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Basic Wine Making



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Basic Wine Making

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Even though many people today consider wine as a recreational beverage, it had many important uses in history.   Surprisingly enough, wine and vinegar are not especially difficult to make, nor is it expensive to get started. You can also use a range of different fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your wine recipes. While wine making is becoming a lost art, it is one of the more important ones for preppers.  


Reasons to Know How to Make Wine and Vinegar


From being used as a carrier for medicinal herbs to killing off pathogens in water, wine can still be used for these purposes.  By the same token, vinegar also has many important uses that range from medicinal to cleaning.  Here are  few other ways that wine making can serve you well now, as well as during and after a major social collapse:

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  • Did you know that modern commercial wines are made with pesticide filled grapes and other ingredients that are as full of toxins as many other foods on the market today?  When you make your own wine, you get to choose the ingredients.
  • unlike many other foods and medicines, wine can stay in the bottle for years on end and  improve with age.  This makes medicinal wines very important during times when other remedies may be unavailable.  
  • No matter where you  live or where you travel during and after a social collapse, you can expect problems obtaining clean water.  While there are certainly many methods for purifying water, it never hurts to have some wine onhand to use as a precaution.  
  • As people look for medicine, clean water, and even a beverage to help them relax, you can rest assured that your skills and products will be in heavy demand. Historically, the wine trade has always been a valuable one. You can easily barter wines for many other necessities, and be in an industrial category that will one of the leaders as society rebuilds.  This, in turn, is something you can pass to your children and be assured many generations of success long after you are gone.


Basic Equipment and Supplies


Over the years, I’ve seen wine making setups that are as traditional as wooden wine kegs, and as simple as a few empty gallon wine bottles and a stock pot.  Others have made the process even more simple by using unprocessed apple cider and let it set on a sunny window to let it ferment.  That all being said, if you plan on making small batches of wine with a good taste or medicinal value, there are some essential basic tools:


  • fruit preparation equipment (optional) – this can include anything from an apple corer to a fruit crusher or cherry pitter.   
  • Cooking vessel with cover for fruit, sugar, and other additives
  • Strainer or Straining Bag
  • container for wine fermenting stage 2
  • Hydrometer – used to determine the alcohol content of wines.  You can use this with food sugar content charts and sugar addition charts to create more predictable alcohol contents for each wine you make.  
  • Decanter for serving wine (optional)
  • towels, ladles, and stirring aides
  • siphon (optional)




  • plant matter (fruit or vegetable) and herbs – you will need 3 – 4 pounds of plant matter for every gallon of wine
  • sugar or honey
  • brewer’s yeast (or baker’s yeast if brewer’s yeast is not available.  (If you use baker’s yeast, the alcohol content will be lower. If you advance into making a still, then you can always concentrate the alcohol as much as you want.)   
  • bleach


Choosing Foods to Make Wine and Vinegar


When it comes to choosing the best foods for making wine and vinegar, you must start out by understanding what you want to achieve. For example, if you are interested in making a vinegar with the most medicinal properties, you would more than likely choose apples. On the other hand, if you are interested in making a medicinal wine, you might consider elderberry, currants, or other fruits and herbs that lend themselves well to this purpose.  


By the same token, if you are after taste, or a wine that might serve well for neutralizing bacteria in water, then you might go with recipes that yield more alcohol.  Insofar as making wine purely for taste or celebratory purposes, you can choose just about any fruit. You can use the following sites to learn more about the sugar content of differ foods:


  • Sugar types and how they work in wine as well as most popular fruits for wine making.
  • Some vegetables you may want to try for wine making. As you can see, many of these recipes also include fruit and sugar additives.
  • Vodka – this guide will also help you figure out how to manage foods that have higher starch content, and therefore require an enzyme phase before fermentation.


Preserving Yeast and Mother


Both wine and vinegar require special bacteria that convert either sugar (yeast converts sugar into wine), or alcohol (mother converts alcohol into vinegar) into carbon dioxide and a second “waste” product that is of interest to you.  If you allow wine to ferment long enough, and put enough sugar in it, eventually the alcohol in the wine will kill off the yeast culture.  


As you may be aware, “yeast washing” is common in beer making, and it can be used successfully for generations on end because the alcohol content in beer is much lower.  If you are going to preserve yeast for wine making, I recommend setting aside one separate fermentation tub for each raw ingredient (example a separate one for dandelion, apple, etc), and use less sugar (or add more water to the mash) so that the fermentation process stops at an alcohol content similar to beer.  This will give you a yeast that can be salvaged, and also will help you produce, over time, yeast strains, that may be more effective with different foods based on pH.


Insofar as preserving mother for vinegar, you only need to keep a bottle of unprocessed vinegar as you would under normal conditions.  Later on, when you make vinegar, just keep using the mother that collects at the bottom of each bottle.  


