How to Make Your Own Alcohol

Wine, Liqueur, and Beer Recipes

High angle view of beer in glasses by napkin on wooden table
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Learning how to make your own alcohol from basic ingredients is easy to do: Just gather some equipment, make sure your containers are sterilized and enjoy homemade and low-cost wine, liqueur, and beer. Read on to find out how to make your own hootch.

  • 01 of 03


    Hands Making Wine
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    If you can brush your teeth in the morning, you can make good wine. It's that easy. You just need to understand the fundamentals of the process and be absolutely rigorous about keeping your home-winery spotlessly clean all the times.

    Fermentation is just as simple and easy to undertake as any basic chemistry experiment. A solution called "must," comprised of water, sugar, fruit juice, and fruit pulp is created in a clean container before introducing wine yeast to the must. That's not the baker's yeast used in baked goods; rather, wine yeast leaves no taste in wine and can withstand up to a 16 percent concentration of alcohol.

    To make your own wine, you'll need the following:

    • 8-gallon container
    • 25 screw top wine bottles with plastic caps
    • 2-gallon stainless steel bowl or pot
    • 2-quart, small-mesh sack
    • Nine 1-gallon, small-mouth jugs
    • 1/2 gallon, smallmouth jug
    • 6 feet of flexible, clear plastic tubing
    • Plastic food wrap
    • Rubber bands
    • Hydrometer
    • Thermometer
    • Acid titration kit

    Then, use your kit to brew up any of the following wines:

  • 02 of 03


    Limoncello shots and lemons
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    Homemade liqueur is easy to make and it's a terrific gift. All you need are washed and sterilized bottles or jars, and some cheesecloth, usually found in a grocery store. This is used for straining the fruits or nuts out of the liqueurs which require a cool, dark place for aging.

    The alcohol content is usually about 20 percent to 30 percent for fruit and berry liqueurs, and liqueurs should contain about 1 cup of sugar per 3 cups of finished liqueur. Fruit and berry liqueurs should be stored for at least six months for maximum taste as the flavor gets better during storage. Here are just some of the liqueurs you can create in your home brewery:

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    Home beer brewer adding hops to recipe.
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    Beer is made by using the sugars derived from malted grains, better known as malt extract. You can also buy malt extract, in either dry or liquid form.
    The essence of your beer is the yeast as yeast consumes sugar. It then produces the byproducts CO2 and alcohol. While yeast will “eat” most sugars, malt sugars are ideal for their chemical components.

    If you want to brew some beer to drink with your friends, all you need is a brewing bucket, a bubbler, and a siphon hose. The beer needs to ferment for a week or two. You'll accomplish this by putting your unfermented beer in the bucket, inserting the bubbler into the little hole on top of the bucket (which lets gas to escape without contaminating the beer), and letting it sit. When you’re ready to drink, just open the spigot and pour a glass.

    However, if you want to bottle more beer for long-term storage, it makes sense to purchase a basic home-brewing kit, which consists of the following:

    • 6.5-gallon primary fermenter with lid
    • 6.5-gallon bottling bucket with bottling spigot
    • Cleanser
    • Airlock
    • Siphon and bottling setup
    • Hydrometer
    • Bottlebrush
    • Twin lever capper
    • Thermometer
    • Bucket clip

    Then, try your hand at brewing up such beers as the following: