How to Make Apple Wine At Home: A Complete Guide
Apple wine, also known as ‘Hard Cider’ is considered to be one of the oldest fermented drinks dating back to centuries ago when the art of wine making was discovered.
The process of making apple wine is fairly simple and easy to follow. It basically involves adding yeast to apple juice that kick-starts the fermentation process; turning the juice into alcohol.
Although apple wine and hard cider are not quite different from each other, the alcohol percentage of both the beverages vary.
Hard cider has an alcohol percentage of 5-7% approximately while apple wine has a slightly higher percentage of 12-14% since there is a significant amount of sugar added to it. In this article, we will discuss the different methods used to make apple wine along with a simple recipe that you may follow to make delicious apple wine at home using basic ingredients and easy-to-follow techniques.
In this article, we will discuss the different methods used to make apple wine along with a simple recipe that you may follow to make delicious apple wine at home using basic ingredients and easy-to-follow techniques.
Various Methods Used For Making Apple Wine At Home
For starters, apple wine can be made using three methods – ranging from the simplest to the most conventional methods. The conventional method is the most difficult method of making fermented apple wine. The tedious process includes picking fresh apples, juicing and fermenting them. The process may be slow and time-consuming but it is definitely the most rewarding of all.
The second method involves buying unfermented apple cider or juice that is widely available at the local farmers markets and supermarkets. Lastly, great tasting apple wine can also be made with the help of a modern ‘cider kit’. These kits make cider making a fuss-free, convenient process and are available from various home winemaking suppliers and stores.
Now that you know all about the different methods used for making excellent apple wine, here is a simple recipe that you can follow to make apple wine at home.
Get Started On Making Homemade Apple Wine
If you’re going to make your very first batch of homemade apple wine, here is a list of ingredients you’ll need.
- 1 gallon of unfermented apple juice
- 1 cup of sugar
- A funnel
- Additional ingredients for flavoring: brown sugar, raisins, cloves and cinnamon sticks
Above: Making apple cider wine part 1
Step By Step Instructions
- First and foremost, make sure the funnel you are using is really clean. Start off by pouring out two cups of apple juice to make space for sugar and any additional foam that may rise to the surface when the juice begins to ferment. You can choose any type of apple juice but bear in mind, the more high-end ingredients you use, the better the end result will be.
- Now put in the funnel and add one cup of sugar into the juice. This will set in the fermentation process since yeast produces alcohol when it feeds on sugar. Since apple juice is already sweetened, you can choose not to add extra sugar and only the yeast if you prefer drier, less sweet wine. If you want your wine to have a lower alcohol percentage, leave out the sugar and only add yeast. You will be able to drink the wine after a few days while the yeast is still working.
- If you like your wine to be sweeter, add two or more cups of sugar depending on how sweet you want it to be. To give a spicy flavor to your apple wine, you may use brown sugar instead of white sugar. Now close the lid and shake the preparation until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- The next step involves the addition of yeast. Simply pour the yeast into the apple juice and tilt the bottle upside down and then right side up a few times. As far as the quantity is concerned, you will need only one packet of yeast. If you have a jar of yeast, only use one teaspoon. Bread yeast normally serves the purpose but if you want your apple wine to taste great, you may use white wine yeast which is readily available at wine shops.
- Last but not the least, don’t forget to add spices if you want a rich, full bodied flavor. You may add 10-20 raisins to keep the yeast healthy along with a cinnamon stick and 1-2 cloves. Your apple wine preparation is ready.
- Now you must airlock the bottle to allow the wine to ferment. This is where the balloons come in handy. Take off the lid, poke a few holes in the balloon and stretch it over the mouth of the bottle. As the yeast kicks into action and ferments the wine, it will release carbon dioxide. The balloon will let the gas escape while keeping unwanted foreign organisms from mixing in the wine.
- If you want to make apple wine more professionally, you may use an airlock available online and in stores. This does a much better job and will improve the overall quality of your wine. However, it is not necessary and you may use balloons to do the trick as well.
- Now let the wine sit for 2-3 weeks at room temperature or slightly above. After a day or two, you will notice small bubble rising to the surface and the balloon will be standing up. The balloon will become limp after 2-3 weeks with no bubbles at all. At this point, the wine should not have a sharp pungent smell. If it smells bad or strongly of vinegar, toss it out as this is a telltale sign that the wine has gone bad.
- When making apple wine, remember to use a plastic bottle or container and glass bottles may crack or blow up if the fermentation process starts again. If your wine doesn’t taste as sweet, you may add more sugar to it. This will reinvigorate the fermentation process and add flavor to the wine as it matures.
We hope this recipe provides clear step-by-step instructions to get you started with making apple wine at home. If you’d like to watch the actual process on video, please click on the following links.
Above: Making apple cider wine part 2