Making sweet wine at home is both easy and inexpensive. For under $20, you can produce about two cases of wine. The main ingredients you will need are red grape concentrate, port yeast---since you are making a sweet red wine---and sugar. Nowadays you easily shop for your main ingredients online. For example, you can buy red grape concentrate online for $16, and you can buy yeast for under $1.
Ingredients and Equipment
To make wine at home, you will need 46 oz. of red grape concentrate, raspberry juice, 1 lb. of yeast, 6 1/2 lbs. of cane sugar, two 3-gal containers, one container that holds at least 7 gal., a ¼-inch clear hose (you can buy one at a large hardware store), two water jugs with taps, an air lock, and a lot of water.
How to Make It
Mix 1 gal. of hot water and 46 oz. of grape concentrate in one 3-gal. container. Then mix 2 gal. of hot water with the cane sugar in the other container. Make sure to mix well.
Pour both mixtures into your 7-gal. container; you should now have about 5 gal. of liquid. Keep this mixture at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F for two to three hours, and then add the yeast. After approximately one hour, you should see your mixture begin to ferment.
Wait for two to three days, and then siphon the mixture via a clear hose into a water jug with a tap. Use the air lock to cap off the wine container, and let it sit.
After two to three weeks, move the wine to a new water jug with a tap. This process is known as racking. Wait for two to three months, and then rack again. In other words, move the wine back to the first water jug. Your wine will look clear and be ready to drink. And as an added bonus, it will have an alcohol content of at least 32 proof.
To sweeten your homemade red wine, add some raspberry juice. Experiment with different amounts of juice to adjust the sweetness to your taste. You can drink it right away, share it with friends, or bottle and cork it.
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Sabrina Ricci is a freelance writer and photographer who recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Communication and a minor in Professional Writing. She has been a writer for the past five years and her work has appeared in publications such as the Daily Nexus, Noozhawk, and Santa Barbara Magazine.