We all have that friend who will literally try to make everything in their Instant Pot. This programmable pressure cooker may have begun as the quick answer to weeknight stews and curries, but now people use them for making bread, cheesecake, yogurt, and … wine? Yes, instant pot wine is now a thing. Of course it’s not going to offer the same depth as that bottle of Barolo you’ve been cellaring for a special occasion, but apparently it compares favorably to Two Buck Chuck and other cheap and cheerful favorites. So, if you’ve been curious about home winemaking, why not give it a try? We’ll share the original instant pot wine recipe and offer some suggestions and supplies that will help take it to the next level.
What You Need to Make Instant Pot Wine
All the credit for the original recipe goes to food blogger David Murphy from FoodnService. Everything you’ll need can be ordered right from Amazon, too, so if you’re sitting there enjoying a glass of wine now, you won’t even need to get up from the couch. Just a few clicks and you’ll have everything you need to start making your first batch this weekend.
We’ll start with the critical stuff. Then, after we share the recipe, we’ll suggest a few bonus items that will make the process easier and probably make the wine taste even better, as well. If you try this recipe, please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear what you used and how it turned out for you.
Well, of course! Some people report that you can just use the warm setting on most Instant Pots to make your wine, but the consensus is that the yogurt setting is best because it holds a consistent temperature in the ideal range for fermentation. This Instant Pot DUO has the right settings and is the same model used in the original blog recipe.
Choose one that is 100% juice and unsweetened. Murphy’s recipe involves the addition of table sugar, so it’s best not to start with something that’s already crazy sweet. In theory, you can use regular grape juice or white grape juice.
Ordinarily, wine is made from fermented grape sugars, but Murphy’s recipe gives it a boost with added table sugar. This isn’t the most ideal way to sweeten wine, in part because it can give wine a distinctive table sugar flavor. (Note, you can also try this general recipe using the contents of a winemaking kit. We’ll get more into this at the end of the post.)
In traditional winemaking, grape sugars are fermented by both wild yeasts and added yeasts. (Although wild yeasts can carry fermentation to a point, they’re not terribly hardy or predictable.) For your instant pot wine, buy the yeast most appropriate to the style you’re making.
Instant Pot Wine Recipe
1. Clean your instant pot thoroughly.
We’re not talking just a casual rinse. If there are any traces of food odors or residues, it will definitely impact the outcome of your wine.
Give the instant pot a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Murphy recommends using a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of hot water to fully sanitize. We recommend giving it a thorough clean with hot soapy water, as well. Wipe out the brim and anything else that has had contact with food. Don’t forget about the sealing ring, too. It should be given a good soak, rinsed, and allowed to dry.
For a final rinse, reassemble the pot and fill up the chamber with a cup of water. Cook it on high for 3-5 minutes as a final sanitizing step.
2. Combine the grape juice and sugar.
Murphy recommends moving 1 cup of grape juice into another container. This will make room for the sugar in the grape juice bottle. Put the sugar into the bottle, cap it, and shake it like crazy. It will take a few minutes of vigorous shaking, but you’ll want to dissolve as much of the sugar in the juice as possible.
3. Mix in the yeast.
Next, add half a packet of yeast to the bottle. Then put the cap back on and invert the bottle a few times to mix the yeast into the sugary juice mixture. It should be mixed well, but you can be more gentle than you were with the sugar.
4. Pour the mixture into your clean, cool Instant Pot.
If you pour the mixture into a hot Instant Pot, it might kill the yeast, so be sure to allow to cool a bit after your last sanitizing step. Then, pour the mixture (along with the juice you set aside) into the instant pot.
5. Set up fermentation using the “yogurt” settings.
Close up your Instant Pot, lock the lid, and then set the temperature for fermentation. Select “yogurt” and then “less.” Don’t forget this last part. It’s important to control the temperature so that it doesn’t hit boiling and kill all your yeast. For this step, you should have the vent open.
6. Sealing and venting.
This is where the recipe is a little more hands-on than you might expect. In the previous step the vent was left open to allow all the carbon dioxide released during fermentation to escape. After 6-8 hours, close the vent and let it go for 6-8 more hours. Then open it for another 6-8. Alternate sealing and venting the Instant pot like this for at least 48 hours.
7. Degas the wine.
The original recipe has you move the concoction from the Instant Pot back into the original grape juice bottle, though any container will do. (I would personally use a clean container, perhaps even a carboy as suggested below.) You should cover the top, but do not seal the container. The wine will still be heavily carbonated at this point, bubbling away and releasing gases as fermentation completes.
This is a long step in Murphy’s recipe, since he’s using a natural degassing step. There are other ways of degassing homemade wine if you want to drink it sooner, too, once you’re certain that fermentation is complete.
Murphy said he found the wine to be drinkable after a little over a week of degassing.
Other Tips and Supplies
1. Store the wine in a carboy with an airlock to monitor fermentation.
This is nicer than using an old grape juice bottle. You’ll be able to watch the progress of fermentation with the airlock, as well. These are pretty basic, inexpensive home winemaking supplies.
2. Check progress with a hydrometer.
If you see bubbling in the airlock, fermentation is definitely still happening. If there are no bubbles… well, that’s less clear. You should monitor the progress of fermentation with a hydrometer. This tool compares the density of your wine to water. It will become less dense as fermentation proceeds and alcohol is made.
3. Bottle your wine.
This makes it feel a little more official, don’t you think? You’re a winemaker now! You can even make your own label.
4. Try a winemaking kit.
As much as we applaud the ingenuity of the above recipe, there are lots of winemaking kits on the market these days that will start with better materials and likely give you a tastier product at the end. Some just have all tubing and containers you’ll need, others have the ingredients for making wine. There are also all-in-one kits that make it not much more difficult than the Instant Pot recipe.
Check out our list of the best home winemaking guides for more info and inspiration!