How to make an alcoholic drink at home: a DIY guide to toilet wine (2023)

Goat. He came out of prison. toilet wine. Plum These are all slang terms for homebrew. A practice that emerged during Prohibition in the 1920s, home brewing is still popular with DIY enthusiasts today, and fermenting your liquor is one of the easiest projects you can do at home.

My favorite name for an alcoholic beverage is toilet wine, mostly because of its interesting, if unfavorable, history. The bath wine was fermented in sacks by inmates desperate for a sip of sauce. Usually, the prisoners hid the bags in toilet cisterns during this timeFermentation. The inmates then sift the pulp through a sock and voila! Alcoholic beverage!

Then the prisoners would enjoy, or rather experience, the results of their scientific project. The taste supposedly hit you like hand sanitizer and it wasn't worth it. According to the CDC, many state prisons have filed chargesOutbreaks of botulismof alcoholic beverage. People who tried to get drunk behind bars ended up in a fan or on a platter in the morgue.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't use liquor recipes in prison. The botulism is due to the unsanitary conditions and the number of McGiver-ey interns employed to prepare their drink. The fermentation process itself does not cause botulism. You can ferment your beer at home if you use a recipe from a trusted source and your bathroom doesn't have to be involved.

what will you need

Homemade cachaça requires three simple ingredients: fruit juice, sugar, and some yeast. called plum. You cannot be too demanding in an incarceration situation.

It's also hard to get a packet of yeast in prison, so you might have to settle for a few pieces of bread. Even if it's baked, somebaking breadcan survive. It's the best you've got.

Sugar is also a key ingredient if you don't want your flavored drink to taste like a warhead. Prisoners toss anything sugary at random: Jolly Ranchers, packets of jelly, even ketchup. Once all of those ingredients are combined in a sealed bag, our in-house brewer stores his drink in the toilet flush tank, hoping the guards don't confiscate his science project.

(Video) Simplest way to make booze at home

However, you have the luxury of not being in prison, so let's go into a little more detail about your gear and fresh ingredients:

  • Fresh fruit, freshly squeezed bottled juice or juice concentrate.
  • Plastic carboy if you are a beginner. More experienced individuals may have a special bottle designed for the fermentation process.
  • A packet of baker's yeast or special brewer's yeast.
  • sugar, honey or syrup.
  • Cotton cloth or some kind of filter.
How to make an alcoholic drink at home: a DIY guide to toilet wine (1)

Step 1: Choosing your team

When making homemade moonshine, using a 2-liter bottle of your juice of choice might seem a bit superficial, and to be honest, it is. That's quite the point, if you'll pardon the pun. We never said it was an elegant operation. As long as you clean it well, that old apple juice bottle will do.

Your container should have adequate space for the fermentation process. If you are making a gallon batch of moonshine, use a 2 gallon fermenting container. The carbon dioxide rising from the mixture has nowhere to go. The last thing you want is an exploding lump bottle, which you get when there's too much pressure in there.

Make sure you disinfect your container. If you've heard stories of people getting sick from drinking in prison, it's because the containers were dirty or the ingredients were of poor quality. Don't skimp on clean brewing equipment.

Step 2: Choose the juice for your base

Make sure your fruit is as fresh as possible. It's also okay to use fruit juice or concentrate as long as there aren't too many preservatives that interfere with fermentation. You can use almost any fruit to flavor your alcoholic beverage - apples, oranges, berries and peaches are just a few options.

Recipes vary depending on how you prepare your fruit. You can slice, mash, puree, or heat the fruit until it turns into a mushy concoction called a "must have." As in, you must have it in your drink. In fact, the term comes from Latinwine must, or young wine, the pulp of the grape produced at the beginning of the winemaking process.

The pulp is the basic ingredient in alcoholic beverages, just as barley, wheat or oats form the basis of beer. Some recipes suggest placing the must in a nylon bag to prevent pieces of fruit, seeds, and peel from getting into the container. Think of it like a tea bag for an alcoholic beverage. However, I consider this step optional. I like to let my spice run free.

