Friday, May 4, 2012

Cheap homemade wine

I debated a bit about posting this because I didn't want to offend my readers who choose to never consume alcohol. If this is you, please just skip this post and read about my next adventure when I'm writing about something that applies more specifically to you.


As part of my offer to help anyone with their budget, I'm currently helping a reader evaluate her spending. One of the things she was spending money on was wine. She said she felt red wine was important for her health and wanted to continue drinking it, but she wasn't happy with spending the money.

My solution? The four dollar gallon of wine!

Here's what you need to make it:

 2 frozen concentrate juices
4 cups sugar
4 1/2 tsp yeast
bowl/pot for mixing
gallon jug
rubber band
funnel (mine was missing, so I used a glass pitcher)

Mix together the ingredients in a bowl. Pour them into your gallon container with a funnel. Leave the lid off of the gallon container and put a balloon on in its place. Put a rubber band around the balloon to hold it on place on the rim.

Put your wine in a dark cupboard. The balloon will expand. Let it sit for about a week until the balloon is no longer expanding. Remove the balloon and rubber band an put the cap on it tightly. Now allow it to sit for another two weeks-one month.

Open and enjoy! My wine was SO good. It turned out quite sweet, so if you like a dry wine you may want to use less sugar in this recipe.

For this batch, I just used regular bread yeast. I learned later that its better to use wine or champagne yeast.  (If you do that, you might not need as much. You should check on your wine/champagne yeast packaging.)

In the summer, I plan to make this out of fresh fruit. I learned from a wine maker that if you do that, you must increase the sugar to 1-2 pounds per gallon! I will post more about my experiences with fresh fruit wine when I make some. We are currently growing black currents, apples, and strawberries so my wine will likely be from one of those things.

As for my missing funnel: No worries, I later found my funnel in the yard next to several "tools" the kids were using for their outdoor projects.

Have you made your own wine? Did you find it to be economical? Were you surprised at how easy balloon wine making seems?

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