Basic Steps for Making Wine and Vinegar


Some will tell you that you don’t need a mash stage for fruit wines, while others will still use it along with Campden tablets for killing off wild yeast and other bacteria.  I have always used a boiled stage (no Campden tablets), as has been done in my family for generations.    


  • Start off by sterilizing all equipment and bottles with bleach and rinse thoroughly.  
  • Choose and gather the fruits or vegetables that will be used for making the wine. Different fruits will have the best sugar levels depending on the time of day that you pick them.  Use only the best quality, peak fresh fruit or vegetables.
  • Next, prepare the fruits for boiling.  You can throw grapes in whole. Other fruits, such as cherries, peaches, apples, plums, oranges, lemons, and pears must have the seeds, pits, and skins removed.  At this stage, don’t be overly concerned about cutting the fruits up too much.  
  • Add sugar (based on the recipe) and water to the fruit and let boil until the fruit breaks down to a fine mush.  Let the mush come to a rolling boil for at least a few minutes so that all bacteria, fungus, and other microbes are killed off.  I use boiling protocols similar to what I might use for canning.
  • Refrigerate the boiled plant material until it is cool enough to handle.  
  • Once the fruit, sugar, and water are cool enough, go ahead and take measurements so that you know how much more sugar or acid to add for the sake of the flavor you are after. Make adjustments as needed.
  • Add  yeast and let ferment in a warm location for about 4 – 5 days.
  • Take a nylon bag or other fine mesh strainer and run the must through it.  Discard any skins or pulp that are left behind.
  • Pour the must into a sterilized wine bottle and put the cap on loosely.  Watch for the volume of bubbles in the wine to slow down or stop. This process will usually take 3 to 4 weeks, but you can leave the wine in the same bottle for years on end if you wish, just remember to tighten the cap.  
  • When you are ready to use the wine, decant into a clean, sterilized bottle and leave the sediment behind.  
  • If you want to make vinegar, just go ahead and pour the wine into a wide mouthed jar.  Add mother from unprocessed vinegar and put some cheesecloth on the opening of the bottle.  Put the mixture in a dark, warm place for a few weeks, and it will turn to vinegar.  


Wine making can be a lot of fun, as well as profitable and useful.  For preppers, being able to make wine  using simple methods and a minimum of ingredients is very important. When you need to purify water, or need to preserve herbs and food, you will find that being able to make wine and vinegar are both extremely important.  


*A Scott Hughes Original for Freedom Prepper.

**Feature picture from Mother Earth News.

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Writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom ​​and​​ ​​more​​ ​​​​at​​​​.​​ ​​His weekly National Affairs Column - never a dull read - appears at The Piedmont Chronicles​​​​. THE SUBSTITUTE​​ is his first Novel. He​​ ​​is​​ ​​still none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.


Excellent Ideas from an Experienced Survivalist to Homestead in an Apartment



After watching the 1999 romantic comedy, ‘Blast from the Past,’ I had always wondered about the genius of Dr. Calvin Webber who managed 35 years in an underground shelter. His wife gave birth to an only child Adam, who ventured out into the outside world for the first time in his 35th year. The point is the film convinced its viewers very realistically that it is possible to live isolated for at least 35 years if we make meticulous plans. 

History is overloaded with numerous examples of self-sufficient lifestyles. Many communes had developed their norms to survive and maintain law and order within their secluded lands. There are many anecdotes about people living their lives without interacting with the external world. The “Lena and Ole” compilations are based on Norwegians who chose the upper lands of the Midwest as their foster homes. Here is a one-liner, 

“Ole painted the barn in July and had put on two jackets because the user manual of the paint said- Put on two coats!”

This is an inadvertent simple joke that has no ill intentions. Will Rogers once said, “Everything is funny as long as it’s happening to someone else.” Homesteading is no easy task. At the same time, it is a style that has no substitute once you get used to it. 

The Age of Information

Our generation is blessed with information at our fingertips, I mean, literally. Today a shepherd boy living in a remote African village has more information on his smartphone than was available only to the President of the United States at a certain age. My point is that the film ‘Blast from the past’ could not be conceived today nor would Ole put on two jackets to paint the barn. Homesteading is fine for people who live on “land,” but what about the inhabitants of apartments? 

The Homesteading Lifestyle

What happens in a homestead that is independent of the outside society? The inhabitants have the necessities within the confines of their boundaries for a decent existence. Let us have a look at the methods used by homesteaders to live. First we need to define the term in simple language.

An individual, a family, or a whole society can live within the set geographical limits of a designated area. We are talking about homesteading in an apartment, so let us focus on an individual or a small family. 

Definition of Homesteading in an Apartment

A single-family existing within the household compound of an apartment building to live, work, and earn can be defined as homesteading. 

This layman’s definition will give rise to a lot of questions which we shall be attempting in the content that follows. 

OK, let us now get on with living our dream life homesteading in our apartments.

