How to make fig wine at home
I have always liked to experiment, try different things, unconventional, exotic, rare… and today I have made one of my pending subjects a reality: making fig wine.
I have managed to gather this large plate full of figs and I have set to work.
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INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING FIG WINE
– 2.5 kg of figs.
– 2.5 liters of water.
– Three tablespoons of sugar.
– An envelope of dehydrated bread yeast.
Traditionally in Mallorca the figs of the second harvest were crushed one by one or glued two by two (acops) and dried in the sun. Once dehydrated, they were squeezed into a wooden box lined with fig leaves, interspersing flowers, seeds and green sprigs of fennel between the layers of figs. They could be saved in this way to be consumed during the following months, but they ran the risk of getting bad or being attacked by insects, and in those times of scarcity and even of real hunger (before the sixties of the last century) they could not be exposed to running out of dried figs, which were the lifeline to be able to subsist throughout the year. So they managed to make them more durable, putting the wooden box full of dried figs or «acops» seasoned with fennel and sometimes a glass of anise and a little salt in the not very strong oven for an hour or two. In this way they were sterilized, dewormed and caramelized and became a delicacy of gods, a bocato di cardinale, a delicatessen, a real treat with the fantastic bouquet of fennel. Fennel or anise seeds, as well as almonds, were also added to the typical fig bread.
So, when I devised in my mind the way to make fig wine, I have remembered the extraordinary taste and aroma of the baked «acops» of my childhood and I thought that fresh fennel flowers and tender leaves of hierbaluisa would combine well with figs and give the wine a delicious bouquet. I’ve always liked the aroma of fennel and hierbaluisa.
Unlike grapes, figs have few special yeast spores for alcoholic fermentation, but rather fungal spores and spoilage bacteria, which could spoil the experiment. So I didn’t want to take any chances and added a sachet of dehydrated natural yeast, the same yeast used to ferment bread. Its mission will be to feed on the sugars in the figs, transforming them into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. I have added the three tablespoons of sugar to give strength to the bread yeast fungi, so that they proliferate massively and prevent the development of putrefaction germs.
The next step was to crush the figs, fennel and herb with an electric mixer.
It has been turned into a porridge.
Then I put the porridge in a glass container with capacity for 5 liters and I made a siphon to allow the carbonic gas to escape from the fermentation, while preventing the entry of oxygen, which would facilitate the proliferation of yeasts of acetic acid and instead of wine would obtain an aromatic fig vinegar.
Unlike grape wine, I will wait for the alcoholic fermentation to finish before opening the container. I’ll know because carbon dioxide bubbles will stop coming out of the siphon. Then I will filter the fermented porridge, to separate the solid waste and transfer the resulting liquid to another container so that it is clarified by sedimentation and finishes maturing as wine.
The wine obtained from the fermentation of figs is pink in color. It is a pleasant drink with an obviously fruity taste. Floral notes