Want to get the conversation started at the Thanksgiving table?
How about serving your own homemade wine! You need to get started though – it takes 24 days – And this post is getting to you just in the nick of time.
You must be over 21 to continue with this post.
This is winemaking at it’s most basic, and it is super simple.
The wine enthusiast may not be overly impressed, but I bet he will be curious enough to try it.
Good or bad it will have the guests talking…
The creative one at the table will share ideas on what could be added next time to give it notes of oak or smoke.
The life of the party will come up with the idea of adding a habanero pepper.
Grandpa will chuckle at the memory of when he was “knee-high to a grasshopper” and his dad made wine in the bathtub by stomping grapes – he will scratch his white beard with thick bent fingers that have been exposed to too many winters, and wonder out loud if that red stain ever came out of that old claw foot tub.
If we are going to have homemade wine by Thanksgiving, we’d better get started.
Recipe Ingredients and Instructions:
Mix the following in order in a clean gallon Jug
3 Cups Sugar
4 Cups Boiled Water – let cool a bit before adding to jug
Stir to dissolve sugar
In a small bowl mix…
1 packet of yeast
1/4 Cup Warm Water – 110 to 115 Degrees – if you do not have a thermometer – test it on your wrist – it needs to be warm, like a baby’s bottle. If it is too hot or too cold it will kill the yeast.
Stir to mix and let sit about 5 minutes to activate
When sugar water in Jug has cooled to room temperature – Add yeast mixture & stir
Add 64 Oz bottle of room temperature 100% Grape Juice from Concentrate
Fill to where the bottle begins to neck – adding more water if needed. See photo below.
Once everything is in the jug, stir again to mix well.
Secure a balloon on top – or purchase an airlock from Amazon like the one below. This comes with the gallon jug, a stopper, and the airlock.
If you are using the airlock – be sure to put water to the fill line of the airlock.
Place in a warm area and wait for at least 24 days – make a note on your calendar for the 24th day.
Balloon users will see the balloon expand and slowly deflate over the next 24 days.
Airlock users will see a lot of bubbling action during the first few days that will taper off.
When the 24 days are up – it is time for the taste test.
The rule in winemaking is that the winemaker has to be the one to test the wine.
If it is to your satisfaction – use cheesecloth and a funnel to pour into a carafe what you will be drinking in celebration of becoming a winemaker.
Continue to filter the wine into resealable jars. We use ball jars.
The cheesecloth captures all the dregs.
We make 2 gallons at a time and experiment with various flavors. This particular time we used a teaspoon of vanilla extract in one of the jugs. It was really good.
Now that you have mastered your very first batch of wine, just think of what you can create for Christmas!
Congratulations on becoming a winemaker!
Please drink responsibly.
Thank you so much for reading.
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All photos, thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.