Hi again Home Winemakers!
If you have been trying to make home wine the easy way, how did this method work for you?
I have been using the Welch’s 100 grape juice for months now and it produces a darn good wine.
I wanted something easy, and set- it- and- forget style. What I ended up doing was the following:
Deb’s Hard Grape Juice
- 2 Empty 1+ gallon containers. One will be used to make the wine the other for prep.
- A balloon, that has several holes poked in it and fits the opening of your container. I use an empty juice container and balloons from the dollar store.
- 64 oz of 100% Welch’s Substitute any flavor juice you like)
- 3 cups of sugar. Divide into sugar 1 cup (set aside to bloom yeast) and two cups.
- 32-64 ounces of warm to hot water. Set aside 1 cup (very hot, not boiling) to bloom yeast
- 1 packet of baking yeast (these come 75 cents for packs of 3 @Aldi’s). Note: Winemakers use vintner’s yeast, not really sure why, forgot to look that up-but I think it has something to do with sugar.
- Before doing all the other steps set your yeast to bloom first. Put the 1 cup of hot not boiling water, 1cup of sugar, and yeast into container. Agitate until sugar has dissolved in the water. Set aside to do the next steps and for a least 15 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam
- In the other gallon container, mix the hot water, grape juice and the 2 cups of sugar. Agitate until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add this mixture to the yeast mixture. The wine base should be very warm when adding to the yeast mixture. Yeast is temperature activated and can be turned off if your wine base is too cool. Not a major problem but it will need to revive before it starts the reaction that turns juice to wine. Shake this mixture gently for 5-10 secs.
- Place ballon with holes poked in it over the the opening. This prevents airborne contaminants but allows gases to escape.
- When the ballon on top has inflated, for sure you know the reaction has begun. I usually squeeze the container after placing the balloon. The whole thing expands once the process has begun
- Lots and Lots of bubbles. If you see bubbles rising. You are making wine. This is a very soothing thing to see, as well as, hear.
- Enough alcohol is produced in 24 hrs to be able to consume within a day of making.
- The mixture stays bubbly and sweet for about two weeks with this recipe. After that, it starts to lean in the dry (not sweet) direction. This is an indication that the sugar is almost completely consumed. The yeast die off and settle to the bottom of the container.
- If I taste the mixture and it is not sweet enough and the reaction still going, I will add up to a cup more sugar.
- I have split the original mix into smaller containers in an attempt produce the same exact wine. This did not happen a few times. The difference in amount consumable before inebriation changed drastically. The change in sweetness was also affected.
- Cranberry juice concentrate and Ginger make a nice wine.
- I did not like brown sugar for making wine.
- I wanted to know what would happen if I added yeast again after the first yeast died off–Inebriation in 1 glass ( 8oz). Just an experiment! Too strong, got split to become starter for the next batch of wine. That works well.
- I have used the last of Sweet n Bubbly ( a gallon doesn’t go far if you give it out to your friends to try) for the next week’s batch
- 1 week produces a very tasty wine
- Spices and different fruit juices can make very tasty concoctions
Have a good time making wine!
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