What Is The Easiest Alcohol To Make At Home

Sometimes you just want a good glass of your favorite alcohol after a long day or week. And the last thing you need is to be told you need special equipment to brew your drink. Luckily for you, there are various kinds of alcohol you can make with a few store-bought ingredients and equipment you most likely have at home. 

So, if you’re looking for a guide on the simple alcohol to make at home, you’ve come to the right place! Below is a list of 5 of the easiest alcohols to make at home. 

Table of Contents

1. Apple cider – from store-bought apple juice

Making apple cider is a great way to use up any excess apples during fall, but you don’t need whole apples to make this drink – apple juice works just fine. Typical hard apple cider has up to 10% alcohol by volume (ABV). Here’s how to make apple cider using apple juice. 

What you’ll need: 

  • 5 liters of 100% preservative-free apple juice
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp pectin enzyme (optional) 
  • 2 Glass Carboys
  • Brewing sterilizer
  • 1 packet of cider yeast
  • Airlock and bong
  • Siphon and tube
  • ½ tsp natural apple flavoring

To make: 

  1. Pour the juice into a sterilized carboy.
  2. Pour the sugar and pectin enzymes. The enzymes reduce cloudiness in your drink. Close the lid and shake well.
  3. Pour the yeast, close the jar and shake well.
  4. Put the airlock and bong in place of the lid.
  5. Let the cider sit at room temperature for a week.
  6. Using the siphon and tube, decanter the cider into the second carboy. Make sure you don’t pull up any yeast sediments.
  7. Place the airlock and let the contents rest for 4-8 weeks at room temperature. During this time, the cider will clear up.
  8. If you want to add more sugar, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of a zero-calorie sweetener and stir. The yeast won’t eat up the sugar. Adjust the sugar to the desired sweetness.
  9. Using a siphon and tube, transfer the cider into bottles.

2. Gin – by infusing store-bought vodka/neutral

Gin is made from a neutral spirit (ethanol) because the spirit is odorless and flavorless. This gives distillers enough room to play around with any botanicals (mainly juniper) and flavors that would like to be carried over to their final drink. Because vodka is a neutral spirit diluted with water, it makes it easier to replicate gin at home using ingredients you can find at your local store. Here’s how to make gin at home.

What you’ll need: 

  • 1-liter vodka
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1-2 cardamom pods
  • 1-2 tsp coriander

To make:

  1. Wash your orange and lemon with warm water to remove any wax. Peel the fruit without getting to the albedo (white part under the skin).
  2. Pour out a shot of vodka to make room for the botanicals.
  3. Using a funnel, add the herbs and spices. Put in the peels.
  4. Close the bottle and shake well. 
  5. Let it sit for a week.
  6. Check the progress of your gin by taking a sip of your drink. If the taste is to your liking, then you can strain the liquor into bottles using a cheesecloth placed on a funnel. 

TIP: You can play around with other herbs and spices like angelica root, licorice, cinnamon, lavender, mint, fennel, and grains of paradise. 

3. Lemoncello – Just Vodka and Lemons

Lemoncello is a vibrant yellow, sometimes green alcoholic beverage made in Italy. It’s often served ice cold and as a dessert drink. The traditional drink uses honey as a sweetener because grain sugar wasn’t readily available in old Italy. 

Nowadays, sugar is used as a substitute for honey. Neutral spirit is preferred because of its pure nature, but a bottle of triple-distilled vodka works just fine. Here’s how to make a bottle of Lemoncello at home.

You’ll need:

  • Peels of 10 lemons
  • 1-liter vodka
  • Glass jar
  • Bottles
  • 1kg sugar

To make: 

  1. Wash the lemons with warm water and wipe them with a warm damp cloth. 
  2. Peel the lemons, ensuring you don’t peel the white part. 
  3. Put the peels in the glass jar and pour in the vodka. Let it sit for a week to a month.
  4. Make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in 1 liter of boiled water. Allow the syrup to cool completely, then add it to the jar with the lemon infusion. 
  5. Stir well and place in the refrigerator for a week. 
  6. Bottle and store.

