Sunday, February 27, 2011
Hillbilly Wine (Hooch)
24 oz frozen, concentrated grape juice
2.5 cups sugar
Add concentrate to sanitized one-gallon vessel. Add sugar. Bring to one gallon with water (make sure there's some headroom, this recipe tends to foam up a little on the first day). Add wine yeast, shake, fit with airlock and let there be wine!
12 to 16 days later fermentation should cease. You can now rack the wine into a new vessel. Fit with airlock. After one month you can bottle! (one month is conservative)
Notes: You don't want to add your yeast to a very cold mixture of grape juice, so either let the concentrate reach room temperature before you begin, or add warm water to make one gallon. A good temperature to add the yeast in at is NO HIGHER THAN 110 degrees (43 degrees Celsius). Also, you don't need a fancy airlock, especially if you're just beginning, a balloon fitted over the top of the vessel is just fine, you may want to put a pinprick or two in the balloon so that a little of the carbon dioxide can escape as fermentation occurs (yes, don't forget, your yeasts are eukaryotes just like people, and as they go about their day making wine, they "breathe" out CO2 just like people!) Airlocks are very cheap, though, ranging from $1.50 to $5.00 at your home brew store locally or online.
Note number two: be careful which concentrated grape juice you buy. The store brand, and even some name brands, likely have either high-fructose corn syrup and/or preservatives. Preservatives can and will hurt your yeast, or even prevent fermentation, and high-fructose corn syrup is not from grapes, and it's not sucrose, our regular table sugar. Preservatives to watch out for are anything with sulfur, but if you see citric acid, that's just fine. Basically, look for the most natural, simple labels, something with 100% grape juice.
Well, this is as simple as it gets. This was my first wine, not bad, but don't expect a prize-winner either! This is a really fun and simple way to get started on wine-making, and even if you screw it all up, you're only out a few dollars, so there's no excuse not to try!
Related Recipes: Easy Apple Cider, White Hillbilly Wine, Easy Mead.