1 Minute Wine Recipe

Most wine making guides really over-think the wine making process. They tell you to buy all kinds of equipment and additives that you don’t really need.

This tutorial is about stripping wine making down to the absolute bare minimum. It’s so simple that you can get going with just 5$ in equipment, and start a batch of wine in under a minute.

See Also: The 1:30 video version. (link opens in a new tab)


What you DON’T Need to Make Wine

This is a short list of items, most pictured in this 120$ wine making kit, that you do not need to buy to make wine.


You DON’T need exotic chemicals like potassium sorbate and sodium metabisulfite and campden tablets and acid blend all the other weird extras home wine makers are adding these days. Do you think the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth rock used this chemical warfare when they made wine?

You DON’T need crazy siphoning equipment and large glass carboys that take up half your garage and make your brewing corner look like a mad scientist’s laboratory. Instead of using all this equipment to make big vats of wine a couple times a year, follow this simple 1 minute wine tutorial 26 times a year. You’ll save way more time and money doing your wine in tiny batches.

You DON’T need expensive cleaners like PBW and StarSan and Iodaphor to make good wine either. A certain degree of cleanliness is important, but soap and water – and maybe a little bleach for tougher jobs – is enough to keep a home brewery clean.

Traditional wine is a living, breathing organism that our species has developed a symbiotic relationship with over millenia. It doesn’t need a chemist – it needs a babysitter.

Bare Bones Wine Equipment

You only need to buy 3 very cheap things to make wine – and 1 of them is optional.


Champagne Yeast – You might ask, “What’s wrong with the yeast floating around in the air, or the yeast I use to make bread?” Answer: Nothing! You can use those yeasts too but your wine will take longer and your alcohol content won’t be nearly as high. Champagne yeast ferments a brew with up to a burly 18% alcohol content.

Airlocks – Lets air out so your brew jug doesn’t literally explode. At the same time it keeps foreign yeasts and bacteria out. There’s 2 popular designs and I use the 1-piece design because it’s cheaper and harder to break.

Hydrometer – this optional piece of equipment measures alcohol content. Without one, you won’t necessarily know if what you just made is 8% booze or 18% booze. If you follow my tutorial exactly, you won’t need one – you’ll get something around 15%.

Total estimated cost for equipment – less than $5.

If you are lucky enough, as I was, to have a home brew supply store near you, get this equipment there. Yeast, plugs and airlocks are all about a dollar each and the hydrometer probably runs about 10$.

Otherwise, you will have to pay shipping from amazon, for a total cost of still very cheap. Here are the ones I would get.

Why to NOT Brew in 5 Gallon Buckets

I used to do all my brewing of wine and beer in 6 gallon carboys and buckets – but it’s just too much work. I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and discourage you from using 5 gallon buckets or carboys to make wine.

5 gallons of liquid is very heavy so you can’t easily pour from one vessel into another, or shake it around to dissolve in some sugar. As soon as you start working with these larger sizes you need buy tubes, siphoning equipment, something called a racking cane, and a special harness to carry full jugs safely. And having all this extra equipment means you have to keep it all clean which becomes an hour-long chore all by itself.

Shoot for around 1 gallon, but the exact size is up to your supermarket – because the key to 1-minute wine is to brew right in the container the juice comes in. This way you know the the juice is completely contaminant free.

This is the juice I bought for around 4$ for a 3/4 gallon jug. I calculated a total ingredient cost of about $1.60 for each 750ml amount that the liquor store across the street wants $12.00 for.

grape juice bottle 1 gallon

These are the 5 simple steps to turn the juice from the supermarket into wine.

  1. Buy juice
  2. Add sugar
  3. Shake shake shake!
  4. Plug with airlock
  5. Wait

I’ll give some brief details on each of these steps.

Buy Juice

Any juice will work for wine, I like red grape juice because it will make normal red wine. But get adventurous – find something on sale or in season. Any fruit will work, even berries. The most important number to look at is the sugar content, because this will tell you how much alcohol you’ll get in your finished wine

Watch out, because many of the juices on the store shelves have corn syrup as a first ingredient. Corn syrup will ferment fine, but do you really want to drink corn wine?

sugar content of grape juice

The grape juice I’m using in our example has 41g of sugar per cup – that’s pure grape sugar, no added sugar whatsoever. Ideally we want about double that – but we can make up the difference by adding pure sugar or honey.

How Small can you Go?

I’ve successfully brewed a batch in a 1.89 liter bottle, which is exactly half a gallon.


I suspect you could go even smaller but if you get too small your yeast might not reach the critical mass needed for proper fermentation.

Add Sugar

According to the label, the unsweetened grape juice I’m showing here has 41g of sugar per cup.

I tested the juice with my hydrometer at 8%. That means if I added my yeast right now without any additional sugar, I would get 8% wine. If you choose to use a hydrometer, here’s what to look for.


8% would make a strong beer, but a weak wine. I like to shoot for wine around the typical range, between 13% and 15%.

3 cups of additional sugar brought my 3/4 gallon batch up to 15% potential alcohol. You’ll have to dump out some of the juice first before adding the sugar. I added 3 cups of sugar, so I removed about 3 cups of juice.

Use a clean funnel for adding the sugar, I used a rolled up piece of paper which worked just fine.


This brought my potential alcohol up to 15%. – so as a rule of thumb, add about 4 cups sugar for each gallon of grape juice if your grape juice is similar in sugar content to mine and you want a 15% alcohol wine.

Champagne yeast will ferment to about 18% alcohol before the alcohol content will kill all the yeast. So there’s no point going above about 18% potential alcohol.

Shake Shake Shake!

Shaking the container very well helps dissolve the sugar completely so you can get a highly accurate reading of your alcohol percentage. Shaking takes the bulk of the time in this “1-minute wine.”

It’s almost impossible to shake a massive 5 gallon carboy of juice very well, but even a kid can shake a gallon of liquid without breaking a sweat.

After adding 3 cups of sugar and shaking very well, you’re ready to pitch your yeast.

Add Yeast

Your juice is at room temperature right? Yeast does best at between 70 and 90 degrees – the hotter it is the quicker she goes.

You just need a little bit of yeast, about the size of a nickel. No need to use an entire pack, only about 1/5 of the package is more than enough. Save the rest for your next batch in a zip-lock bag in the fridge.


No need to shake the yeast in, it will find its way to where the sugar is, breed like crazy, and turn all the sugar into alcohol.

Plug with Airlock

The airlock lets CO2 out while keeping air-bound yeasts and molds out. Airlocks are dirt cheap, so it makes sense to have more than one so you can get multiple wine batches going at the same time.


The airlock needs to be filled part full with water to work! Fill to just below the “max fill” line.

Some people use vodka instead of water to make sure the airlock liquid stays contaminant free. Not a bad idea if the liquid will stay in your airlock for a long time.

I shot this quick video to show what the airlock should be doing 4 or 5 days into the brew. This is max speed for a 3/4 gallon jug – about 5 seconds between bubbles. Once about 50 seconds pass between bubbles this will be ready to cap and store.


Your vat of highly sweetened grape juice will slowly turn into wine over the course of the next 2 weeks. You’ll know the wine’s done once your airlock stops bubbling. If you have a hydrometer, you can test as you go along, the “potential alcohol” reading will slowly drop, usually all the way to 0%, as the days pass.

To find your final alcohol content, just subtract your initial reading by your final reading. So in my case, 15% – 0% = 15% alcohol.

Storing your Wine

Once your wine has fermented down to 0% or your airlock has stopped bubbling, you can remove the stopper and cap it, using the cap that came with your grape juice. You kept that cap right? I like to keep my cap in a tiny plastic bag around the neck of the bottle – that way I don’t ever lose it. I clean it with hot water and soap before screwing it on.


See all that yeast sediment in the bottom of your finished wine? It’s best not to store your wine too long with all that stuff in there, or it will eventually start tasting like dead yeast – which won’t kill you but doesn’t taste good either. That’s called “Yeast Autolysis

Just slowly and gently pour your finished wine into a container of the same size , leaving the yeast behind. Discard the spent yeast in the compost pile or something. This stuff is really nutritious.

Your wine will probably taste TERRIBLE right off the bat, that’s normal. It might be to your liking after only 2 weeks, or could take as long as 6 months. The more white sugar you use, the longer it seems to want to age for. In the meantime, buy another jug of juice and begin the process over again. I always have one jug going on the counter between the stove and refrigerator – the warmest part of the house.

Make sure to mark down the dates when the wine was bottled – trust me, you won’t remember otherwise.

Watch your “wine cellar” for bottles that seem to be bulging. This means your yeast is still actively producing carbon dioxide. That’s not a problem, you just need to vent the CO2 off by unscrewing and re-screwing your cap to let the extra gasses out, just like you would with fizzy soda. If this happens, it means you didn’t wait long enough during your brewing stage.

Want More Subtlety?

This article is meant to get you making wine ASAP. For a bit more in depth analysis of the winemaking process and different things you can do to make fancier wine — such as not using white sugar or why “racking” your wine might be a good idea — step on over to my very own 1 minute wine journal, where I talk through each batch I’ve made and what I learned about this process by doing it repeatedly.

See also veteran winemaker Paul’s comment below in the comments section which gives a lot more detail about homebrew wine legal considerations, yeast varieties, and light and temperature levels you should shoot for.


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239 thoughts on “1 Minute Wine Recipe

  1. Pingback: DIY Wine Notes | Just Scraping By

  2. I remember the days of making homemade “wine” from crystals. Tasted like red wine but not kick. Maybe it’s because I let it ferment for 20 mins…lol. Thanks for the info. I’ll pass along the url to this page so a few friends can give it a shot, pun intended. lol

  3. Loved your DIY info! It looks so easy, I can’t wait to try it out. BTW, what kind of grape juice did you use? and, if not using white sugar, what else can a person put in there?

    • The grape juice I’m using is President’s Choice Red Grape Juice from Concentrate. The grape variety of this juice is Concord. The President’s Choice brand is not in the United States, it’s the Real Canadian Superstore store brand. You should be able to get something similar from Costco – or even Safeway in the U.S.

      Instead of using white sugar, you could just use frozen concentrate from the grocery store! I did not do this because I could not find real grape juice concentrate in the grocery store! Everything I could find was based on high fructose corn syrup, which is hidden by the name “glucose-frucose” here in Canada. Here is some 100% grape juice concentrate on Amazon – this stuff should work.

