Making Homemade Wine With Grape Juice
It is possible to make a decent wine using ordinary household items and grape juice
from concentrate. You will need 3 cans of grape juice concentrate. You need enough to
equal 144 ounces when prepared. Read the labels to determine this amount. You will also
need ½ cup of sugar, and yes, you need real sugar and a gallon jug.
The idea is to keep it as cheap as possible so any old milk or juice jug should do the
trick. You will also need water for this process; distilled water does not work very well
for this purpose. Regular tap water works best. Oh, don't forget the balloons these are imperative.
The final ingredient is yeast and you will also need a pin. There are a few accessory
items that will be needed, namely a siphoning hose, a funnel and a measuring cup. Now that
we have all of our ingredients we are ready to make our wine. What you have may not look
like much but these common items will produce a most remarkable common wine.
The yeast is the most important of all of the ingredients. Without yeast fermentation
could not take place. It is used to make all alcoholic beverages. Yeast is a fungus that
eats the sugar combined with the water and what they excrete is alcohol. This is a very
simple explanation for the process of fermentation but it is accurate. There is yeast made
exclusively for making wine but baker's yeast will do in a pinch. It gives the wine a very
strong and pungent flavor.
1. Make the grape juice but only use two cans of water per container of concentrate.
The yeast will eat a lot of sugar so you want more concentrate than juice. Another
consideration when making wine from grape juice is the high acid content of concentrated
grape juice. You will need to neutralize the acidity of the grape juice. This should be
done before you add the yeast. The method here will neutralize about 50 percent of the
acid. Using a common antacid in the amount of 500 mils per 1.3 liters you can neutralize
enough acid to make your wine actually taste more like wine than grape juice. Crush the
tablets and mix them into the grape juice. Another tried and true method is to simply add
1 teaspoon of baking soda per gallon of grape juice. This concludes step one.
2. Shake the mixture up well. This is also a very important step. The juice needs to be
properly aerated for the process to work to perfection. Now add the sugar and shake again,
make sure it all dissolves to avoid flavor problems later on.
3. Hydrate the yeast before adding it to the mixture. Follow the directions on the
package, let stand before stirring. Now add a few spoonful's of sugar and watch out for
the foaming action. Use the funnel to add all of the ingredients to the jug. This will help
to avoid spillage. Shake vigorously to completely incorporate the mixture into the juice.
4. Put a few pinholes in a balloon and firmly seat the balloon on the top of the jug.
When fermentation takes place the pinholes will allow gases to escape. Push the ballooning
end inside the container and if you desire use a rubber band to hold the end in place
around the mouth of the jug.
All that is left is the wait. Within 12 hours you should be able to see and hear signs
of the fermentation process. The balloon should begin to rise from the inside of the jug.
If this takes more than 24 hours you may need to add additional yeast. In 2-3 weeks the
second stage of fermentation should begin.
The balloon is the indicator if it has deflated then it is time to remove it and add
the cap. Now place the jug in a cool place that is around 55 degress and let sit for a
month or two for the best flavor. If you strain the finished product into a new container
it will give you a better quality wine.
Pat Lindle is a
wine broker with many years
of experience in the wine industry.