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Old 07-20-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Oct 2009
Posts: 57
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I am getting ready to try to make my first port wine and I was wondering if anyone has any starter points on this. I have made some mead before, but this is my first foray into true wine making. I have tried several different brandys (ies?) and cognacs, which I know are commonly used to fortify the wine but I am not really thrilled with any of them (in truth I thought they were horrible!). My recipe is as follows:

6 lb blueberries
1/2c lt DME
4 pts water
1 3/4 lb sugar
1/2 tsp acid blend
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp energizer
1 crushed campden tablet
1 pkg sherry or port yeast

Overall this recipe looks like it is also lacking some strength because of the weight and sweetness of a port wine. In most of my mead recipes they have called for this much fruit in conjunction with several pounds of honey, so it looks a little suspect to me. Any advice would be very much appreciated!!

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Old 07-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
Oct 2009
Posts: 113
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I'm not a winemaker so can't help with the recipe specifics but I am a huge port fan and can provide a little color. First off, Port is always fortified with brandy. But in this case, brandy just means distilled alcohol from grapes.... nothing like the brandy you would buy for personal consumption. The distillate used in port production is more similar to a grain-neutral spirit so I'd fortify with grain alcohol or vodka (obviously adjusting for alcohol by volume).

The typical grapes used in port are touriga nacional, touriga francesa, tinta roriz (tempranillo), tinta cao, and tinta barroca. (Note: I've had some incredible 100% Touriga Nacional non-fortified dry wines as well, excellent stuff if you can get your hands on it!) I'm not sure the best way to replicate these types of grapes at home...

The must is fermented but the distilled alcohol is added after a few days to stop fermentation leaving the desired sugar concentration (hence the sweetness). I would guess the best way to do it at home is to measure gravity every few days until you're satisfied and then add the distilled alcohol. Aging takes place in wood for tawny port, stainless for ruby, or in the bottle for vintage.

Looks like your recipe is more of a farmhouse wine. No grapes. No fortification. I've had variations of port that are excellent. One had fruit. The other was made with zinfandel grapes from sonoma county.

Anyway, hopefully some home winemakers will chime in but I'd suggest scrapping the DME. Adding grapes or grape concentrate. Scrapping the sugar and acid blend. Fortifying with grain alcohol. And probably aging for at least a year (on oak if so desired). Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps!
Drinking:Smoked Dunkelweizen; Imperial Nelson Sauvin Pilsner; American Brown
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: ??

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Old 07-21-2010, 04:48 AM   #3
May 2010
Mansfield, TX
Posts: 74
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This looks like a Jack Keller recipe, and will probably turn out great. This is a fruit port that will have very different character than a port made with grapes. Make sure and age this wine for quite a while. I'm not really a fan of blueberry fermentations, but I've never tried this one. I made his blackberry port 3 years ago and it was gone before I even knew what happened. I used that XO brandy and was satisfied. Its suprising how well that nasty stuff works with sweet wine and some age.

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:19 AM   #4
Sep 2009
Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 14

There is a couple of ways you can go.

First off if you do the traditional method, you will ferment your fruit & sugar recipe until approxamatly half the sugars are converted. Then fortify with brandy or vodka. If you live where everclear is available that would be best, as its closest to what the winerys use. Put in enough hard liquer to raise the alc. content to approxamatly 20 percent age and bottle.

Another way to go is to begin fermenting your fruit and sugar. As it ferments continue to feed sugar to it a little each day until the yeast has reached its limit and dies off. Once you have done this you should be pretty close to the 20 percent alc. volume a well. Now back sweeten with sugar or better yet something like Zinfandel concentrate age and bottle.

Good luck and have fun with it!

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Old 07-29-2010, 12:36 AM   #5

I made a blackberry Port-style wine a few years ago that turned out very well and took best of show at the state fair last year. Refer to some of the methods and ingredient ratios and you can perhaps get some ideas for yours.

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
May 2013
Posts: 1

My recipe for port is
3 tinned pitted cherries
2 tins of prune in syrup
1 litre of grape juice
2 cup of very strong tea
General purpose wine yeast
1 kilo of sugar
A gallon of water
Leave the mush for a week

Transfer to demi-john bottle with air lock
When bubbling slow down I add some sugar syrup until the reading of alcohol is around 16 or 17 then I leave it bout 6 month bottling I taste for sweetness, if not sweet enough I add stabilized sugar sugar

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