In this article, we will answer the question “Can grape juice ferment?”, and how to make wine from grape juice?
Can grape juice ferment?
Yes, grape juice can ferment. Fermentation transforms the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol-producing carbon-di-oxide as a by-product. The fermentation process is carried out by certain yeast under specific conditions. Wild yeast produces high-quality alcohol during fermentation. But they might introduce some unwanted traits in the wine taste.
Following are the most important things to consider when making wine:
- The temperature of the fermentation tanks
- The type of yeast strain deployed for fermentation
- The sugar content of the must
It is important to maintain a certain temperature during the fermentation process for the optimal activity of yeast and to avoid destroying delicate wine flavors.
How to make wine from grape juice?
Following is the complete guideline to make preservative and additive-free wine.
- A plastic container of 1 Gallon capacity
- A plastic pouring funnel
- Four 1-liter (2-pint) cartons of red or white grape juice with no preservatives
- 500 grams (18 ounces) of granulated white sugar
- One sachet of general-purpose wine yeast
Now the question arises what kind of yeast strain should be used? The answer to this is you must use wine yeast. You can find wine yeast from a nearby brewery.
Now one must ponder what’s wrong with using baking yeast or brewers yeast. After all, both can perform fermentation. However, the products of fermentation and the process are different for both types of yeast.
The former will stop early resulting in too sweet flavor for wine and an immature brew. The latter will result in the production of beer. So, you must be specific with the type of yeast strain.
Process of winemaking
You must use room temperature rape juice. If it was stored in the fridge, let it sit out for some time.
Day 1: Heat the juice and add the yeast
Pour half of the first carton of your grape juice into the empty 1 Gallon bottle followed by 1 tsp of wine yeast. Now cap the bottle and shake it to buggery. After this, keep the bottle in a warm place away from direct sunlight for 1 day.
Day 2: Prepare the sugar syrup
Now you will start to notice bubbling on the surface of the juice. This is an indication that that yeast is working. Now add the other half carton of the first juice in the 1 Gallon bottle.
Secure it with the cap, then back it off half a turn.
Transfer the sugar into a 1-liter coke bottle or any plastic bottle using the plastic funnel. Now fill this bottle halfway through with boiled water. Cap the bottle and shake until dissolved completely.
Day 4-5: Combine everything
Now add the 2nd last carton of the grape juice along with the sugar syrup in the 1-gallon bottle. Give it a mix. Put the cap back on, then, back it off half a turn.
Day 10 or so: Keep an eye on the wine
Now is the time to add one last carton of grape juice into the big bottle. The bottle will be filled just right below its neck. Put the back on, then, back it off half a turn as you did before. Now you have to wait for another 2-3 weeks until bubbles disappear on top that indicates completion of the process.
Final days: chill the wine and enjoy
In the final days, when you do not see any considerable bubbling on the top of the bottle, transfer the bottle to the refrigerator and keep it there for another 3 days. This chills the wine and helps the yeast settle down on the bottom of the bottom.
After 3 days, carefully transfer the wine from the bottle into sterilized bottles or containers. Use a funnel for the transfer and do it in one go without disturbing the sediment.
Drink the wine right after or let it sit in the fridge for several months for more complex and delicate flavors.
Grape juice drinks
- Make concord grape juice by mixing lime, honey, grape juice, and rosemary. It is a very refreshing drink for breakfast.
- Add some grape juice to vodka to neutralize the bitterness of vodka. Add Lime and mint flavor to jazz it up.
- Mix grape juice with lime juice for a bitter-sweet tasting cocktail.
- Mix some grape juice and honey to apple cider vinegar to make it palatable.
In this article, we answered the question “Can grape juice ferment?”, and how to make wine from grape juice?