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Zinfandel Port Wine


Silver Award Winner - Bottle Shock Open - 2017

Yield: 5 gallons or 25 bottles

Ingredients
  • 6 gallons macerated Zinfandel juice with skins

  • 4.344 lbs Dextrose, 11 cups separated for chaptalization

  • 1 lb organic Banana chips – sweetened

  • 5 oz dried elderberries

  • 2.5g pectin enzyme

  • 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient

  • 17.5 oz maltodextrose

  • 2.5 g Go Ferm

  • 5 g Lavin EC1118 yeast

  • 5 g Red Star Pasteur Red yeast

  • VP41 malolactic bacteria

  • 2 oz American oak cubes

  • 2 oz French oak cubes

At Fortification:

  • 1500 ml 150 proof Everclear (or other high proof brandy)

1/2 tsp Potassium metabisulfite, split for two separate additions.

  • 2 oz Glycerine

Directions:
  1. Prepare fruit: After grapes are crushed and destemmed, cold macerate for 7-10 days.

  2. Start Fermentation. Remove 1 quart of juice and freeze. Add 2.2 lbs of dextrose, banana chips, elderberries, pectin enzyme, yeast nutrients, and maltodextrose. Make a yeast starter with 100 ml water and Go ferm. Mix into juice and set aside. Keep temperature between 75-85 F. Specific gravity should be between 1.080 and 1.1.

  3. Punch down: Punch down 2x a day until pressed off skins.

  4. Co-inoculate: After 1/3 sugar depletion, add 1 tsp DAP directly to must and stir. Co-inoculate with malolactic bacteria according to package directions.

  5. Chaptalize: Ferment down to 1.050 and remove ¼ gallon of wine. Warm enough to dissolve 3 cups dextrose and return to batch.

  6. Chaptalize: Ferment down to 1.050 and remove ¼ gallon of wine. Warm enough to dissolve 3 cups dextrose and return to batch.

  7. Chaptalize: Ferment down to 1.050 and remove ¼ gallon of wine. Warm enough to dissolve 3 cups dextrose and return to batch.

  8. Press: Press wine off skins separating the free run juice from the press run. Add American oak cubes into press run only.

  9. Rack: After 2 weeks, rack wine. Add French oak cubes to press run only.

  10. Fortify: After 2 weeks, thaw frozen juice, mix press run into free run and add juice according to taste. ABV should be 17-18%. Add brandy to raise ABV to 20%.

  11. Add SO2: At 3 months, rack and add ¼ teaspoon metabisulfite.

  12. Bottle: After 6 months, rack and add ¼ teaspoon metabisulfite and glycerine. Filter and bottle. Age at least 1 year in the bottle.

Notes:

  • Macerated grapes contain so much particulate matter that it’s difficult to get a hydrometer reading. Use a medium mesh strainer to push grape skins away from juice and use wine thief to capture liquid for testing tube.

  • A yeast starter is particularly important for port since the high sugar concentration and high alcohol create a hostile environment for yeast. Watch temperatures do not drop below lower range overnight with a heating belt.

  • Fortification is X = V (C-A)/B-C

  • X = gallons of brandy needed

  • V = gallons of wine

  • C = final ABV wanted

  • B = ABV % of brandy

  • A = Alcohol % of wine

Credit: Adapted from Northern Brewer and Techniques in Home Winemaking by Daniel Piambanchi

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