More home winemaking loveliness
Yea, yea, it's tasty and all, but how how do we Make it?

The short version of brewing is just this: Sugar + yeast = alcohol.

That's really the beginning of it all, but nothing it really that simple. It takes the right kind of juice, and the right kind of yeast. I would recomend something very simple to get started, like the Oz Tops kit mentioned on the previous page. BUT, since I don't want you to think I'm just trying to get you to spend your money, you can try this: the balloon method.

Supplies needed:

Empty 2 liter bottle
6-8 inch kids party ballon
Rubber band
Wine yeast (available from any brew shop, local or online, for less than $1/ package)
1 can (non-citrus) frozen fruit drink (about 75 cents at the grocery store)

This recipe works well for just about any juice you can buy as a frozen concentrate. I've had very good results with apple juice, grape juice, white grape raspberry, apple cherry, apple raspberry, apple kiwi strawberry, and black cherry. Orange, Pineapple, and Lemon juice, (Citrus Juices) are tougher to brew due to the high acid content, but it's still possible.

Take one 12 oz. can of regular frozen juice concentrate. Make sure that it has no preservatives (no Sulfites or Sorbates. Acerbic acid (Vitamin C) is OK). Mix it up as you would for a breakfast drink, but use hot water. You want to end up with 48 fluid oz. of juice that is about 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix in about 1 cup table sugar completely. Later on you may want to experiment with brown sugar or honey, but for now regular old white granulated sugar will do just fine. Pour this sweetened juice into your empty and clean 2 liter bottle. You should end up with the top 20 % or so of the bottle empty. Add a big pinch of yeast, about enough to cover the inside of a 2 liter bottle cap. Shake vigorously to mix it all up. Here's where it gets interesting. Take your ballon while it's deflated and put a pin hole through the thickest part of the rubber right at the very top. Open the mouth of the balloon and pull it over the bottle top covering all the bottle threads. Wrap the rubber band around the threads a few times to help tighten up the seal. The pressure in the balloon allows the extra CO2 out, but keeps the outside air from coming in. Set your bottle up some place warm for a few days. I suggest on top of your water heater or refrigerator, and carefully shaking it up once a day for the first 2 or 3 days.

Leave it in the warm place for 2-3 days for just a little alcohol, longer for more. I have had great results with leaving it for 2-3 weeks. While it is fermenting, the yeast is removing sugar and replacing it with alcohol and carbon dioxide. The more sugar the yeast uses, the "dryer" or less sweet the wine gets.

When ready, remove the balloon and rubber band and replace with your regular bottle cap. Place it in the refrigerator for a couple days to chill the yeast and slow/stop the fermentation. After a day or two you should see a small amount of stuff on the bottom of the bottle. This is the dregs (dead yeast and stuff) that we don't want to drink. It won't hurt you, but it is not very tasty at all. Remove the cap and either carefully pour or siphon out the "good stuff" into another container. Don't get greedy, leave a little liquid on the bottom if that's what it takes to avoid picking up the cloudy yeasty stuff.

Your fruit wine is now ready to drink! You may choose to add sugar or honey to sweeten it up if it has gotten too "dry" while fermenting. Keep it refridgerated just in case there is still some live yeast left in the liquid. If it warms back up, it may start to ferment again. Without the balloon or some other pressure release system in place to release the carbon dioxide, this could cause a messy problem.

On the next page (when it is written!) we'll talk about some of the other things you can do to get more professional results in your winemaking. The equipment is not too expensive, and can be aquired a little at a time if you like.
Once you have a recipe you like and are done fermenting it, you might want to read the section on Stopping fermentation.
If you've found any of this helpful, please drop me a line (contact info on the main page). I'd like to here about any problems you might've had with this, or success' you've enjoyed!
Here is a link to the ingerdient list for Lord Willum's Pie in a Bottle. Enjoy!