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Additives can disrupt the fermentation process, so get the freshest juice possible. When adding water, use distilled water instead of tap or bottled water. Our prison liquor makers cannot afford to select additional quality ingredients and settle for old or discarded rotten fruit. No need to rummage through the cafeteria bins.

Step 3: Add the sugar

The amount of sugar added to your drink increases the alcohol content of the prison cake. The yeast feeds on the starch and carbohydrates contained in the sugar. This keeps the yeast alive and busy with fermentation. The sugar also sweetens the mixture.

To sweeten your alcoholic beverage, you can use corn sugar, brown sugar, table sugar, honey, and even maple syrup. It depends on the type of flavor you want.

Of course there is a lot of sugar in it. Alcohol by volume (ABV) refers to the percentage of a beverage that contains alcohol. ABV can also come from fermented juice. Make sure sugar doesn't make up more than ⅓ of the total alcohol content of your mix.

Step 4: Add the yeast

Yeast is the ingredient from which alcoholic beverages are made through fermentation. Pour in baker's or brewer's yeast or pieces of bread if going prison style. The yeast in the bread can survive the baking process, but your drink will take longer to ferment if you go this route. I don't have the guts to try it so I can only speak for the pure yeast method.

Step 5 - Cover the bowl and wait

If your water bottle has a screw cap, don't use it yet. Remember what I said earlier about exploding bottles? You don't want to be woken up at night by the sounds of all your house running flying around the room.

Instead, place the balloon over the top of the bottle and poke a small hole in it. People also used a condom for this purpose. I think it depends on where you are in life. Create a makeshift valve to release carbon dioxide. The balloon also helps you see how much gas has accumulated as the balloon inflates a bit.

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Allow your alcoholic beverage to ferment in a cool place at a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 7 days. Don't hide your drink in the toilet tank or in a hole in the wall behind a Marilyn Monroe poster. Just put it in a closet or in a quiet corner of your basement.

If you decide to use all prison conditions in your fermentation process and use a sealed bag, you have to release the carbon dioxide that builds up every day. If you use a bottle with a balloon, the hole you drilled in the balloon is used to evacuate the gases. If you choose to put the seasoning in a nylon bag, squeeze the bag daily and stir the liquid.

Step 6: Bottle your alcoholic beverage

After your moonshine has fermented for 5-7 days, strain off the remaining pulp and yeast sediment by pouring the mixture into cheesecloth. You may have to do this several times over the next few weeks. The yeast content left in the mix will continue to ferment the drink as long as there is sugar to survive.

Place your homemade moonshine in the fridge overnight to allow excess yeast buildup to settle at the bottom of the bottle. This process is called "cold shock".

The time it takes for a batch of brandy to ferment varies by brewer. Some home brewers choose to ferment their liquor for a few months. If you ferment that long, check your bottles regularly to make sure they haven't cracked or burst from the carbon dioxide pressure.

frequently asked questions

Why are my liquor bottles exploding?

If alcoholic beverages and other fermented beverages release too much carbon dioxide in a confined space, the container may rupture under pressure or explode. This is called a bottle pump.

Bottles are more likely to break or explode if you fill them before the fermentation process is complete. Don't be too eager to bottle your drink. It is better to ferment a little more. If in doubt, leave it out.

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Be sure to strain the yeast sediment well as this is the ingredient that will continue the fermentation process. You may need to filter your alcoholic beverage multiple times to remove any yeast buildup.

Higher temperatures increase the carbon dioxide content in the drink. To avoid bottle bombs, keep your drink in a cool, dark place.

Will drinking make me blind?

Between 1920 and 1933, hundreds of thousands of intrepid rebellious brewers were blinded and paralyzed from drinking home-brewed beer. You may remember this happened to a colleague atwater for elephants.These days, however, you're unlikely to suffer any lasting harm from your homemade brew. It can give you an instant headache, but that will pass.

