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Chris Meyer

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Hi All,

First, this forum has been a wonderful resource as we started making wine!

We're trying our first port style wine. Originally, we planned us chaptalization to get the ABV up as high as possible before fortifying. Using EC-1118, we brook the 21% barrier,so now we are just going to finish fermentation (until it stops with residual sugar) and move to clearing and bottling without fortification.

However, we've struggled to figure out where a fruit port should be in terms of sweetness. We know most are quite sweet, and we will sweeten to our likes (backing off a little to allow for sweetening during aging), but wanted to know what everyone else likes when it comes to fruit ports with high ABV.

We're read everything from 1.020 - 1.040. I've never gone above 1.030, but we may need to for this one.

What do you like in fruit ports for sweetness?

Recipe: 1.5 Gallons
8# Blueberries + 2# added during fermentation.
1/2c Extra Light Malt
1tbs Yeast Nutrient
1tsp pectic enzyme (+ 1/2 for second batch of blueberries)
1tsp Acid Blend (TA 6.2g/L) - May need to adjust
2# Sugar (to SG=1.110)
EC-1118 Yeast (starter for 6 hours, adding must every hour before pitching)
SG: 1.110
pH 3.3

Added 2 more pounds of blueberries around day 5 (plus 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme).
Added 2cups sugar everytime SG reached 1.010, which raised SG to 1.030 each time.

Current math is that the total SG would have been 1.153. If fermentation stops at 1.020, which seems likely, we would have a final cumulative total of .163 change in SG, that's 21.5%, but we'll call it 21% as there will be some dilution when we sweeten.
 
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sour_grapes

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There was also dilution (i.e., a change in volume) each time you added more sugar, so the cumulative change is SG is not appropriate. However, it makes a fairly small difference; you can work it out with something like Fermcalc if you want. Did you account for that, or decide that the simple approach is "good 'nuf"?
 

Chris Meyer

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Good point, Sour_Grapes. I did not account for that. Of course, this is for personal consumption, so accuracy is not too important :) This definitely falls into the "Good 'nuf" category.

I was expecting 18%, if we were lucky...so even with the additions, I think we are well over that. I am thinking about back sweetening with blueberry juice with dissolved sugar to add flavor instead of using a simple syrup, so there will be a little more dilution. I feel like I should still add sorbate to be safe, but we may just bulk age this for 6-months in the basement and check SG periodically to see if it moves before bottling.
 

sour_grapes

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My experience is only with grape wine, but my notes say that "1.017 tastes fine." (I was shooting for 1.020.)

Perhaps it bears mentioning that, in general, I do not prefer sweet foods or drinks.
 

Chris Meyer

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My experience is only with grape wine, but my notes say that "1.017 tastes fine." (I was shooting for 1.020.)

Perhaps it bears mentioning that, in general, I do not prefer sweet foods or drinks.
Thanks, Sour_Grapes, that's what we were looking for :)

We'll make it right for us, but were just curious about what others found as their "happy place" for final gravity.
 

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