      You can also find grape concentrate from a homebrewing store. In my homebrew store, I can get this in half liter and liter quantities. The benefit of using this stuff is that you can get some fancier grape varieties to try out. Grocery store grape juice is almost always Concord grape.

      Mixing your regular grape juice with the right amount of high-sugar grape juice concentrate will get you the potential alcohol content you are looking for. I don’t know exactly which amounts you should use, it will depend on the sugar level of your concentrate. This is where a hydrometer comes in handy.

      Good luck!

  4. The “old way” as dictated from my Grandfather….
    12oz Frozen Concentrate (I use Welches)
    Gallon (glass preferred) jug.
    2-4 cups sugar (your choice)
    Packet Yeast (about any is fine)
    Large balloon

    Mix it all together. Grampa always made sure and made mixed the yeast with lukewarm water before adding… say’s cold water might kill the yeast. (Who knows?).

    Stir it all together and put the balloon on the jug (like a lid). Should take from 1 to 2 weeks depending on the temperature. The balloon will inflate… once it has mostly deflated, wine is ready. Stick it in a closet and let it age awhile.


    • Outstanding. Thanks for sharing your G-pa’s recipe.

      I don’t think yeast will die with cold water, but they will breed MUCH slower. Normally you keep yeast in the fridge to preserve them, and some people even keep them in the freezer. You CAN kill them by going to hot.

      The balloon trick is a good airlock replacement – but you should prick it with a couple of small holes, or else it will inflate and inflate until it pops off of your bottle.

      • Quart beer bottles and balloons. Every once in awhile they do explode! Make sure the place you store them has enough room for the balloons to expand. I found 9 in round balloons to work best. Juice, sugar, yeast… same mixture as you have described.
        I used juice I made from what ever fruit was in season. But, now that I am old and lazy, I always try to use the KISS (keep it simple silly) method for everything, I like the idea of making it in the jug you buy the juice in.
        You have inspired me to start making bread and wine again! Life got too busy and I had forgot about how good wine and bread are out of your own kitchen.

        • I like your way of making wine and it works out very cheap, Here in Australia, Wine is very expensive to buy, and anyway home made wine tastes great even if it don’t, Thanks anyway

          • Sorry, but I do not see how you can call Wine in Australia expensive, when you can purchase some very good wine, post free from several “Direct Delivery” sites on the net. Carriage Free, for less than $5.00 a bottle.

          • I was just in Australia. You can buy a 5L bag of wine for under $15. That is insanely cheap. Come to Canada if you want to see what expensive wine actually looks like.

    • That’s how my Dad makes it, too. He lets the balloon inflate and deflate completely, then drinks it as he bottles it (not much makes it into bottles, LOL~)

        • Just read your post kelli, made me tear up! So sorry for your loss. My dad is no longer with us either. I’m 67 and still miss him, h’es been gone 21yrs…..

          • My Parents & Grandparents were Southern Baptist, which meant absolutely ‘No alcohol’ my Mom would not allow it in her house or even her yard. But my grandfather we called ‘Papa’ had grown up Morman, even though he became Southern Baptist, he still loved his wine. Papa stood all of 4’11 weighed 114 lbs his entire adult life (a fact he was very proud of, that he had remained the same weight his entire adult life) he was a Pistol Packing Pete! He was a scrapper all his life b/c of his size, but most people didn’t mess with him twice, he smoked camel cigarettes without the filter, cigarettes so strong you would get “high” when you smoked them, I know first hand, as a teenager I smoked one of Papa’s cigarettes & had to sit down in the middle of my bedroom floor I got so dizzy! Papa was also a decorated war hero. He won a bronze star w/arrowhead, silver star, purple heart &many more medals & ribbons.He was listed MIA 5 times, & MIA presumed dead 2 times, both times they notified his family that he was missing and presumed dead. He had gotten trapped in a Japanese air vent tunnel which was just a hole dug straight up from the tunnels below to allow air & ventilation in the tunnels. a normal size man could never have fit in there.The air vent tunnel was full of roots like vines & he spent 7 days in that tiny hole with nothing but 1 Hershey bar to eat the entire time, he was clinging on to the roots to keep from falling down on top of the Japanese soldiers walking below him. He saw A helicopter flying low over the treetops looking for him,( his commander & company would not give up on him & kept looking for him, Thank God) & he managed to tie his white handkerchief to the bayonet on the end of us rifle, he took a chance on the Japanese seeing it. The helicopter spotted Papa’s handkerchief, they dropped a ladder down right on the hole, Papa grabbed on to the ladder & the helicopter took off with Japanese soldiers firing at him from all sides as he held on for dear life flying thru the treetops. He was in the 1st battle engagement in the Pacific War. He was dark skinned & had dark hair, being so little he could pass for a Japanese. He had a tender heart toward people & animals, unless you tried to hurt someone he loved.He was the absolute best grandfather any child could have, He built us a life size one room log cabin playhouse with a 2nd floor loft, he completely floored in the ceiling & cut a square out of the center & put a knotted rope hanging down out of it so we could climb up into the loft. He could build anything out of whatever was at hand, he built the playhouse with nothing but a saw, axe, hammer & nails, in just a couple of days and it was the same size as a one room log cabin He also cussed like a sailor & would take on a 6ft giant if he thought he was insulting or harming any of us 13 children or Mama or Nanny (my grandmother). He was not afraid of anything or anybody, yet he was so gentle & sweet he would cuss my daddy out for spanking us after he had been fussing & cussing about something we had done. He could bring a dead calf or dead tree back to life! He had almost mystical powers with plants & animals. I swear, one year after Christmas, he took our Christmas tree that was a particularly beautiful Cedar tree we had cut down on our property, and he replanted it in the front yard, and even though that tree had been sawed down therefore it had no roots, or root system at all, I swear to you that tree lived & grew very tall & beautiful. Every year after that we would decorate the front yard Christmas tree with those big beautiful outdoor Christmas lights with a star on top to recognize the miracle of that tree coming back to life just like Jesus Christ did. To this day I cannot explain how it lived, but it did! Back to the subject of wine making, now that you know all about the very special wine maker. Nanny like Mama, absolutely forbid Papa to drink, much less make wine, and Nanny was much bigger than Papa, she ruled the roost! My entire childhood was spent keeping Papa’s secret about his wine making & drinking. My brother & I would hunt for his newest batch of wine anytime wild fruit was in season so we could blackmail him for keeping his secret! We had a 30 acre farm in South Carolina that was surrounded by 5 miles of dirt roads in any direction. Papa took full advantage of living in the country where lots of wild fruits abounded. We would pick fresh blackberries & wild plums that grew abundantly along the acres & acres of fenced cow pastures. Peaches, gooseberries & persimmons also grew wild in the woods surrounding our house. I think I actually remember Papa making wine out of Roses once when there was no fruit in season. He always made dandelion wine for medicinal purposes. With every fruit that came into season Papa would secretly make a new batch of wine somewhere hidden in the woods. Papa would have different batches hidden down behind the goat hole, it was a large deep hole in the shape of an oval that Papa hand dug in a low lying part of our property where he knew there was an underground spring so it would permanently fill up with water for the goats to drink & bathe in during the heat of summer in the South. He would have different fruit batches of wine hidden all over that 30 acres that was at least half woodland, that gave Papa plenty of woods to keep his “little stills” as we used to call them, well hidden. Coming across this article on making homemade wine, has brought back so many precious & fond memories I have not thought about for many years of my 51 years. Papa died 21yrs ago, and i would give anything if my 21 yr old youngest son & even my 26 yr old daughter had gotten the chance to know their great-grandfather. The hardest part for Papa was getting the sugar he needed to make his wine; he had not driven a car since I was a baby. He could not ask Mama or Nanny to pick it up on their monthly grocery shopping trip to buy staples, the closest grocery store was 20 miles away so he could not just ask any other family member or neighbor to pick it up for him, especially w/out Mama or Nanny finding out. We grew or raised just about everything our family ate, including butchering our own beef, pork, & when Nanny said we were having chicken n’ dumplings for dinner, Papa caught a chicken and wrung its neck or chopped its head off. We got fresh milk, cream, butter & ice cream from our milk cows, we grew all of our own vegetables,we froze or canned them as well as fresh fruits so we had them year round. With the exception of staple items like flour, sugar, tea, coffee,salt and a few other items, we grew & raised all of her own food but we could not have done it without Papa being there with his miracle “green thumb” & his special way with animals. Raising 13 children, (5 of us were Mom & Dad’s biological children, the rest were adopted) Mom & Dad both worked, they could not have fed us all if we didn’t raise our own food. Without Papa’s miracle way with plants & animals, & his hard work, we would not have survived. Papa had to get pretty creative when it came to sugar for his wines; He couldn’t sneak white or brown sugar out of the kitchen if it was close to the end of the month when we would be running low on staple items, like sugar. I remember Papa liked using wild honey when he could find it, crushed up candies & ribbon candy Mama bought every Christmas, he used molasses, cane syrup, anything he could get his hands on that was sweet! I still remember the day My brother & I finally found Papa’s newest batch of wild plum wine after we had spent days looking for its location. We knew with wild plums being ripe, that he would be making a batch of Plum wine. We talked Papa into letting us taste the wine by threatening to tell Nanny. I remember being a little scared because Mama & Nanny were so against drinking, and I didn’t know what it would do to me. I was about 8 or 9 yrs old and made the mistake of letting my brother know I was scared, calling me “chicken” was all it took for me to go through with the ‘wine tasting’. I remember worrying about it being such a sin, and was surprised at how sweet & fruity it tasted. I wondered why drinking wine was such an awful sin that if you kept doing it you would go to hell! I decided right then & there that as good as that Plum wine tasted, it was not worth burning in hell for! That night I started praying for Papa not to go to hell. I tried explaining to God that his parents raised him as a Mormon, and he didn’t know how to be a good Baptist so that he wouldn’t go to hell! lol! It is funny what goes through a child’s mind! And today I am fully assured that Papa is in heaven. I wish I could get his recipe for homemade wine, because he made all his wine from fruit, and I believe he somehow captured the wild yeast from the surroundings b/c he would not have had a way to buy it w/out Nanny or Mama knowing. I sure do wish I knew how he made his wine! I started to say ” I wish he had written his recipe down”, then I remembered that Papa only had a 2nd or 3rd grade education and the only thing he knew how to write was his name, This has brought back such wonderful memories of an incredible man I was honored to call my “Papa”

          • Wonderful story I wonder if your Grandpa knew that the bible a says A little wine is good for the stomach 1Timothy 5:23 ?

