Brew Wine at Home

Have you ever wanted to make your own alcohol? Did you ever wonder what would happen if you couldn't buy alcohol at a store? If you've ever wanted to become self-sufficient with alcohol, this page will help you get started.


We will tell you everything you need to have, and then tell you what to do with those things in order for you to make your own home-brewed alcohol. In this case, you'll be making apple wine (also known as German apfelwein). This beverage is similar to a hard cider, but this recipe will make a dry cider (not sweet at all). This recipe is for a small batch of 1 US gallon.


Homebrewing is really simple if you follow these steps. We will outline everything you need and give you an easy-to-follow "how to". Let's get started!


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1. Gather your supplies.

Before you can do anything, there are some supplies you will need. These include some very basic re-usable homebrewing equipment as well as the things you will be fermenting. Click here for the list of items, and order or buy them before proceeding to step 2.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • A bottle of Star San sanitizer Amazon
  • Dextrose (Corn Sugar). Amazon
  • Wine yeast. Red Star Premier Classique (formerly called Montrachet) Amazon
  • Apple juice. Each jug will require approximately 4.2 quarts.
  • Bottle of vodka. Inexpensive vodka will be fine.

2. When you have your supplies, sanitize your jug using the Star San.

Dilute the Star San sanitizer and wash the inside and outside of the jug. Allow all the excess liquid to drip out, and lay the jug on a clean towel to allow more of the liquid to collect. Then allow it to drip out.

Star San Homebrew Bottle Cleaner
Home Brew Wine Yeast - Montrachet / Premier Classique

3. Weigh 1 gram of yeast using your scale. Place your funnel in the mouth of the jub and pour in 1 gram of yeast.

Some yeast may stick to the inside of the funnel. That's ok; the remaining ingredients will wash it down into the jug.

Montrachet Homebrew Yeast on Kitchen ScaleMontrachet Yeast in Carboy

4. Weight 6.4 ounces of dextrose. Pour it into the jug.

You can put a little bit more sugar if desired. You can also experiement with other types of sugar. Experiment with this on later batches.

Dextrose Homebrew Corn Sugar on Kitchen ScalePouring Corn Sugar into Brewing Funnel

Dextrose / Corn Sugar for Home-brewing
Home brewing funnels

5. Pour in some apple juice. Gently swirl the mixture around to get the yeast and sugar to begin to dissolve and mix.

You want to put in enough apple juice so that you can mix and suspend the sugar and yeast.

Homebrew Apfelwein Juice SugarHomebrew Apfelwein Juice Sugar

6. Pour in the rest of the apple juice.

Fill within approximately two inches of the top of the jug. Leave a small amount of room as the batch will product some froth and bubbles during the early part of the fermentation process.

Fill Wine Carboy

Apple Juice for making apfelwein
Airlock placed in neck of Carboy Jug

7. Place the airlock in the top of the jug. Pour a small amount of vodka in the airlock and place the cap on top.

Nothing - including bacteria - should be allowed in. The barrier of vodka will prevent that.

Apfelwein Carboy with Airlock

8. Wait for it to finish fermenting.

You can expect to wait at least 4 weeks. After that time, you'll want to stick it in the refrigerator. This is what homebrewers mean when they say to "cold crash" your apfelwein. At that point you can drink it or you can bottle it.

Wait for 4 Weeks

That's it!

The process is relatively simple, and doesn't take long to learn. The hardest part is actually doing it - so if you know you'll want some real apfelwein one day, don't procrastinate any longer. Get the supplies you'll need ASAP, and then make your first batch.


The second hardest part is simply waiting for the batch of cider to finish fermenting. There's no getting around it, but one thing that helps is to always have a few carboys going at once.


The best time to have started a batch of apfelwein (or cider, or wine) is four weeks ago; the second best time is now. So get brewing!