Homemade (Organic) Wine
Since we are now suddenly overcome by the desire to DIY everything, despite our small living space, I decided to embark on my own homemade wine adventure. I also thought making my own organic, sulfate-free wine would be super fancy since you can't buy it in a store, at least I don't think you can. And believe it or not we DO have space for it!
For my first batch I went with an organic cranberry/blueberry/cherry mixture since that's all they had at that particular Winn Dixie. It came out very tasty, and strong! Plus I'm saving $$ since I haven't bought a bottle of wine (or beer for that matter) in probably a month and a half.
Start by mixing a cup of warmed juice with your packet of yeast. Let that activate while you pour 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar and 1 container of juice into your gallon container. Shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. The amount of sugar you add just depends on your taste. 2 cups will make a fairly sweet wine. (I went with 1.5 cups). Add your yeast mixture, as well as the rest of the juice. Leave some room at the top for bubbles! Shake it all up again.
Since I'm super lazy and did not happen to have a balloon in the RV, I just used the original cap, loosening it just enough to let access gas escape. Or you can use a balloon with a pin hole at the top. Put a note on your wine to indicate when it was started and what type of juice you used (this is more important if you make a second & third batch, etc.)
Now you have to patiently wait.. which is the worst, but worth it. Your wine should be done fermenting anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks. After most of the bubbles have subsided you can pour your wine into another "racking" container using a coffee filter and funnel. Filtering can be a slow process, and the filter may need to be rinsed a few times, especially toward the end. If you skip this step you will end up with a bunch of yeast 'dust' in your glass!
Now simply let it age for 6 short months.. Kidding! Enjoy immediately. It's apparently supposed to taste even better after aging several months.. but I guess I'll never know. Make sure to leave the cap slightly loose at this point, as it will still expel a little bit of gas.
For my next batch I am trying Acai Berry because it was on sale for like $2.90 a bottle so I bought 10. I would love to try process using fresh fruit instead of store bought juice some day, but not in this rig :/.
If you make some yourself, let me know how it comes out!
- 1 gallon juice of choice (about 2- 48oz containers)
- ~ 2 cups sugar
- 1 packet yeast
- Gallon sized container
- Balloon or airlock (optional imo)
- Coffee filters