When it comes to a discussion on what the easiest alcohol to make is, many people are surprised to discover that making almost any type of alcohol is a relatively simple and straightforward process. The fact is with the right ingredients, equipment, recipe, and instructions, anyone can make pretty much any form of alcohol they wish without much trouble at all.
Having said that, there is no question that some types of alcohol can be easier to make than others but overall they are all quite simple once you understand the basic principles involved..
In this post, we will rank some of the more popular styles of alcohol in order of how easy they are to make and also provide you with instructions and resources to help you make them for yourself…
The Easiest Alcohol to Make
Most would consider mead to be the easiest alcohol to make, however as straightforward as it is to make mead it is not the easiest. The easiest alcohol to make is fermenting fruit juice. It is not the highest quality alcohol by any means and may not taste the best, but it will do the trick when you are in a pinch and is very simple to make.
Simply buy a bottle of your favorite fruit juice and a packet of dry yeast. Any fruit juice will work as long as it is 100% pure fruit juice. As for the yeast, it is recommended to visit a homebrew shop to buy it, champagne yeast is what is typically used, however, bakers yeast will also work.
You will also need an airlock of sorts to let the CO2 gas created during fermentation out, while not allowing oxygen in. Since you are going to ferment the alcohol in the juice bottle itself, you can either use a standard homebrew airlock used for making beer or wine as long as you can find a stopper that will fit your juice bottle, or simply use a balloon with a pinhole in it.
To begin we recommend removing approximately 2oz of the juice from the bottle, which prevents an overflow of what is referred to as krausen (foam) during the fermentation.
Next, add the yeast, you only need approximately ¼ of a tsp spoon of yeast, you can add more if you want a higher alcohol percentage, however, keep in mind the higher the alcohol the less sweet the finished product will be, this is because the yeast eats the sugars in order to make the alcohol.
Once you have added the yeast, fit the airlock or balloon in place over the mouth of the bottle.
Next, place the bottle in a room temperature location in your home and let it ferment. Fermentation should be completed within 4- 7 days. When there is no more activity happening within the bottle it will be ready to drink.
If you want it to be sparkling or carbonated after it has finished fermenting, put the original lid back on for a few days so the gas can build back up somewhat. It is important to make sure fermentation has completed before putting the cap back on or you risk overpressurizing the bottle and having it explode.
When it has finished carbonating, store it in the fridge. When serving we recommend you drink it out of a separate container or glass, this is because there will be a build-up of what is referred to as trub at the bottom of the bottle, pour the liquid slowly and on an angle into your glass so as not to disturb the trub and have it end up in your glass. Trub is not harmful to drink but does not taste or look very good.
Some people call this drink hooch, however, that is not an accurate statement as there is more involved in making real hooch and it has a superior taste to simply fermenting a bottle of juice. This post will show you how to make hooch.
The Second Easiest Alcohol to Make
The next easiest alcohol to make would be mead. Having said that it is important that we preface it by explaining we are referring to traditional mead in its simplest form which is just honey and water. There are numerous types of mead with varying levels of difficulty when it comes to making them.
If you simply want to brew up a batch of mead like it was originally brewed in ancient times and enjoyed by civilizations such as the Vikings it is as simple as simply picking up 2 – 4 pounds of honey, warming the honey up a bit so it is easy to mix, adding it to a container (fermenter) and mixing it with 1 gallon of warm water. Stir it until thoroughly mixed and add yeast. Put the cap on the container and put an airlock in place so the CO2 can be released. Fermentation will be completed in 10 – 14 days.
In regards to the best yeast to use for mead, dry wine yeast will suffice and for a 1-gallon batch use 2 grams.
The following are step-by-step instructions on how to homebrew mead.
Another easy alcoholic beverage to make for people who like mead is a drink called Braggot, it is one part mead and one part beer. Recipes for braggot vary in difficulty from simply mixing a store-purchased mead and beer together in a glass to brewing one up from scratch.
