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
- 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.
- Cornell University: How to Make Homemade Wine
- "The Foxfire Book of Wine Making"; Lori Gillespie, Kelly Shropshire and Allison Adams, eds.; 1987
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