I know a lot of people who make wine, cider and beer in their closets. I naturally gravitate to people who are seriously into the DIY culture. Making fruit juice cider is the easiest way to make homemade alcohol.
Simple homemade alcohol
Normally alcohol production requires sterilization, precision and large vats of fermenting liquids. Depending on what you want to make it also involves a small chemistry set of sulfite, ph testing strips, a hydrometer, etc.
This simple recipe for fruit juice hooch only requires a bottle of juice and a packet of Champagne yeast (which can be found for cheap at most wine making stores.)
There are only a few tips and tricks for easy homemade fruit cider:
- Add the packet of yeast directly to the bottle of juice, so you don’t have to worry about sterilization.
- Make sure the juice is preservative free (see the example below.) Preservatives will either stop the yeast or slow down the fermentation.
- Use juice that comes in a glass jar because the metal-plastic-wax interiors might be affected by the fermentation. If you want to use tetra pak juice, then transfer it to a very clean bottle for fermenting.
- It’s important to keep out unwanted yeasts and bacteria. Airlocks (affiliate link) are cheap and easy, just buy a bung that fits the juice jug (see below.) Alternatively, you can make real hooch by using a balloon with a single pin hole pricked in it. The pin hole will allow CO2 to escape without letting anything in.
Fruit Juice Cider
It’s easy to make cider from a bottle of fruit juice. This simple homemade alcohol is a sweet and sparkling cider that is so much better than Grandpa’s hooch. All you need is a bottle of juice and a packet of yeast.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 gallon 1x
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Fermented
- 1 gallon of 100% fruit juice (preservative free)
- 1/4 tsp champagne yeast (1/4 package)
- 3 tbsp sugar (optional, see notes)
- Pour out 2 oz of juice from the bottle (to prevent overflow during the fermentation process).
- Sprinkle the yeast into the juice bottle. The yeast should start to hydrate and activate immediately.
- Top the bottle with an airlock. Agitate the bottle slightly to make sure the yeast is mixed in.
- Place the bottle somewhere dark to ferment for 3 to 5 days. A closet or a kitchen cupboard is perfect.
- After 5 days, remove the airlock and replace the original cap.
- Store the jar in the fridge to finish fermenting.
- Every few days open the cap to release the build up of pressure in the bottle. The cider is finished when it is sparkling and tastes good. This is really a matter of personal preference, so taste it every 2-3 days. It will become less sweet and more alcoholic as time goes on.
- Choose a clear fruit juice, like grape, apple or pear. Don’t try this recipe with orange juice or pineapple juice because it causes the yeast to become stringy and it doesn’t ferment as well.
- Without any added sugar, the maximum potential alcohol content of most juices is around 3%. Adding sugar increases the potential alcohol content. Adding 3 tbsp of sugar will increase the alcohol levels to around 5%. However, the original sugar content of your juice will also make a difference.
- If you don’t add sugar, cap the juice after 3 days to ensure you have enough sugar to carbonate the drink. Otherwise, let it ferment for 5 days.
- If you want a dry, wine-like hooch, keep fermenting until the airlock stops bubbling. The resulting hooch won’t be sweet or carbonated.
Keywords: alcoholic, quick, easy, cider, wine, grape, cranberry, pear, apple, pomegranate, hooch, spring, summer, fall, vegan, gluten free, cheap, affordable