A Poor Man’s Guide to The Creation of Ghetto Wine

published by jjw0911 on Oct 30, 2009

Here, I’ll tell y’all how to make some of me favorite wine: The ghetto kind. Not only is it delicious (I’ve been told mine’s better than store-bought and expensive wines by a friend who happens to be a connoisseur) but it is readily available, as well as cheap as hell…

    The process of turning fruits, sugars, and other fermentable things into wine is a long one, starting thousands of years ago and surviving through the ages thanks to the Greeks, Romans, and other lovers of this fine beverage.  Many would tell you it’s a long and complicated process, having undergone those thousands of years of refinement, making it a very complicated thing to do.  Don’t believe it!  I’ve made quality wine in a milkjug with concentrated grape juice and some bread yeast.  Those ‘connoisseurs’ of the fine wines would call this butchery, even madness.  I call it delicious.  And highly alcoholic.  This is how the college kids of the hippy days did it, and it’s served me well!

    Before you can start making this godly drink, you have to first understand the basic chemistry behind it.  Sugars, over time, are dissolved by various bacteria (namely yeast), producing two bi-products:  Carbon Dioxide (C02 to you science geekoids) and ethanol, one of the most holy of mind-altering substances.  Booze.  Alcohol.  Whatever you deem necesary to call it, it is made by the yeast eating the sugar, and pissing the alcohol.  Simple!  The objective here is to make favorable conditions for these little microbes to thrive in, so the process is quick and painless.  A good thing about yeast is that, since they are quite competetive, they kill off most other bacteria, making this a relatively clean process, given you cleaned everything beforehand.  So clean everything involved before even starting!  This is quite important.  Also keep in mind you can multiply the amounts of the ingredients and use bigger containers to make much larger amounts of wine!

    For my particular brand of ghetto wine, I used the following ingredients for a one gallon batch:

  • About two cups sugar (add more or less, but know if you add too little, the yeast will starve.  Too much, and it will be waaay too tart after it is done)
  • Three cans of concentrated juice of your picking (Nothing citrus-based – That’s oranges, limes, lemons, etc.  These lower the PH too much, making the wine…  Bland.  And it might not even work)  Suggested flavors include the age-old grape, strawberry, peach, and anything else you can think of which sounds good.  For a viking touch, use honey instead!  A couple of pounds would work.  Then you’d need less sugar, though.
  • Some yeast.  bread yeast worked fine for me, but it’s up to you.  Winemaking yeast, as well as brewers yeast would probably work better.  But it’s not so ghetto, and slightly more expensive.  Up to you.
  • Warm water to activate yeast, more on that later
  • Six cans of water to fill out the remainder of the jug.  It is concentrate, after all.

    Next come the utensils, containers, etc.:

  • One gallon jug.  Milk jug works fine!
  • Balloons, which are to be used as a one-way valve to allow C02 out, but no air in.  Poke 4-10 holes in one and leave it aside temporarly.  One could also rig a hose into some water to allow the C02 to bubble out, but this is more complicated.
  • Measuring cups for sugar.
  • Bowl for yeast to activate in
  • Funnel to pour it all into the small opening at the top of the jug
  • Hose to siphon it all out when you’re done
  • Rubber band for securing balloon at the top

    I can’t stress enough that you need to clean all of these things as well as you can before using them.  Even if they’re already clean!  You don’t want your wine to be dirty or infected, do you?  Hope not.  On to the instructions!

  1. Clean everything!  Told you I couldn’t stress it enough…
  2. Thaw juice and pour into jug through funnel.  Pour 2 cans water per each one can concentrate in as well.
  3. Measure out 2-3 cups sugar, and do the same.
  4. Activate yeast by pouring one packet into a bowl of warm water, stir for a second, and let sit until it bubbles massively. 
  5. After this happens, pour into jug and put top on.  Shake violently for about thirty seconds.
  6. Immediately take top off (No, the cap hehe)  Put that rubber band over top so it holds it on securely.  If you haven’t popped holes into the balloon yet, do so now. 
  7. Don’t remove balloon until you feel you wanna drink it.  I’d say MINIMUM of a week, mine tasted good after that.  Two weeks later, I tried it again.  MUCH BETTER!
  8. When you DO remove the balloon, siphon using a (three foot?) hose by placing the jug above where you are moving the fluid to, preferrably a large bottle or something which will hold it all.  Siphon all out except the layer of dead yeast, or dregs, which is usually about a half inch above the bottom.  These won’t hurt you, but thick wine isn’t as delicious as clear wine.
  9. At this point, either drink, or rack (Let sit for a really long time)

    I hope you enjoyed my ghetto guide to making ghetto wine.  Use it well, and get tanked!  That’s what I did!  It all comes down to a gallon of wine (unless you have more than one batch, or upped the volume) for about $3 a bottle.  And you can make it as good or ghetto as you want, retaining that basic price.  Good luck and have happy times!

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