Kevin Clark/ Daily Nexus

Kevin Clark/ Daily Nexus

Are you tired of having to deal with the high cost of alcohol? Or maybe you’re a freshman without a fake I.D. and no upperclassmen as friends. Either way, worry no more, because cheap and easy booze can be yours: Just make it yourself. Now before you get excited about brewing your own beer or whipping up some whiskey, keep in mind that this article is about how to make sugar-wine, also known as kilju, and it tastes something like watered down cheap vodka (the ABV is about 15 percent). But it’s not too bad if mixed with a little lemonade powder, and it costs less than a buck to make a gallon. You will be amazed at how easy and foolproof it is to make your own booze.

What you need:

All the following can be found at Albertsons.

  • Empty gallon milk jug (or 2-liter soda bottle)
  • Water (tap is fine)
  • 5 cups of Sugar (or if you want to make mead, use 5 cups of honey instead)
  • One packet of dry baking yeast (they come in 3-packs that cost about 2 or 3 bucks)
  • A balloon or condom (optional)

Step 1: Pour sugar (or honey) and yeast into your CLEAN empty milk jug. Then, fill it with water, but leave about 2 inches at the top unfilled.

Step 2: Screw on the cap and shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Step 3: Now to make an airlock. This step is the most important, as the airlock will keep oxygen out of your booze during its fermentation. In order to make happy-juice, the yeast needs to anaerobically respirate the sugar (I’m not a bio major, but I think that’s right), meaning if oxygen gets in there you’ll end up with vinegar instead of that sweet, sweet sauce. It won’t kill you, but it’ll taste like shit and won’t get you drunk. I recommend, if possible, using a balloon or condom to make it because it’s more reliable for keeping out oxygen.

  • If you’re using a balloon or condom for your fermentation lock: cut off the bottom so it can stretch it over the gallon-jug’s top (take of the cap), secure the balloon/condom with a rubber-band or tape, then poke a few holes in the tip with a thumbtack.
  • If you’re not using a balloon/condom, screw the cap on almost all the way — literally as much as possible so long as it isn’t fully sealed. This might take a few tries to get it right, though, and I recommend just getting a balloon or condom.

Step 4: Wait.

  • In about 2-2½ weeks the booze will be done fermenting.


  • Check to make sure it’s fermenting. After about a day you should be able to see little bubbles rising. You’ll know it’s done and ready when it stops fizzing.
  • For carbonated sugar-wine, screw on the cap after 2 weeks of fermentation — just be careful not to cap it too early in fermentation or it will explode. Check the pressure often to avoid a mess.
  • Speaking of — if you’re not using a balloon/condom, be careful not to cap it too tight during fermentation or it will explode.
  • Do not use the condom after! Remember, you poked holes in that thing.
  • After it’s done fermenting, let it sit — cap on tight — for a week or so. The yeast will slowly settle on the bottom, and the booze will become less cloudy, making it taste better.