    • This is my first batch with the balloon air lock. One frozen concentrate of welch’s, two bottles of cranberry juice , no water, 3 cups of sugar which ended up being to sweet, and 1/2 packet of yeast. Mixed all together and put in old wine bottles which i had saved. Put a once blown up balloon on each bottle and waited for the balloons to inflate. It has been 8 weeks and three of the balloons are still inflated somewhat. I have poured one wine bottle into a coffee filter into a mason jar. It taste very good but is also very sweet. Next batch will be with, oh maybe 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar.

  5. I have been producing beer and wine for 6 years now and there are a few points I’d like to share with you before you try this.

    First off, according to BATFE/federal law, you can produce for personal consumption up to 100 gallons per year of beer or wine per person of legal drinking age in a household, with a cap of 200 gallons per household per year. You may not sell or trade the alcohol, and transporting it across state lines may get you in trouble. Local laws may differ, so it does not hurt to check those too.

    Yeast work by consuming the sugars in the wine, leaving mostly 2 waste products behind: alcohol and carbon dioxide. They also produce esters (which are basically yeast signalling hormones and a byproducts of metabolism) and fusel alcohols, both of which give your wine different flavors and can contribute to the hangover you have after the buzz is gone. Under 70° F, they produce mostly ethyl alcohol, which is what you want. Over 70° F, they start producing methyl alcohol, which is very bad for humans, it causes depression, blindness and death. The antidote for methyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol, so if you are not distilling the wine, having some methyl alcohol in it is not a big deal, but the higher the temperature you ferment it at, the larger the hangover you should expect. The author of this article (trevor) will get better quality wine if he moves the currently fermenting product to a much cooler and darker location (yeast produce better and faster in darkness).

    Champagne yeast is also known as Saccharomyces Bayanus, which is not the same as, but closely related to wine and beer yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae).

    Champagne yeast has a bad habit of doing it’s best to keep fermenting every last bit of sugar, yes you get higher alcohol %, but you sacrifice taste and finish, because as they work harder for the more complex sugars, they produce more weird off flavors. Plus they often keep working long after you think they are done, resulting in highly pressurized wine bottles. I have opened one that was aging for a month after the fermentation looked like it had stopped (30 seconds between air-lock bubbles, which is the standard) and the wine foamed out just like champagne spilling half the bottle on the floor. It just kept foaming and foaming and foaming. I was left with half a bottle of wine and a huge mess to clean up.

    The champagne yeast makes for a very dry wine, if you like any sweetness to the wine, you should try a different strain of yeast. If you have a local brew shop, they should have several choices of yeast available. The different strains of yeast are meant for different types of wine and a good shop will have notes by each strain telling you what side flavors the yeast produce and what % alcohol each one can be expected to stop at.

    Other than all that, have fun and be safe.

    • Thanks for the great advice Paul, a lot of this stuff I didn’t even know. I’ve added a link to this comment in the main article because it’s helpful info for anyone getting into winemaking.

      I will say that waiting 30 seconds between bubbles is probably the figure for 5 gallons of liquid. For a small container like this, quintuple that figure to 2:30!

      • I only use champagne yeast. Your problem with it is That you bottled it Way to soon. Second thing, If you dont like dry wine, you can stabilize your wine using k-meta with k-sorbate. Then sweeten to taste.

    • Any yeast will make either a sweet, or a dry wine. If you only put in enough sugar to produce the alcohol content that the yeast can process, then you get a dry wine. Any more sugar will make a sweet wine because the yeast cannot convert it to alcohol. Some wine yeasts will quit at about 12%, but others will go to 18 or 20%.

    • Hi Paul, I want to make red wine that is unsweetened and unfortified, similar to what Jesus and his disciples would have drunk on Passover a couple thousand years ago from our grape vine in our backyard, unless circumstances change. Can you give me any pointers on how I should adjust the one minute wine recipe or give me any links that would help me produce wine that is reasonably similar to what the ancient Jews drank on Passover night?

  6. I stumbled onto the 1 Minute Wine article a couple of months ago and have been making wine out of Juicy Juice under my guest bathroom sink ever since! I stopped by the local brew shop and picked up about $18 worth of stoppers, air locks, yeast and a hydrometer, and picked up (8) 64 oz bottles of grape Juicy Juice (100% juice) at Food 4 Less on sale for $1.48 each. Pour out 1-1/2 cups of juice, add 2 cups sugar, shake, add a nickel sized pile of yeast, stopper and put it under the sink for 2 weeks. Decant to another bottle, rest (2) weeks, drink! I prepare (1) bottle after work every Friday. A bottle a week for about $2.00!

    • And how do you like the taste & quality of the wine? Have you shared some with other people, and what do they think?

      • Before we head down the path towards a lengthy discussion about taste and quality, let me first say that I am not much of a wine drinker. Prior to my introduction to 1 Minute Wine, the last time that fermented fruit juice wet my whistle was about 4 years ago and I think the wine came out of a box. My apologies to those of you a more sophisticated pallet, but you have to keep things in context here…..a half gallon of Juicy Juice, 2 cups of sugar and a pinch of yeast is more of a science project than a quest for the nectar of the gods. All in all, it was not bad. tasted okay and produced a nice mellow buzz!

    • Yes. This is the 1 gallon easy mead recipe I would try out, courtesy of Ran Prieur.

      To make mead, I put maybe a pound of raw honey in a glass gallon jug, fill it with water, shake it around many times over the course of a day to get it dissolved, then just take a couple sips, and micro-critters from my mouth will get in and start it fermenting. Honey is a natural antibiotic, so it takes much longer to ferment than apple juice. I figure it’ll be good for drinking in a couple months.

      I would probably use a commercial wine yeast instead for a quicker and more predictable fermentation. Although some people boil the mead must, you don’t need to. Mead needs water, and if your tap water has chlorine in it, that may slow down or kill your yeast. Leaving your tap water out overnight will fix this problem – the chlorine will evaporate away.

      • I’ve made several batches of mead using a very similar method. I heat the water to a low simmer, not a boil, and then mix in the honey, allow the water/honey mixture to cool a bit before pouring into your brewing container. Make sure that the liquid is no warmer than room temperature before adding the yeast. If you want to experiment with different flavors try adding diced fresh fruit. I once made a batch with strawberries and rhubarb that produced a very sweet and smooth mead that had a rather unexpected kick.

        • Can you just leave the fresh fruit in it the entire time it takes to ferment it? The fruit won’t rot or make you sick? Sorry, I’ve never tried any of this before so I’m not sure how this works. Thanks!

          • Yes I have heard of people doing this with beer so it’s probably fine to do with wine as well. The fruit shouldn’t “rot” if you kept all your equipment reasonably clean. But remember that fermentation is actually one part of “rot” anyway.

          • I’ve got a gal batch with peaches in it right now 2 wks old an the fruit still loops like I just cut them up

          • Some fruits you can leave in, and others you cannot. One bad experience I had, was watermelon. Apparently, it needs to come out very early in the fermentation process. Also, most recipes call for about four pounds iof fruit for each gallon of wine. I always found this to work well except with strawberries. They take much less. If you use four pounds of strawberries, it will be like drinking pure strawberry juice.

      • In regards to mead, it is a very tasty and satisfying beverag. Be aware, however that it typically requires a pretty long time to age/condition. If you’re wanting to brew a mead, I would recommend heading over to http://www.stormthecastle.com. He is a little strange at times, but he gives a beginners tutorial on how to make a JAOM (Joe’s ancient orange mead) that is a solid base with which to begin into mead, or wine making. Good luck to all of you who seem to be discovering how easy this can be for the first time!

  7. I have fresh muscadines I need to use. I would like to make some wine out of them, and use your recipe. It seems to be the simplest I’ve found so far. Can you revise your recipe? Thanks!

    • Yeah sure, but the limiting factor is likely to be its sugar content, which you can measure with a hydrometer or look on a bottle of V8 tomato juice.

  8. I have been making my own wine for many years, though I’m not an expert – word of warning! The reason for some of these chemicals in wine making is to prevent bad bacteria forming in your wine. If you make a batch of wine and it forms one of these bad bacterias you will become extremely sick and if you share with other people – ditto! Why take that chance for a cheap bottle of wine with no taste or distinction to it. I probably invested about $50 in my equipment on sale and the wines I make have flavor, character and cost about $3 a bottle to make.

    • If your system is properly sealed, there’s no reason why this should happen. Never heard of this happening once in my family and my family has been doing it this way for many decades.

      • I have never had a bad one either. And we used to make our water locks with a tube and a cleaned out soda bottle, sometimes we used plumber putty to seal around the tubing on the wine end.

  9. Thank you so much! I make cordials ( as of now 9 different flavors- that I love) and my husband brews beer— guess we will make this next!

  10. As a child I remember my parents making wine and it conjures up very fond memories and fun. This may be useful or useless, I don’t know, but for shaking purposes my parents left the wine on top of the washing machine and that seemed to do the trick. I want to ask you about the alcohol content….18% seems huge….is there any way to bring that down to the average 12% give or take. I’m so glad I found this article and really looking forward to having a go…thanks so much for sharing :)

    • Yes of course! 18% is only the maximum that champagne yeast will ferment to. If you want 12%, only add enough sugar to bring your hydrometer’s potential alcohol reading to 12%. 3 cups of sugar in the bottle I showed above gave an alcohol yield of 15%, so for 12% you should only put in 1 2/3 cups of sugar. See my journal for more.

  11. Okay seriously, could we use just a modicum of common sense and God-given reason here? Don’t use juice sweetened with corn syrup? Please, corn sweetener is fructose, the very same sugar present in fruits. See, that’s why they call it “fru”ctose.

    • Not entirely accurate. Fruit sugar is all natural. Corn syrup is artificially derived through a process of combining corn starch with hydrochloric acid. To make this into high fructose corn syrup, the corn syrup is then treated with an enzyme to convert some of the glucose into fructose. It may still be called fructose, but it’s not the exact same as fructose directly from fruit. Just as calcium from its various sources is not exactly the same, nor as usable by the human body.

