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drainsurgeon

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Ok, my chocolate raspberry port is finished fermenting and I'm ready to fortify with brandy. I have added up the ABV at each step feed and come up with 19.3%. I've also added another 24 cups of sugar (on the top of 8c to begin the batch) to get it that high, and would like an accurate (or close) ABV to plug into the fortification calculator. I know from previous posts that the sugar addition, and increased volume, that the ABV isn't really that high. Could some one help me figure where my batch is really at? I'm guessing at around 18.5%.

I started at 6 gallons, added 15# raspberries, and am now at about 7 1/2 gallons. Not sure how much of the 1 1/2 gallon addition is raspberry juice and how much is sugar. The calculator says I need between .99 gal to 1.42 gal of fortifier, depending on where the base wine is really at, so it does make a big difference IMHO.
:a1
 

NorCal

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I shoot to get the abv above 20% to avoid future spontaneous fermentation, above that it's to taste and desire for a higher alcohol content. I'd do a bench trial with the same % as the 1.42 gallons. If you like it, go with it.
 

drainsurgeon

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Thanks Norcal, one gallon or 2-1.75L bottles should get me just above 20%. I'm going to age this one for a year so the flavors will change some. I'm assuming that I can add more fortifier later if desired. I'm going to rack, fortify and hit with sulfites tomorrow and put it away for a while. This was the most labor intensive wine I've made yet. Hope it ages well.
 
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NorCal

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Sounds like you have it under control.

I made 5 gallons of port from a 60 gallon stuck Zin fermentation in 2014. I'm just about out, so I'm making more this season from petite sirah. I use 3.6 gallons of wine arrested at 6 brix to three 1.75 liter bottles of Brandy (1.4 gallons). Good balance of flavors and gets me to 20% abv.
 

drainsurgeon

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Sounds like you have it under control.

I made 5 gallons of port from a 60 gallon stuck Zin fermentation in 2014. I'm just about out, so I'm making more this season from petite sirah. I use 3.6 gallons of wine arrested at 6 brix to three 1.75 liter bottles of Brandy (1.4 gallons). Good balance of flavors and gets me to 20% abv.[/QG

Good use of a stuck ferment and gets me thinking. I guess you can make a port out of just about anything. I was worried that if I didn't get the ABV up high enough that I would have to add too much brandy to bring it up to 20%, and would drown out the wine flavor. You added 3-1.75L bottles to a batch so I won't be so concerned about it. Like you said, balance the flavor to your liking.

This one stopped at 1.014 and I was bringing the SG back to 1.02 during the step feed. Just curious how high you leave your ports for sweetness.
 

NorCal

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Just curious how high you leave your ports for sweetness.
I arrest fermentation at six brix, or in other words, I measure the brix (% sugar) until it reaches 6% (1.0237), then do gross filtering off the must, add the brandy, which will then stop the fermentation. At 20% abv it is too toxic of an environment for the yeast to thrive. A few rackings and a year or two later, I'll be ready to bottle.

Sure you can make port out of anything, but the good ones need a lot of body and flavor to balance out the alcohol and integrate with brandy flavors. A thin starting wine will just taste like a cheap mixed drink. That is why I chose Petite Sirah this year; it is a big, dark, tannic grape variety.
 
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