Home / NewTech / Use your instant pot to make wine: a step-by-step guide

Use your instant pot to make wine: a step-by-step guide

Do you create real wine in your instant pot? It sounds too good to be true.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Crazy about noise, you can make wine right at home in your Instant Pot . It is a convenient solution if your local wine store is temporarily closed, but it was a fun project for me to try while the self-quarantine was observed . All you need is grape juice from the supermarket, real yeast and sugar, and you're done. That is the theory anyway. And now it's time to put this crazy idea to the test.

This plan was first developed a few years ago by the intrepid food blogger David Murphy. When I read about his revolutionary instant pot hack at the time, I admitted that I was skeptical. I was also very curious because if its procedure actually works, it's a game changer for dinner parties, DIY experiments, and possibly lowering my monthly grocery bill.

And now that the mere act of grocery shopping is risky I'm ready to give it a try. Maybe you want it too. Here's how to get started.

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Collect what you need.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Collect your instant pot and your ingredients.

The heart of this process is an instant pot with a "yoghurt" function. Luckily everyone has this function except for an instant pot model (the Lux). So the chances are good that you can walk well. The main ingredient is grape juice. In this case, I went with a 64-ounce bottle from Welch's Concord grape. The next item on the list is 1 cup granulated sugar together with a pack wine yeast.

I have to admit that I screwed up something here. Instead of the recommended red wine yeast, I wrongly ordered champagne yeast. Of course, this is not the end of the world: my Vino may even get better than usual. Some in the home brewing community undoubtedly praise Lalvin EC-1118, which is often used to brew mead, cider and other adult fruit-based drinks.

The list is rounded off with a rinse-free disinfectant. If necessary, you can also use a bleaching solution (over 1,000 ppm) to disinfect your equipment. However, this is dangerous. And don't forget a funnel so you don't mess around.

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

Brian Bennett / CNET

Disinfect the pot

Before you start, make sure that the inner pot of your instant pot is sterile. In an ideal world, you should use a rinse-free disinfectant along with a chemical cleaner that is specifically designed for brewing equipment. The Wash powder brewery from Five Star and the disinfectant Star San are good examples.

I used what I had on hand, a spray bottle that I had already filled with a bleaching solution (over 1,000 ppm). Yes, this is risky because bleach is a deadly poison. I do not recommend going this route, but if you do, please be extra careful. Make sure your devices only come into contact with bleaching solution for five minutes. Rinse all disinfected items thoroughly with water before use.

In my case, I sprayed the inner pot as well as the instant pot lid and the silicone seal. After five minutes, I rinsed these items well with water and then hand dried them with a clean towel. You can be sure that I will use suitable cleaning agents 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 of juice. Set this liquid aside and keep it for later. Next, use the funnel to add the sugar to the juice bottle. Screw the bottle cap back on and shake it for two minutes. The idea here is to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Now open the yeast packet and pour half of the contents into the bottle. Shake the cap gently with the cap closed.

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 the brew.

Put the lid on your instant pot and lock it. Set the steam drain valve to Vent . Then press the Yogurt button and then the Customize button until the light labeled Less is selected. This will instruct the cooker to run at a lower temperature than the standard temperature.

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Use the yogurt setting for the "less" setting.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Now, wait

David Murphy recommends 48 hours of brewing. He also suggests switching your instant pot's steam valve from open to closed every eight hours. As I write this, I am in the brewing process for 25 hours.

The last step is to transfer the liquid from the pot back into the plastic juice bottle. Before doing this, make sure the bottle is properly disinfected, rinsed, and dried. You also need to take into account the CO2 gas produced by the remaining yeast. An airlock gadget can handle it. Store the bottle in a place that is stable to light temperature, away from light. The wine solution should be there for at least eight days or a month.

Time will tell.

So will I have something that even comes close to tasting and tasting like wine when everything is said and done? Hopefully that's the case. I will report with my results. In the meantime, I still have nine packages of yeast in the fridge. It would be a shame for them to waste. I see myself brewing mead, cider and even Klingon blood wine in my future.

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