Monday, April 16, 2012

Homemade Wine - 1 gallon recipes

Photo here shows apple jack and red (grape).

What you need:
a gallon jug - I prefer glass
an airlock - cheap on amazon
a drilled stopper - photo below
a funnel
a large bowl
siphon tube

For Apple Jack Wine - Packs a punch!
6 cups sugar
2 containers of apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon yeast - I used champagne yeast
more recipes below

In a large bowl add sugar, juice concentrate, spices and a quart of warm water.  Stir and mix well making sure the sugar is dissolved.  Using the funnel, pour this mixture into your clean gallon jug.  Add yeast and stir well.  Fill remainder of jug with water leaving about 3 inches at the top.  Stir well.  Place stopper/airlock on top and store in a dark cool place.  Remember to add water to your airlock to the indicator line.  The amount of time it takes for your wine to finish will depend on the conditions where it is stored.  Mine usually takes 30 to 60 days.  You will know it is done when you can no longer see bubbles traveling up the side of the jug.
Siphon off the wine into clean bottles (there are lots of videos on youtube that show you how to do this), you can reuse bottles you don't have to buy new ones.  I prefer the screw top bottles the best...corks are hard to work with.  You can drink the wine right away, but it will improve with age.  If you don't have a tube to siphon off your wine, you can strain it through paper towels, however, tubing is really cheap and a lot less messy.  Discard the sediment at the bottom of the jug.
NOTE: I do not purchase any of the other things you can add to your wine to help clear it up or anything else, I don't think it is necessary.
 I store mine in the pantry.  Here I'm making Peach/Pineapple and Cherry/Tangerine.
 Early stages with lost of bubbles!
I like Red Star yeast.  Each packet is actually for 5 gallons.  I just measure out what I need, tightly seal the packet, place in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge until I need to use more.

More recipes:
Red (Grape) Wine
6 cups sugar
2 containers of grape juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon yeast.

1 quart of frozen cherries
the juice of one tangerine
6 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon yeast

1 quart pineapple juice
2 - 15 oz cans peach slices with juice pulverized in blender
6 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon yeast

 I like this style of stopper best.  I ordered it from amazon...very cheap!
Tubing to siphon off your wine.

This is how I became interested in making wine.  I found this recipe on the internet and gave it a try.  It is super simple and the results were very good.  I have used apples, peaches, strawberries and green grapes.  All were good.

To a gallon jug add 6 cups sugar and 6 cups fresh or frozen fruit.  If you use fresh fruit you will need to chop it.  If you use grapes, just slice them in half.  Fill jug with water, leaving about 2 inches and stir well.  Put a lid on and stir everyday for 30 to 45 days.  You will begin to see the magic happen.  Strain the wine through paper towels and bottle.  Good right away, but became stronger as it aged.
I made mine in half gallon canning jars because they were easy to find and had a wide mouth.  I suggest that wherever you decide to store this mix you place a pan under the jars or put them inside a tub.  As time goes on the mixture can fizz over when you stir it.  Discard the sediment and fruit.  Don't eat the'll regret it!


  1. Since posting this, I have made several more batches of wine. Depending on the fruit I am using I may reduce the amount of sugar I use. So, yes, for some recipes 3 lbs of sugar. You can add less but I wouldn't use less than 4 cups of sugar when making a gallon.

  2. 2 containers of juice then 2 of water on the apple jack?

  3. Hi Nicholas, I'm sorry the recipe is a little vague. I used two containers of juice that I added to the sugar and mixed well, then I added enough water to fill the jug leaving space at the top. Don't fill it too full. Don't forget the yeast and spices. Good luck!

  4. Just a quick question...I haven't had much success using my airlock, so what are your thoughts on using a balloon with holes poked in the top instead of the airlock? Thanks for taking time to respond and I look forward to making some of these wines. Do you have any other recipes or know of a good place to look? Thanks!!

  5. I have never used a balloon for an airlock so can't answer that question. I will say that I recently made some cherry wine and reduced the sugar to just 4 cups and the result was much milder, and in my opinion, better wine.

    Are you adding water to your airlock? Maybe you need to get a new rubber cork. Get one with a pre-drilled hole and make sure it fits your jug snug.

  6. I'm looking for a 1 gallon grape wine recipe, but i don't want that dry bitter wine taste. I'm looking for a bold grape flavor that is sweet n potent. A friend of mine that passed away a couple years back had perfected what I'm trying to continue to produce and his wasn't very dark. It was around the same tone as strawberry boonsfarm for example lol. If you have any ideas or suggestions, it would be much appreciated...

  7. I've never made homemade wine before, but this recipe turned out to be really awesome. I plan on making more.

  8. Merve89. I wonder if your friend used something like potassium sorbate to stop fermentation before adding more sugar?

  9. that's a lot of sugar? I want to be cheap about this and will use a ballon instead of the airlock.

  10. I've been making beer for 25 years and have never heard of a balloon air lock. But I assume the airlock serves the same purpose for wine. Airlocks are $2 or less at local stores in your area that sell wine/beer supplies. So splurch and use the right equipment for best results.

  11. Don't forget to poke a few holes in the balloon. Lol

  12. I use vodka in my airlocks to assure that no external yeast can enter that hasn't been sterilized. In my earlier days I used a balloon but never poked holes in them due to the fact that external contaminants could enter and ruin the wine. Use a large balloon like those in party stores and secure it with a rubber band. Make sure to thoroughly wash the inside of the balloon before using it. It will expand as the yeast feeds and when it deflates the yeast has died and the wine is ready to be siphoned into clean bottles and sealed. This method approximates the use of an airlock well just as the deflation of the balloon simulates the same action of the airlock that has stopped bubbling to show the yeast has died.

  13. I thank you for this post. It was the first that I found and it gave me the confidence to make wine from Welch's grape concentrate. You must like your wine very sweet. I prefer a Merlot, Norton, CabSav style. With that said; my advice is 2 3/4 cups of sugar if you are like me.