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How To Make Alcohol: An Extremely Cheap Fast And Easy Way To Make Decent Quality Alcoholic Beverages

How to

Back when I was in high school, I developed a hobby of making various types of alcoholic beverages from raw materials that I could actually buy legally. This isn’t to say that what I did with them was legal, but I luckily made it to age 21 without ever getting caught.

I started out by fermenting sugar water, which is ridiculously simple and is the epitome of frugality. Eventually, I advanced to making wine from frozen juice concentrates, following a similar process. I will describe both of these methods, providing a basic formula that can be used to make your own variations, if you choose to be creative. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a vintner (or to drunkenness).

Materials

Most importantly, you will need yeast, which is what actually produces the ethanol. There are many types of yeasts, including those that are used specifically for making alcoholic beverages, but they are somewhat difficult to find in most grocery stores. It is much easier and cheaper to just use active dry baker’s yeast if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of quality.

The second thing you will need is sugar, which the yeast will convert into alcohol, once it is activated.

You will also need some type of juice, unless you’re in the mood for some thrifty “sugar wine,” using water instead of juice. Whether you choose to use regular juice (one gallon) or the frozen concentrated kind (two cans), you should make sure that it doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, which would prevent fermentation.

Finally you will need a gallon-sized jug or two and a balloon that can be pulled snugly around the mouth of the jug (I’ll explain that later).

Brewing Process

First and foremost, you must make sure everything is sterile and squeaky clean to avoid bacterial denaturization. If you bought a jug of juice or a gallon of water, then it should already be sterile. Just be careful not to leave it exposed to the air for too long without the cap on.

Next, the sugar must be dissolved. If you are using a gallon of juice, pour yourself a glass to make room in the jug, and add about a cup of sugar to the jug. If you bought the frozen concentrate, thaw it out and add it to a half gallon of hot water, along with two cups of sugar to your jug. If you’re making sugar wine, use more water and about 3 cups of sugar.

After this, the yeast must be activated and added to the mixture, once it has cooled down to about room temperature. You could always take your chances and simply add the yeast packet to the jug, but it would be smarter to follow the instructions on the packet to activate it first. If you don’t know how to do this, just add the yeast to a few tablespoons of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar, and stir it until everything dissolves. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it starts to froth up, then add it to the rest of the jug mixture. Make sure the cap is screwed on tight, then shake it up until everything is thoroughly dissolved.

Now, the balloon comes into play. Slightly unscrew the cap of the jug just enough to be able to let air out, then pull the mouth of the balloon down over the cap and all. Then you will need to poke a tiny hole in the thickest part of the balloon with a needle or something that’s equally thin. When the yeast begins to ferment the concoction, it will start to bubble up with CO2 gas, which needs a way to escape the jug without exposing it’s contents to the air, hence the ballon.

Fermentation

This is the waiting part. Store the jug in a dark place, preferably where it’s odor won’t be an issue.

If you don’t see bubbles rising in the jug by the end of the second day, then it should probably be thrown out. Instead, you should see a steady flow of carbonation rising into the balloon for at least 3 days. This can last for up to two weeks before the alcohol content finally kills off all the yeast. I would not recommend letting it ferment for too long, however, since the yeast causes it to have a bad taste if it’s in there too long.

Once the jug stops bubbling and becomes more clear, or if you would like to stop the fermentation process, leave the jug in the fridge overnight to kill the rest of the yeast.

After a night in the fridge, the jug should be more clear, with a visible layer of dregs (dead yeast) at the bottom. To protect the flavor of your beverage, pour or siphon off the clear portion into another sterile container, leaving the dregs at the bottom. If you want to improve the quality even more, leave it in the fridge another night or two, and repeat the process of separating the dregs from the mixture as many times as you want to.

Secondary Fermentation (Optional)

Now, your drink is officially ready to drink if you would like.

Another option is to keep it sealed to let it age, which will give it a better quality. You could even bottle your beverage and cork it to ensure it ages properly.

Extra Information

You can ferment almost anything, as long as it doesn’t contain chemicals such as preservatives that kill the yeast. Try experimenting with various juices to see how they turn out. Most fruits naturally have a thin layer of yeast covering their skin, usually visible as a fine white powdery substance. If you extract juice from fresh fruit, you might not even have to add any yeast.

If you want your drink to have higher alcohol content, one simple method to do this is freeze distilling. If you freeze the drink for awhile, the water in it freezes before the alcohol, and you can remove the ice portion to make it stronger.

Enjoy! If there is anything else you would like to know about making alcohol, please feel free to make a comment. This is my first article, but I would be happy to share more of my knowledge on this subject if people are interested.

