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Try making your wine in your Instant Pot: the taste will surprise you



Making real wine in your Instant Pot? It sounds too good to be true.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

I made real wine in my Instant Pot . I also tasted it and the results were … surprising. Before I reveal everything, here's why I wanted to do this in the first place. It's a handy backup plan if your local wine store has closed its doors for the time being. But honestly, I found it an amusing project to try while observing self-quarantine . All you need is grocery juice from the supermarket, good yeast and sugar, and you're done. That was the theory anyway.

This crazy plan was first conceived a few years ago by intrepid food blogger David Murphy. When I then read about his revolutionary Instant Pot hack, I admitted I was skeptical. I was also extremely curious, because if its procedure really works, it's a game changer for dinners, DIY experiments, and possibly cutting my monthly grocery bill.

And now that the mere act of shopping feels risky I wanted to try it. And after my experience you may also want to. Here's how to get started.

Read more: Wine, beer, alcohol delivery: How to get alcoholic drinks delivered at home

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Collect what you need.


Brian Bennett / CNET

Collect your Instant Pot and Ingredients

At the heart of this process is an Instant Pot with a "yogurt" function. Fortunately, all Instant Pot models (the Lux) have one but one function. So chances are you're ready to go. The main ingredient is grape juice. In this case, I went with a 64-ounce bottle of Welch's concord grape. The next item on the list is 1 cup granulated sugar, along with one packet wine yeast.

I must admit I got a little crazy here. Instead of the recommended red wine yeast, I accidentally ordered champagne yeast. Of course, this is not the end of the world: my vino may have become even better than usual. Some in the home brewing community certainly sing the praises of Lalvin EC-1118, which is often used for brewing mead, ciders and other fruit-based adult beverages.

Rounding off the list, you need a rinse-free disinfectant. In no time, you can also use a bleach solution (over 1,000 ppm) to sanitize your equipment, but that's dangerous. And don't forget a funnel so you don't make a big mess.

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Take a cup from the juice bottle and set it aside.


Brian Bennett / CNET

Clean the pot

Before you start, make sure that the inner pot of your Instant Pot is germ-free. In an ideal world, you should use a rinse-free disinfectant along with a chemical cleaner designed specifically for brewing equipment. Five Star & # 39; s powder brewery wax and Star San sanitizer are good examples.

I used what I had on hand, a spray bottle that I already filled with a bleach solution (1000 plus ppm). Yes, this is risky because bleach is a deadly poison. I do not recommend following this route, but be extra careful if you do. Make sure that your equipment comes into contact with bleach solution for only five minutes. Also rinse all cleaned items thoroughly with water before use.

In my case, I sprayed the inner pot plus the Instant Pot lid and the silicone gasket. After five minutes, I rinsed these items well with water and then dried them by hand with a clean towel. You can be sure that I will use the correct cleansers and disinfectants for my next fermentation project.

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Add the yeast to the bottle.


Brian Bennett / CNET

Prepare for fermentation

Open the juice bottle and remove 1 cup (8 ounces) of juice. Set this liquid aside and save for later. Then use the funnel to add the sugar to the juice bottle. Screw the bottle cap back on and shake for two minutes. The idea here is to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Now open the yeast pack and add half of the contents to the bottle. With the cap closed, gently shake it a few times.

Pour the contents of the bottle into the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Don't forget the juice you saved. Add that to the pot too.

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Pour the juice, sugar and yeast mixture into the inner pot of the Instant Pot.


Brian Bennett / CNET

Start brewing

Put the lid on your Instant Pot and lock it. Set the steam vent valve to Venting . Then press the Yoghurt button and then the Adjust button until the light labeled Less is selected. This will instruct the cooker to operate at a temperature lower than the standard temperature.

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Use the yogurt setting on the "less" setting.


Brian Bennett / CNET

Just wait.

David Murphy recommends a brewing time of 48 hours. He also suggests turning your Instant Pot's steam valve from open to closed every eight hours.

The last step is to return the liquid from the jar to the plastic juice bottle. Before you do that, disinfect, rinse and dry the bottle well. You should also consider the CO2 gas generated by the remaining yeast. An airlock gadget can handle that. Store the bottle in a room temperature-resistant location away from light. The wine solution should remain there for at least eight days or a month. At the moment I am just over a week.

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See. Instant Pot of wine.


Brian Bennett / CNET

The taste test

After 25 days of fermentation in the original bottle, I transferred the liquid into two large (32 ounce), glass bottles with hinged lid . I did this with a autosiphon . I also made sure I sterilized everything first. This process helps clear the wine, leaving most of the yeast sediment at the bottom of the original bottle.

After four days of rest, I couldn't resist tasting a sample. I turned the bottle cap over and poured a few grams of liquid into a good wine glass. Surprisingly, the aroma that hit my nose was very wine-like. The color was bright light red, reminiscent of a young Beaujolais.

What I tasted was more amazing. While there were clear grape juice notes, that fruitiness lacked sweetness. In fact, the wine was dry with the structure of a mild tannin taste. Not so bad. Don't get me wrong, this is not good wine, or even mediocre wine. In fact, I'd rather drink two dollar Chuck. That said, the was real wine and not overly sweet either. I call it a success for grape juice from the supermarket and the wrong yeast.


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