The blindness and paralysis experienced during Prohibition were likely the result of methanol poisoning. Methanol is very similar to ethanol, a non-toxic alcohol, with one key difference. As little as 100 milliliters of methanol can cause permanent blindness, and if you drink large amounts of methanol, you will surely die.

When we drink ethanol, our body breaks it down into carbon dioxide and water, neither of which kill us. Methanol, on the other hand, converts to formaldehyde. You may have seen formaldehyde among the ingredients in your cleaning products. It goes without saying that you shouldn't drink these things.

Formaldehyde is commonly used in industrial cleaners and as a preservative in the embalming process at funeral homes. Formaldehyde attacks the nervous system, hitting the optic nerve first. Hence the blindness.

When did people start making alcoholic beverages?

Hooch takes its name from the Hoochinoo Indians of Alaska, known for their drunkenness and their homemade drinks made with fermented fruit and molasses.

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Alcoholic beverages appear in history when people are denied alcohol by higher powers, be they legislators, religious leaders or law enforcement officials. It turns out we can be pretty resourceful when we're sober and we don't want to be. One of the most famous examples of power whores came after Prohibition in the 1920s.

During Prohibition, the United States saw a dramatic increase in home stills. People were so desperate for the sauce that they were willing to break the law and even suffer permanent health damage. The main drink in the underground scene during Prohibition was moonshine, which could contain up to 75% alcohol and turn into methanol if improperly distilled.

During World War II, many POWs attempted to convert juice into alcohol while in captivity. One of those clever Brits was fermenting beet jam in a stolen drain. if you sawthe great escapesome POWs make an alcoholic drink with potatoes and distribute it on July 4th. Maybe that's why the document forger went blind.


How do you make toilet wine? ›

But the basic recipe isn't too hard. It includes a few oranges (or canned fruit) mixed with water and sugar. Some recipes also include bread for yeast. All of this is left in a warm place for at least several days to ferment.

How to make jailhouse liquor? ›

Making prison wine is actually surprisingly easy, and all you really need is a one gallon plastic bag, ten oranges, eight ounces of fruit cocktail, some sugar cubes, six teaspoons of ketchup and a towel. The first step is to peel your oranges and toss them in the bag along with the fruit cocktail.

What is toilet wine called? ›

Pruno, or prison wine, is an alcoholic beverage variously made from apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, fruit juices, hard candy, sugar, high fructose syrup, and possibly other ingredients, including crumbled bread. Bread is incorrectly thought to contain yeast for the pruno to ferment.

Can you make alcohol with just water sugar and yeast? ›

Can you make alcohol with just water sugar and yeast? Yes, you can. It would probably be best to also add a pinch or two of yeast nutrient (available at wine or brew stores, or online…it's not hard to find).

How to make wine at home DIY? ›

Steps in Winemaking
  1. Prepare the Fruit.
  2. Sterilize the Juice (Optional)
  3. Add Yeast.
  4. Primary Fermentation (7 to 14 days)
  5. Racking (Move to a Clean container)
  6. Secondary Fermentation (4 weeks to 6 months)
  7. Tasting and Adjusting.
  8. Tertiary Fermentation (optional)
Feb 1, 2023

What is in wine that makes me flush? ›

The resulting acetaldehyde is metabolized to nontoxic molecules by another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). If acetaldehyde is not metabolized efficiently, it can cause release of histamine and thereby trigger flushing and other unpleasant symptoms.

Is there a way to make your own alcohol? ›

The standard recipe for making alcohol is to ferment your chosen berry, leaves, fruit or vegetable in a mixture of hot water and sugar. Allow the blend to cool, add your yeast and leave it for at least a week.

What is the nickname for wine drinkers? ›

Oenophiles are also known as wine aficionados or connoisseurs.

What is slang for cheap wine? ›

Plonk is a term used primarily in Commonwealth English for generally cheap, low-quality wine. It is believed to come from Australian slang, in reference to blanc (the French word for "white"), before it became naturalised in Britain.

