Let’s try this again.
So, my first ever “country” wine batch (back in 2012) was a fig wine, using figs from the tree in my backyard. I tried a natural fermentation (no cultured yeast), and I knew very little about sanitation and such; indeed, I avoided sanitizing the fruit at front so as not to kill the native yeast. In any case, it turned out Badly. Yes, upper-case. And I have avoided fig wine production ever since.
At first, I felt justified in doing so, as a local commercial wine-maker suggested they had never tasted a pleasant fig wine. Had I looked up recipes online, which I normally do, I most certainly would have seen that people do indeed make enjoyable fig wine. But, I did not, for whatever reason. In any case, last weekend I taste-tested a fig wine at Grape & Grains, and knew that it was possible to make drinkable – even tasty – fig wine.
So here I am, doing what I thought I would never again do. I started by picking figs in the back yard – coming up with just under 4 pounds of ripe to extra-ripe figs. I brought them in and began processing them, which involved washing them softly and then removing stems. In the end I had 3 1/3 pounds of figs, which I blended a third at a time in water (about a third of a gallon total). This fig purée was then poured into a fine mesh bag in the bottom of an adequately sized fermentation bucket. Then I added my smidgen (1/20 tsp.) of potassium metabisulfite.
I wasn’t exactly following a recipe, more following my recent experience. I knew I would be adding a tsp. of yeast nutrient, so I tossed that in. And then I was stumped for a moment. I thought it was likely I would need some amount of acid blend, and decided to check online. Jack Keller has a “famous” recipe, at least as far as can be seen from repeated mention in other’s posts; He uses 3 tsp. of acid blend in it. Well. I didn’t have that much on hand.
So I used what I had left (1 3/4 tsp.), and then grabbed a lemon. One lemon’s juice should do the trick.
As for sugar, I was guessing 2 pounds from the start – about average for one gallon of wine. Keller’s recipe uses 1 3/4 pounds. Another recipe I saw used 2 1/4 pounds. Notably, the one with less sugar has way more figs, the one with more sugar much less. So, I think my “guess” is just fine. I heated the sugar in another 1/3 of a gallon of water to dissolve, and then tossed nearly the remainder of the gallon in to cool it down. I let this sit for a while (cooling a bit more) and then added to the bucket.
And now I wait for the potassium metabisulfite to do its thing. 12 to 24 hours from now I will add pectic enzyme.
Hopefully this time things go better!