Blackberry/Cherry Port Mead

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by jdwebb, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. jdwebb

    jdwebb Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA.
    Home Page:
    port1.jpg I love a good port. So, I decided to attempt a port mead using the following recipe I adapted from a wine based port;


    RECIPE:

    2 cans Alexanders Merlot
    1 can Alexanders Red Zinfandel
    15 pounds Wildflower Honey
    8oz dried Montmorency Cherries
    1 1/2 pounds very ripe bananas
    2 pounds frozen mixed tart & dark sweet cherries
    2 pounds frozen blackberries
    Medium toast French Oak cubes soaked in good brandy
    750 ml bottle of good brandy
    Wyeast 4946

    THE PLAN:
    Combine the 3 cans of grape juice with 2 gallons of water and 9 pounds of the honey in the fermenter. Leave covered with a towel for at least 24 hours. (The Alexanders has Potassium Sorbate) Cut the bananas into 1 inch slices, and put them and the 8 oz dried cherries in a large pot with 1 gallon of water, boil gently for 5 minutes, let cool to room temperature. Add the dried cherries and the bananas with the liquid to the fermenter with the grape juice and honey.

    After 24 hours, mix in the bananas and cherries in the fermenter, add your yeast and ferment to 1.060. Add the other 3 pounds of honey by siphoning off a gallon and gently mix with the honey before adding back.

    When the gravity reached 1.038, strain out the bananas and cherries.

    At 1.010, add the other 3 pounds of honey by siphoning off a gallon of must, mix gently and add back, and ferment to 1.010. Siphon off into secondary onto the 2 pounds of frozen blackberries and cherries, and the brandy/cognac soaked oak. Leave for at least 4 weeks.

    Rack several times again as needed at a minimum of 4 weeks apart until no more sediment forms, Use a fining agent of needed, stabalize and add 750ml of cognac or brandy. Check for sweetness and backsweeten as needed. Age for at least a year!
     

    Attached Files:

    Trialben and Pops in the Ozarks like this.
  2. Pops in the Ozarks

    Pops in the Ozarks New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Greeting JD,
    This looks pretty cool. I am fairly new to brewing and am curious of a couple things. What would be the difference using cognac vs brandy? And is there a concern on temps during fermentation other than letting the banana/cherry boil get back down to room temp? So far I have only made beer kits but am now getting interested in branching out to other things.
    Thanks and good luck,
    Pops
     
  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    2,997
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I think the main difference is in how snooty you can act while drinking it.
     
  4. jdwebb

    jdwebb Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA.
    Home Page:
    Hey Pops

    The recipe has changed slightly, you can see it at The Mead House

    Cognac MUST come from the Cognac region in Southwest France, and can ONLY be distilled with white grape juice. Cognac is a much more refined brandy, whereas regular brandy's can be made from any kind of fruit juice, including berries. You've heard of peach brandy or blackberry brandy I'm sure. Cognac must also be aged at least 2 years in French oak, where brandy does not. Cognac is a far superior liquor.

    Yes, fermentation temps are very important. I would not recommend doing this project if you are new to winemaking, or meadmaking. This is a very intense project. It's like having a newborn, you have to closely monitor it, keep checking it, it's a daily routine. Just getting the yeast started took 2 days of playing with temps until I could finally get it down to fermentation temp. Starting gravity was right around 1.170+. Because this is a 20% ABV project, high temps can make the must overly "hot" where you get an extreme alcohol burn. Lower temps helps to control that, the end result is you want the burn to be counteracted with the smoothness. This is another reason why I've very selective on the cognac I'm going to use. If you want to get into making mead, start with a simple recipe, mead, water and yeast. Use 15 pounds of honey, any honey, in 5 gallons of water, 71B yeast or Wyeast's Sweet mead yeast, and nutrients. Look for the recipe on our website.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white