Making homemade wine is a lot easier than most people think, and they can turn almost any type of fruit concentrate into a delicious, natural and soothing beverage that actually has some health benefits as well. If you are going to include alcohol in your emergency stockpile, try to dedicate as much to wine as possible due to their medicinal properties, and the following recipe is a great example of how to whip up a batch in no time.
1 packet of activated dry yeast
1 can of frozen juice concentrate (12 ounces)
4 cups of sugar
3.5-4 quarts of purified water
Make sure that you’re using juice concentrate that is 100% natural and doesn’t contain any additives if possible. This is your core ingredient that will not only produce the flavor of the wine, but it will also add nutrition to the batch as well. Fewer additives also mean there’s more fruit inside, and this is also important for ensuring that the necessary chemical reactions take place that will convert the mixture into wine.
Also consider using quart-sized mason jars instead of one or two large glass jugs for storing the wine. This will reduce the chances of losing all of the wine if the jug gets damaged, and you won’t have to rush to drink all of the contents in the jug after it’s been opened in order to finish it before it turns sour. Quarts are easier to manage, store and access as well. Just make sure that they’re cleaned and sterilized before you begin.
All you need to do is divide equal amounts of yeast, sugar and juice concentrate and add them to the mason jars. Next, add in equal amounts of water until ½ inch of headspace remains. Give it a good stir to make sure everything is blended well, and wipe down the rims to remove any debris or gunk that may have been caught while you were filling the jars.
The next step is to attach a large-mouthed balloon over the rims. The balloons will capture air that is produced as the wine ferments. Just remember to rinse out the balloons before attaching them in order to remove the powder and other contaminants that may be on the material. Use a rubber band to secure the balloon in place.
Place the jars in a cool, dark place that is temperature stable, and expect to let them ferment for anywhere from 6-8 weeks. You’ll notice the balloons will start to inflate within a day or so as the gases expand into the material. The balloons should stay inflated for the majority of the time, but they will start to deflate once the fermentation process is complete. Once the balloons have completely deflated, the wine is ready, and you can remove the balloons and replace them with lids that are screwed on tight.
Ideally, the wine should be consumed immediately after opening, but it should remain fresh for a day or two afterword if you replace the lids. We’re not sure how well the wine will hold up over the long-term since the jars haven’t been sealed in a canner. However, you can experiment with a few batches and get a pretty good sense of what to expect afterward. In any case, this makes for a great addition to any stockpile, and the long fermentation time is definitely worth the wait. Try it for yourself, and share any tips you may have that can improve on this basic recipe.