What is bathtub wine? ›

A red wine bath (aka vinotherapy) is a spa treatment popularized by Caudalie, a spa brand, that uses wine grape extracts in their products.

What is the easiest homemade alcohol to make? ›

The easiest alcohol to make is probably mead. Making mead is very straight forward but it is not the fastest alcohol to make. If you want to make alcohol that you can enjoy fast, beer is probably the way to go for you. Wine and spirits generally have longer fermenting processes than beer.

What is homemade alcohol called? ›

You may have heard about a cheap, quick way to make a kind of homemade alcohol that goes by many different names, including pruno, hooch, brew, prison wine, and buck.

How much sugar and yeast to make alcohol? ›

Create a simple yeast starter for 5 gallons of mash. Add 1/2 cup of 110 degree water to a sanitized jar. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the water and mix thoroughly. Add 2 packets of yeast (14 grams or 1 tablespoon if using bulk yeast).

What is the most natural way to make wine? ›

In the simplest terms, that process has two parts: growing and picking grapes, and then turning them into wine through fermentation. Natural wine, then, is made from grapes not sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Natural winemakers handpick their grapes instead of relying on machines to harvest them.

How do you make wine in 5 steps? ›

There are five basic stages or steps to making wine: harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and then aging and bottling. Undoubtedly, one can find endless deviations and variations along the way.

What alcohol is homemade wine? ›

Myth: Homemade wine is potent. Fact: Most wine contains from 10 to 12 percent alcohol and that is what you'll get when you use a wine kit. However fermented alcoholic beverages can reach a maximum of about 20 percent alcohol by volume (and that is with some difficulty).

Does red wine clean your liver? ›

However, some contexts link moderate red wine consumption to good liver health. According to a 2018 study , modest alcohol intake, particularly wine, is linked with lower liver fibrosis in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

What does wine do to your bowels? ›

Alcohol can irritate the digestive system and change how the body absorbs fluids. It may change the regularity of a person's bowel movements and could result in either diarrhea or constipation.

Does wine clean your gut? ›

But let's get specific: according to Healthline, moderate red wine consumption has been shown to somewhat improve helpful gut bacteria populations due to the fact that it contains polyphenols, a type of plant compound that gets broken down (or “eaten”) by gut bacteria.

How do you make alcohol step by step? ›

Alcohol is made by putting grains, fruits or vegetables through a process called fermentation. This is a chemical reaction where yeast or bacteria react with the sugars in the other ingredients to produce ethanol (the alcohol in the drink) and carbon dioxide (which can mean the drink has bubbles).

How do you make 100% pure alcohol? ›

In one common industrial method to obtain 100% pure alcohol, a small quantity of benzene is added to rectified spirit and the mixture is then distilled. Absolute alcohol is obtained in third fraction that distills over at 78.2 °C (351.3 K).

What is the simplest alcohol? ›

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol and wood alcohol, is the simplest of the alcohols. The name is derived from the Greek words "methy" (wine) and "hule" (wood). Methanol is is found in wood smoke, and contributes to the odor of wine.

How do you make alcohol at home without a still? ›

  1. Pour the grain alcohol into a 1/2 gallon jar with a lid.
  2. Add all of the blackberries.
  3. Crush the blackberries with a wooden spoon.
  4. Seal the jar and let it sit for 3 weeks.
  5. Shake the jar every other day.

What is the formula for alcohol? ›

ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or alcohol, a member of a class of organic compounds that are given the general name alcohols; its molecular formula is C2H5OH.

What is the best juice for wine making? ›

Any juice will work as long as it does not contain preservatives because they will interfere with the fermenting yeast. The presence of ascorbic acid is not a problem. I prefer to use unsweetened juices and add sugar. Finding juice products that don't contain added sweeteners or preservatives is not difficult.

What is the best fruit to make alcohol? ›

Grapes are the most common fruit used as raw material for alcoholic fermentation.