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Comments (89)

My father used to make his own apple cider using a similar method, -except he used a 50-gallon plastic barrel and a watergate glass pipette. -It was very kewl, and made some rockin'-awesome hard cider. ;-)

Chase

I started making this three days ago and it has been fermenting for three days. I have had it under the counter with the canned goods and the odor is not that bad. You can't really smell it until you get right up on the container. So it's not bad at all. Thanks for the information on the making of this! It's awesome!

J

Hey, just wondering, are there any dangers in using this technique? Such as sicknesses, or anything of that nature?

This is a well-written article.

this is very good, unique article. I'll try to make one of my own if time permits.

nice. Im gunna try and harvest me some wild grapes this summer and make me some wine :)

Usef

EXCELLENT article.

So detailed, never saw anything else like it on my search through the web. Starting out so I like being talked to like a 10 year old =D

Thnx

jonjack

is adding too many yeast potentially harmful ?

paul

It is fine to make drinkable alcohol . But one thing is not clear how alcohol get the colour. I got it white . What are materials used

for geting the yellowish colour

paul

It is fine to make drinkable alcohol . But one thing is not clear how alcohol get the colour. I got it white . What are materials used

for geting the yellowish colour

paul

It is fine to make drinkable alcohol . But one thing is not clear how alcohol get the colour. I got it white . What are materials used

for geting the yellowish colour

Troy

GREAT article. Does the citric acid in some fruits kill the yeast?

Ms, chel

hey, i want to try this, but how much yeast do i need to use and would like pineapple juice kill off the yeast because of the acid in it?????

great artifcle though and i am on my way to the store right now to make this,.

Great information. I grow alot of my own fruit. If using brewer's yeast (health food store), how much do I use?

Forrest

Great article. I was wondering how bad the smell is and also does heat have an effect on the product or production? Im thinking of dark places to store it where no smell would interfere but the spots are all in the non-airconditioned areas.

rami

thanx so much for this info but i have question and i hope you could answer me, how much yeast and sugar to add for 1 liter or 2 liters? and how strong the drink can get after you done? it is possible to make drinks that like vodka or whiskey? or stronger? or just beer? big thanx

Wonderful, clear and helpful "to the point" article that compels a response. I must give this recipe a trial run-through along with a few experiments. Thank-you for your article.

bluebunny27

Forget about baker's yeast, you hardly produce any alcohol with that, 1%-2%, not worth it .. .I would even forget about brewer's yeast. GO online and find turbo yeast. A pouch costs 5$ and with that you can make stronger alcohol, 20% - - within a couple of weeks or less, no distillation required. You mix it with juice or soft drink (soda pop) to cut the bad taste. It tastes terrible but it'll get you drunk in no time for a dollar or two.

justin

ive been reading your article, as im interested in making ethanol, my place of work gives me access to loads of waste white sugars, will this work for ethanol production.

sultan

wow i think i well try this

Ali Mughal

i was using bakers yeast to make it... but after all of the process complete's i have drunk it and found 0% of alcohol in it....What does ti happens...?

wait what

i thought that that was just makeing the mash part isnt there methnol in that. that was the same instructions on youtube for how to make mash. then he used a simple sdistiller and said to throw out the first shot glass because it would be methnol and can cause blindness pain and other crap. then the rest is you ethnol (alchol)

you can't use tap water

you can't use tap water in alot of place bc the chemicals in it will kill your yeast so use distilled water if you have that problem

you can't use tap water

you can't use tap water in alot of place bc the chemicals in it will kill your yeast so use distilled water if you have that problem

Jorgen

The article is abaut rigt, you will get a beverage, according to your skill, the hangover will be more or less.

I make all my drinking stuff at home.

Camelian

Doesn't say wht the quantities of sugar to water to yeast are needed? Btw can I get turbo yeast anywhere excpt online?? Email me at pcarnet95@gmail.com

Puggy

For 2 liters use 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 table spoon of yeast.

A gallon is aprox 3.75 liters so adjust the measurements depending on the size of the container you use. I used a 2liter bottle in my case

adolfH.

just made some of this, your all idiots if you cant figure it out.

Jorgen

If you want good turbo, just google "Gert Strand"

Jorgen

If you want good turbo, just google "Gert Strand"

the coon

great idea, started two days ago n it smells strong already like wine, was just wondering if u know about what the alc content is when its finished

alex

hey man i'm interested in making this with a gallon of grape juice. about what would the alcohol percentage be if i use regular bakers yeast? and it is harmful at all?

Puggy

If done good and correctly it should be about 14% just like wine

mike

just takes three days and u can drink?

