Introduction: How to Make Super Cheap Homebrew Kool Aid Wine/Alcohol/Kilju

Brewing your own alcohol is one of the easiest thing that you can do at your home. If you like aged wine or other fancy alcoholic drinks, this recipe will not fit for you. But if you are into cheap ways to get drunk or planing to throw a party without much money, this is the best instructable for you.

This recipe will be using very basic materials that can be found in any kitchen, without needing to go to a brewing store. Kool aid wine produced this way should cost less than a dollar for a liter depending on the price of sugar in your country. I've developed this recipe from the articles I've read about pruno (prison wine), kilju (Finnish alcohol) and kool aid wine in general.

Step 1: Materials Needed

You will need

  • - Sugar
  • - Water or fruit juice
  • - Kool Aid packets (for flavor, add it if you are not using fruit juice) (optional)
  • - Bread yeast (you can use champagne yeast if you can find, its better, but optional)
  • - Balloons or fermentation lock (optional)
  • - Plastic water bottles (In this batch I've used a 1.5 L bottle. But you can use 10 liter bottles or even 19 liter bottles, there isn't a limit)


Step 2: Preparing the Sugar-water Solution

First step of preparing kilju is to establish a sugary solution by heating water and then adding sugar. Sugar water ratio must be 3:10. So if you are using 1 liter water you must add 300 grams of sugar, as 1 L water is 1000 grams. If you are using fruit juice, look at the nutrition facts on the juice carton. There must be written how many grams sugar the juice contains in 100 ml. It is usually between 15 and 25 grams, so add 50-100 gram sugar per liter, so that sugar content will be 30%. Stir the water sugar mixture until it becomes transparent again.

If fruit juice is being used, be sure that it doesn't contain additives to prevent bacterial/fungal growth, as this will kill the yeast too. Also never use a juice that contains artificial sweeteners rather than sugar as main ingredient. Yeast can't ferment them.

Around half of the sugar that will be used by the yeast will become CO2 and the other half ethanol as a byproduct of energy production (for more info check "Biochemical process of fermentation of sucrose" on Wikipedia). This means that at the end you will have c. %13-15 alcohol at max (here is a calculator for possible ABV). There is a limit for yeast to tolerate alcohol % so adding more sugar wouldn't yield more alcohol at this point

Step 3: Adding the Yeast

Pour 100 ml of your sugary water mixture into a small cup. Cool it to 36-38 C, around your body temp, and then add the yeast. Dry yeast, instant yeast or fresh yeast could be used as it doesn't matter. Wait 30 minutes or so and you should be seeing some bubbling. Then when your main kilju cooled to 38 C pour the yeasty water in sugary water.

I didn't want to visit my local brewery shop, so I'm using the yeast for bread making. Although they are the same species ''Saccharomyces cerevisiae'', champagne yeast is better compared to baker's yeast because it has a higher alcohol tolerance so it can survive in even 17-18% alcohol. Traditional yeast will die in %14-15.

Step 4: The Balloon

An airlock or balloon could be used to protect against contamination. If you are using a balloon, pierce 2-3 small holes with a pin and put the balloon where the lid of the bottle. The balloon should rise after 1 hour or so.

Although this methods are good at protecting your batch, they are actually not needed and optional. If you don't have nay of those just don't seal the cap of the bottle too hard and be sure that air can go out. If you don't close it enough, there can be invaders like fruit flies, who contains vinegar bacteria, a bacteria that turns ethanol to acid, and contaminate your mixture. If you seal it too much it will explode because of the gases. Because of that it should be sealed very loosely to allow gases escaping, but should be tight enough to allow some minimal pressure formation in the bottle.

Step 5: Waiting

Wait around 2 to 3 weeks until your product stops fermenting. If you can't see or hear any bubbles forming and/or cloudy kilju has become more clear, as the dead yeast settled down at the bottom, the fermentation process is over.

You should be seeing the whiteish sediment at the bottom. If you want a more refined drink just pour your now alcoholic kilju in another bottle and try not to transfer these sediments at the bottom. After waiting a day or two there could be a new yeast sediment layer so that this process can be repeated again. After 2-3 days there should be no longer cloudiness in the wine and it should be be somewhat clear.

Step 6: Flavoring

Flavoring is optional but if you try to taste the kilju, you might find the taste quite terrible and dry. Kool-aid can be used as a cheap and effective flavoring agent. Apart from adding sweetness and fruitiness to the kilju, koolaid can also mask the cloudiness (as I haven't waited yeast to settle at the bottom in this batch) and add color. Flavor choice is fully optional but I like to use grape or orange.

Step 7: Final Product

Congrats, you have just made kool aid kilju/wine!