      • Fructose is fructose, whether it’s from fruit or corn syrup.

        Calcium is calcium.

        People who skipped chemistry class so they could smoke dope under the bleachers should stick to what they know: getting high under the bleachers.

        • I smoke and make wine. My wines turn out lovely with a bit of sanitation. Glass carbons with a airlock are my prefrence, but you can buy juice in glass bottles. A grommet made of a piece of silicone tubing will seal a airlock to the containers lid. A BALLOON IS A SILLY OPTION ,UNLESS YOU ARE TRAPPED ON A REMOTE ISLAND! Vodka after the first day or two is a great idea in the airlock.

          • I use a balloon and has worked just fine.just got 5 gallons of muscadine out that is good as well as strong

  12. A good choice for a jug would be the one gallon Gatorade jugs. Very heavy plastic and a very sturdy lid. I drilled a hole through the top and fed aquarium tubing through it and hot glued it to seal. The other end of the tube I feed into a container (half gallon milk jug works fine) of water. This acts as the airlock. I’d make several batches at once surrounding the milk jug. Using the frozen concentrate method, absolutely perfect. I also agree, I didn’t use any additives.

    • Corn syrup should work fine, it’s the same type of sugar. Dunno how much but I’d start with 2 cups. Get a hydrometer to check how much sugar for the best precision.

  13. I love this article + all the comments – ‘Highly educational!
    I home brew, but have been looking for methods to begin wine making on the smaller scale. Could these same concepts be applied to Apple Juice for the purpose of making “Hard Cider” or “Apple Jack”?
    – Thanks in advance,
    Greg W in San Antonio, TX

    • Yes of course – in fact I adapted this recipe partly from an apple jack recipe. You can try it with any juice you can find as long as it’s 100% juice. Why not pear wine, mango wine, pineapple wine?

      • The issue with apple juice/cider is just about every apple juice on the store shelf has potassium sorbate in it, even if it’s not listed on the label. A few ppm of this will kill your yeast right now. I made some batches with ‘organic’ apple cider and had issues starting those fermenting. If you can find a sorbate free source, then bully. Be prepared to waste a few batches though. One drawback to apple wine is they tend to take some shelf time once bottled to be drinkable. I moved on to mead fermented with red star bread yeast and haven’t looked back. Look up Joe’s Ancient Orange Spiced Mead and you’ll be quite happy with the results. Promise!

  14. I’ve got about 6 bottles of this stuff fermenting on the counter at home. My favorite so far is the Strawberry/Kiwi juice.

    Airlocks are cheap enough, but for an even cheaper method, I use some old fish aquarium airline and a drill bit (drill a small hole in the lid). Looks mighty ghetto.

    I just wish i had discovered this back in the days of my youth :-)

    • Good on you – I’m enjoying the peach/mango I’ve got bubbling right now. I prefer sharing these more exotic flavors with other people because they don’t have preconceptions about what it “should” taste like. Lately I’ve been using less sugar so that it tastes better sooner. My latest batches have been around 11%.

      An even cheaper airlock is a party balloon with a tiny pinhole poked in it. You can get a bag of them from the dollar store.

      • Great point about the “exotic” flavors. You are correct, even the wine snobs out there are curious about cherry wine, blueberry pomegranate, or strawberry kiwi (fwiw, they all taste pretty good).

        I’ve begun experimenting with different types of wine and ale yeasts. Fun stuff.

      • Hey there I am semi new to wine making and have a couple Q’s. I have just experienced my first time of mold on the top (wine) of two of my bottles they’re still in the fermentation process, now some ppl say you can just carefully skim it off and continue and others say you must put in Campden of which I have no access to at this time. I am just wondering if it is safe to just skim it or is it a health risk. I do my very best to keep everything as clean as possible as I do not like or use campden unless absolutely necessary. Thanks!

  15. This is my Mom’s modified formula.

    • 1 container of Welshes grape concord or white,
    • up to 4 cups of sugar
    • half a small cake of fresh bakers yeast (I now use a 1/2 pack of dry yeast dissolved in a small amount off warn water)

    Dissolve the sugar into 6 cups of very hot water. This will melt the sugar and eliminate the need for all of that shaking (I’m a commercial baker) I always use a good brand of very fine cane sugar like Dominos. The cheep sugar kind is often Beet sugar(yucky)

    Allow the sugar water to cool. If it is to hot it will kill the yeast. Mix the grape concentrate,sugar syrup,yeast water into a gallon glass jug (i use the ones that my Apple cider comes in during the in during Apple cider season)

    Top that off with good Spring or Well water ( warm around 82 degrees ) then place an unused condom with a pin hole in the tip. Secure it with a couple of bread ties or a pipe cleaner and store in a nice dark warm place. I put mine beside my hot water tank.

    In about 2 weeks the rubber will go up then go down. Strain the wine through some cheese cloth or a cheep new tee shirt that has been rinsed out in hot water leaving behind as much sediment as you can. Cap the wine and let it age until you think it’s to your liking. Store the jug on its side. This makes an air lock (this will also keep a bottle of pop like Coke/Pepsi) from going flat.

    For Saki, take a 1# bag of rice and add the 4 cups of sugar from the above formula. Cover this in hot water and simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Use the instructions from the grape wine (minus the grape part.) Let me know what you think Rick…

  16. Great article and site I just stumbled upon. Finally, good directions that can be followed by the average guy like me. The discussions are positive and informative. My question is do have any recommendations for buying grape varietal juices like Zinfandel and Cab Sauv? Would the process work the same once you mixed the juice with water? Good info on champagne yeast. Didn’t know this. Thanks for helping us wine rebels! Warren

  17. Thanks for posting! I’ve made several wines so far – apple, apple cider, grape. Am working on a blackberry one now. The apple cider seemed to be the most combustible…after I made it, it was almost pop the cork every time I opened the bottle even when there was just 2 inches of wine left in the bottle! Use champaigne yeast, may be reason. The apple cider is my favorite so far. Usually use 2 1/2 cups of sugar for a 64 oz size bottle, if I do more it seems too sugary. If it’s a smaller container (46 oz), I use 2 cups of sugar. Just my experience and taste.

  18. I like your recipe. I have been brewing at home for years useing all the crap fancy wine makers call for. You are right !! The pilgrims didn’t have all those chemicals. I tried your recipe & it turned out great maybe even better! I tweaked the recipe a little bit though after a few batches. I cut the sugar back to 2 cups it gives a better taste but not as high alcohol content though. I have also figured out if you rack every 2 weeks until it’s completly clear & can see through it then bottle let it sit for at least 6 months you’ll get a smooth full body wine just the way I like it.

  19. i want to make a 1 gallon of dry wine using welches 100 percent juice with 41 grams of natural sugat and champagne yeast good up to 18 per cent alcahol how much juice do i use and how much sugar ty so much

    • I would use just 2 cups of sugar for a dry wine. The longer you let it ferment, the drier it will be. I’m talking 4 to 6 weeks to ferment every bit of sugar out.

      • Shouldn’t the instructions be corrected to 2 cups sugar added to bring potential alcohol to 16% if you have 12 servings of ~40g sugar (3/4gallon / 96oz) then store bought comes with 2 cups of grape sugar in it and has 8% potential alcohol. Adding 3 cups and the yeast will die before done reaching highest alcohol % possible for the yeast leaving sugar for a sweet wine.

  20. You mentioned ideally to have around 80g of sugar per cup of juice. Should the volume of the sugar added be considered if it is honey or juice concentrate which is partially liquid?

  21. I tried everything has prescribed in the article of than using red star Pasteur red wine yeast with a maximum APV of 16%.
    A little over 2 1/4 cups per 3 quarts. Airlock stop bubbling after 10 days.
    Hygrometer APV at 9%. Wine is super sweet almost to the point where it’s undrinkable. I cleaned the fermentation vessels and bottled with remainder of the wine. I’ll let it sit for a few weeks to see if it becomes more palatable with additional APV.
    Anyone else had similar experiences?

    • Hmm a 9% reading at the end of fermentation is way too high – it certainly sounds unbearably sweet. I’m not familiar with that yeast but perhaps that’s the reason fermentation halted? It might also just take significantly longer to ferment out than champagne yeast, maybe as long as 6 months. You might try adding “yeast nutrient” to attempt to kickstart fermentation again. Never had your problem before unfortunately, sorry I can’t offer better advice.

      • For DM: When you add all of the ingredients, you have to let the fermented juice catch air for the 1st fermentation stage with usually lasts about 6 days. This will cause the yeast to multiply over 200% and attack the sugar. About 70% of your fermentation takes place during this stage. If you prevent the must (batch) from getting air the fermentation can stop (many times you will notice if you give it air after the fermentation has stopped fermentation will start again). After about a week, then you can apply the airlock or a balloon with a hole in it to complete the remaining 30% of fermentation which for store bought juices is about another 8 to 10 days or as the balloon deflates or airlock stops bubbling. I hope this helps.

        • Bingo, Ellington.

          I’ve heard/read that folks like to hold off on the airlock for the first week or so to allow oxygen for the yeast (the bubbles will help keep the yuckies at bay).

          • Trevor,
            You may want to either link to this information in your main article, or edit the main article to include the “give air” to the bottle for a while to allow oxygen for the yeasts to start fermentation.
            Love this idea, and am working on it now! Happy new year!

          • A fish tank air pump and a sintered stainless air diffuser aerates the wine or wash fairly effectively. Medical oxygen is even better.

  22. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! Very informative. Also very interesting! We have a Mulberry tree on our property and I’d love to try making wine with the berries!