Alex

i want to try this..but im really worried about getting methanol poising. what are the risks of this actually happening?

jack

It will take about 3 - 9 days to brew completely. Depends on temperature.

The hardest part of the whole thing is transferring liquids from one sterile bottle to another... As you need to keep everything sterile and if you have ADD like myself, you will find yourself remembering how you touched that part of the funnel with your unwashed hands or left that cap on the bottle exposed to just a little too much air and you will find yourself getting fairly worried and annoyed through your fermentation.

So, after a few fermentations and one being ruined by bacteria, I bought latex gloves... Duh right? That sort of helped my anxiety, but there is always that lingering fear that I let that spoon, or this or that touch some unclean surface. Agh. What makes it worse, is that I heard it is not wise to agitate your mixture as that will slow fermentation and increase production of hangover and bad taste causing chemicals.

I wish I could make a few bottles at once, but it smells so bad, my parents would smell it... Yes, I'm underage so what. A few months shy of being old enough to die in a war, but I can't drink any alcohol... *start sarcasm* After all, that would be dangerous. *end sarcasm*

jack

It will take about 3 - 9 days to brew completely. Depends on temperature.

The hardest part of the whole thing is transferring liquids from one sterile bottle to another... As you need to keep everything sterile and if you have ADD like myself, you will find yourself remembering how you touched that part of the funnel with your unwashed hands or left that cap on the bottle exposed to just a little too much air and you will find yourself getting fairly worried and annoyed through your fermentation.

So, after a few fermentations and one being ruined by bacteria, I bought latex gloves... Duh right? That sort of helped my anxiety, but there is always that lingering fear that I let that spoon, or this or that touch some unclean surface. Agh. What makes it worse, is that I heard it is not wise to agitate your mixture as that will slow fermentation and increase production of hangover and bad taste causing chemicals.

I wish I could make a few bottles at once, but it smells so bad, my parents would smell it... Yes, I'm underage so what. A few months shy of being old enough to die in a war, but I can't drink any alcohol... *start sarcasm* After all, that would be dangerous. *end sarcasm*

Jimmy

thanks so much for this, all other sites seem to think that i'm over 21 and can get real brewing equipment

brendan

I followed everything according to the instructions except i put 3 liquid cups of sugar into the gallon of water, so what would the alcohol percentage be/what proof is it?

Colt45

how much water duz it take if u make the kind wit sugar and water? u said more.....but how much more?

Very interesting

dicknballs

Take a 2 L bottle pour in as much sugar as possible until you can't mik it in anymore, buy wine yeast because bakers yeast doesn't work, add the whole pack of wine yeast, about a tablespoon, put a balloon or airlock on it and leave it for 20 days it will be about 20%, siphon it out a couple times. Make sure you do because if you don't it will still bubble and blow up your container. Drink. Sleep. Enjoy

dicknballs

Take a 2 L bottle pour in as much sugar as possible until you can't mik it in anymore, buy wine yeast because bakers yeast doesn't work, add the whole pack of wine yeast, about a tablespoon, put a balloon or airlock on it and leave it for 20 days it will be about 20%, siphon it out a couple times. Make sure you do because if you don't it will still bubble and blow up your container. Drink. Sleep. Enjoy

nig

hey do you think it would work if instead of water or juice you used coffee?

Suresh Kumar.T

The article doesn't say anything about distillation. Pure alcohol is obtained only from distillation. So please say in detail about it also so that the article would be even better .

dbaer

Very helpful information, i just have one question. can you store this in a house or in my case basement with out the CO2 level being dangerous??

odette

When attempting to make it a stronger alcohol percentage, do NOT leave it in the fridge overnight. It will freeze completely. I'm going to try again only freezing for a couple of hours, and maybe then I will be able to scoop off the ice...

GOOGLE ( LinMingLi)

Great article!!

buzzzing

holy crap been making this for a few months yehaww drunkenness

khan

is there no need to collect vapours of alcohal from mixture after fermentation by using a pressure coocker

khan

is there no need to collect vapours of alcohal from mixture after fermentation by using a pressure coocker

poulose

It is better to take vapours by heating the mixture already fermented by any method so that vapour can be collected in a bottle. This is because if you drink the fermented liquid the taste will be very bad. If you capture the vapur the spirit will become strong and also clean to drink . If you can again distill it further the alcohol become more clean and very strong .

nich

do i need 2 use the ballon?

This was a fascinating read! I will bookmark it for a day when I'm feeling adventurous. If this is your first article, I cannot wait to see what you write in the future! Well done!

