FERMENT IT: FIG WINE
» 1lb dried figs
» 2lbs white sugar
» 1gal water
» 1 packet Windsor Ale yeast
or Champagne yeast
» ¼tsp powdered grape tannin
» 3tsp granulated ascorbic acid
» 1tsp yeast nutrient
» Large stainless steel cook pots ( 2)
2- or 3-gallon
» Nylon fine-mesh sack
» Glass carboys ( 2) 1-, 3-, or 5-gallon
» Rubber stopper and airlock
» 5' rubber hose
» Bottling stick and siphon pump
from the homebrew shop
» Used beer bottles Get standard
pry-off bottles; twist-off bottles
will not work.
» Bottle capper
» Iodine equipment sanitizer
» Starting a batch of fig wine takes just an hour or less,
but considering the months you’ll spend waiting while it
ages, it will be worth your while to make 3 or 5 gallons.
Simple math can adjust this 1 gallon recipe for larger
» Cleanliness is of key importance in making good wine,
but keep dish soap away. You’ll need 2 cooking pots
for this recipe. Boil and dump ½gal of water to cleanse
them of soapsuds. One of these pots will serve as your
» Figs cannot be juiced, so tap water must be
added, along with sugar, the amount of which will
directly determine the final alcohol content. Using
2¼lbs of sugar per gallon of water will produce a
wine in the 12% alcohol range. This fig wine recipe
calls for a lot of figs, and so I’ve reduced the sugar
addition to 2lbs.
» A trip to the local homebrew and winemaking shop
will supply you with the specialized equipment and
ingredients you need, like powdered grape tannin,
granulated ascorbic acid, yeast nutrient, and yeast. It
shouldn’t run you more than 50 bucks or so, and the
products will serve you through many batches of wine.
If you don’t live near a beer/winemaking shop, try
1. Fill your 2 pots partway with water, cover each
with a lid, and heat them to a boil. After 20 minutes,
dump the water. They should now be clean. If not,
repeat the process.
2. Set one pot aside for the moment, while you use
the other to heat ½gal of water to about 200°F.
5. Add the grape tannin, granulated ascorbic acid,
and yeast nutrient.
Cover the pot with a towel, and when it has
cooled to approximately 90°F, add 1tsp of yeast.
Cover the pot again.
3. Finely dice the dried figs and toss them into
the not-quite-boiling water. Using a clean fork or
potato masher, stir and smash the figs. Pulp them
beyond recognition, working them until the water is
a dark, deep brown, and all the figs are completely
7. At room temperature, the stew will come roiling to
life within a day or so — the fragrant miracle of fermentation. Slosh the pot on occasion to keep it well
aerated. Otherwise, keep it covered with a towel.
8. After 7 to 10 days, fermentation will subside. The
wine will grow still and calm as the sediment and
expired yeast settle to the bottom.
4. Now, ask for assistance from a friend and pour Sanitize your glass carboy and rubber hose using
the water slowly through the nylon sack and into the water treated with iodine. Then fill the hose with
other pot. Add another ¼gal of cold tap water to the tap water (to start the siphon action), dip one end
heap of cooked figs, stir again, and again strain the gently into the wine, just under the surface, and slip
juice through the sack. Repeat once more with the the other end all the way to the bottom of the clean
last ¼gal of water. This time dump all the figs into glass jug. Abruptly place the jug on the floor, and
the sack, tie it off securely, and drop it into the pot. the elevation change will start the wine moving from