  23. Aloha! WoW! This is a great site! Love the balloon idea. My Lithuanian grandfather made wine for the Catholic church. Every year he would get together with the head priest and they would go into his basement and do some serious “quality control” sampling! He never had any fancy equipment either.
    Having said that, I live in Hawaii, and run into some issues people in cooler climates do not. LIke fermentation under 70 degrees fahrenheit. The coolest place for me is under the house, which is on stilts-like most houses here-so gets good air circulation and shade, but the air can be WARM. I do my best to keep things cool but temp can fluxuate. But that is not my issue.
    What is, is, how can I use fresh Mango fruit in your recipe and not store bought juice? How do I filter out the pulp, and get the wine to be clear? I guess this is where racking comes into play. I have a tree with a zillion juicy and super sweet Mangos, just waiting to be made into wine. If anyone can tell me how to go about this, using this wonderfully easy recipe, I would be very appreciative. Much Aloha, Mahalo nui loa, MaryAnn

    • Mango juice should work great! If i’m not mistaken mango is very high in natural sugars so you shouldn’t need to add too much extra sugar. You could either use a commercial juicer to filter out the pulp, or just use a metal strainer for the big chunks then a cheesecloth filter for the smaller stuff. Don’t worry about filtering out anything that can get through the cheesecloth – as you already guessed racking should take care of any extra sediment – and it won’t hurt you to drink a bit of the pulp either!

      These are sort of the strainers I had in mind to use: metal mesh for big stuff and simple cheesecloth and rubber band for the small stuff

      Another trick to controlling sediment is a plant called “irish moss.” It’s normally used in beer but there’s some evidence showing that it will work in wines and/or meads as well. I’d try without it first though.

      Fermentation at your hawaii temperatures should be fine – faster in fact than at cooler temperatures. The only time I know of when you would want a slow, cooler fermentation is when make a certain style of beer called “lager.”

  24. Wonderful post, I can’t wait to try it!

    I haven’t yet invested in a hydrometer (which would answer my question) so I’m hoping your experience might help me answer it for free:

    I’m considering adding concentrated grape juice to the store-bought container *instead* of white sugar, for some of the reasons described above. If each cup of white sugar will boost the potential ABV approximately 2% (assuming a 3/4 gallon jug and following the example described in the original recipe), any idea how one (or two!) cans of concentrated juice would affect the potential ABV in comparison?

    Thanks again!

    • I couldn’t say exactly but I’d try working under the assumption that the vast majority of the concentrate is sugar. So if a cup of sugar will raise the ABV by 2%, it would probably take between 1 – 1.5 cups of concentrate to raise the ABV by 2%. Just an educated guess though and you’d have to use a hydrometer to know for sure.

      You can probably figure out a really good guess by using the nutritional facts on the label, does it have one? Check the serving size for one cup of prepared juice then multiply the sugar amount in a serving by 4 – which is normally the ratio of concentrate to completed juice. (1 can concentrate, 3 cans water) Then take the grams and find out the equivalent of white sugar in a cup of concentrate.

  25. wonderful article..so easy to understand. I have the equipment, but have been too intimidated to begin because it all seemed so complicated..You have given me courage..headed out in the AM for juice!
    many thanks!

  26. I’ve got a question that you may be able to help me with so I don’t waste a batch of this glory.
    I’m about to cap my about-to-be-fermented product and see that if the bottle bulges in a couple days, I can let the air out and re-seal. But I thought that once you opened a bottle of wine, you had to finish it in a couple days or it’d be no good?
    So my real question is – at what point, if any, do I need to keep my bottle sealed until I’m ready to finish it within a few days? My instinct would guess: once it can stay sealed on my closet floor and not bulge?

    Thanks again!

  27. hello, I’m into the 8th day of fermentation, using (2) half gallon jugs of welch’s regular grape juice. There are about 20 seconds between bubbles. It seems unclear if you direct us to decant the wine before aging, or if it’s okay to age the wine along with the sediment.

    I’ve done a little more reading, and I gather it’s a bad idea to age the wine in the fridge. I don’t have a wine fridge, just the normal room temperature of about 78º (Summer in Texas).

    Are there any real worries about aging the wine at room temperature for long periods of time (up to 6 months). Please bear with me.. this is my first batch. So far so good. Thank you so much for this great tutorial.

    • Hi Jesse

      Yeah there’s no reason to keep the wine in the fridge, it probably won’t hurt it but it will slow the aging process down to a crawl. It’s completely normal to age the wine at room temperature for 6 months or even much, much longer than that. Although 78 is a little warm it shouldn’t hurt anything other than adding perhaps some unique flavors.

      I would decant the wine to remove the sediment just to avoid the wine taking on flavors from the yeast. It won’t hurt you to leave the sediment but it might not taste as nice.

  28. Hi there! Is eventually pouring the liquid into glass bottles and corking/storing an option with this method? If so, at what point would I transfer from the jug to a glass wine bottle?

    Would potentially like to give as little gifts if I manage a good mix and the plastic jug, though effective, isn’t particularly aesthetic :)

  29. What a terrific thread and site. Real down to earth viners..see what I did there?:>) Since nobody seems too much of a purest I pose the question: While racking, what would be wrong with introducing a commercially produced wine in small portions ..like 15-25% Michigan or California sweet red or white wine. Or kick it up a notch with an ounce or two of brandy or even vodka or rum? Please don’t throw things at me; it’s just an idea to think about.

    • Good ideas, part of the fun is experimentation. Abandon the dogmas of brewers and you will have a better time, make better (and sometimes worse) boozes, plus probably save money.

      • One of my favorite ‘wines’ is the Adam Carolla Mangria. It’s fortified with some little “extra kicks” and it’s wonderful. One glass and you’re toast though!

    • That’s cool. I don’t think it’s the authors intent to produce an award winng product. It’s a way to ease in to home brewing, it’s fun, educational, and delicious.

    • I just “harvested” my husband’s grape vine (as in one) and had a load (really big) of grapes. We planted a table grape, dark blue, and it must have been a great year for grapes. So,,,, I thought there are too many for a couple of jars of jam/jelly. Maybe I should can the juice. And as things go, here I am talking to people who know what they are doing, Making Wine, And I think maybe I’ll just can it, literally ! What a confusing chance I would make if I tried.
      I guess, I’ll just leave it to you experts, and buy a bottle!
      Thanks for all the input!

    • @Wine Master….Bull!

      That’s exactly what it is.

      You can make an argument that you can produce a more refined product by doing other stuff, but you can’t make up your own facts.

      Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits (google it)

  30. Hello again. I just attempted to decant my batch of 3. I tried filtering through cheesecloth and also syphoning but I still have ended up with a thin line of sediment at the bottom.

    Is this cause for concern? Will it prevent my batch from eventually becoming clearer?

    • I have the same problem.

      Although I managed to get a very clear wine at the end that tastes good, when I try to bottle, it gets cloudy ( I am pouring carefully, even used a siphon with multiple layers of cloth, non of it worked well) and doesn’t taste that good anymore, when it is cloudy. Even giving me a bit headache, probably the dead yeast inside.

      I don’t know what else to do.


  32. Hi Trevor I found your posts very helpful thanks. Im planning to make my very first batch of red wine. Some of my concerns are Can i start with a 2Litre container batch for trial basis? can i use sweet green grapes? And please mention the proportions of grape juice and water for a 2000 ml batch. Where can i find the cheapest but good quality kits. Im from India. Awaiting your responce and thanking you in advance.

    • Hi D

      I have made 2 liter batches with great success. Confused by your “proportions” question, you don’t need to use any water unless you are using grape concentrate. You might need to add additional sugar if your hydrometer reading is low, you will need a hydrometer to test this.

      Good quality cheapest kits are probably on Amazon but you can also google your city plus “homebrew store” to see what’s available around you.

      You can also try looking for local juices in fancy glass bottles, where I am you can get a gallon of fancy unfiltered apple juice for 7$ or so, that would make great wine (technically hard cider)

      Check out the Lakewood Organic juices, I bet many of these would make excellent wines.

  33. Thanks so much for this fun and informative post! I have a huge grapevine arbor in my back yard and for the past 22 years have only made grape jelly because making wine seemed too complicated and expensive. This year I found the balloon wine recipe and am trying it out. Even if it doesn’t work, it’s a fun experiment! All of the recipes I found call for juice that has some sugar added already, but my grape juice comes without added sugar, of course. Does adding 2-4 cups of sugar still work for natural juice? And, I added a full package of wine yeast. How do you think that will affect one gallon of wine? Thanks for your reply!

    • Hi Anne

      You’re welcome!

      Adding extra sugar would work great for any type of juice, but since you grow your own grapes it really is best to have a hydrometer to measure sugar content since it could really be anything, depending on sunlight hours, watering, grape variety, and grape maturity. So many variables that will affect the sugar content of homegrown grapes.

      Adding a whole packet of yeast is just fine, I add less just so a pack of yeast lasts longer but you can add a whole packet and it will cause no problems at all. The reason for this is that yeast will breed and multiply many many times either way and end up with the same amount of yeast in the end.

    • Hi Anne B; I had a lot of grapes giving to me, heres what i used and it turned out great!! I had 14lbs. of rinsed,crushed concord grapes 7lb. of sugar=14 cups, 1 lb. rice ,1 can of welches concentrate,2 quarts warm water filtered or distilled. Wasn’t sure sure on how many lbs. of grapes per gal.3 to 3.5 is what i have found so this is why i added the extra can of welches to it.Put this in the primary fermentation process,5 gal. bucket,don’t put lid on tight and stir 1-2x daily up to7 days. Did it without hyd. and got lucky i guess. Its pretty powerful stuff and sweet. If you want a dryer wine cut back on sugar in the secondary process,and after 7 days thats when i added additional 6lbs of sugar and i think 5 would’ve been plenty.You can always add more later to sweeten if u like. You have to screen it into a plastic carboy jug that spring water comes in, No yeast is needed or chemicals. The natural yeast is plenty.Just make sure cardboy is clean and bottles are clean as well. And must be siphoned close to the bottom to leave settlement behind of cardboy. I used plastic for this because i didn’t want to waste money on a glass one not knowing if it was going to come out ,plus plastic is easier to handle. On 9/18/14 i made it and its finished by dec. Actually its gone now lol but i did give a lot of it away everyone loved it and wanted a bottle Had to give it up to the ones that provided grapes,bottles and jugs etc.Good luck!!

  34. am ready to try your 1 minute receipt. tried other wine making using oranges ,lemons, fruit, yellow raisan. sugar yeast you have 40.oo in cost and need large contain to make it in be mess.

  35. My batch stopped bubbling on the third day. Does it mean its finished? Btw i couldn’t get my hands on any champagne or vine yeast so i used regular backing active dried yeast.

