Raise a Glass: Apfelwein.


The start of the fall season coincides with the start of apple season and its associated joys: orchards, warm pies, hot cider, and cider donuts. Around this time of the year, I also love making apfelwein (apple wine) at home. If properly timed, you can make enough apfelwein to host a small party in a couple months. You could also bottle it up to give as a holiday present. Check out the recipe after the jump and get to brewing now!

Apfelwein Recipe


  • 5 gallons 100% (pure, no additives) apple juice
  • 2 lbs. corn sugar/dextrose (You could use more if desired. The more you use, the more alcohol you will get.)
  • 1 packet of Red Star Montrachet Wine Yeast

Other Supplies: (available at any homebrewing store or on Amazon)

  • 1 carboy (At least 5 gallons; we used a 6 gallon carboy)
  • 1 drilled rubber stopper
  • 1 airlock
  • Sanitizer (We used Five Star San No Rinse Sanitizer for brewing)
  • 2 funnels
  • Scissors


Clean and sanitize the carboy, scissors, and funnels. If you’re using the Star San No Rinse Sanitizer, it’s ok if there is some foam left inside the carboy. The foam is harmless to the final product.
Using one funnel, add about 1/2 a gallon of apple juice to the carboy. With the other funnel, add 1/2 to 1 pound of corn sugar to the remaining juice in the plastic container. Shake the container until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add this mixture to the carboy. Repeat this process until all your sugar is mixed into liquid (don’t use more than 4 gallons of juice to do this, though).

Add more apple juice until the carboy is almost completely full. Note, if you have some foam left in the carboy from sanitation, you may need to wait a little bit for the foam to subside before adding more juice. If using a 5 gallon carboy, you can usually pour about 4 1/2 gallons of juice into the carboy with 2 to 3 pounds of sugar.

Once the carboy is filled, very carefully (!) shake the hell out of it.

Sanitize the yeast packet, rubber stopper, and airlock. Cut open the yeast packet and sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid in the carboy.

Fill the airlock with sanitizer (you could also use vodka to fill it) and attach it to the carboy with the rubber stopper.

Let the carboy sit at room temperature for at least 6 weeks. (You could let the liquid ferment for even longer depending on the alcohol content you desire. Our friend has been letting his apfelwein sit for six months… but I’m not sure I have that kind of foresight and patience!). The liquid is not light sensitive, so you can store it in any location in your house. Just know that for the first week or so, the fermenting liquid will stink up that general area. Don’t panic– this is normal.

Once your fermentation time has elapsed, bottle or keg the wine, chill, and enjoy.

– j.


2 thoughts on “Raise a Glass: Apfelwein.

  1. Engineer L says:

    This was a really cool tutorial! I’ve always wanted to try brewing my own beer or making my own wine. Sadly our apartment is too small for this at the moment, but I’ll have to try it at some point.

    • fivesouth says:

      Thanks! Yes, I recommend giving it a try once you have the space for it– it’s a lot of fun! When I moved into a bigger apartment two things I invested in were a bigger bed and wine-making supplies (lol, priorities)

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