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THawk
07-06-2013, 09:14 PM
Has anyone ever tried making mead port-style? That is, used brandy to stop the fermentation?

WVMJack
07-06-2013, 10:00 PM
Can you get honey brandy? WVMJ

pokerfacepablo
07-06-2013, 10:13 PM
Has anyone ever tried making mead port-style? That is, used brandy to stop the fermentation?

Oh yeah I just fortified with E&J and about ready to bottle. I used Jack Keller's recipe from his website. You can use this thread to help you through the process. http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21473

THawk
07-06-2013, 10:54 PM
What kind of yeast did you use -- liquid or dry?

How did you stop the ferment? Just dumped the brandy into it? Looking to do a sweet port-style mead, probably with blueberries...

THawk
07-07-2013, 03:14 AM
Can you get honey brandy? WVMJ

Just had a brainstorm -- brandy may not be the appropriate spirit to stop the ferment. Since all I really want to do is kill the yeast by raising the alcohol level, I could theoretically just dump vodka into the mix... That way I shouldn't get the flavors brandy could impart... I'd probably rack it from the primary onto the vodka instead of dumping the spirit into the bucket...

pokerfacepablo
07-07-2013, 05:13 AM
What kind of yeast did you use -- liquid or dry?

How did you stop the ferment? Just dumped the brandy into it? Looking to do a sweet port-style mead, probably with blueberries...

I used a liquid Wyeast 4767 Port yeast which it can tolerate a high alcohol concentration. I let it ferment and stop on it's own. Fortified it this last month, but you can fortify it anytime after the fermentation is done. You can just pour the brandy right in if you want but I mixed it in with my last addition of back sweetening. Waiting for another week to bottle after adding Bentonite to clear.

Blue berries sounds like a great addition... What else are you going to throw in it? Chevette girl made a Rose Port with a hodge podge of left overs from her freezer.

I followed this recipe but left out the acid blend. Added some cherry puree because it was collecting dust in the corner. Also, I used honey instead of sugar. http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques13.asp

pokerfacepablo
07-07-2013, 06:00 AM
Just had a brainstorm -- brandy may not be the appropriate spirit to stop the ferment. Since all I really want to do is kill the yeast by raising the alcohol level, I could theoretically just dump vodka into the mix... That way I shouldn't get the flavors brandy could impart... I'd probably rack it from the primary onto the vodka instead of dumping the spirit into the bucket...

I believe brandy is the traditional spirit used to fortify port and it's distinct flavor is a big reason people choose Port wine. Following the step feeding instructions on Jack K's website will give you a high ABV and the fermentation will stop on it's own... then I recommend stabilizing and adding Brandy. You can always back sweeten later.

Port is strong and sweet... Intended to be a great night cap.

THawk
07-07-2013, 07:38 AM
I believe brandy is the traditional spirit used to fortify port and it's distinct flavor is a big reason people choose Port wine. Following the step feeding instructions on Jack K's website will give you a high ABV and the fermentation will stop on it's own... then I recommend stabilizing and adding Brandy. You can always back sweeten later.

Port is strong and sweet... Intended to be a great night cap.

Do you have the URL?

Btw, I couldn't reply to your private message. Says either you chose not to receive PMs or you can't...

Check out Taylor-Fladgate's Ruby Port (20 yrs). It's yummy.

THawk
07-07-2013, 08:05 AM
http://taylor.pt/en/what-is-port-wine/how-is-port-made/

The spirit used to stop the ferment is described as a "colorless neutral spirit of about 77% ABV". So it's probably pre-barreled brandy. The concern I have with commercial brandy is that you might change the flavor.

I'm thinking 71b.

Using a blueberry mead I did as a reference:

My OG was 1.11. 3 days later it was at 1.04. :eek:

I can target it to about 1.05, then rack it onto about 4 pints of good quality 160 or 180-proof Vodka to stop the fermentation. Since I don't really have access to brandy before it's barreled, wodka would be the most obvious choice of a "colorless neutral spirit".

After that would be backsweeten, oak and age...

That's what I gather from Taylor's website. Basically making it the traditional fashion (with some mods, of course) ;D

Chevette Girl
07-07-2013, 11:29 AM
For my "cleaning out the freezer" port mels, I step fed until it wouldn't take any more (which, with EC-1118 probably got me to 18%, not so high with the second time where I think I used RC-212), but I really liked it the way it was so didn't fortify with anything because I didn't want to change the taste.

loveofrose
07-07-2013, 03:36 PM
I know traditional port is fortified with brandy, but consider this: bourbon. Most mead benefits from oak aging. Bourbon is basically oak flavored vodka.

In fact, one of my favorite winter meads is a sweet orange blossom traditional fortified with bourbon! You can always add a little bourbon to an existing mead to try it. You may like it!

THawk
07-07-2013, 07:08 PM
I know traditional port is fortified with brandy, but consider this: bourbon. Most mead benefits from oak aging. Bourbon is basically oak flavored vodka.

In fact, one of my favorite winter meads is a sweet orange blossom traditional fortified with bourbon! You can always add a little bourbon to an existing mead to try it. You may like it!

Interesting. But aren't you also adding the oak flavor in the bourbon that's already there? As in, can you still change the flavor afterwards? The reason I chose vodka is that it's supposed to be flavorless.

I could just be making life difficult for myself here... ;D

This article shows that my quantities could even be off. You can use vodka but you'd have to add A LOT!! It's halfway down the page under "Stop in the name of port".

http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/cw/article/indices/16-country-winemaking/313-fruit-port

3.3 Gallons of vodka for a 5-gallon batch of wine. That's about 0.66 GALLONS vodka/spirits per gallon of mead. 1.32 gallons of spirit is about 5L (slightly more, my calculator gave me 5.03). That's about 6-7 750ml bottles... That much Stoli or Smirnoff isn't gonna be cheap!! :eek:

loveofrose
07-07-2013, 09:42 PM
My point was that the oak flavor from the bourbon may mimic barrel aging. Barrel aging is thought by most mazers to improve the mead. I thought you may wish to try it.

If it doesn't appeal to you, try adding Everclear that has been filtered through a Brita pitcher 3 times. Filtering through the activated charcoal removes the harshness of Everclear, but it still maintains it 95% ethanol status. This would substantially reduce the cost and volume you need to add for your desired final ABV.

THawk
07-07-2013, 11:10 PM
My point was that the oak flavor from the bourbon may mimic barrel aging. Barrel aging is thought by most mazers to improve the mead. I thought you may wish to try it.

If it doesn't appeal to you, try adding Everclear that has been filtered through a Brita pitcher 3 times. Filtering through the activated charcoal removes the harshness of Everclear, but it still maintains it 95% ethanol status. This would substantially reduce the cost and volume you need to add for your desired final ABV.

Oh I understand where you're coming from with the bourbon. Just that I was planning to do it with blueberries and the oak flavoring in the bourbon may affect it to the point that it's not changeable. I was also looking to oak it myself.

I don't think I can get Everclear in the Philippines. But we do have a spirit called "lambanog" which can be just as potent.