Port from a standard wine kit

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Jun 7, 2020
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Hello everyone.

Thoughts welcome.

I'm part way through an elderberry port. Made by manipulating an elderberry wine kit (it's mostly grape).

I made the wine up as instructed. But only to 3.2 litres rather than the suggested 4.5 to counteract dilution of body/richness, fruity flavour in fortifying.
I used the correct amount of sugar (a small amount of it brown). As well as adding a glug of tea.

All this left me with a starting gravity of 1.12.

I used a yeast capable of fermenting dry so if I can get to 16% ish I will be pleased, though frankly I'm not concerned if it doesn't. I'll simply add less sugar and more alcohol to fortify. Having said that as I'll be fortifying with run of the mill 40% drinking brandy. I'd like to use as little as possible ideally. So I'll eek out fermentation as long as possible.

I'll be aging for an unspecified time in a glass demijohn with oak sticks. There will be some headspace but being port I'm not afraid of some oxidation.

Just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences with making port in this way. Any insight would be valuable.

While I'm here... I have read the it's best to fortify after first racking (as I'm working for kit I will only have fine lees). The logic presumably is that less fortifying agent will go to waste. When decking from demijohn to demijohn how to you guys accurately track your volume? Usually I wouldn't bother but volume is key to abv so it's something I need to get right.

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