may have just allowed the sugars to ferment on their own if that's possible??
My problem is I can't remember what I did yesterday let alone 50 years ago! Guess I will do some serious research and experimentation.......some R&D if you will!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:24AM
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lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

I'm trying to figure out when the muslin bag of figs is removed from the mix.

(I'm also sick with a cold, so I may not be thinking clearly.)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:17PM
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This will be my first attempt I am rather intimidated by the verbiage. How do you recommend re-hydrating the yeast? Do I put the yeast into the pot or into the bag with the fig mess? What numbers should I aim for with the first SG check before the yeast go in? It was not a good year in Oregon for Figs glad I put them in the freezer.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:10PM
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