How to Make Easy Homemade Apple Wine
If this is your first batch or you are just looking for another method, this wine recipe if very easy and will yield consistent results. I've used it several times and none of the batches have went bad. Also, it's very cheap—$4-5 dollars will give you a gallon. Try getting that deal at the supermarket!
To start a basic batch, you will need the following:
- 1 gallon of apple juice
- 1 cup of sugar
- Yeast (more on that below)
- A funnel
- Optional ingredients include: raisins, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and brown sugar.
1. Pour off extra. To start, make sure to your funnel is very clean. Open the apple juice and pour out about two cups. This will make space for the sugar and any foam made during fermentation.
- You can use any type of apple juice you want. (I chose the generic brand. I suppose the higher quality ingredients you put in the higher quality product you yield, but this is not going to be fine wine, so i would stick with the cheap stuff.)
2. Add sugar. Put in the funnel and pour the sugar in.
- Yeast feeds on sugar and emits alcohol in a process called fermentation. The yeast will feed on the sugar in the wine until it runs out or the concentration of alcohol in the wine becomes too high and they die.
- Apple juice is naturally sweet, so you could simply add only the yeast if you want a drier (less sweet) wine.
- Or, add only the yeast then drink the wine after a few days, while the yeast is still working, for a wine with a lower alcohol content and carbonation (yeast emits carbon dioxide also). In this recipe I add sugar and wait for the fermentation to complete so I have a higher percentage ABV (alcohol by volume).
- If you want the wine to be sweeter, you could add two or more cups of sugar.
- If you are making a spiced cider, try using brown sugar.
3. Shake. Put the top on and shake it until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Add yeast/ Pour the yeast in, put the top on, and tilt the bottle upside down and right side up a few times.
- You don't want to shake it too vigorously. The easiest way to get yeast is to buy bread yeast at the supermarket. It will be in the baking section. You can buy three packets for less that two dollars, or a small jar for about 5. You only need one of the packets to make the wine, but the small jar is by far the best deal if you plan on doing this often. Either way, put what yeast you don't use in the refrigerator, it will last up to a year or maybe more that way. So, add one packet or if you buy the jar add one teaspoon.
- If you want to be a little more professional and make a better wine you can find a wine shop or go online and buy wine yeast for about $1-$2 per packet. If you do, use a white wine yeast for apple wine.
5. Add any optional ingredients.
- If you have them on hand, add 10 or 20 raisins. Raisins contain nutrients that will help keep your yeast healthy.
- If you want to make a spiced cider, you could try adding a cinnamon stick and/or one or two cloves.
6. Airlock it. Take off the cap, then poke a few holes in a balloon with a needle, then stretch it over the the mouth of the bottle.
- As the wine ferments, it will release CO2. The balloon will allow the gas to escape while keeping unwanted organisms floating in the air out.
- Another option is to go online or to a wine shop and buy an airlock for $1 or $2 and a plug for about $1. These can be used over and over and are overall do a better job, but are not necessary.
7. Wait. Put the wine in a room temperature (or above) place and wait 2-3 weeks.
- After a day, the balloon should be "standing up" and small bubbles will be rising to the top of the wine.
- After two or three weeks, the balloon should be limp again and there will be no bubble rising. It may only take one week. The wine probably won't smell great, but if it smells strongly of vinegar that means your wine got some outside organisms in it and has spoiled. If that is the case, don't drink it.
- Also, I don't suggest putting it in a glass container because the fermentation may start back up and blow up the jar.
- If it isn't sweet enough, add a little sugar. Just remember that this has a good chance of re-starting fermentation, which is good if you want a sparkling (fizzy) wine.
You can now enjoy your own homemade wine!