I get a lot of questions about how to increase the alcohol content in homemade wine.  In recent years, the winemaking industry has made a big deal about fortified wines or wines that border 17% alcohol.  For some reason, wine tasting snobs have decided that wines with slightly higher alcohol content just taste better.

Here’s how you can boost the alcohol content in your homemade wine to almost 50%. (may not be a good idea – but I’ll tell you anyway).

Most of the wine you make is water.  Only about 14% is alcohol.  Alcohol has a much lower freezing temperature than water. So – you can make an “iced wine”, wine that has been partially frozen.

All it takes is to put the bottle on wine in a freezer.  You will first have to uncork it.  Leave it in the freezer for about an hour.  You’ll see some ice begin to form in the bottle. Once it’s “slushy”, just drain the liquid part off and leave the ice in the bottle. Guess what you will have?  Iced wine!  And, if you left in in the freezer long enough, the alcohol percentage will be around 30% (that’s 60 proof!).

People in the northeast have been making “iced apple cider” for a long time.  They make the apple cider, ferment it, and then set the secondary fermenter out in the snow and let it sit for a while.

Then they just bring the bucket or carboy inside and drain out the liquid.  Taaa Daaa!  It’s call “HARD” apple cider and it’s great for warming your nose in the middle of a cold winter.  Here’s another tip:  put some cinnamon in when you are doing the primary fermenting for a spiced hard cider.

Happy Winemaking!