proposed blackberry port recipe

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mfshepard

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I really enjoy drinking port so was thinking about trying to make a port mead. After looking for recipes I came up with this, mostly based on a recipe by Jack Keller. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions as to how this might be improved or what might not work
Blackberry Port Mead ( Proposed 1 gal batch )

8 lbs. blackberries (or 4 lbs blackberries + 4 lbs. elderberries.)
½ cup light DME
1 banana
Honey to 1.140 ( approx. 4 lbs, 1.105 initially then add additional 1 lb. at 1/3 SB (1.070) )
1 qt water or qs to 1 gallon
1 campden tablet
1 tsp Pectinase
1g Opti-red *
5 grams K1-V1116
6.25g Goferm
4.7g Fermaid O
½ cup dried black currants**
½ cup Dried cherries**
½ pint Red Grape concentrate
Mix first 4 ingredients and ¾ of the honey, about 3 lbs. lbs., add Campden tablet and wait at least 12 hours, add pectinase and wait 12 hours.
Activate yeast with 6.25g Goferm and pitch. Add opti-red?
Add 1.2g Ferm O at 24, 48 and 72 hours. Degas and oxygen q12 hrs until 1/3 sugar break. At 1/3 SB add last dose of 1.1g Ferm O and additional 1 lb honey.
When SG hits 1.005-1.010 add currants and cherries. 10 – 14 days later cold crash and Rack onto the calculated amount of PG Alcohol or brandy to achieve 20% and add Red Grape concentrate.
Back sweeten to 1.030ish with honey
Oak and bulk age at least 6 months.
Bottle and wait at least an additional 6 months before drinking.
*Optional, opti-red seems to check a lot of desirable boxes.

**These seem like they would be great flavors to incorporate but not sure how much it would take to be noticeable over the blackberry.
*** Anyone think I need to stabilize with that much alcohol?
 

Dan O

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Wow! It looks & sounds like it will be really tasty. 1-3 lbs of fruit/ gallon is standard. Myself, I usually put in 5 lbs/gallon. You're going to put in 8 lbs/gallon. Plus the cherries, plus the black currants, plus the red grape concentrate, I would say you're going to have a port...ish mead on your hands.
 

Kyzaboy89

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I have made a blackberry sack/port mead and it was amazing after 1 year, before that it still had some bite to it. Port is just wine speak for high alcohol so approach this like a sack mead if you are looking for material or clarification. It's delicious when you get it right and it's best to let it age for a year but I'll admit it's hard to forget or ignore it.

Only advice I would offer is stay on top of nutrients, have and don't be afraid of the extra nitrogen needed. The moment you catch any H2S odors, degas the tar out of it and add a nutrient dose whether it's scheduled or not, trust me. A little odor will age out but once primary is over and you rack, if it's still strong it can't be a struggle to get rid of off odors. Sometimes it takes a year to clear so don't fret and calculate the sugars added by the fruit as well as the honey. 8 lbs is a lot even by my radical attempts but to each his own, if you haven't done this yet try 3 lbs per gallon, I've burnt a lot of bonus money on blackberries trying to get it right.

Anyway just my advice, try what you like and we are more than happy to help. Blackberry is a passion in my house so I can't wait to hear how yours turns out.
 
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mfshepard

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Thanks, sounds like 8 lbs of berries is too much, I think I'll decrease it to 3.5 lbs of blackberries and 1.5 lbs elderberries. Plan on starting tomorrow. Never tried a sack mead, was planning on using TOSNA nutrient calculator as I usually do, should I alter that?
 

Dan O

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I wouldn't say it's too much, it's just more than I use, which is more than a lot of people. Ken Schramm has a mead that he uses only the juice from the fruit he ferments with.....no water......imagine how many pounds of fruit there has to be for that! I would still try it, if you want. There's no mistaking it will be flavorful, that's for sure.
 

Kyzaboy89

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Just because you hear something is a "standard practice" doesn't mean it's always right or best. If you want to try 5, 8 or 20 lbs of fruit then go for it. Just use a vessel big enough to accommodate the volume of ingredients you have planned and things will be easier on you. If you plan on using tosna then try it, I e only started using tosna calculations in the past 3 months experimentally and a few of my tried and true recipes work better without it. Brewing is a lot of trial and error and knowing that while investing alot of valuable materials is where everyone has to draw their own line. With tosna in my melomel I've almost had to double the nutrients it calculated and still had yeast stress and odors, tosna works well as a base but every recipe, in my opinion, will benefit from minor alterations. My advice is follow what you plan, adjust as you go, note everything you do, and be ready with materials and knowledge if something does go wrong so you can respond immediately rather than wish you had an extra dose of whatever or that spare hydrometer.

Best of luck and keep us posted, don't get discouraged either. Cheers!
 

Dan O

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Just because you hear something is a "standard practice" doesn't mean it's always right or best. If you want to try 5, 8 or 20 lbs of fruit then go for it. Just use a vessel big enough to accommodate the volume of ingredients you have planned and things will be easier on you. If you plan on using tosna then try it, I e only started using tosna calculations in the past 3 months experimentally and a few of my tried and true recipes work better without it. Brewing is a lot of trial and error and knowing that while investing alot of valuable materials is where everyone has to draw their own line. With tosna in my melomel I've almost had to double the nutrients it calculated and still had yeast stress and odors, tosna works well as a base but every recipe, in my opinion, will benefit from minor alterations. My advice is follow what you plan, adjust as you go, note everything you do, and be ready with materials and knowledge if something does go wrong so you can respond immediately rather than wish you had an extra dose of whatever or that spare hydrometer.

Best of luck and keep us posted, don't get discouraged either. Cheers!
Absolutely!
 

Ty520

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first impression is that there might be too many different fruits going in at different stages, and your flavor profile is going to get 'muddied' and indistinguishable.

Also, technically, a port-style would need to be fortified by adding liquor - this is a sack mead
 
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