Making alcohol

How to Make Alcohol from Simple Sugars

Many people find the idea of ​​making their own alcoholic beverages appealing. Fortunately, it’s easy and cheap to make alcohol from table sugar (sucrose). You will need a fermenting vessel, sugar and yeast for fermenting, and the ability to filter the alcohol produced. Once you’ve made the alcohol, you can use it to make liqueur or mixed drinks.

Build a vessel

Use food safe materials.

You should only use food-safe plastic buckets or glass carboys for fermentation vessels. Make sure the lid is also food safe. A jar with a capacity of 28 l enables portions of 21 to 23 l. Keep in mind that you’ll need to stir the contents occasionally, so containers like buckets are often ideal.

leave some space

You need about 6 to 7.5 liters of space in an 8 gallon jar for the foam and gases that form during fermentation. If you don’t leave enough room, the pressure can build up and pop the lid off the jar, causing contamination.

Prepare the lid.

You will need to make a hole in the lid that is the right size for a rubber grommet and fermentation tube. Put the sealing ring in the hole. Then put the fermentation tube on top. Place a rubber grommet around the lip of the lid to create an airtight seal between the lid and the container.

Clean and/or disinfect the equipment.

The fermenter (and the rubber stopper for a glass jar or the lid for a plastic bucket), the fermentation tube and a large spoon should be cleaned and disinfected. Fill the vessel to the brim with a disinfectant meant for brewing and pressing. You can get all of these things in stores that have related accessories.

Ferment the sugar

Determine how much table sugar you need.

More sugar will result in more alcohol as long as the yeast can fully process it. You can use less sugar if you want a weaker result (less alcohol). As a general guide, you will find instructions on how much sugar to use on each yeast packet. If you’re making a double batch, use twice as much yeast (two packets).

Dissolve the sugar.

Stir the sugar into a saucepan of warm water to dissolve. You can use tap water or bottled water. The water should be around 32°C. Use about 30-40 pounds of sugar.

Pour the sugar solution into the jar.

When the sugar is completely dissolved, carefully pour the solution into the plastic bucket or carboy you use as your fermentation vessel. For a 8 gallon jar, pour 1 to 2 gallons of the solution. The yeast breaks down the sugar to produce alcohol. It is not necessary to sterilize the sucrose solution before fermentation, but if you wish, you can do this by boiling the sucrose solution for 15 to 20 minutes. Be aware that some water evaporates during this process, so add more water before cooking.

Add the yeast.

Open the yeast packet and pour it into the sugar solution. If you have a plastic bucket, stir the contents. Use a sanitized, dry funnel to prevent a mess when pouring the yeast into the narrow opening of a carboy. Use a packet of yeast. More yeast can speed things up, but won’t result in a better result. Do not add the yeast to the sugar water until it has cooled. If the water is too hot, the yeast will be killed.

Wait a day

In the first few days of fermentation, the yeast needs most of its energy to multiply. Since this requires oxygen, do not close the lid for the first 24 hours. If you immediately deprive the yeast of oxygen, fermentation takes much longer and can only progress sluggishly.

Put the lid on the bucket.

If you’re using a plastic bucket, press the lid firmly onto the bucket so it’s sealed airtight. This may be a little tricky, and you need some leverage. An airtight seal is necessary for proper fermentation. Fermentation is an anaerobic process, i.e. it takes place without oxygen.

Pour water into the fermentation tube.

If you haven’t already done so, push the fermentation tube into the lid if you’re using a plastic bucket. If you are using a carboy, you should now push the fermentation tube through a rubber stopper with a hole and push the stopper firmly into the bottle’s opening. Add clean water or vodka to the inside of the fermentation tube, allowing the carbon dioxide to escape from the fermentation solution while keeping the air out. The reduction in available oxygen causes the yeast to stop multiplying and start producing ethanol and carbon dioxide.

Let the mixture ferment.

Keep the ambient temperature at 21 to 27°C. This temperature supports optimal performance of the yeast. The yeast should take about two to ten days to produce alcohol. The time required will vary depending on the type of yeast used and the amount of sugar added. It takes longer to fully ferment more sugar.

End the process.

The fermentation tube will bubble up a lot during active fermentation. Bubbling will also subside as fermentation slows down and will stop completely when all or most of the sugar has been fermented. If you’re unsure, let the jar sit for an extra day. When the fermentation is complete, it’s time to filter the alcohol.

Filter the alcohol

Clarify the fermented alcoholic liquid.

After the fermentation is complete, use a clarifying agent such as Isinglass (collagen made from the beluga’s swim bladder) to remove the spent yeast and other materials that may be present. Find sulphite-free Isinglass if possible, as some people are allergic to it. After adding the clarifying agent, seal the jar with the lid, stopper, and fermenter and allow this liquid to clarify for two or three days. Use 0.5 to 1g Isinglass per 19L of alcoholic liquid.

Pour off the alcoholic liquid.

Drain or pour the liquid into a glass carboy or airtight container such as a keg. Leave the unwanted residue in the fermenter. You can also pour the liquid through a filter, e.g. B. a wine filter to clarify the liquid and remove yeast residue. Bottle the alcohol for preservation. Don’t keep the liquor in a carboy for more than a few months, as it can oxidize over time. Filter through a charcoal filter if you wish. Remove unwanted matter with a food-grade carbon filter to further filter the alcohol. If flavorings have been added beforehand, don’t use a charcoal filter as it will likely remove them.

Drink responsibly.

Add the alcohol directly to jungle juice or add flavorings for a liquor. You can also age the alcohol in sealed bottles to enhance the flavor, especially if you’re making liqueur. You can find new bottles in the home brewery accessories. Recycle liquor, wine, and beer bottles, or use mason jars.


If the fermenter is sealed without a fermenter to allow the gases to escape during fermentation, the bucket will explode and most likely make a huge mess. The optimal temperature of the yeast cells for an anaerobic process is 38 °C. You could distill the end product to make your vodka. However, this is quite dangerous as the fumes are flammable and illegal in most countries. You can mix the alcohol with lemonade or fruit juice. For a better taste, you can filter the yeast with a carbon filter.


This crude variant of alcohol will most likely taste awful if you drink it without anything else to mask the taste with. And if you drink too much, you could get a hangover that you’ll never forget. You can only legally manufacture alcoholic beverages if you are old enough to drink alcohol, and there are other laws regarding alcohol manufacture as well. Never forget.


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John Hill

John Hill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including gaming, personal finance, gadget reviews, travel, entertainment, and education. With an extensive journalistic background, he has written for several print and online publications.