Wash the wheat thoroughly and place it in a bowl of water to soak overnight. Strain the wheat and place it in a bucket, together with the dates, figs and raisins, which should have been washed and chopped up beforehand. Add the sugar, and pour on 4 pints/2 litres near-boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, and then add 4 pints/2 litres cold water. When the temperature has dropped to about 75°F/24°C, add the tartaric acid, citric acid, amylase, nutrient salts and the yeast starter. Ferment on the pulp for 4–5 days, before straining into a fermentation jar and inserting an airlock. It may be necessary to add a little more water, as the fruit used is likely to have retained some of the original. The added sugar content of this wine appears to be low, but while the ferment continues, sugar may be added in liquid lots of not more than 4oz/100g at a time, and in this way a really strong wine can be obtained. The use of a hydrometer is strongly advised to check the residual sugar from time to time.
The ferment is likely to continue for some time, and it could be up to 8–10 weeks before the first racking. Add the Campden tablet at this time, but the wine may need two further rackings before it is clear. The finished wine will be a heavy-bodied dessert wine, which is strongly flavoured.
© 1978 Mary Norwak estate. All rights reserved.