The reproduction process of maguey (agave) happens in two ways: inflorescence & by agavepups (agave offspring) that are usually genetically homogeneous.
For the conservation of wild mezcal magueys that reproduce only by seed, there is a level of difficulty since the magueys don’t always flower which eliminates its ability to produce offspring.
The sowing season begins in April or May before the onset of heavy rains. Upon reaching maturity, the maguey accumulates energy in the form of sugar in the heart or piña, essential agave matter for obtaining alcohol. Before the maguey flowers or quiote forms, it’s time to harvest the maguey.
Espadin agave needs at least 7-8 years to mature before it’s ready for harvest. Barril agave (agave karwinskii var.) take 12-14 years to mature. It is important to not harvest the agave before it has matured.
The piñas are cooked for seven days in a conical earthen oven, heated by hot stones in the middle. We used mesquite and juniper wood.
The piñas are then crushed in a Quarry Stone tahona to obtain the pulp from the agave.
The pulp rests in Awewete barrels and is left to simmer from 14-19 days, depending on weather.
The pulp is transferred into a copper pot still with an alambique de cobre, or refrescadera (depending on the region), where it boils and the vapors are condensed into alcohol.