What, like that’s weird?
A few weeks ago, in a moment of tremendous prescience, I found myself wondering, “Hm. What would I do if, say, I were to find myself confined to my home for an extended period of time during which I would be expected to work full-time while simultaneously home-schooling two young children?”
The answer, of course, would be to drink.
But then I wondered, “What if, during this sudden home confinement with piles of work and wildly restless small monsters, I also found myself with limited access to said drinks, because Malibu is sadly lacking in things like Postmates and Instacart?”
And then it came to me:
I would teach myself how to make wine. In my INSTANT POT.
Okay fiiiine, so actually what happened was I came across a post about making wine in your Instant Pot, and thought to myself what an extremely bad idea that sounded like, so obviously the next thing I did was buy some Welch’s grape juice and get cracking. It’s a long process – albeit not a super labor-intensive one – but guess what we’ve all got now?
So let me teach you how to make wine in your Instant Pot, too. Why the hell not.
INSTANT POT RED WINE
What You Need:
- Welch’s Grape Juice (64oz bottle)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- Funnel (you can make one with tin foil if you don’t have one handy)
- 1/2 packet Lalvin Red Wine Yeast (the company also sells White Wine Yeast)
- Instant Pot
- Clear packing tape
What You Do:
1. Open the bottle of Welch’s grape juice and remove 1 cup of juice; set aside.
2. Use the funnel to pour the sugar into the bottle of juice. Replace the plastic cap and shake for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the yeast to the bottle, replace the lid, and shake lightly for a few seconds.
4. Pour the juice into your Instant Pot along with the cup of juice you set aside in the beginning. Keep the juice bottle; you’ll need it later.
5. Choose the Yogurt function on your Instant Pot, and set the heat level to “Less.” Leave the vent open so the wine-to-be can breathe.
6. Now’s the part that takes some patience: You’ll need to run the Instant Pot for a total of 48 hours (and my Instant Pot doesn’t allow this, so I had to pay attention and reset it after 24 hours).
7. Recall how the vent started in the “open” position. Every 6-8 hours, alternate opening the lid vent and closing the lid vent (this is an imprecise science in my world, as I do things like sleep; I just alternated the vent whenever I remembered). Over time, it’ll get foamier and foamier, as you can see above.
8. After 48 hours is up, transfer the wine-to-be back into the plastic juice container. Replace the lid, but only gently; if you seal it tightly, the CO2 from the yeast will build up, with explosive results. Don’t explode your wine.
9. Secure the plastic cap on the bottle with the clear packing tape so that it stays loosely in place.
10. Place the bottle in a dark, cool spot, and let it sit there for at least 8 days (I left mine for two weeks, mostly because I forgot about it – but apparently the more time, the better).
First and foremost: I made wine! From Welch’s grape juice! In my Instant Pot!
Come on. That’s pretty cool.
Now for the less-cool news: I cannot in good conscience tell you that this wine is “good,” technically speaking. That would be a stretch. But! It’s completely drinkable – not far off in taste from the two-buck-chuck you get at Trader Joe’s, what with the sweet fruitiness. And I, for one, cannot think of a better DIY project for our current situation.