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Old 30-08-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
earthwormgaz
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Default Damson (in Distress) Port

I got a load of damsons off my Grandma at the weekend, and we googled and found a recipe to make Damson Port.

The Mrs loves port anyway, so we're trying it.

1 gallon boiling water
1 lb sugar
1 lb damsons

It says to wash the damsons, then put them in a fermenting bucket with the boiling water. To leave them for 14 days, mashing them up every day with a bit spoon.

Then, to strain them through a "jelly bag" twice (I suppose that means "jam bag" to us) whatever one of those is, then to add the sugar and leave for another 14 days.

Does anyone think this will work? It must be relying on natural yeasts, is that ever going to get up to 14% or whatever port is?
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Old 30-08-2011, 07:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Just looking at my old notes from back in the day I did an elderberry port which in actual fact had as much damson than elderberry.

per gallon

2lb damsons
2lb elderberry
2lb blackberry
1lb raisins
1 tsp pectinase
2lb of sugar

very heavy on the fruit and will take a good couple of years to fully mature but by god it is mighty fine.
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Old 30-08-2011, 07:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwormgaz
Does anyone think this will work? It must be relying on natural yeasts, is that ever going to get up to 14% or whatever port is?
That will give you a gallon of dishwater, around 6% abv if you are lucky.

I like the sound of GA's recipe though
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Old 30-08-2011, 08:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Agree with Moley And Grey, 6lb of fruit minimum to get anything decent, and use a proper port yeast too.
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Old 30-08-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Balls, I'll order some port yeast and see if I can forage a few of lbs of blackberry's to go in. Hopefully that'll save it.

Here's the recipe as I found it, it'll definately not work then?

Quote:
You could always do a damson port.

4ib damsons
4ib sugar
1 gallon of boiling water


Pour boiling water over the damsons.
leave for 10 days stirring and squeezing them each day.
then run the mixture through a jelly bag and afterwards strain twice with out squeezing(this will save a lot of time later).
add sugar to the strained liquid and stir untill it dissolves.
Add a teacup full of boling water to raise the temperture and leave to forment for 14 days.
skim and bottle
corking it very loosely.
From here - http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php? ... ;topicseen
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Old 30-08-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Its the volume of fruit which will give the port its body if you skip on it you will end up with very strong table wine not port.

I use to throw in water ever was to hand but you do need 6+ lbs of fruit. I have added apples and black currants before now or add more elderberry. The easiest thing to do would be to go a pick a a couple of pounds of elderberies the elderberries will add much needed tanin as well.

I wish I could make some my self but I can no longer find a damson tree and even elderberries seem thin on the ground for the second year running. But I will hopefully get 10lb of elderberries for my elderberry stout to do later next month.

Alistair
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Old 30-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Good stuff, I'll go and get some blackberries and elderberries later then.

Do I need port yeast, or will one of the wine ones do? The online place I use is sold out of the port yeast.
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Old 30-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Quote:
Originally Posted by graysalchemy
and even elderberries seem thin on the ground for the second year running.
Well stop looking on the ground, they grow on trees

I thought they were looking particularly abundant this year. Although my two main sources look like they still need another week or two, I mostly filled a 5 gallon FV yesterday in under 5 minutes, and have stripped, washed, skimmed and frozen 8 lbs this morning before breakfast.
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Old 30-08-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

The ones I have found are small and many of them are dried which is surprising since we have had no summer to speak of.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Damson (in Distress) Port

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwormgaz
Balls, I'll order some port yeast and see if I can forage a few of lbs of blackberry's to go in. Hopefully that'll save it.

Here's the recipe as I found it, it'll definately not work then?

Quote:
You could always do a damson port.

4ib damsons
4ib sugar
1 gallon of boiling water


Pour boiling water over the damsons.
leave for 10 days stirring and squeezing them each day.
then run the mixture through a jelly bag and afterwards strain twice with out squeezing(this will save a lot of time later).
add sugar to the strained liquid and stir untill it dissolves.
Add a teacup full of boling water to raise the temperture and leave to forment for 14 days.
skim and bottle
corking it very loosely.
From here - http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php? ... ;topicseen
The recipe posted on that gardening forum came from p. 47 of 'Home Made Wine Secrets' by Peggy Hutchinson and was written in the 1930's before the days of decent yeasts, pectin destroying enzymes and campden tablets. Most recipes from those days make 1.5 gallons as that was the size of the stoneware jugs used to make them in (and sanitised with hot soda water).

My books (on the left is a 1936 first edition) :



N.B. With sugar bulking + juice from the damsons + sugar in the fruit, together with the water and sugar you added I reckon you've got about 3lbs 7ozs of sugar in the gallon. That's far too much sugar!
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