4. Beer – from a kit of malt extract

Making beer is an easy way of getting into the craft of distilling. You don’t need to use all-grain to test the waters because there are readily available kits ideal for crafters of all levels. Here’s how to make beer at home. 

What you’ll need:

  • Grain kit 
  • 14 liters water
  • Spoon
  • Thermometer
  • Fermenter
  • Brewing sanitizer
  • Camden tablets (only if you’re using tap water)
  • Anti-foaming agent (optional)
  • Stainless steel pot

To make: 

  1. Heat the water on a stovetop up to 160°F (71°C).
  2. Add Camden if you’re using tap water.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Put a steep bag inside the pot, and pour the grains in. Tie the bag. Let the grains steep for 20-30 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bag from the pot and place it in a bowl. Make sure you don’t burn yourself.
  6. Turn on the heat and let the liquid boil. Once boiled, remove the pot from the hot plate. 
  7. Stir in the liquid malt and continue stirring until no malt is left at the bottom.
  8. Put it back on the stove and boil on medium heat. 
  9. If you’re using anti-foaming agents, add three drips to prevent the contents from boiling over.
  10. Following the time indicated in the kit’s instruction manual, add the hops according to the stipulated intervals. 
  11. Add the dry malt and any other ingredients included as instructed in the manual.
  12. Allow the boil to cool completely, then pour the boil into a fermenter.
  13. Top your beer with 21 liters of water (or as instructed). Mix well with a sanitized spoon. 
  14. Take a gravity reading. You should get a reading of 10.6.
  15. Add the yeast and place the fermenter in a room with a temperature of under 20°C (68°F). Let the wash ferment for up to two weeks.
  16. Once fermented, bottle and store in a cool place.

5. Mead – If You Can Find Cheap Honey

Honey is a highly fermentable product, which’s why it works as a great base for mead. Sometimes fruit, herbs, and spices are added to the final product to enhance its flavor. Mead often has 3-20% ABV and can be enjoyed still or sparkly. Here’s how to make mead at home.

What you’ll need:

  • 1-gallon water
  • 2 pounds honey
  • 2.5g wine, champagne, or bread yeast
  • Brewing sanitizer
  • Glass carboy or fermenter
  • Hydrometer
  • Airlock
  • Siphon and bong
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Potassium sorbate

To make: 

  1. Sanitize all your equipment to prevent any bacteria from spoiling your ferment.
  2. Pour honey and water into the carboy.
  3. Put the bong on and shake well until all the honey’s dissolved.
  4. Using your hydrometer, take a gravity reading. If you get a reading of 10.6, you’re ready to add the yeast.
  5. Cut open the packet of yeast and add it to your mix. Shake well until. 
  6. Add yeast nutrients.
  7. Place the carboy in a dark room and allow it to ferment for a week.
  8. Take a gravity reading. You should get a reading of 1.00 or below 1. This means the fermentation process is complete.
  9. Using the siphon and tube, transfer the wash into a clean carboy. Make sure you don’t suck up any yeast sediments.
  10. If you want your mead to be sweeter, you can add more honey. But first, stabilize the mead so the yeast doesn’t feed on the honey. You can do this by adding a teaspoon of potassium sorbate and letting it sit for 24 hours.
  11. Add a cup of honey (or more, if desired). 
  12. Shake well, and bottle into sterilized glass jars.

Conclusion

Making your own alcohol doesn’t have to be a financially constraining task. Most of the ingredients and equipment are readily available on the market at a reasonable price, so you’re able to enjoy your liquor in no time. The only major factor would be time, but, as the saying goes, good things take time.

This leaves you with a good quality product you’ll be proud of and wouldn’t mind sharing with friends. Why not try out one of the alcohol recipes mentioned in the post? 

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