Cheap and Easy DIY Wine

Picture 24There’s a lot of kits available out there for people looking to get started in wine making but the method I’m about to describe to you is much cheaper and easier. This will not produce high quality wine but I assure you the finished product is very drinkable and some of your friends may not even notice the difference between it and a $15 bottle from the store.

To make this wine you’ll only need the following ingredients:
*2 cans of juice concentrate at room temperature (You can use any type but try to stay away from ones that contain preservatives as that can inhibit the fermentation)
*2 cups of sugar (More if you plan to back sweeten after fermentation is complete)
*1 packet yeast (You can use any type of yeast but wine or champagne yeast is best. Bakers yeast can be used but some people don’t like the taste it produces)
*1 gallon of water

Additional needed supplies:
*1 gallon jug
*funnel
*airlock and stopper that will fit your jug (You can purchase these from a brewers supply store or you can use a balloon and a rubber band)

Optional:
*campden tablets, potassium sorbate and empty bottles if you want to bottle your wine.

Anything you can’t find at the grocery store can be picked up at your local brewers supply store or through an online supplier like Midwest Supplies.

Once you have your supplies just follow these steps:

1.  Sterilize all your containers and utensils in order to keep unwanted bacteria that can hinder the fermenting process out. You can use a commercially available sanitizer for this, run everything through a dishwasher or wash and bleach everything. You can avoid having to sanitize your jug by just purchasing a one gallon jug of water as you’ll need the water for the recipe and the jug will already be sterile enough.

2. Boil the water. You want to bring the temperature to 144 degrees F and keep it there for 22 minutes.

3. Use the funnel to add the room temperature juice concentrate to the jug.

4. Add sugar to the water while it’s still hot. Stir to dissolve and then allow the water to cool to near room temperature.

5. Activate the yeast by following the directions on the packet. Normally this involves placing the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes.

6. Add the cooled down, dissolved sugar water to the jug with the concentrate and mix well.

7. Add the activated yeast and mix well again.

8. Cap your jug either with a commercially available stopper and airlock or take a balloon and place a small pin hole in the balloon then secure it to the mouth of the jug using a rubber band. This allows CO2 to escape without letting air in. If the CO2 isn’t able to vent, your jug could explode.

Once all of that is complete your wine will need to sit at room temperature away from sunlight for 10-14 days. The yeast will begin to eat the sugars and convert them in to alcohol and you should see lots of bubbles in the jug. If you don’t see bubbles after a few days you’ll have to try again with more sanitary equipment. When it’s done fermenting you should see the mixture go from cloudy to clear. At that point it’s ready to drink but will be pretty dry.

If you want a sweeter wine you’ll have to use a process called back sweetening. In order to back sweeten you’ll need to add crushed up Campden tablets and potassium sorbate to your wine in order to kill the fermentation process. One Campden tablet crushed up and a 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate will take care of one gallon of wine. Mix them with water and then add to the wine, allow it to sit for an hour, then you can add sugar to taste without the sugar just being consumed by the yeast.

Once you’ve arrived at the taste you want you can either pour your wine in to another large container or transfer it in to smaller bottles. As long as you’re careful when pouring the sediment should stay at the bottom of the original container. Your wine is now ready to drink.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Cheap and Easy DIY Wine

  1. If you use a beer yeast you can not only get some interesting flavors out of it and you can also avoid back sweetening. Brewing yeasts should have an alcohol tolerance listed, if you use an 8-9% yeast, you should wind up with a wine at *about* that alcohol content *give or take a percent or two), and with leftover sugars, meaning a sweater product (assuming no wild yeast got in).

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