How to Make Your Own Alcohol

Wine, Liqueur and Beer Recipes

Learn how to make your own alcohol from basic ingredients is idiot proof--just gather some basic equipment, make sure your containers are clean, and enjoy homemade and low-cost wine, liqueur and beer!

1
Wine

Hands Making Wine
Kenneth Stoneburg / EyeEm / Getty Images

If you can brush your teeth in the morning, you can make good wine.  It's that easy. You just need to understand the fundamentals of the process and be absolutely rigorous about keeping your home-winery spotlessly clean all the time. Fermentation is just as simple and easy to undertake as any basic chemistry experiment. A solution called "must," comprised of water, sugar, fruit juice and fruit pulp is created in a clean container before introducing wine yeast to the must. That's not the baker's yeast used in baked goods; rather, wine yeast leaves no taste in wine and can withstand up to a 16 percent concentration of alcohol.

To make your own wine, you'll need the following:

  • Eight-gallon container
  • 25 screw top wine bottles with plastic caps
  • Two-gallon stainless steel bowl or pot
  • Two-quart, small-mesh sack
  • 9 one-gallon, small-mouth jugs
  • One-half gallon, small-mouth jug
  • Six feet of flexible, clear plastic tubing
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Rubber bands
  • Hydrometer
  • Thermometer
  • Acid titration kit

 

2
Liqueur

Limoncello shots and lemons
piazzagabriella / Getty Images

Homemade liqueur is easy to make and it's a terrific gift. All you need are washed and sterilized bottles or jars, and some cheesecloth,  usually found in a grocery store. This is used for straining the fruits or nuts out of the liqueurs which require a cool, dark place for aging.

The alcohol content is usually about 20-30 percent for fruit and berry liqueurs and liqueurs should contain about 1 cup sugar per 3 cups finished liqueur. Fruit and berry liqueurs should be stored for at least six months for maximum taste as the flavor gets better during storage.

3
Beer

Home beer brewer adding hops to recipe.
Chris Parsons / Getty Images

Beer is made by using the sugars derived from malted grains. Malt extract is exactly what it sounds like -  sugar taken from malted grains. Malt extract is available in dry and liquid form.

The essence of your beer is the yeast as yeast consumes sugar. It then produces the by-products CO2 and alcohol. While yeast will “eat” most sugars, malt sugars are ideal for their chemical components.

If you want to brew up some beer to drink with some pals, all you need is a brewing bucket, a bubbler and a siphon hose. The beer needs to ferment for a week or two, simply by putting your unfermented beer in the bucket, putting the bubbler in the little hole on top of the bucket (which lets gas to escape without contaminating the beer), and let it sit. When you’re ready a drink, just open the spigot and pour a glass.

However, if you want to bottle more beer for long-term storage, it makes more sense to purchase a basic home brewing kit which consists of the following:

  • 6.5 Gallon primary fermenter with lid
  • 6.5 gallon bottling bucket with bottling spigot
  • Cleanser
  • Airlock
  • Siphon and bottling set-up
  • Hydrometer
  • Bottle brush
  • Twin lever capper
  • Thermometer
  • Bucket clip

 

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