Fresh Fig Wine

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Ron0126

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Dad called me and said he had about 6lbs of brown turkey figs freshly picked from the tree in his backyard and wanted to know if I wanted to make some wine.

So, I cut them all in half and put them in the freezer on Sunday let them freeze solid, and got started tonight. For a one gallon recipe I used:

6.75 lbs of fresh figs halved and put into a fine mesh fruit bag in my primary fermentation bucket, then mashed with a potato masher (most recipes called for no more than 4 lbs)
7 pints of warm water
1 tsp Bentonite dissolved in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes and stirred until there were no lumps
1 Tbsp acid blend
1/2 tsp Pectic enzyme
3.75 cups of sugar
Starting SG = 1.08 but will check again before I pitch yeast and maybe adjust to 1.09

Tomorrow night, I'll check the SG again, then add:

1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 pkg Montrachet yeast

Rack a few times since figs are pretty notorious for lots of sediment from what I can tell, then hit it with some Sparkolloid, rack again, and bulk age for one year until the next batch of figs are ready to pick.

IMG_3608.jpg
 
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Stressbaby

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I made similar wine last year:

6.5# figs
Sugar 1kg
1/2t GoFerm
1t Fermaid K, divided
Tannin 1/2t
Pectic enzyme 1t
Citric acid 0.5t
Tartaric acid 1.5t
Water 7.5 pints
2g Opti White
1.3g Booster Blanc
Lallzyme EX 0.2g

1.088, pH adjusted from 6.06 to 3.64; EC-1118; no bentonite.
Cleared readily on it's own and bottled dry just a couple of weeks ago. Interesting wine we'll see how it develops.
 

Ron0126

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I made similar wine last year:

6.5# figs
Sugar 1kg
1/2t GoFerm
1t Fermaid K, divided
Tannin 1/2t
Pectic enzyme 1t
Citric acid 0.5t
Tartaric acid 1.5t
Water 7.5 pints
2g Opti White
1.3g Booster Blanc
Lallzyme EX 0.2g

1.088, pH adjusted from 6.06 to 3.64; EC-1118; no bentonite.
Cleared readily on it's own and bottled dry just a couple of weeks ago. Interesting wine we'll see how it develops.
NICE!
I wonder if I should add some tannin? What's your opinion?
 

Ron0126

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So how did this work out?
It’s still in the carboy.
I sampled it at 6 & 12 months and it was terrible, I almost poured it out. At 18 months it had improved immensely. I’m going to wait three full years to see how it turns out.
 

Cxwgfamily

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I am glad to hear someone else's Fig Wine was bad at the 6 and 12 month mark. I made a batch three years ago and I to almost poured it out. I was just getting serious about wine making and the fig batch was a punch to the gut. I tasted it a 6 months and it was undrinkable. I could not even swallow it, I had to spit it out. I was about to dump it when I had the thought that wine is suppose to get better with aging. I racked it again and let it sit another 6 months. At 12 months it had gone from undrinkable to just terrible. An improvement, so I let it go another 6 months. Wow, it had continued to improve from terrible to bad. to shorten the story, at two years, it was OK to tolerable. But at two and a half years it was actually pretty good. I will taste again at 3 years (which is this July). I am looking forward to it and I hope I get enough figs this year to make another batch
 

Ron0126

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I am glad to hear someone else's Fig Wine was bad at the 6 and 12 month mark. I made a batch three years ago and I to almost poured it out. I was just getting serious about wine making and the fig batch was a punch to the gut. I tasted it a 6 months and it was undrinkable. I could not even swallow it, I had to spit it out. I was about to dump it when I had the thought that wine is suppose to get better with aging. I racked it again and let it sit another 6 months. At 12 months it had gone from undrinkable to just terrible. An improvement, so I let it go another 6 months. Wow, it had continued to improve from terrible to bad. to shorten the story, at two years, it was OK to tolerable. But at two and a half years it was actually pretty good. I will taste again at 3 years (which is this July). I am looking forward to it and I hope I get enough figs this year to make another batch

This is definitely a hobby that tests your patience (and your resolve)!
Mine will be two years old in July but it's going to sit for at least another year. At least...
 

Jesse Brown

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So here's a tough question to answer...Do you think the terrible taste is from CO2 and the improvement is from slowly gassing off? I'm just wondering if you could speed up the aging process by doing some vacuum degassing. I know that if I have a relatively young wine, I can do a quick degass and notice an immediate improvement.
 

