Friday, September 7, 2012
How to Make Fruit Wine... or Hooch
If you are from my church, please note that someone hacked my blog and ghost-wrote this post. I used to love baking. But since my family is now gluten and sugar free I haven't done much in the kitchen. So Last year, in need of yet another hobby, I started spending time with Mr. Beer. Since I don't do anything by the books I didn't pony up the cash to get the cheap Mr. Beer plastic bottling kegs with "vented" lid. Instead I used a four gallon food-grade bucket and drilled a hole that would accept both an air-lock and a tap. Then, at the advise of a hard core beer maker, I purchased real yeast from the local wine making store instead of using the cheap junk they include with the wort (that's the can of goo that magically turns into beer). In about three months I have sixteen bottles of pretty descent beer! Yep, three months of waiting for sixteen bottles... I'M A RAGING ALCOHOLIC!!!! But I ain't a-talkin' about Mr. Beer except to say that it was a gateway drug into harder things. Like homemade wine. A couple of years ago I tried to make strawberry wine by following a recipe where you smash the fruit and let it sit uncovered for a bit and then blah blah blah and then a year later you uncork the bottle to find that you have "effective", but not especially delicious, wine. Too much work and too much time! So now I'm trying a new method: I take a 48 oz bottle of 100% juice (Juicy Juice or Aldi) or reconstitute a container of frozen juice and dissolve 1.5 cups of sugar into the juice. The big thing here it to make sure there aren't any preservatives 'cause that'll kill the yeasties. I pour this mess into a clean, sterilized 2-liter. I suggest using Sprite or some fruit flavored 2-liter just in case any flavors leech in from the plastic. Then I take some wine yeast and sprinkle a bit into about 1/4 cup of warm water (just like baking) and let it wake up the yeast for five minutes. Then this goes into the 2-liter. On goes the cap and I give it a really good shake to infuse oxygen into the juice. Take off the cap and put in an airlock. It cost me $2.50, with tax, for an airlock and a bung... size #3, I think. Some recipes say to use balloons or latex birth control devices I won't type for fear of invoking the wrong kind of ads but some people say it adds an off taste. Plus the whole she-bang costs a mere $2.50! How cheap are you??!?!