Wine is Also an Easy Alcohol to Make
Wine is made by fermenting grapes (or other fruits), and while it does take some time, it’s not difficult to do. There are kits available that come with everything you need to get started, including the minimal equipment required. A wine kit comes with a big bag of grape juice and yeast as well as some fining agents to help clear the wine.
All that is involved with making wine is pouring the bag of grape juice into the fermenter, adding some water, pitching the yeast, mixing it up, putting the lid on the fermenter, and letting it ferment. Fining agents are added as per the instructions on the kit and are the only reason we say making wine is not quite as easy as making mead because adding the agents involves one extra step. But besides that, they are almost identical in how they are made.
Making Beer Varies in Degree of Difficulty
Although beer is certainly one of the easiest alcoholic drinks to make. It can vary in degrees of difficulty depending on how you brew it.
The easiest way to make beer is to simply buy a beer kit, these kits are basically a can filled with what is called malt extract, which is basically a syrupy mixture that looks like molasses.
To make the beer you simply pour the contents of the can into a fermenter, add water and the yeast, and mix. Put the lid with an airlock on your fermenter and let the beer ferment for 10 – 14 days. Some of the more popular beer kits are coopers homebrew kit and Mr beer. The following Mr beer instructions will show you how easy it is to make beer with these sorts of kits.
The next level of making beer is called partial mash brewing and although still quite easy does involve a few additional steps. Instead of only using malt extract the brewer also adds some specialty grains and hops into the mix. At this level you can also buy beer kits with all of the ingredients required; Brewers Best Beer kits make some of the best beer at this level and are relatively easy to make.
Last up when it comes to making beer is learning how to brew all-grain beer. This is where you make beer from scratch, and though it is not difficult once you learn the process there is a bit of a learning curve involved, and does take some time to perfect, but it is well worth doing so as the quality of the beer is superior at this level.
Easy Strong Alcoholic Drinks to Make
If you’re looking for something stronger than mead, beer, or wine, then making spirits is another option and surprisingly they are relatively easy to make. Spirits are made by distilling fermented grains or fruits, and while it does require a bit of equipment, it’s not overly complicated. There are many recipes available online for making different spirits, however, the basic principles for each of them are the same.
Corn Liquor – or commonly referred to as moonshine is one of the first spirits most people start out making. Once you learn how to make corn liquor, making any other spirit is simply a matter of changing the ingredients and recipe.
Vodka – is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world and also one of the easiest to make at home. All you need is some grain (rye, wheat, or potatoes), water, and yeast. Once you have fermented the mixture, like corn liquor you will distill it, and voila, you have homemade vodka.
Gin – is very similar to vodka, except that it is flavored with juniper berries (and sometimes other botanicals) during the distillation process. If you want to make gin at home, simply follow the same instructions as for vodka, but be sure to add juniper berries (and any other desired flavorings) during distillation.
Whiskey – is a bit more difficult to make than vodka or gin, but it is still relatively easy compared to other alcoholic beverages. To make whiskey, you will need grain (rye or wheat), water, yeast, and a charred oak barrel. Ferment the grain mixture and then distill it before aging it in the oak barrel; after a few months of aging, your homemade whiskey will be ready to drink.
Rum – is made from sugarcane juice or molasses and is typically distilled in copper pot stills. To make rum at home, simply follow the instructions for vodka (or gin), substituting sugarcane juice or molasses for the grain.
Brandy – is made from fermented fruit juices or fruit-based wine and is also usually distilled in copper pot stills. To make brandy at home, follow the instructions for vodka (or gin), substituting fruit juices for the grain.
Making your own alcohol at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you’re just getting started the easiest alcohol to make is fermented fruit juice, followed very closely by mead, wine, and beer from kits. Making all-grain beer and learning to distill your favorite spirits is also relatively easy to do once you purchase the required equipment and learn the process.
P.S. If you want to make your own beer be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub. Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Cheers!