Ron0126

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So here's a tough question to answer...Do you think the terrible taste is from CO2 and the improvement is from slowly gassing off? I'm just wondering if you could speed up the aging process by doing some vacuum degassing. I know that if I have a relatively young wine, I can do a quick degass and notice an immediate improvement.
That is a tough question to answer ... but I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer. What I CAN tell you is that it was so bad in the beginning, it smelled like someone soaked their dirty gym socks in it. But today, it's improving steadily. Sill gonna give it another year though.

It's been two years so I'd have to assume that the CO2 has left and it's flat as a pancake. Plus I don't have a vacuum pump.

Maybe someone else knows the answer to your question but your hypothesis does make sense given your experience.
 

joeswine

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Vacuum degassing also can elements taste really not a good thing to do.
Spash racking is better.
 

Johnd

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Vacuum degassing also can elements taste really not a good thing to do.
Spash racking is better.
@joeswine It's hard to determine what you are trying to get to, are you saying that: "vacuum degassing can eliminate taste and really isn't a good thing to do, and that splash racking is better?
 
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Scooter68

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By 12 months I would expect all CO2 to have left the scene. Other than some gasses generated by additions of k-Meta, wouldn't gassing off be long since over by 12 months? I've not found any evidence of CO2 in my wine once it's been aged 9 months or more and racked 4-5 times since fermentation ended. (I rack on a 3 months cycle after the first 4-6 weeks)
 

winemaker81

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Ron, if you have a powered stirring rod, stir the fig wine (in an open fermenter) for a minute, then rack back into the carboy. While vacuum pumps certainly do the job, I have found that the vigorous stirring post-fermentation drives the CO2 out.

I'm looking to make fig wine this summer -- a co-worker's parents have 3 trees on their property and apparently far more goes to waste than is used. I assumed it would be like any other fruit, but it appears fig wine needs far longer aging than most fruit wines. If things work out, I'll take that into consideration.
 

Handy Andy

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Hi
I made some fig wine, a few weeks ago, it is drinkable already.
I am wondering what the difference is, between yours and mine?
I used Figs, Turbo Yeast, Sugar, and water. The figs came out of my freezer. The fermentation was over in 10 days, I punched the figs down every day.

I also made some very nice wine this year, and following advice from the forum I added nutrients to my yeast, to prevent the wine developing bad flavors from badly nourished yeast.

The Turbo yeast I used with my fig wine has nutrients. Perhaps this is why my fig wine is pleasantly drinkable already. The rest of my fig is in my cellar aging. I strongly suspect it might not last 18 months.

Could your bad flavour be due to lack of Nutrients?
 

NoQuarter

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Hi
I made some fig wine, a few weeks ago, it is drinkable already.
I am wondering what the difference is, between yours and mine?
I used Figs, Turbo Yeast, Sugar, and water. The figs came out of my freezer. The fermentation was over in 10 days, I punched the figs down every day.

I also made some very nice wine this year, and following advice from the forum I added nutrients to my yeast, to prevent the wine developing bad flavors from badly nourished yeast.

The Turbo yeast I used with my fig wine has nutrients. Perhaps this is why my fig wine is pleasantly drinkable already. The rest of my fig is in my cellar aging. I strongly suspect it might not last 18 months.

Could your bad flavour be due to lack of Nutrients?
Handy Andy, I have been through this posting several times and could never understand their results.
I make 6 gallons of fig wine every year and it is a favorite among my family and friends. I think it may have to do with the type figs.
There are many varieties that taste very different and have varied brix levels. I use a basic recipe and it even clears on its own over 30 or so days in secondary. I think also time of harvest is important. many years ago I would pick when the color changed...still had latex sap dripping from stem. Now I wait to pick until they are nearly falling apart and all the bugs are starting to get in. Then i just cut stem end off and freeze till I get enough.
 

Cxwgfamily

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I went through this thread again this morning. I think the reason my wine was bad originally was my wine making skill and knowledge was lacking. The batch I made this year is 6 months old and drinkable now. I look forward to seeing if this wine continues to improve. With regard to CO2, I age my wine about a year and all co@ is gone at that time. I generally do not splash rack, I add the wine to the new carboy via subsurface addition. Just a measure I take to minimize air introduction into the wine. Getting back to the fig wine, I tend to use a blend of the Brown Turkey and the LSU fig variety.
 

Handy Andy

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Is it normal to add Bentonite before fermentation???

I waited until well after the fermentation was over when it became clear my wine was not going to clear.
 
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