How long does homemade wine last? ›

Without extra steps, your homemade wine can stay shelf stable for at least a year. If you store it out of light, in an area without temperature fluctuations, and add the extra sulfites before bottling, the longevity can increase to a few years.

Is it worth it to make your own alcohol? ›

Making your own wine is much cheaper than buying bottles from the grocery or liquor store. Once you cover the upfront costs of all the supplies and equipment you'll need to get started, making additional batches can cost as low as $3.00 per bottle. That's a deal!

What do you call a wine girl? ›

oe·​no·​phile ˈē-nə-ˌfī(-ə)l. Synonyms of oenophile. : a lover or connoisseur of wine.

What is a person who tastes wine called? ›

So what is a sommelier, and what do they do? In short, a sommelier (or somm as they're often called) is a highly knowledgeable wine professional who is an expert in every aspect of wine service and food and wine pairing.

What is a funny word for wine? ›

A few wine slang terms to name wine are vino, glogg, and, for fans of the show Community, no-no juice.

What is wine snob? ›

Wine snobs are a special breed of wine-lover who feel the need to proclaim their superior knowledge to anyone within earshot. These are folks who are incapable of getting a casual glass of wine at a bar. They'll never relinquish the wine list to anyone. They pick bottles according to vintage, rather than taste.

What is the word for terrible wine? ›

“Plonk,” it turns out, has its roots in a meeting of cultures – Australian and French. It dates back to World War I, when Australian and American soldiers were in France and drinking undistinguished white wine – “vin blanc” – in the muddy trenches.

What do you call a bad bottle of wine? ›

The term Corked Wine describes a bottle of wine that has gone bad. Another name is Cork Taint. Sad to say, but every so often, you are going to get a bottle of wine that is spoiled. The aroma of corked wine is the tip-off.

Why do you look for legs on wine? ›

The prominence of legs in a glass generally indicates higher alcohol content, and thus a richer texture and fuller body. That's why they're especially prominent in fortified wines and high-proof spirits. It's also known that legs are diminished by chilling a beverage or diluting it with ice.

What is a wine shower? ›

The Wine-Shower aerates and removes sediments as you pour your favorite bottle of wine into your own decanter. This 2 in 1 step process allows the wine to be exposed to more oxygen in less time while simultaneously trapping any sediment that may have developed in the bottle.

What does it mean when wine is soapy? ›

"Some fatty acids produced by yeast during vinification can turn up in the wine as salts: these are called 'soaps'.

What are the 4 main ingredients of making alcohol? ›

Though used in varying proportions depending on the style being made, ALL beer is made from grain, hops, yeast, and water.

What alcohol can you make without a still? ›

Distilling wine is a great option if you want to dip your toe into distillation without running a still.

What is the best alcoholic drink by itself? ›

The best spirits to sip neat, without mixing with anything else, include whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, tequila, mezcal, gin and rum. If you're unsure where to start with these, no worries.
  • Plata/Silver/White/Blanco.
  • Joven/Gold/Oro.
  • Reposado/Rested/Aged.
  • Añejo.
  • Extra/Ultra Añejo.
  • Cristalino.

Is home distilling legal in Canada? ›

Producing and packaging spirits

Under subsection 60(1), a person is prohibited from producing or packaging spirits unless they have a spirits licence. Unlike the production of wine and beer for personal use, there is no exemption for a person to produce spirits for personal use.

What is illegally made alcohol called? ›

Moonshine is high-proof liquor, generally whiskey, traditionally made, or at least distributed, illegally. Its clandestine distribution is known as bootlegging. The name was derived from a tradition of creating the alcohol during the nighttime, thereby avoiding detection.

What is house mix alcohol? ›

A rail drink, also known as a “well drink” or a “house drink”, is a mixed drink made with less expensive, lower-tier liquor. Rail mixed drinks are named after a bartender's “speed rail”, the area or rack right in front of the bartender that holds the most used liquor and mixers, for easy access. Bar & Nightclub.