  36. I made a batch with two types of Welsh grape juice ( a red grape and one high fibre )… Don’t know what I was thinking .. I emptied them in a gallon water bottle .. Mixed two cups of sugar and shook it till dissolved .. Added a little more yeast than adviced here .. Roughly a whole table spoon …

    The bottle is almost half empty, I drilled a whole in cap and pushed an air lock into it…

    Now on day two , in the morning it was bubbling .. But there is a lot of thick purple foam till the cap and pushing through the air lock …

    Any advice or is it normal

    • The bubbles sound normal, your yeast are overactive because you added too much yeast but in the end it won’t matter. More headspace would have prevented the bubbles from coming up into your airlock but it’s too late for that with your current batch. Just clean your airlock with soap and hot water and plug it back in, the foam should settle down within a couple days. You can put it somewhere cold to slow the yeast activity down a bit.

  37. On the foam has settled down .. But left the bottle looking messing inside . Do I need to Change the bottle or ignore it .. It is bubbling normally though ..

  38. My batch stopped bubbling on the 3rd day so i siphon them into clean glass bottles. 1 day after I bottled it started fermenting again so i slowly unscrew the cap to let co2 out twice a day for the next seven days.When the fermentation stopped I siphoned again into clean glass bottles. Then poured it into a glass, it smells just like tates just like wine had a nice buzz too. Thanks trevor :D I used 100% red grape juice(4litres) 4 cups sugar and baking active dried yeast. Now on my 2nd batch trying a different brand of juice. Will update when the batch is done.

  39. I didn’t see this mentioned anywhere but I only use frozen juice now since all the bottled juice is pasteurized. I thought pasteurized juice would not make wine. Am I wrong about that?

    • It should still work although natural yeasts are not present so you will need to add champagne or wine yeast like I mention in the article. Unpasteurized juice will simply turn into wine on its own automatically, although it can take 6 months with the wild yeast method.

  40. 3 ?’s…
    1. About 15 yrs ago I made wine and it always turned out a little bubbly , like sparkling wine. I liked it that way, actually. Is that because it was not done fermenting?
    2. At the beginning of your article it says “buy juice, add sugar, shake, if airlock, wait”. Does this mean you don’t actually “need” the yeast? Or was that just not listed?
    3. I have heard that “old timers ” used mason jars , covered top with cheese cloth, securing with rubber band or no center in the lid. Would this work ? Wouldn’t it let air in, which can let in bacteria?
    Ps. Thanks to whomever posted the DIY airlock with tubing into vessel of water. I only have 1 airlock.

    • 3 answers:

      1. Yes. That fizziness is the carbon dioxide being created from fermentation while the bottle is sealed. This is called “bottle conditioning” and it’s the old-fashioned way of putting the carbonation in soda and beer. To cause this you need to seal the bottle somehow. Glass will work better because unlike plastic it will not expand, forcing the CO2 to dissolve into the liquid. You have to be a little bit careful with bottle conditioning because if you create too much pressure, your bottles can explode. This is called a “glass grenade.”

      2. It’s easier and much much faster if you add yeast but technically you can make juice without it. Wild yeasts will usually be present, although if you buy bottled juice those yeasts have most likely been killed through pasteurization. Maybe I need to correct the article to include the yeast.

      3. As long as your hole is small enough, nothing should get in since you have carbon dioxide constantly flowing out. I would use a pin-prick sized hole only, you can maybe drill with the smallest drill bit into a mason jar lid to get something that works better than what you described.

  41. We put the grape juice, 4 cups sugar & nickel sized champagne yeast in a 1 ga bottle. Started to bubble on the 1st evening… Then stopped. Any idea what is going wrong?

      • Most likely didn’t allow enough oxygen in for the yeasts to get a good start. Try taking the airlock of for a few minutes and the replace.

  42. If you do this wine with your 2L bottle, and then you open it to drink it after 2-3 weeks of bottle conditioning, do you have a timespan to drink all the 2L before it turns like vinegar? I know if I open a bottle of wine, I have 1-2 days max to drink it before it becomes undrinkable.

    Is it the same principle for this kind of wine? If it does then the solution would be to bottle the fermented product in 355ml bottles so I don’t have too much waste.

    • I’ve never had this happen to me with purchased wine or with this recipe. It could be that for some reason where you are, sulfites are not being used. Without sulfites, grape juice will turn into vinegar.

      From Wikipedia:

      Sulfites occur naturally in all wines to some extent.[3] Sulfites are commonly introduced to arrest fermentation at a desired time, and may also be added to wine as preservatives to prevent spoilage and oxidation at several stages of the winemaking. Sulfur dioxide (SO2, sulfur with two atoms of oxygen) protects wine from not only oxidation, but also from bacteria. Without sulfites, grape juice would quickly turn to vinegar.[4]
      Organic wines are not necessarily sulfite-free, but generally have the lowest amount because no additional sulfites are added, as with most wines.[5] In general, white wines contain more sulfites than red wines, and sweeter wines contain more sulfites than dryer ones.[6]
      In the United States, wines bottled after mid-1987 must have a label stating that they contain sulfites if they contain more than 10 parts per million.[5]
      In the European Union an equivalent regulation came into force in November 2005.[7] In 2012, a new regulation for organic wines came into force.

  43. I followed the recipe above with 100% grape juice, 2 cups of sugar and champagne yeast. It never started bubbling but has faint rotten egg smell so something is going on. Did I do something wrong or do I just need to be patient? It’s been about 48 hours.

    • It doesn’t sound quite right, after 48 hours there should be some bubbling unless the wine has been kept quite cold. It’s possible your yeast in ineffective for some reason. Or your juice could have something in it that is resisting fermentation. What kind of juice did you use?

      • I actually tried what I say in some earlier posts. I took the lid off for about an hour then put it back on and gave the bottle a little swirl. Now I’ve had bubbles and can hear a “fizz” noise that sounds like soda. So it’s working, still smells like shit, but it’s fermenting.

        • Possibly the bad smells are indicative of a spoiled batch, where bacteria are out-competing the yeast. In my experience this is very rare but certainly possible! Fortunately there is no known organism that lives in wine or beer that can actually hurt you, so my suggestion is to let the fermentation complete and test the results to identify off-flavors.

          Here is a good page identifying common problems with homebrewed wine: http://www.home-winemaking.com/winemaking-3c.html

          According to this, your “must” (grape juice) might have had too much sulfur in it to begin with, which can perhaps be remedied by a chemical agent “campden.”

  44. Hello trevor!
    I’m from the third world ‘pakistan’. Here nothing is easy to be found for normal people, bcoz of religious shits and a lot of conservativism here. Everything here could be manageable just for higher class. I read your article and comments above. I’ve never tried wine or any alcoholic drink. It’ll be the first time.

    Simply I’ll buy red grape juice in market and mix yeast then after a day I’ll open the cap and will attach a balloon and will leave till 4 to 5 days. Now how will I be sured that its ready to drink?

  45. just wanted to leave a comment of “Thanks” for your tutorial! So far, I have made a few batches, even incorporated some fresh & frozen fruits during the first 4-7 days to infuse the “mash” into flavoring my 1 gal vino. Results have been well over my expectations with only 1 batch being cloudy. I’ve only been buying 100% juices or 100% frozen concentrates, experimenting with brown & white sugars. I’m in heaven! Thank you so much! Looking forward to home brewing the rest of my life ;)

    • I am really thrilled to hear stories like yours. It’s so promising that the results are exceeding your expectations, they certainly did for me too the first time I tried this. I’d really like to have an “experienced” wine drinker do a blind taste test of a few wines and try to identify the “white sugar and grape juice” one out of the “real wines” costing 10x as much!

  46. So excited. Wonderful d informative. I’m a former small farm vineyard owner. This is refreshing. You are providing wonderful info. Everyone enjoy. And make some vino!!

  47. Hello I found your thread after doing a stint in my County jail lol. We had a guy in there making jail house hooch and when I got out I decided to try it for myself. I went to the store and bought a bottle of organic black berry juice and some red star yeast. Poured out 1.5 cups of juice then I started to heat up some distilled water on the stove about a cup. I then added 2 cups of pure cane sugar to the water and stirred until it was completely dissolved. As the sugar water cooled I actived a fifth of the packet of yeast in a lukewarm water and let it sit fun til the sugar water was back to room temp. I poured the sugar water into the juice and shook it up until I felt like it was combined then poured the yeast in ttopped the bottle with a balloon and now I am waiting. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Feel free to email me with some tips I’dlove to hear any you have [email protected]

  48. A quick thanks and testimonial. The fact that you stripped the process down to its essence made it less intimidating, not to mention affordable. Starting with the basics got me started, and with great results. For six months I’ve been making enough wine to drink a little most evenings, and plenty to share. Happiness! I have tried different juices and am gradually experimenting with techniques, and investing in equipment like a corker so I can give bottles away. The beauty is it’s on my own terms and with full understanding of what’s necessary and what isn’t. As a side note, I have an old house with a stone basement and it just feels right to be makng wine down there. Soon I’ll be storing bottles to see how much it improves with age. How cool to fill up an old cellar with aging wine–that I made. Also, I’ve forwarded your site people people are fascinated, especially after tasting it. They have been dropping empty bottles off so I can share the bounty once production is up. Thanks again.

  49. Can you help please??

    So I have recently begun making wine the 11 thousand step process with all the expensive stuff as it was gifted to by request.

    Anyhowwwww, I saw this and was like Heck Ya..and thought I could do several fun fruit batches at once. So I started with a juice, made it 12% and it has been sitting now for three weeks (one week at 5%) Should I call it a day at 7% alcohol wine or let it “ferment” longer??

    I will use more sugar next time but I am wondering for this one will it ever go down to 0% or should I call it a day?!?!

    Please let me know and thank you!! I will be starting and trying a new batch today!

  50. So just to get it straight in my head , after fermentation , I can pour the wine into a glass jug/bottle cork it and store it for at least 2 weeks or until needed. More being better Of course .

  51. If anyone has any good recipes or links I’don’t be really greatfull. I’m a “beginner”. Don’t really know much at this time but eager to learn as much as possible…

  52. I don’t shake the juice once sugar is added. Article mentions yeast will find the sugar…it does, at the bottom of the jug. Works great.

    If you want to enjoy wine much sooner, add some citric acid to brighten it up and a bit of sweetener. Experiment by the glass and have fun. I recently made some apple/grape wine that was drinkable after 5 days with the addition of citric acid. The sweetener is based on your palate.

    Have fun!!!

