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How to brew cheap wine
Preface: Iíve never done this before, and iím totally inexperienced about brewing. I did a little bit of research online and found this was the easiest and cheapest way to brew wine, which seems like the easiest of all alcoholic drinks to make. Follow these directions at your own risk
Like the title says, this method of brewing is not expensive (cost me roughly $12. This will make me 2-3 gallons of wine. maybe more), but the returns arenít for connoisseurs. This is for cheap-asses, college kids, and 15 yr olds who canít buy anything themselves. If you do it right, itís enjoyable, cheap, easy to do, and most importantly, alcoholic. Plus, it only takes a maximum of 2 weeks to fully ferment!!!
Buy ingredients. Get the cheap stuff. It doesnít matter what quality it is because itís hobo-wine.
I made a gallon jug of this. The recipe calls for:
2 cans of juice concentrate (room temp) I chose welchís concorde grape. You should be able to use any type of concentrate like strawberry, kiwi-whatever etc. Two juice concentrates makes 1 gallon.
2-3 cups of sugar
water container (I used a water jug that was 60 cents at the store, plus I got to use the water)
Active Dry yeast
Sterilize everything youíre going to use to keep the fermenting wine in. You donít want unwanted bacteria growing in your wine, it ruins it. Bleach out your funnel and your jug. Rinse well, and wash with dish soap. Air dry.
Go ahead and bring your water to a near boil. What I did was let the water boil just for a bit to kill anything in it (just in case), and then I took it off the heat and let it cool. I heated mine in separate pots because I didnít have any large enough to hold it all.
While youíre waiting for your water to heat, go ahead and add your room temperature juice concentrate to the clean, dry jug. Use the funnel if you need it.
As the hot water cools, dissolve 2-3 cups of sugar in the water. Most recipies Iíve read say 2 is fine, but i added 3 so the yeast had enough nutrients and so that the wine would be sweeter. Stir while pouring.
Activate the yeast. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet. For me, I added 1 teaspoon of sugar into a separate bowl along with 1/4 cup of water at 100-110 degrees Farenheit. Add the yeast to the concoction and stir briefly. Let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should be very frothy now.
Pour the dissolved sugar-water into the jug thatís holding the juice concentrate. Your juice/sugarwater might be warm. Cool it off a little by placing the jug in the sink and fill the sink with cool water. When you introduce your yeast to their syrupy mix, it canít be too hot or it will kill the yeast and ruin your project. I waited until the jug was just warm to the touch. 80-90 degrees i estimate.
When the mix is cooled enough, add the yeast to the mix.
Cap the jug containing your sugar water, juice concentrate, and yeast and shake violently. Try not to spill. Do it enough just to mix everything up.
Remove the cap, place a balloon over the top to allow for expansion. The yeasties produce CO2, and itís got to go somewhere. You cannot introduce air to the mix or it will ruin it/make vinegar. Bad bad bad! Some people use valves, some make tubing that runs from the jug to a glass of water so air cannot get in, but it allows the CO2 to escape. I use a balloon.
Note: when using a balloon, make sure it doesnít over inflate and pop. Again, this will ruin your batch.
If you want you can put a rubber band over the ballon to further secure it. If you really want to i suppose you can tape it as well. I didnít.
Keep your jug in a relatively warm place (room temp). The yeast can handle 60 degrees, but i wouldnít want to chance it. Also, i wouldnít expose it to direct sunlight.
There it is! I just brewed it up tonight, now I just wait 10-14 days and then i canÖ
When youíre done fermenting, you can siphon the good stuff out while leaving the clumpy yeast in the jug. To repeat, just make sure to sterilize again and youíre good to go.
Again, iím way not a pro at this. I just thought some of you might want to try this with me and we can help eachother along. If you know what youíre doing, post in here and give advice. Iíd love to hear it.
Pictures and conversations can be found here: http://www.leftofme.com/how-to-brew-cheap-wine/
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