How many hours does it take for all the sugar to be converted into alcohol? ›

The slurry is then heat treated and sent to fermenters where yeast and nutrients are added, and the sugars converted to alcohol. The fermentation process takes 1-2 days to complete.

How much yeast do you put in homemade alcohol? ›

As a rule of thumb, a 1 liter starter produces enough yeast to properly ferment beer between 5.5% and 7% ABV. If you are brewing a beer between 7% and 9% ABV you can double the instructions above, using 200 grams of extract and add water to make 2 liters.

How long does it take for all the sugar to be converted into alcohol? ›

The organism used for this process is Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer's yeast). The process roughly takes 2-3 weeks to get completely fermented. The time required is dependent on the quality of yeast used.

How is toilet hooch made? ›

Homemade hooch requires three simple ingredients: fruit juice, sugar, and a bit of yeast thrown in. In prison, you juice anything fruity you can get your hands on, such as oranges, fruit cocktails, and prunes, the reason this drink is sometimes called pruno. You can't be too picky in an incarceration situation.

How long does it take to make closet wine? ›

Fermentation takes roughly two to three weeks to complete fully, but the initial ferment will finish within seven to ten days.

How long does it take to make a hooch? ›

The science behind making hooch isn't as complicated as one would think. I mixed about a pound of sugar to every half-pound of paste with some hot water, let it sit for about three to five days, and voilà, hooch.

Is homemade hooch safe to drink? ›

You may have heard about a cheap, quick way to make a kind of homemade alcohol that goes by many different names, including pruno, hooch, brew, prison wine, and buck. No matter what it's called, it can give you more than a cheap buzz. It can give you botulism, a life-threatening illness.

How long does homemade hooch take to ferment? ›

Keep the drink in a cool area, around 50-70 degrees F, to ferment for around 5-7 days. After 5-7 days, strain the solution you made to remove the sediments of yeast and other items from the must.

What percentage is homemade hooch? ›

Store the bottle at room temperature for two days and watch as your boring bottle of juice becomes spiked. The metabolic process converts the sugar to alcohol and leaves you with a 4 - 14% ABV drink, which should make you good and tipsy.

What is the best juice to make homemade wine? ›

Any juice will work as long as it does not contain preservatives because they will interfere with the fermenting yeast. The presence of ascorbic acid is not a problem. I prefer to use unsweetened juices and add sugar. Finding juice products that don't contain added sweeteners or preservatives is not difficult.

What happens if you drink homemade wine too early? ›

You might end up with vegetal flavors, lighter colors, excessive acidity and less concentrated flavors and aromatics. It might also mean a difficult fermentation if the yeast run out of sugar to convert to alcohol. But no poison. That's not to say wines don't have problems—just none of them are toxic to humans.

Does homemade wine go bad? ›

However, homemade wine can get old quickly and expire. Old homemade wine is safe to drink but can be unpleasant to taste. Homemade wine does not expire in the same way as food does. Instead, it simply loses some of its properties rather than going completely bad.

What is the easiest alcohol to make at home? ›

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.

How do prisoners make wine? ›

Prisoners fill baggies with fruits, fruit cocktails, water, sugar, and whatever else they can get, warm it up, and let it ferment for a while. Within a few days, the reaction is complete, and the noxious homemade brew can contain anywhere from 2% to 14% alcohol.

What is the best juice to make alcohol? ›

Any fruit can become wine, but grape juice (and, almost as good, apple juice) have the ideal concentrations to become a happy alcohol accident. Alcohol is the result of yeast fermenting sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Does hooch get stronger the longer it sits? ›

In short, if all of the sugars have been consumed, the answer is yes. The longer the fermentation process takes, the more sugar is converted into alcohol. As more sugar is converted, the resulting beer will feature a higher alcohol content.

Why is my hooch not bubbling? ›

By far, the #1 reason for a wine fermentation to not start bubbling is because of temperature. Wine yeast is very sensitive to temperature… some strains more than others. My recommendation is to keep your fermentation between 70° F.


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