  53. Just want to thank you for the instructions. I have made 2 batches so far. I would like to know how to increase the clarity of the wine though. Thoughts? Thanks

  54. I just want to ask you all a question..

    Its about wine making..

    Should I let the yeast to be dissolve and settle in before I put the airlock in the bottle… Or should I put the airlock right after I put the yeast??

  55. Thank you so much for the ideas. Along with some knowledge passed down from my grandmother, this is the best information I could have asked for as a beginner. Welch’s has an unfiltered juice line called “farmers pick” that works incredibly well paired with Montrachet yeast. Thanks again, and happy fermenting!

  56. Thanks for the great article :) I am living in Turkey & it is difficult to get some ingredients. Just wondering what alcohol volume you can get with ordinary bread yeast before the alcohol kills the yeast? Looking forward to starting my first brew :)

    • to avoid yeast taste, try decanting to an clean container once it has stopped bubbling, and again when the sediment has cleared, and you can easily see through the wine. Let it stand for a week and see if that helps.

  57. I just started my first batch of home made wine I was just bored and a couple friends n myself decided to try it I used dried cherries though.have I had any experience using dried fruit? I haven’t seen any recepies for it any where it seems to b working well after a few days if u have any advice I’d appreciate it

  58. How did you come up with the 1 gallon = 2:30 time frame. It seems that decreasing the amount of liquid from 5 gallons to 1 gallon would decrease the time from 30 seconds to 6 seconds. Just curious and Thanks.

  59. Hello Trevor,
    I just started my first batch a few days ago. I’m thinking I didn’t use enough sugar, only 1 3/4 cup per gallon. My question is, can sugar be added after fermentation has slowed? It still runs at a rate of a bubble every 3 to 5 seconds, is it to late? Thanks and great article. Jeff

    • you can add sugar after fermentation has started. In fact, you can add sugar after it’s stopped fermenting. For that matter, once you’ve reached the yeasts limit for alcohol content for the yeast, you can add sugar to sweeten the wine. Be careful with that last part, as you could start fermenting back up to the yeast limit.

  60. Thank you for the simplified wine recipe. Everywhere I have looked I found recipes calling for chemicals and/or expensive kits. This recipe seems like a perfect way for me to get into making my own wine without spending a lot. I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks again.

  61. Followed your recipe exactly with the links from Amazon. Pretty simple. Can’t wait until it’s done. Started it a week ago :) thanks!

  62. I have made 2 batches of your wine recipe. Both batches were still fermenting after 3 weeks? I checked the sugar to alcohol process and the hydrometer was still reading high at the starting point of 1.142 ? what would cause this and what do I need to change in the process?

    • Change nothing! Sounds like it’s going to be nice strong wine. It’s not a fast process. Just wait until the bubbles all but stop. I wait until I haven’t seen a bubble in a day or two, personally.

  63. Probably a dumb question… but this is my first time. After the wine has fermented down to 0%, is this when I get to bottle and cork it to store in my basement? How long should I store it before drinking? Is there a time period where it might “expire” and shouldn’t be consumed?

    • there is no real limit… some bottles spoil, but it’s usually poor sanitation, or poor corking.

      I have found a week is plenty of time for a basic aging, just to take it from hooch to wine. Different fruits have different aging requirements to be come tasty, but there are bottles of wine decades old and selling for a mint, so store it properly as long as you want.

  64. Hi there…great article. Motivated to give it a try. I used a one gallon jug (carboy?). After all the mixing juice and sugar (brought to 15% potential alcohol on hydrometer) and adding yeast, closed it up with airlock. Two days later bubbling started. Lasted for only 4 days(vs two weeks as written in article…and too short from what I read). Was kept at about 70 degrees so I moved to spot about 75 degrees and shook it up just a bit. Got a bit more bubbles but not much or long. Read a bit and seemed like this was still the ” first fermentation ” that needs air so I cracked it open a few seconds to let some air in then closed it up again. Seems to be bubbling again. Is this okay? Any thoughts?

  65. Hello again all…actually doing a follow up and providing some info from my question post above… As was advised, I checked the potential alcohol and sure enough, it’s down to zero (from the original 15%). I used the champagne yeast as directed in the article and the temperature was, as I said, about 70f so I guess one week (with 4 days of bubbles ) was long enough. I will bottle (old cleaned wine bottles) today, and may use balloons to cap for a few days to check for any residual gas, then cork it. Will start the next batch later this week!

    • the air lock is only to let the bubbles out without letting air in. if it’s stopped bubbling all together, seal it up and age away.

  66. I tried your recipe for simplified wine making,useing active dry yeast,racked it in about 6 days (very cloudy)around day 10 very clear so I decided to taste it OMG it was soooo good and it had some carbonation to it didn’t expect that ,but it added to the goodness I AM HOOKED,working on hard apple cider now hope it turns out as good thanx so much for the instructions and info

  67. Since your 96 oz (12 cup) jug of grape juice is about 40 g/cup sugar and a 12 oz (1.5 cup) can frozen grape concentrate is about 40 g/(1/4 cup) (i.e. 160 g/cup), if you were to take 2 cups out of your 12 cup jug and put in the 1.5 cups of concentrate, you’d have a .5 cup headspace and the sugar content would be

    10 cups * 40 g/cup = 400 g sugar in 10 cups PLUS
    1.5 cups * 160 g/cup = 240 g sugar in 1.5 cups

    giving 640 g sugar in 9.5 cups => 67.5 g/cup

    which is about what you want from what I make of what you’ve written here. Table sugar is about 225 g/cup; but I get way too high a potential alcohol level on my hydrometer by using 2 full cups (about 18% – 20%); you want about 13% – 15%.

    Add in a little yeast starter to get things to start sooner, shake it all up and pitch a good yeast and you’re good to go w/o using any table sugar. You should be able to plop your hydrometer right into the jug for readings. At SG of 1.03 strain it into another sanitary jug (with sanitized cheesecloth or something). Then do the same after dropping below SG 1.00 to “bottle” your wine and let it age!

    I did this last Friday with a 96 oz jug of Walmart Great Value 100% grape juice and a 12 oz can of my local Giant supermarket frozen 100% grape juice concentrate. I used Lalvin RC 212 Burgundy yeast. It is still in primary fermentation right now. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

    Thanks for the info!

  68. Oh, I forgot to add that the grape juice was about $4 and the concentrate was about $2. Figure about $7 with the yeast starter and yeast and that gives $7 for 9.5 cups (3 bottles) wine or $2.33 a bottle. That’s a bit more than the table sugar cost (say $5/3 = $1.67 a bottle) but might be more to your liking.

  69. If I can’t find President’s Choice grape juice, can I use Welches Grape juice, that particular juice is high in sugar content. Also what about making white wine, can it be done the same way as red grape juice? Also, why so much sugar when the juice itself has a high content of sugar? Regular yeast is ok? Can I keep the juice in the jug, and make the wine in the original bottle, and just keep the cap tightly close, will it still come out ok?

  70. Frankenwine

    So, I have been making hobby wine for a while now

    Welches Concord grape juice makes a dry, tart appealing table wine following the basic recipe outlined here.

    I did try the Mango, and it was decent. My personal fav? Jucy Juice Strawberry Kiwi, almost like Boones Farm, but drier.

    So, the miser in me kicked in, and whilst surfing Amazon for juicy, I stumbled across: Hansen’s Grape 100% on special for 8 1/2 gal bottles.

    2 days later when the prime delivery arrives, I discover: It’s Grape. It’s juice. It’s 100%. But IT’S NOT 100% GRAPE JUICE.

    This is a ‘Premium’ blend of 4 Juices, including Grape. So after a brief discussion with Amazon regarding false advertising, they give me my $ back and, Oh, Keep the juice, they don’t want it back.

    What the heck am I gonna do with 4 gallons of juice blend? What the hey? Set it up and make some wine.

    1 month later, after 2 weeks of ferment, and 2 week to clear it’s time to try…

    This crap makes the most utterly tasteless swill I have ever encountered: a flat fermented juice that can only be described as


  71. Just wanted to follow up on my posts from October. All went well! I did a batch in October, one in November and one in December. I’ve tried some of the October batch in December and January. Still a bit young. Tried a bit of the November batch this month (February) and also a bit young. But overall not bad. Strong (I made it to be 15-16%).
    One note is its cloudy. I used an unfiltered natural grape juice so maybe that had something to do with it. It’s not sediment, as I’ve been running it through a coffee filter (thinking this might help) but made no difference. For me, it doesn’t make a difference, but when I serve to others I’d like to find out how to clear it without chemicals.

    But overall a great, motivational article!

    • Never had that problem, time has always healed it though it can take a year with some wines.

      I’ve heard try a cooler temperature, and, if you have an older batch that has cleared properly pouring a few ounces of the clear stuff in works, but that’s all from research.

  72. i started 2 1/2 g welches 100% grape juice 64oz bottles. wing it with the sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups, red star bread yeast, balloon carboys. soo.n.n to order more supply. should i add sugar? great site!

  73. If anyone has a recipe for making homemade rhubarb wine using this way, I’d really appreciate it. I tried some a few years ago, and it was very good.
    Also, I’ve heard of dandelion wine. Would this work also?
    Please respond to my email.

  74. Great article, I’ve bookmarked your website. I bought all the needed supplies, and started a batch using Welch’s 100% grape juice in a 96 ounce bottle with a sugar content of 36g per 8oz serving. I took out a few cups of juice and added 3 cups of sugar. Hydrometer measured 20% per volume, or 1.084 SG. I then added champagne yeast to luke warm water and added to the bottle. And put the airlock on top. After about 2 weeks it stopped bubbling. I waited a additional 2 days. This time it measured 1.065 SG.. The taste was super sweet, a bit bubbly also. I added some more yeast, and re-airlocked. Hopefully this works. Also I’m noticing a strange after-taste is this normal? And does it seem like I’m on the right track?

  75. Use “Old Orchard” frozen concentrate from Winco. Noadditives or fructose or corn syrup. We do sterilze with potassium metabisulfate but otherwise, recipe same. My first winemaking – many years ago, I used frozen grape concentrate (12 cans) and orange jc concentrate (2 cans) and Montrachet yeast (made 5 gallons) – a most excellent wine!

