How to Make Wine in a Gallon Jug

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A gallon jug is the perfect size to make your first batch of wine at home. It helps you gain the experience needed to make larger batches and gives you a tasty wine to drink. If you do make a mistake in the wine-making process, tossing a gallon doesn't seem like a big deal. You can make wine in a gallon jug with common household items; all you will need to purchase is the wine yeast needed for fermentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Gallon jug with small opening
  • 8 12-oz. cans of 100 percent grape juice concentrate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Saucepan
  • Red wine yeast
  • Heavy balloon
  • 3 to 4 feet food-grade plastic tubing
  • Bottles with caps
  • Wash and rinse thoroughly a one-gallon jug. The jug can be made of glass or plastic. A one-gallon milk jug will work just fine.

  • Thaw eight 12-oz. cans of 100 percent grape juice concentrate. Pour the juice into the gallon jug.

  • Heat 1 cup of water in a saucepan and stir in 2 cups of sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Pour the sugar water into the gallon jug with the juice.

  • Add in one package of red wine yeast.

  • Secure the opening of the balloon over the opening of the gallon jug. Set the jug in a warm area where the temperature will remain constant. Within two days, you will see the balloon begin to expand.

  • Allow the wine to ferment until the balloon collapses and falls over flat. This will take between 45 and 60 days.

  • Siphon the wine from the jug into bottles using a 3 to 4 foot length of food-grade plastic tubing.

  • Cap the bottles and store the wine in a cool, dark place until ready to drink.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean, empty soda bottles work well for storing wine.
  • Undiluted grape juice concentrate makes a wine with a heavier bodied flavor. You can dilute the concentrate 50/50 with water if desired for a lighter wine.
  • Red wine yeast is available at most brew shops and online for a minimal cost.
  • You can also make wine in a gallon jug from fresh grapes, berries and other fruits.

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