Author Topic: Question about using figs.  (Read 627 times)

Offline charlie

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Question about using figs.
« on: July 07, 2018, 06:10:13 PM »
My neighbor dumped 7 lbs of nice ripe Celeste figs on me this morning, and I have used figs before, so I'm going to do the puree/heat to 170F/vacuum pack and freeze trick while I wait for the wort to finish out. The fig puree will be added in the secondary.

The question is this: Let's say I make 5 gallons of wort at OG 1.045. What contribution to the ABV (or gravity) might I expect from 7 lbs of Celeste figs?

TIA,
Charlie
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Offline denny

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 06:19:10 PM »
When I use figs, I super heat a wok until it's read hot.  Dump in the halved figs and caramelize them.  Deglaze with some beer from primary.  Add all of that to a secondary and rack the rest of the beer onto it.
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Offline goose

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 08:17:53 PM »
I do not know the calculation technique for figuring the exact amount of gravity points that figs might add to a beer, but I am going to make an educated guess on the gravity points you might get.
Dextrose (corn sugar) has a maximum extract potential of 1.040 per pound per gallon at room temperature.  According to the Brew Locally book, figs contain 16% sugar and let's assume that the sugar in figs is as fermentable as dextrose.  So if we use 40 gravity points as a starting point and multiply it by 0.16 we get 6.4 gravity points per pound per gallon, again at room temperature.  So if you use 1 lb. of figs in a 5 gallon batch you will probably only gain about 1.3 gravity points of fermentables which is next to nothing.  So your ABV probably won't change much, if at all.  And if the sugar in the figs is a higher order sugar than dextrose and thus less fermentable, the contribution in gravity points will be even lower.
If I have made a incorrect assumption here, I am sure that someone may have a more accurate calculation scheme.
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 08:32:18 PM »
You could cook a given weight in a given volume of water and extrapolate the resulting gravity to reflect that of the fruit. Personally, if I had a desire to add figs to a beer I wouldn't really care about the influence on gravity, but the laxative affect. It's one thing to get $hit faced, but another to get the $hits.
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Offline charlie

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 11:59:27 PM »
According to the Brew Locally book, figs contain 16% sugar and let's assume that the sugar in figs is as fermentable as dextrose.  So if we use 40 gravity points as a starting point and multiply it by 0.16 we get 6.4 gravity points per pound per gallon, ...

So my 7 lbs of figs will theoretically add 8.9 points to my 5 gallons  of  1.045 wort raising its overall gravity to 1.054 (assuming all of their sugar is extracted. An unlikely scenario at best).

OK. I'm gonna go for it. I'll post back in a month or so when it's done and let y'all know how it turned out.

Charlie
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Offline charlie

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 11:27:09 PM »
I just now searched my hard drive for fig recipes, and I found this: Looks like I started to make a fig beer once before!



Anyway, question about fig sugars answered.

Charlie

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Offline goose

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 01:40:42 PM »
According to the Brew Locally book, figs contain 16% sugar and let's assume that the sugar in figs is as fermentable as dextrose.  So if we use 40 gravity points as a starting point and multiply it by 0.16 we get 6.4 gravity points per pound per gallon, ...

So my 7 lbs of figs will theoretically add 8.9 points to my 5 gallons  of  1.045 wort raising its overall gravity to 1.054 (assuming all of their sugar is extracted. An unlikely scenario at best).

OK. I'm gonna go for it. I'll post back in a month or so when it's done and let y'all know how it turned out.

Charlie

Let me know how it turns out.  I am sure that the ABV won't really change that much.
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Offline evilgiraffe

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 08:31:11 PM »
Funny...I was going to ask about figs, too, and here's a thread all ready to go.

Anyway, Charlie, since you've done this before....
I have a fig tree in the backyard of the house I bought a year ago. I've been checking it every couple weeks or so, and it's now got hundreds of little green figs on it (bigger than marbles, smaller than ping-pong balls). They are all very hard and green still, so I've done some research on when I should pick them and think I'm ok there.
I, too, was thinking of blending them up, freezing them, and then adding them to the secondary (gonna make a porter - 5 gallons). Question is...Do I need to peel them? Does the skin add bitterness?
And hey, since you're the pro, any other advice would be great. This is my first time.