  76. I had an uncle that used Muscadine grapes. He used the same techniques as Mike earlier in this conversation. I use the same recipe as my uncle except I don’t use a balloon. Instead I use a latex glove. I guess because I’ve got soo many at home coming from the medical field. Turns out great everytime. Very fun for holidays.

  77. I have been making a regular supply of wine since I came across your awesome, informative article a year ago. I have made some modifications to your original instructions. I currently use 1/4 teaspoon yeast nutrient per bottle of grape juice. 1/8 teaspoon yeast. I dont hydrate the yeast. I have found it hydrates just fine in the grape juice. I pour out some of the juice to give it room to bubble. I dont shake. I place an airlock on it at all times. I have found outside air makes it sour faster. I connected an external temperature control to a mini fridge which I keep between 66 to 69 degrees. The lowest temperatures yeast will ferment at. The reason is because I found that the higher the temperature one ferments at, the sourer it gets and the compounds that give you headaches form. I drink if after 7 days. At day 7 you have a fizzy alcoholic drink with most of the sugars having fermented. I keep it in the regular refrigerator to slow the fermenting. I drink this every day at bedtime. I suffer from anxiety. This is a cheap, healthy way to mellow me out for bedtime. I use Langers brand. Your article has made a change in my life. Thankyou.

  78. OMG, our daughter is getting married in a month. She asked us to make her some watermelon wine. Any suggestions?

  79. Re: Franken wine

    If you find the end result to be bland, you can pour in a can or two of concentrate to flavor and sweeten it. Do this after it has clarified and been racked off the lees several times. You can also backsweeten with Splenda to counter the tartness of concord grapes.

  80. I just juiced blackberries picked off the vine, added some maple syrup, some water, and put it in a glass jar and then I sealed the jar with a piece of cloth secured by rubber bands. It was kind of impulsive fun. What do y’all think will be the result? Will I turn blind if I drink it?

  81. Carbonated wine! I feel as though I’m drinking grape soda, but I’m getting snockered. Sure, I could use some WEED, but I won’t die without it.

  82. First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a
    quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

  83. This instructional for home wine making is superb and the comments just enhance the entire effort minus the profanity from a few.

    The biggest suggestion from the author is to keep a journal of each batch from start to finish. Wine making is chemistry at its best or so some say-me!

  84. We are avid wine drinkers so I’m thinking maybe we should be saving the bottles and silicone corks for reuse instead of sending them to recycle. The bottles are that green UV glass so that should be helpful.

    I’m guessing one needs to be really certain fermentation is over if using a cork or things could get messy.

    This also gives me something to do with all the excess fruit we have growing every year. I can buy a juicer and juice it all down for wine making. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, blackberries and raspberries. So other than the sugar and yeast it’s essentially FREE wine.

  85. Rightio then! Armed with all this amazing knowledge, information and 10 bucks worth of gear, I am going to attempt a Mango wine.. Thank you for the informative and simple instructions. Cheers!

  86. I read your fantastic article about making this wine from fruit juice and rushed out to buy some.
    I’ve inadvertently bought Juice ‘drink’ which has the following ingredients: water, mango puree from concentrate (19%), sugar, citric acid, vit C, gellan gum flavouring.
    Will this still work or should I wait until I can get some 100% juice?

  87. All, I have discovered a simple rule of thumb about potential alcohol content… For one gallon batches, one cup of sugar = about ten grams of sugar per serving. Sixty grams of sugar per serving gives potential alcohol content of about 13%.

    Therefore if your juice has about 40 grams sugar/serving, add two cups sugar and you will end up around 13% alcohol!

    Another example. I just started my second batch of Old Orchard Apple Kiwi Strawberry wine. It has 29 grams sugar per serving. While mixing the concentrate, I added three cups of sugar, giving potential alcohol of 13%.

  88. Hi, we made sake for years just as simple. Made it in 2.25l coke bottles, didn’t even bother with an airlock, just screwed the caps on loosely for the first week or so then decanted into clean bottles. Recipe is dead easy. 1kg of sultanas and 1kg rice. Boil them up for 20min then allow to cool and add the yeast. Cap loosely for 10 days then decant. Drink after a few more weeks. Excellent, got me through university, cheaper than beer. I once forgot about a bottle and found it a year or so later when I was cleaning out. It was truly superb! Dave

  89. That really is amazing. I never ever would’ve thought it would be so easy and cheap to brew wine. Under $20. I’m guessing it’s possible to do this with any type of juice.
    I’m a beer man but this is awesome, thanks

    • That just means that the carbon dioxide was not able to fully escape, and some got dissolved into the wine. You can leave the cap open overnight and all the bubbles should escape, or if you like the taste of sparkling wine you can just keep it as is :)

  90. If I not use air lock
    1.)If I ferment wine open bottle then what happen.
    2.) If I ferment wine totally sealed botell ?
    (My English not so good)

  91. I love the simplicity – hats off to you!

    May I ask for some help? I have to use a 4.5 litre demijohn (there’s no comparable juice bottle like yours here – they’re all much smaller in the UK).

    As a rough guide, how much sugar would I need to add to the grape juice and how much liquid? I know I can use the hydrometer to inform this – and I did buy one – but haven’t figured out how to use it yet. I’m eager to get started and then use the hydrometer as I gain expertise.

    Thank you for a great blog – straightforward, informative and fun!


    Mike in London, UK

    • I use a 1 gallon plastic jug that Lipton tea ones in. Just disinfect it well after using the tea and combine several smaller bottles of grape juice to total a bit under one gallon.

  92. I am making a full gallon of wine with a couple cans of Welch’s Grape Concentrate and some sugar, and yeast. I currently have a balloon on the top of the glass gallon bottle and it is almost completely deflated after 7 days.

    I am getting ready to filter it through an extra fine mesh tea strainer to get most yeast and sediment out. Can I simply pour it over the strainer into an empty distilled water jug, than back into the original glass container for bottling?…or can I do the same with individual wine bottles….. sorry, total new!

  93. So I just finished my first batch — latex glove deflated after 10 days in my laundry room that faces west side of house in Texas — warm all time. I filtered the wind thru coffee filters and placed in clean gallon jug — how much longer should I wait before drinking and where should I store in during this wait?? I do like me wind cold so can I store in frig after this 2nd waiting period?

  94. Thanks for the easy, simple directions and advice !!! I’ve got access to locally grown muscadines and want to try my hand at winemaking so I started surfing the net and was about to get discouraged from all the extensive and complicated crap I was reading; I’m not planning on opening a winery – just want to have a little fun ! I knew it couldn’t be that difficult, Again, Thanks !!!!

  95. ****HELP****
    my wine has only been sitting for 3 days the bubbles have stopped and the yeast has not settled to the bottom……..can I fix it?

  96. That’s a lot of effort for some wine. An even easier method is described: Let’s make 5 gallons of OJ wine. We’ll use a five gallon bucket with a breather attached to the lid.
    4 gl of OJ
    1 gl water
    4 pounds of sugar
    sprinkle of yeast ( or if not yeast, center of white bread placed into a filter)
    mix and place lid on tight. Check in four days and final check 3 days later.

  97. I’ve always wanted to try making wine, and this looks simple enough not to be scary!

    When I was little my mom made wine accidentally once – she home canned some grapes. No one had ever told her that wouldn’t work! It fermented, somehow, in the sealed canning jars (maybe it popped the seals? I don’t know) and I can remember looking at the jars in the pantry with the grape skins at the bottom of the jars. I tasted it once, I don’t know about flavor but I remember it burned going down!

  98. A friend made some cyser and inspired me to give wine a try. Searching around for instructions led me here. I mixed sugar, tart cherry juice and water, and floated four cups of frozen fruit pulp from last year tied off in a bag. I’ll give that about 24 hours to melt and mix and then test again with a hygrometer which should be around 15%. Then it’s yeast and airlock time before eventually going back into jars. Can’t wait really, so thanks for the great information and encouragement.

    I wanted to add that I agree with you that the sanitation thing is way overdone. I’ve kept a wild sourdough starter for many years and it’s easy, no need to be a germ phobe, just use common sense.

  99. Pingback: make homemade wine 5 gallon bucket - Make Homemade Wine

  100. This sediment at the bottom of your wine, is from your dead yeast. If you keep notes, use a lesser amounts of yeast for the next time and see how that goes. I know y’all are all talking about small containers, however I like a glass of wine every evening, so I use one of the yellow round igloo containers, it’s an industrial 10 gallon drinking water container that I only use to make my wine in. Specifically I put in 9-96 fluid ounces each of the grape 100% juice. I use three cups per container so that would be 18 cups of sugar. I use 3 tablespoons of yeast, it is not Champagne yeast. It is the same yeast that I make my bread with … I take one and a half cups of the wine juice that has been mixed with the sugar, I put that in the microwave for 30 seconds to heat it to 110 to 117°. I find 117° is the perfect temp. After that I add the yeast, I cover it and let it sit for a few minutes until it blooms, becomes frothy & foamy, making it ready for your fermentation process, it’s good to also note at 138° yeast dies.
    I then pour it into my redneck wine vat, then I pull it across the house with a towel under it, and into my closet and cover it with a towel and wrap a bungee cord around it. It’s ready to drink in 3 weeks but I filter it twice(maybe more if I’ve added too much yeast). The best part is this igloo water cooler has a Spicket on it. The spicket sets just high enough above where the dead yeast collects at the bottom, so most of the dead yeast stays in the bottom of the cooler; this allows me to get less sediment in my larger glass containers that I put on the counter for any more dead yeast to drop to the bottom. In about another 2 to 3 weeks I fill my wine bottles, and then I store them in the cabinet over my fridge where they continue to age. Friends and family have comment on how good this wine tastes AND it’s kick! Often times they leave the bottle of wine that they brought at my house because they’ve drink mine and not their store bought wine. Just letting y’all know how I do it here in Texas… this amount will last me three months. I also appreciate most of y’all’s input, very helpful! Cheers! Bottoms up!

  101. I neglected to mention that all I use is pure cane sugar. There is a lot of sugar now that is made from beets and or have lots of GMO‘s in them. Pure cane sugar is just that, Pure. Cane. Sugar.
    Also on my second and third filters, the glass containers that I use have a 3 gallon capacity, and they also have Spicket’s in the bottom so any yeast and sediment that is in the bottom stays in the bottom and from these glass containers it goes into my Wine bottles… the wine stays pretty clear this way.

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