With the help of mineI made real wine at home. I tried it too and the results were … not bad. Before I go into the details, I wanted to do the following. First, it’s a handy backup plan if your local wine store has closed its doors for now. Second, it’s a fun project to try . All you need is grape juice from the supermarket, real yeast and sugar, and you’re done. At least that was the theory.
This crazy plan was invented a few years ago by intrepid food blogger David Murphy. When I read about his revolutionary instant pot hack at the time, I admitted that I was skeptical. I was also very curious because if its procedure actually works, it’s a game changer for dinner parties, DIY experiments, and possibly lowering my monthly grocery bill.
And now thatI was down to give it a try. And in my experience, you might want it too. Here’s how to get started.
Collect your instant pot and ingredients
The heart of this process is an instant pot with a “yogurt” function. Luckily everyone has this function except for an instant pot model (the Lux). So the chances are good that you can walk well. The main ingredient is grape juice. In this case, I went with one 64 ounces bottle from Welch’s Concord grape. The next item on the list is 1 cup of granulated sugar, along with a package of wine yeast.
I have to admit that I screwed up something here. Instead of the recommended red wine yeast, I wrongly ordered champagne yeast. Of course, this is not the end of the world: my Vino may have even gotten better than usual. Some in the domestic brewing community undoubtedly praise Lalvin EC-1118, which is often used to brew mead, cider and other fruit-based adult drinks.
The list is rounded off with a rinse-free disinfectant. If necessary, you can also use a bleaching solution (over 1,000 ppm) to disinfect your equipment. However, this is dangerous. And don’t forget a funnel so you don’t mess around.
Disinfect the pot
Before you start, make sure the inner pot of your instant pot is aseptic. In an ideal world, you should use a rinse-free disinfectant along with a chemical cleaner that is specifically designed for brewing equipment. The Wash powder brewery from Five Star and the disinfectant Star San are good examples.
I used what I had on hand, a spray bottle that I had already filled with a bleach solution (over 1,000 ppm). Yes, this is risky because bleach is a deadly poison. I do not recommend going this route, but if you do, please be extra careful. Make sure your devices only come into contact with bleaching solution for five minutes. Rinse all disinfected items thoroughly with water before use.
In my case, I sprayed the inner pot as well as the instant pot lid and the silicone seal. After five minutes, I rinsed these items well with water and then hand dried them with a clean towel. You can be sure that I will use suitable cleaning agents and disinfectants for my next fermentation project.
Prepare for fermentation
Open the juice bottle and remove 1 cup of juice. Set this liquid aside and keep it for later. Next, use the funnel to add the sugar to the juice bottle. Screw the bottle cap back on and shake it for two minutes. The idea here is to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Now open the yeast packet and pour half of the contents into the bottle. Shake the cap gently with the cap closed.
Pour the contents of the bottle into the inner pot of your instant pot. Don’t forget the juice you saved. Add that to the pot too.
Initiate the brew
Put the lid on your instant pot and lock it. Set up the steam drain valve Vent. Then press the button yogurt Button, then the To adjust Button until the light is labeled Fewer is selected. This will instruct the cooker to run at a lower temperature than the standard temperature.
Now you wait
David Murphy recommends 48 hours of brewing. He also suggests switching your instant pot’s steam valve from open to closed every eight hours.
The last step is to transfer the liquid from the pot back into the plastic juice bottle. Before doing this, make sure the bottle is properly disinfected, rinsed, and dried. You also need to take into account the CO2 gas produced by the remaining yeast. An airlock gadget can handle it. Store the bottle in a place that is stable to light temperature, away from light. The wine solution should be there for at least eight days or a month. At this point, I’m a little over a week old.
The taste test
After 25 days of fermentation in the original bottle, I transferred the liquid into two large (32 ounces),. I did that with one . I also made sure to sterilize everything first. This process helps clarify the wine, with most of the yeast sediment remaining at the bottom of the original bottle.
After four days of rest, I couldn’t resist trying a sample. I opened the top of a bottle and poured a few ounces of liquid into a real wine glass. Surprisingly, the aroma that hit my nose was very wine-like. The color was a clear bright red, reminiscent of a young Beaujolais.
What I tried was more amazing. While there were certain grape juice notes, this fruitiness lacked the sweetness. In fact the wine was dry with the structure of a mild tannin finish. Not that bad. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good wine or even a mediocre wine. In fact, I’d rather drink two-dollar chuck. That is, it was real wine and not overly sweet either. For supermarket grape juice and the wrong yeast, I call this a success.