“Bignay Wine” – Tropical Sweet Wine

Guess what I found!

Don Ramon Bignay, a tropical sweet wine, from Naga Camarines Sur. Found this wine the other day while strolling in the Naga City market.

Bignay or Antidesma bunius is a sour edible fruit but often neglected because of its small size. The fruits come in bunches like grapes but this bignay has the size of a toy pellet gun bullet. The seeds are big in proportion to fruit size. The popular product for Bignay is wine. Jam and juice can also be made out of bignay. Added to dish as flavorings. Young leaves can be eaten together with rice. The bark contains a toxic alkaloid. The heavy fragrance of the flowers, especially the male, is very obnoxious to some individuals. The bark yields a strong fiber for rope and cordage.The timber is reddish and hard. If soaked in water, it becomes heavy and, according to Drury, “black as iron”. It has been experimentally pulped for making cardboard.The leaves are sudorific and employed in treating snakebite, in Asia.

The fruit has been used to treat such ailments as dysentery, diabetes, gastric intestinal problems and indigestion to name a few. The potent antioxidant properties of these compounds cannot be explained alone by the presence of vitamins, minerals or fiber content. These plant compounds which help protect the fruit against its environment have numerous health benefits to humans. The most prevalent of these compounds in bignay fruit are a group of flavonoids in the sub-class known as catechins, identified as procyanidin B1 and B2. Catechins, also found in red wine and dark chocolate, have antioxidant properties and are free radical scavengers, meaning they help prevent free radical damage to DNA. This means that catechins are anti-carcinogenic and anti-aging  They can also help protect us against cardiovascular diseases.

By the way, the fruit tree is also found in Florida introduced by Philippines during the earlier part of the century.

How to make Bignay Wine?

1. Extract the juice by mashing or crushing. Filter or strain the juice to remove any solid particles. Add 200-300 ppm sodium or potassium metabusulfite to prevent contamination and browning. Place the treated juice in a sealed container and keep it for 24 hours. In case the metabisulfite solution is not available, simply boil the juice.

2. Before fermenting, test the acid and sugar contents of the treated juicer or must. for testing acid content, use pH paper. To produce dry wines, set pH at 3-4. For sweet wines, use pH 3.5-5.5. Adjust pH with juice or citrus or unripe fruit, or dilute with water.

To test sugar content, use the hand refractometer. A reading of 20 oB is good for dry wine and 25oB for sweet wine.

3. Add yeast to the must. Commercial dry-wine yeast starters can be used, but good results can be obtained with pure cultures of wine yeast in agar slants. Fleischman’s or baker’s yeast can be used, but it imparts a “bready” aroma and flavor to the wine.

4. Stir the mixture thoroughly and transfer it to fermentation containers. Enamel, floss, wooden oak, earthenware, and plastic containers are suitable for wine making. Wide-necked vessels are preferable for pulp-fermentation to facilitate removal of pulp and cleaning. Narrow-necked containers are best suited for juice fermentation and storage, since they can be sealed easily with a lock or rubber bung.

5. Seal the fermentation container with a water valve or water bung. When bubbles form, it means that fermentation is going on. The rate at which gas bubbles through the bung indicates the rate of fermentation.
Do not allow the temperature to drop below 19oC or exceed 28oC.

6. After four or more weeks, the absence of gas indicates the end of the fermentation.

7. Siphon the clear liquid into sterile bottles or oak barrels. In moving the jar, be careful not disturb the sediment. Fill the bottle or barrel with semi-clear wine 1.5-2.5 cm below the cover, so that only a minimum amount of air is allowed inside.

8. Age the wine for one year or longer. Longer aging results in more mature and mellow wines. If sediments form, transfer wine into another bottle.

9. after aging, the wine should be clear. When it is not, use clarifying agents, such as egg whites, gelatin, milk, bentonite or powdered charcoal. Add and stir the agent. Let it stand for 7-10 days, and filter the wine into clean, properly sterilized bottles. Seal bottles with cork.

10. Store wine with drive-corks in horizontal position. Place the bottles in a cool, well-ventilated, and dark place.

Source: Pinoy Food Recap

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13 thoughts on ““Bignay Wine” – Tropical Sweet Wine

      • I am based in Legazpi City.
        Please let me know when you are coming
        (in time for the Magayon Festival here).

        Thanks for your interest in Bicol products.
        I can link you to their producers.

        When are you going back abroad? ;)

  1. Pingback: Why I prefer freelancing? | Jenny's Serendipity

  2. Hi Mam Jenny, ask ko lang po kung san pede makabili ng materials ng paggawa ng wine lalo na ung yeast.
    My number 09164432435

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