A Farm Inside the Apartment

I will begin by growing my food and advance on to sophisticated produce along the way. Start small by growing your salad bowl.

i. Get hold of enough grow bags or containers. Search the net for required sizes and DIY ideas.

ii. Prepare the soil by using proper potting mix.

iii. Tomato is a good option- cherry tomato would be my suggestion. 

iv. Other plants for our salad bowl should be lettuce and basil plants. 

v. Take care of the plants with good nursing practices. Place them on the balcony where there is enough sun.

vi. Carrots can be grown inside car battery covers in the interior of the apartment.

vii. You can make organic fertilizer at home. 

You are now the proud owner of an organic farm. 

Tip: Grow lights can substitute for the sun.

Other Items I Can Grow

Once you get the hang of interior farming, we can move on to other crops. 

Strawberries: They can be grown in containers or grow bags, but need a hydroponic watering system. We will discuss that later. 

Herbs: Mints, lavender, and rosemary are good choices. They will come in handy to prepare a good cup of hot tea. They can also be used to make soaps and oils. Herbs will add flavor to many dishes. 

Micro Greens: With some quality seeds you can begin. The first harvest will provide seeds for the next. 

Sprouts: With a jar and some cheesecloth or mess top we can grow our sprouts for a stir fry or sandwich. 

A Hydroponic System

Even if you are growing food using containers and potting soil, a hydroponic system will let you increase the quantity. It avoids a lot of mess as it advocates a system of soilless farming. They come in compact designs or vertical configurations. 

They can be bought or constructed by learning the numerous DIY strategies available online. 

Manufacture Manure at Home

Organic fertilizer can be made at home by the clever utilization of food waste. Get a container with a good lid. Put some gravel and soil at the bottom. Introduce worms for worm composting. Empty all bio-degradable garbage into the container. You will get enough environment-friendly fertilizer for the farm. This method frees you from the chore of taking out the garbage. 

Tip: Do not expose the manure cans to sunlight. It can cook worms. 

Grow Mushrooms

Did you know mushrooms are grown only indoors for industrial farming? Get an edible mushroom kit to begin your first batch in a dark corner of your apartment. 

Meat On The Table

Did you wonder for a moment what crazy idea I was going to put forth? Quails!

They are very silent birds that need only very little space. They give a lot of eggs and quail meat is way above chicken, beef, and pork in its health advantages. Quails being small birds, need only a little feed, and kitchen scraps go well with them. 

Mini Solar Power House

Did you know solar panels don’t require direct sunlight? They need good lighting and it is advised to install the panels at a good spot on the patio or balcony. 

Depending upon the capacity of the panels, you can increase the number of appliances that run on solar power. They can be used for grow lights and also for pumps used in the hydroponic system. 

A Self-Reliant Life

Once we have become self-sufficient in food matters, we can think about cutting out other purchases. This will also involve income creation. Do your homework to get as many DIY ideas as possible. We can begin the process by gaining ideas by:

i. Visiting other homesteaders or communes.

ii. Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture.

iii. Visiting farmer’s markets.

We can enrich our homesteading experience within the confines of an apartment by progressing on to a more autonomous lifestyle by integrating the following activities:

i. Do own baking for bread and other items.

ii. Learn and engage in carpentry.

iii. Do your own electric and plumbing jobs.

iv. Learn to stitch to make your garments (trust me, it is far easier than you believed.)

Before Going Shopping

Whenever the need to buy something comes up, take a few moments to ponder whether it is something you can create using your potential. Not only will you be learning a new skill, but also it may help you earn. Remember, the Wright brothers had never flown an airplane till they became the first humans to become airborne on a machine. 

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Why Does the Black Plague Keep Coming Back?



Black Plague
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Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018



Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018


A big, busy, crazy week in prepper land! Spring has sprung and it has sprung forth all manner of issues to keep us on our toes. Here’s a review of the bigger stories bearing down on preppers and freedom lovers. Please enjoy (and subscribe!):


Video by Perrin Lovett/FPTV/YouTube.


Perrin recently learned that something called “airplane mode” stops incoming debt collection calls and hate texts from interrupting our recordings! Will wonders never cease?



Quality will improve immediately…


In the news:


The Caravan


Mass migration


Troops out of Syria, to Rio Grande?


More Snow?!


YouTube shooting


China and tariffs







And, we’re in full swing at The Masters!


Thank you, as always. Don’t forget to check every day for all the stories that affect preppers, survivalists, and the rest of the sanity crowd. Well, check it now – rumor has it the news will soon be incorporated into the new, new revised and improved Stay tuned.


Have a great weekend!


Perrin​​ ​​Lovett​​​ ​​​writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom,​​ ​​firearms,​​ ​​and​​ ​​cigars​​ ​​(and​​ ​​everything​​ ​​else)​​ ​​at​​.​​ ​​He​​ ​​is​​ ​​none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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