Humans have been brewing and fermenting alcoholic beverages since before recorded history. While the first alcoholic drink was probably the accidental result of soaking fruit for too long, it was a happy accident nonetheless.
Today many people make their own beer and wine; some even distill their own spirits. The benefits are numerous: it saves money, no unpleasant additives and no duties or taxes involved. However, before you get serious and start investing in the gear to become your own brew master/vintner, here is a little project you can try at home. Have fun.
What you’ll need
These are purely guidelines, in making your own alcoholic concoctions. Change the ratios and ingredients as you see fit.
2 liter bottle of mineral water*
1 liter of fruit juice**
250 grams of sugar
5 grams of yeast
*Preferably you should purchase new, unopened bottles.
** For best results use 100% pure fruit juice without preservatives.
***Sterilize the inside of the balloon with boiling water before using.
Do not let your mix get exposed to air!
Contact with oxygen can cause it to rot, ruining the taste.
1. Empty the bottle of water to 500 ml
2. Pour in the fruit juice and add the sugar
3. Cap the bottle and shake until all the sugar is dissolved
4. Open and add the yeast*
5. Place the balloon securely over the open bottle and store in a warm place
6. When the yeast starts working the balloon will begin to inflate slightly; prick the balloon 4-5 times with a needle to release the gas
7. The mixture will begin to foam heavily for the first 24 hours before calming down and gently bubbling
8. Your booze should take about a week (or less) to ferment.
9. It’s ready when the bubbling stops and a vacuum has been created in the bottle [A sign of this is when the balloon starts to shrivel]
10. Now decant your booze, chill it, and get shit-face drunk… or… Please drink responsibly.
*Any type of yeast will do. Keeping your mixture warm helps the yeast activate and aids fermentation.
Alternate Airlock Design
The ‘airlock design’ illustrated below is a more effective version than the ‘balloon’ method. It stops air from getting in the booze while allowing fermentation gasses to be released. If you have the time it is well worth making!