How To Make Grape Wine Without Yeast

Written by Simon in Beer Brewing
Image Credits: Pixabay.com

If you want to know how to make grape wine with very few ingredients then you’ve come to the right place!

In this blog post I will explain how fermentation without added yeast works and give you an easy recipe for some delicious homemade wine.

How to Make Grape Wine Without Yeast? You can make wine without adding yeast, but not without yeast entirely. Yeast is a microorganism found all around us. Yeast is responsible for making alcohol and is a vital part of winemaking. Most fruit has a layer of natural yeast on them which is well suited for natural fermentation of wine.

Continue reading as I get into detail about natural fermentation in winemaking and provide an easy-to-follow grape wine recipe without added yeast!

How do You Make Grape Wine Without Yeast?

Well technically you don’t. You do need yeast, but the yeast you need isn't exactly visible or even physical to the human eye.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a microorganism which is a type of fungi. These fungi are the little buggers which are responsible for the creation of alcohol.

They do this through fermentation, which occurs when yeast consumes sugar due to an absence of oxygen, which turns it into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Why Are Grapes Best for Wine?

The reason why grapes are most commonly used in winemaking is due to their large amount of naturally occurring yeast, which covers the surface of grapes.

When you crush the grapes, the sugary juices immediately gets into contact with the yeast on the surface and reacts to one another and starts the natural fermentation process.

All you really have to do is keep an eye on it and stir it every day for a few weeks, and you end up with some delicious fermented grape juice, which you can then bottle and age to turn into a tasty wine.

Homemade Grape Wine Recipe Without Yeast

Before we get into the actual recipe, it's important to know that making wine and relying on the natural fermentation of grapes can be very hit or miss.

You may not even be successful in creating a natural fermentation process. This can be due to 2 things:

  1. Your grapes weren’t ripe enough, or too ripe resulting in the wrong sugar content, which means the yeast won’t have enough “food” to consume and turn into alcohol. Your wine may ferment a little, but could turn out very bland, tasteless or even outright bitter. 
  2. Your grapes had a lack of natural yeast attached to them. This usually happens if the grapes have been wet recently or you, god forbid, washed them. When you make wine with natural yeast you should never wash your grapes, as this will wash off most of the yeast you need.

Alright knowing this, here's a list of ingredients and equipment I'd recommend using for this recipe:

Ingredients:

Grapes. All you really need for this recipe in terms of ingredients is some properly ripe grapes, make sure you don’t wash them as this can remove some of the natural yeast you need.

(Optional) Honey/Sugar. If you find it difficult to achieve natural fermentation using only grapes, you can add some honey or sugar to help the yeast a little, as well as give a more sweet taste to your wine if you wish.

Equipment:

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Wine Without Using Yeast

Once you’ve gathered your ingredient(s) and equipment you can get started. Follow these steps in order to make your own delicious homemade wine:

  1. Sanitize all your equipment including your bottles. Do this to make sure there is no hostile bacteria that could potentially spoil your wine.
  2. Place your grapes inside your large ceramic or glass container.
  3. Crush the grapes however you see fit, you can use your hands or any tool you feel is able to complete crush the grapes and get all the sugary juices flowing out nicely.
  4. (Optional) Add Honey or Sugar. Adding a few teaspoons of honey or sugar can help your wine ferment if you are having difficulties kicking off the process.
  5. Cover your ceramic/glass container with a cloth and secure it with rubber bands or similar.
  6. Stir your mixture 4-5 times a day for the first period of time. Once you start seeing bubbles in the mixture, it means that the natural fermentation is ongoing, and you won’t have to stir more than a few times a day.
  7. Once you start seeing a slowing down of the bubbling, it means that the fermentation is close to being finished.
  8. Transfer your mixture to your carboy.
  9. Place your Airlock in the opening of your carboy. The airlock will allow carbon dioxide to escape while making sure no oxygen enters your mixture, since this can lead to oxidation which ruins your wine.
  10. Once you’ve let it sit for a week or 2, take a taste sample and see if it is to your liking, if not, leave it for a few more days.
  11. Pour the wine into your choice of bottles and cork them up.
  12. Age the wine for at least a few weeks but preferably a few months to get some good tasting results. Make sure you store the bottles in a dark cold place with little to no sunlight for the best results.
  13. Enjoy! It takes some time, but making your own wine is quite easy, enjoy your tasty homemade wine!

Tip: To make sure your wine is at the alcohol content you wish, you can use a hydrometer to track the alcohol level of your wine.

I hope you enjoyed this quick guide on how to make wine without yeast, and maybe learned a thing or 2 about natural fermentation in the process!

Other Blog posts of mine that might interest you:

»This Is How Long It Takes To Make Wine At Home! 

»Wine Making Kits For Beginners 

»What Happens If Wine Ferments Too Long? 

Related Questions

Is Yeast in All Alcohol? Yeast is the whole reason why alcohol exists and is thereby found in some shape or form in all alcoholic brews or spirits. Yeast takes sugar and consumes it, this creates a mix of alcohol(Ethanol) and CO2(carbon dioxide).

What is Wine Yeast? Wine yeast is bred specifically for alcohol making with a focus on wine. It has enhanced properties, making it able to create higher alcohol levels than regular yeast. Wine yeast also has a higher tolerance level to alcohol, and can withstand way higher alcohol levels than regular yeast.

Is Grape Wine Healthy? Red Wine in particular contains very beneficial antioxidants. These antioxidants may help prevent heart diseases, cancer, blood clotting and can give you a longer life. Remember to only drink small amounts, about half a glass to a glass per day is all you need to reap the healthy benefits of red wine.

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About Us

Hello, my name is Simon. Together with a group of writers I write about brewing beer and making wine. We all share a passion for the great things in life, such as making stuff from scratch.

The business of HomeBrewAdvice is to bring you great information, stories and product reviews from brewing at home, and making wine