Plain canned or bottled juices can be transformed into an intoxicating punch in just two or three days by applying home wine making methods. You will probably not need to purchase anything else because the tools needed are common household odds and ends. This is the most economical way to prepare for a party. With just a few cans of juice, the lively punch can go around with more than enough for everyone.
The equipment for home wine making
If you have a five-gallon glass or plastic jar in your house, you can use that to ferment the juice in. Glass is preferable for home wine making to plastic on account of the fact that you can’t be always sure that the plastic container will not enter into a chemical reaction with the juice.
How to tell? Examine the bottom of the plastic container and look for something that looks like three bent arrows forming a triangle. The number inside that triangle is the resin identification code for the plastic used in your container. Unless you see ‘2’ inside the triangle, that container is probably not safe to use for home wine making.
HDPE is the only kind of plastic usable in home wine making. It is odorless and practically inert under normal conditions. Its resin code is ‘2.’
Some potable water (not distilled) is another thing you need to have for home wine making. The substances in water that keep yeast active are destroyed once it has been distilled and no fermentation will take place.
You should buy your juice fresh squeezed by the grower and from stands that have coolers. Once home, place the juice in the coldest nook of the fridge. You could also freeze it. This is a measure that prevents bacteria from consuming the sugar that your yeast will work on.
For home wine making, you will also need sugar, a spoon, wine yeast, some balloons and sturdy rubber bands.
What to do for easy home wine making
The first thing is to thaw the juice. Once thawed, use a clean funnel to transfer it into your container. If your juice is not sweetened, add into the container two-thirds of the amount of sugar recommended on the label of the juice. Close it and shake the contents until you are sure the sugar has been dissolved. Set the container aside and start working with the yeast.
Start the yeast fermenting by simmering it in some water. When it resembles thin meal, it is hydrated and ready to be poured into the mixture. Use teaspoon of yeast for every 12 ounces of juice.
Once the yeast is hydrated, place the cooking vessel in a tub slightly filled with tap water, taking care not to let the water into the pan. When the yeast is cool enough, mix it into the fermenting jar.
Cover the mouth of the container tightly with one of your balloons and secure the balloon with one or to rubber band(s). Prick the balloon several times in different places with a pin. This will produce the holes through which the gases of fermentation can escape.
Wait some minutes to see if fermentation is taking place. If it is, the top of the balloon should expand. After a day or two, the balloon will fall back in place and you have completed your home wine making project.
Extract the wine from the vessel of fermentation, using a rubber hose, into another container. You can age it further into wine or drink the punch immidiatly.
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