Offline blatz

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 01:44:49 PM »
You could cook a given weight in a given volume of water and extrapolate the resulting gravity to reflect that of the fruit. Personally, if I had a desire to add figs to a beer I wouldn't really care about the influence on gravity, but the laxative affect. It's one thing to get $hit faced, but another to get the $hits.

kinda funny you mention this.  I made an espresso/mission fig imperial stout a few years back - turned out pretty good, although I found I preferred the base imperial stout better.  anywhoo, a friend and his wife stopped by our holiday party and he had a couple pints, finishing off with a couple snifters of the said stout before they left to go to the movies.  he wound up s**tting himself in the theater. his wife was NOT happy.  lol.  he might actually have an unknown allergy to be honest.

joke nowadays when he comes over is "no fig beers right?"
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Offline charlie

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2018, 05:01:33 PM »
I made the basic brew on 7/17 (OG 1.051, SRM 7, IBU 20, WLP-007), and by 7/23 it was pretty much finished, so I thawed the fruit and racked the brew onto it in the secondaries.

Initial fermentation rate after racking was nil, but over the last two days it has risen to 14 bubbles per minute (bpm) through the blowout tube on the fig split, and 12 bpm on the plum split. I guesstimate that it will be finished out around or before August 6, and I'll post an update then.

Charlie
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Offline charlie

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 10:25:20 PM »
Funny...I was going to ask about figs, too, and here's a thread all ready to go.

I, too, was thinking of blending them up, freezing them, and then adding them to the secondary (gonna make a porter - 5 gallons). Question is...Do I need to peel them? Does the skin add bitterness?

You might have a late producing variety. Here in Northwest LA the Celeste (a popular variety) figs got ripe in mid July, and now they're gone.

Generally speaking the fruit should be dead ripe, but not squishy. Everyone who makes fig preserves leaves the skin on, and it doesn't affect the flavor, so I didn't mess with them. I removed any hard green figs and the squishy ones, and pureed the rest whole. Then I put them in a 1 gallon tupperware container, added one campden tablet, covered losely with saran wrap and stirred the mess periodically. After 24 hrs at room temp I covered the container with its lid and put them in the freezer until I was ready to use them.

Let us know how it turns out!

Charlie
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Offline charlie

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 09:50:15 PM »
I kegged the brews Saturday, and got my first real taste last night (Monday). I'm having another glass now, and I don't get a lot of fig character from it. Certainly there's a hint of something derived from figs, but it's not the same as eating a nice ripe fig.

Can something be gained from putting the figs in the mash instead of the secondary?

Charlie
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Offline kgs

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2018, 07:19:24 PM »
I kegged the brews Saturday, and got my first real taste last night (Monday). I'm having another glass now, and I don't get a lot of fig character from it. Certainly there's a hint of something derived from figs, but it's not the same as eating a nice ripe fig.

Can something be gained from putting the figs in the mash instead of the secondary?

Charlie

It could be that Celeste figs aren't that intense. Around here figs are in season, and in eating side by side with other figs, Mission figs have the strongest flavor; the others can be very tasty (Tiger, Osborne Prolific, etc.) but don't match the Mission in that deep figgyness. It's also possible Denny's method of heating the figs in a wok brings out the figgy flavor better.
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Offline denny

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Re: Question about using figs.
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 07:21:20 PM »
I kegged the brews Saturday, and got my first real taste last night (Monday). I'm having another glass now, and I don't get a lot of fig character from it. Certainly there's a hint of something derived from figs, but it's not the same as eating a nice ripe fig.

Can something be gained from putting the figs in the mash instead of the secondary?

Charlie

It could be that Celeste figs aren't that intense. Around here figs are in season, and in eating side by side with other figs, Mission figs have the strongest flavor; the others can be very tasty (Tiger, Osborne Prolific, etc.) but don't match the Mission in that deep figgyness. It's also possible Denny's method of heating the figs in a wok brings out the figgy flavor better.

Yeah, it seems to.
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