Petrus

To everyone speaking about distilling and not using baking yeast. Remember the article is titled:

"An Extremely Cheap Fast And Easy Way To Make Decent Quality Alcoholic Beverages"

For me the idea behind this article is that I should be able to walk into my corner shop and be able to buy all the ingredients there and make fairly ok alcohol with no experience of doing so. Once you start having to distill and having to go search for special kinds of yeast this becomes a totally different article.

I've followed the instructions in this article as close as I can. We use litres and not gallons in South Africa so I had to do some guess work with my measurements.

I bought two two litre bottles of pure 100% orange juice with no preservatives, added sugar, added normal bakers yeast, plugged a balloon over the unfastened cap and left it to ferment for three days. After the first day both balloons were slightly inflated and I could see bubbles inside the bottles. This morning I put both bottles in the fridge to kill the remaining yeast.

So I guess tonight I will taste it and see if it is drinkable.

The entire thing (Yeast, juice, balloons and sugar) costed me less than R30. (less than four USD) If I went out to buy four litres of the cheapest alcohol I can find in a liquor store it will still be double the price.

Distilling would have required me to buy / make equipment to handle it and that would have pushed the price up on this experiment not to mention the risks involved. I have no idea where to find special yeast that the wine makers use and don't have the interest to go looking for it. If I decide that I enjoy making my own wine after this then maybe I'll invest some money in a wine making kit.

This article is well written and very informative. Well done to the author.

ps. to the guy in the US that can't drink legally until he's 21: The law in my country allowed me to drink at 18. I only started in my later 20's, but if I was told I'm not allowed to drink by the government I would have started at least by the age of 12. What a stupid law you guys have!

Anon

Hey this is a great article. I plan on making some "water wine" and distilling it with a safer than traditional method I heard about.

For those asking about the colour, Usually when whiskey is made they age the alcohol in wood barrels, the natural wood gives it flavour and the colour you see.

For anyone asking about the safety, It should be safe as long as you kill the yeast. If the yeast isn't killed in the fridge it can come back to haunt you in the form of an upset stomach. I don't know if drinking live yeast is dangerous, best to kill it off in the fridge to be safe.

I plan on distilling mine and making "Prison moonshine", I have been drinking quite a while and know my limits, I know When to quit that is to say. If anyone is thinking of distilling theirs, be very careful and know when to quit. Alcohol poisoning can and will Kill you if you are not careful!

Anon

Hey this is a great article. I plan on making some "water wine" and distilling it with a safer than traditional method I heard about.

For those asking about the colour, Usually when whiskey is made they age the alcohol in wood barrels, the natural wood gives it flavour and the colour you see.

For anyone asking about the safety, It should be safe as long as you kill the yeast. If the yeast isn't killed in the fridge it can come back to haunt you in the form of an upset stomach. I don't know if drinking live yeast is dangerous, best to kill it off in the fridge to be safe.

I plan on distilling mine and making "Prison moonshine", I have been drinking quite a while and know my limits, I know When to quit that is to say. If anyone is thinking of distilling theirs, be very careful and know when to quit. Alcohol poisoning can and will Kill you if you are not careful!

Here is a review about a grea site to make a passive income: http://expertscolumn.com/content/expertscolumn-review-good-passive-income-opportunity-expertscolumn-scam-or-legit I recomed you joining it it has brough me easy earned money and it gives you the freedom to republish your work from other sites too. Check it out you won’t regret it.

Dan

Made 1 1/2 gallons of sugar wine using bakers yeast...took around 2 weeks to ferment but turned out great, probably 11-12% alcohol. It worked grea and was so easy that I'm in the process of making a few more gallons hahaha. I experimented with adding different juice concentrates to mask the shitty flavor, orange juice concentrate definitely works the best, tasted just like a normal screwdriver.

stephen

Interesting article, making achol is a pleasure time here in Ireland and this way sounds great cheers.

Garrett

can u use something other than a balloon?

Jessie

I really want to do this, but I'm under age and I don't know what to do about the refrigeration step and my parents.... how did everyone else under age do it?

kyle

@jessie. i put mine in the garage so that might work for you too

bumzly

this really worked! im drunk on it right nowww

steve

Damm right it works great cheap way to get WASTED

Aku

Is there a danger of methanol and stuff?

sfgdf

swfwe

Jimmy

Hey everybody! Been making my own alcohol now for about 5 years. Interesting article that I can relate to. I used to make my own wine for as cheap as possible. Although now I have an entirely different system, I did find a couple of things that worked very well. I have now been brewing beer and making fine wine ever since.

