It is not often I have a WTF moment in winemaking however today I was introduced to the concept of instant pot wine. You can read the entire post here but personally I have so many issues with this I’m not even sure where to start.
- “This Guy (ME!) Figured out How to Make Instant Pot Wine”
I know he is excited, because making your own wine is exciting and cool but literally nothing he is doing is new or unusual in the grand scheme of winemaking. He has figured out how to use a type of vessel (instant pot) to ferment wine in the most basic sense. He has joined the hundreds of years of winemaking tradition by doing the exact same thing.
If you plan to enter the world of home winemaking (which is also not new!) I highly recommend in investing in a couple of glass carboys and airlocks. It takes the same amount of time as this guy’s wine in the instant pot and is easier and likely much cheaper.
- Sanitizing with bleach!
Please don’t. Please use something a bit more home winemaker and food friendly. SO2 solutions work great for this. So does Vodka. Both are better than bleach. Ugh…
- Ingredients… where to start?
Welch’s Grape Juice (64oz bottle)
There are a bunch of wineries around the US that cater to the home winemaker by storing juice for use in home winemaking. If you insist on purchasing store bought juice make sure it is 100% grape juice and that it doesn’t contain preservatives such as Potassium Sorbate or Potassium Benzoate. Other fruit juices can be tricky to ferment at home so I highly recommend starting with grape based juice until enough experience with fermentation is built up to branch out.
1 cup of sugar (granulated)
There were a lot of comments wondering why you had to add the sugar on this post. The reason would be that grapes for grape juice are not picked at the higher sugar levels as grapes for wine. So if you want your wine to have commercial wine like alcohols the sugar is needed. This process is called Chaptalization after the French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal which was first recorded in 1765. In Roman times, honey was used.
1 packet Lalvin Red Wine Yeast (They also have White Wine Yeast)
There are hundreds of types of wine yeast and they are not just limited to Red and White. Go to your local home brewers supply store or look on Amazon.com. It is widely available.
- DO NOT CLOSE THE VENT!!!!
I’m not sure he really emphasizes this enough but this is a huge safety issue. Yeast can build up a lot of pressure and can cause your instapot to turn into an insta explosion in your kitchen. He actually encourages opening and closing the vent but in reality the vent should always be open. I know the instapot is a pressure vessel but don’t take the chance. Another safety issue with home winemaking is CO2 build up. Please do not put the instapot into a confined space where there is not a lot of ventilation. CO2 build up can also be a hazard depending on the volume of the fermentor.
- Don’t drink a lot of mid-ferment wine.
This can lead to some uncomfortable stomach moments. I’ll just leave it at that.
This is not new.
It has always been easy to make wine at home. Just keep it under the legal limit of volume for home winemaking (200 gals per TTB regulations)
There are LOTS of great resources for home winemakers out there that are better than this DIY in a pressure cooker.