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Old 08-25-2006, 06:19 PM   #1
Cap'n Jewbeard
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Default Recipe Help: "Figgy Stardust"

So- I'm sort of hijacking a recipe for Figgy Pudding, and turning into a strong (approx. 20% or higher) port-style wine. I'll drink some this Yule-tide, and more next year. I'm making 5 gals, I expect it to last me (esp. as I may put it in 375-ml bottles!).

I have put here the sketched-out skeleton of the recipe. Looking for help, constructive (or destructive) criticism... anything, really.

So- any help will be greatly appreciated, and you may find some of this landing on your doorstep around mid-December.

Cheers!

Figgy Stardust- A Yule-Tide Treat!

5 gals (where original recipe is x5):

• 10 pounds dried figs

• campden tablets

• 5 teaspoon pectic enzyme

• 10 cups honey -(Can I assume this is about 5 lbs?)

• 25(!) cups brown sugar (The original called for 5 cups... will this be like 10 lbs of brown sugar? Is that insane? I think this will need to be changed)

• 1 lemon, juice and rind (Is 1 lemon enough, as per original? Or more?)
• 1 orange, juice and rind (Same question as for lemon)

• 5 teaspoon nutrients
• 1 package yeast
• water

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Old 08-25-2006, 10:52 PM   #2
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The recipe sounds fine but make it 5 lemons and oranges (for balance - plus that's why you need 5 teaspoons of pectic enzyme - it's wine you're making not jam!)
HOWEVER .....its really a fig wine that'll need a damn sight more time than 4 months to be palatable - or to even finish clear for bottling.
Port' is a different beast compared to wine - It's made by initially fermenting fruit and then approx half way through the fermentation (watch the hydrometer) 'grape spirit' (half decent vodka/brandy or a mix to taste will do for the homebrewer) is added to both stall the fermentation and fortify the must up to the percentage of port.
The remaining sweetness/body from the fruit/sugars gives it the taste/depth of flavour.
Do the fig wine by all means and age it - it'll be half decent by yule 2007.

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Old 08-26-2006, 04:54 AM   #3
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Ah, very good advice!

I wonder if I might make a gallon of port and 4 of the wine. I hear tell there are yeasts (for the port) which will cruise up to 20% abv- that way, I might get the wine close to port status without having to adulterate it too much with added brandy. The wine part, though, sounds lovely, and will be a great thing to give as a gift next year.

Do you think the sugar measurement looks right? It seemed an awful lot to me, but I'm new at this.

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Old 08-28-2006, 02:46 PM   #4
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Okay, I haven't brewed it yet, but it looks like I'm just going to shoot for a high ABV wine (which some can call a sherry-style, if they like). I'm going to leave it unspiced (so it's just the Figs, raisins, and brown sugar) and people can mull it with spices if they'd like (and I probably will do that). I may brew it later this week, or next weekend. I guess that sugar level is needed to bring the ABV up to 18-ish. I'll be using Champagne yeast- think they can handle it?

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Old 08-30-2006, 08:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P funky
I guess that sugar level is needed to bring the ABV up to 18-ish. I'll be using Champagne yeast- think they can handle it?
It should be able to cope with it - maybe don't add all the fermentables at the start to give it a chance to take off without a stuck ferment at the beginning. It will probably finish dryer than you imagine you want it but at that ABV it will definately need maturing anyway.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:24 AM   #6
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Excellent- I'll do like half the sugar, and add the rest of it later on, maybe when it goes to secondary?

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:12 PM   #7
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Copyed from JAck Keller 's Blog


Quote:
Measuring Sugar


A winemaker asked me for a conversion factor for sugar, volume to weight. This is quite simple. Using U.S. measures, two level cups of finely granulated refined sugar weighs one pound. Thus, eight ounces of the same weighs 1/2 pound, and one dry ounce (volume) equates to one ounce by weight.
Two pounds of refined sugar dissolved in one U.S. gallon of water has a specific gravity of 1.090. Thus, one pound of refined sugar dissolved in one U.S. gallon of water has a specific gravity of 1.045.
I specified finely granulated refined sugar for a reason. This sugar is fine enough that the measures given above work out perfectly. If regular granulated refined sugar is used, the air spaces between the gains of crystal are ever so slightly larger and the volume changes. I use two level cups plus 3/4 teaspoon of regular granulated refined sugar to measure one pound volumetrically. In truth, I rarely ever use the regular grind of sugar, even though it is usually a few pennies cheaper per pound -- even more if it is beet sugar rather than cane sugar. It is simply easier and faster to dissolve the finely granulated sugar than the coarser "regular" grind. And the volume measures work out evenly, as was already said.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:30 PM   #8
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I have noticed I have some over ripe figs on my tree could these be used in a wine or is all fruit useless when a little over ripe?

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Old 09-20-2006, 01:49 PM   #9
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Hey man-

I don't know for certain that the rule that applies to many fruit wines applies to figs, but I'd have to imagine it does:

Over-ripe is very good! The sugar is concentrated, the flavors are strong and developed, etc. Rotting is not good (but you may be able to cut off any old spots). Just make sure, when you make the wine, that you use the proper amount of acid blend, which may be lacking in the riper fruit.

I hope it works out! Let me know.

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Old 09-20-2006, 02:03 PM   #10
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TBH there isnt enough of the over ripe ones to do much with but adding to them with dried figs could really work?

There are loads of very small (undeveloped) green un-ripe ones on that i doubt they will ever ripen here in the UK now its September?

Its a shame if the same hapens next year I will remove some of the leaves so the sun can get to the figs to grow and ripen them which may be the key to growing them here in the uk

Good luck with your brew though

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