In my earlier years, I would simple buy a gallon of apple juice and add baking yeast. Store in a warm place with the lid slightly cracked for one week. Refrigerate the night before and serve cold. This produces 1 gallon of 8% wine. If you like beer and the fizz, screw the cap on tight for 3 days and set in the fridge. This produces a carbonated beverage that is delicious. Watch the bottle everyday as the bottle is slowly being pressurized. If it gets to pressured slightly unscrew the cap to release the pressureas it could spring a leak or blow. This will likely not happen if you keep the bottle cold. Yeast work very slowly in the cold and will biuld the pressure slowly. Good luck and be sure to release pressure if the bottle gets very tight. Great carbonated brew.

Aku

Is the yeast supposed to sink to the bottom?

Aku

Is the yeast supposed to sink to the bottom?

Aku

Is the yeast supposed to sink to the bottom?

Dan

@Aku yeah the dead yeast sinks to the bottom. Also there's no methanol because table sugar doesn't have a methyl group.

@Garrett yeah use a condom.

Zakery

for the guy asking if you can use something other then the ballon, try a unlubed condom, might work right lol

Eric

I am on day 2 of making this and theres bubbles at the top and good. I'm jus worrying if i cleaned everything right. I just washed out a just emptied fresca 2 liter and 1.75 cups of sugar and a pack of bakers yeast and the smell isnt that strong and its smells jus like beer mixed with activated yeast. Kinda weird to smell.

Eric

I am on day 2 of making this and theres bubbles at the top and good. I'm jus worrying if i cleaned everything right. I just washed out a just emptied fresca 2 liter and 1.75 cups of sugar and a pack of bakers yeast and the smell isnt that strong and its smells jus like beer mixed with activated yeast. Kinda weird to smell.

Eric

I am on day 2 of making this and theres bubbles at the top and good. I'm jus worrying if i cleaned everything right. I just washed out a just emptied fresca 2 liter and 1.75 cups of sugar and a pack of bakers yeast and the smell isnt that strong and its smells jus like beer mixed with activated yeast. Kinda weird to smell.

Smitty

Just took this stuff out of the fridge! It's quite clear, and I can smell the alcohol. I took a sip, and it takes like sweet yeast, and there is a little alcohol taste, which reminds me of wine. That was so easy to do! Now, it's time to get dickered :)

The contents is coming out the top....is that normal?

can u add extra sugar to make it stronger. and if so would i then need to add extra yeast

can it be done with soda?

will it be more potent if i let if ferment longer?

can it be done with soda?

will it be more potent if i let if ferment longer?

For the people asking about wether fermenting longer or adding more sugar will raise alcohol content the answer is no. If u just let it sit longer it will go bad and could make u sick, i let mine ferment until the balloon goes limp and i get around 15% alcohol, and yes using regular bakers yeast. Adding sugar wont help either since once the alcohol content reahes a certain level the alcohol kills the yeast. If you want to increase alcohol percentage then you just need to spend more money on yeast and buy a hydrometer so you can experiment and track alcohol percentage, the last batch that i used turbo yeast on came out at over 20%
For those of you asking about how to raise alcohol content the only real way to get a significant raise is by buying better yeast. If you leave it sitting longer it will go bad as the yeast dies after so long and adding more sugar doesnt help either since the alcohol produced by this process actually kill the yeast when it reaches a certain level. Also to the person asking about distilation, that is more for moonshine than wine which is illegal. However by distilling the alcohol you make, you will find that it is the best way to significantly raise the alcohol content. It will lower quantity but depending on the distilation process you could end up with 90-120 proof alcohol. Hope thats helpful.

If you need help in making beverages you can easy use cheap resume writing services in this, because there work a lot of specialists. 

for those of you asking about smell, you can just use the ol' stoner trick to keeping your smoke from stinking up the house: just get an empty roll of toilet paper (just the cardboard) and then get some dryer sheets (lavender works great) and then cover one end and tape it down then stuff the inside with 3 or 4 more and put over your baloon and youll bee good to go

Well written article! I've been brewing my beer for 2 years now and I've already delighted a few pals with my homemade party drinks! :) I leveled up a nd started distilling whiskey and other spirits. These guys here have helped me a lot!

i've heard that adding too much sugar will result in making a bomb hypothetically speaking. but honestly, the container will explode

My wine had an alcohol taste but it had a carbonated taste is there something I did wrong? Or is there some way to make it without the carbonated taste?

good.i liked it..u shood even mention further process like-distilation process,how to cleen unwanted particals from wine- clearification,etc..u can even matk brandy out of it....apart from that its awsm explained

could i stop the proces after a week and drink it?

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