If you thought it took a lot of special equipment and ingredients to make home brewed wine – well, think again. When you freeze fresh corn from your garden and cut it off the cobs, save those cobs and make a batch of corn cob wine. This little-known traditional American brew has been made in the rural south, especially in Tennessee and Kentucky, for generations. When you make corn cob wine, not only will you have an unusual home brew to drink, but you’ll feel extra frugal for using every part of the ear of corn.
Things You'll Need
How to Make Corn Cob Wine
Take a washed one gallon plastic milk jug and cut almost all the way around the top, one inch below the cap. Leave about one sixth uncut so that you have a flip-top lid that closes. Leave the original cap on.
Take between 8 and 12 corn cobs that have been thoroughly scraped clean of kernels and place the cobs in the milk jug.
In a small bowl, mix a teaspoon of sugar with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Sprinkle one teaspoon of yeast on top of the surface of the water and sugar mixture. Leave it for 3 or 4 minutes until the yeast has proofed. The yeast bubbles up to the surface and smells like fresh bread when it is thoroughly proofed.
In a large stockpot, boil three quarts of water. When the water has boiled, take the stockpot off the heat and add two cups of sugar to the water. Stir the sugar with a wooden spoon until it has dissolved.
Let the water and sugar mixture cool down until it is warm but does not burn your fingers to touch. Then add the proofed yeast and stir it with the wooden spoon.
Now you are going to add the combined water-sugar-yeast mixture to the corn cobs in the jug. Pour the mixture into the jug carefully, and stop when you have reached a level about a half inch from the top of the lid that you cut in the jug. Leave the lid open.
Place the jug in a cool, dark place for between one and two weeks, or until it stops bubbling. After two weeks or so, the liquid should look cloudy and whitish-yellow. It will smell of corn and yeast.
Finally, filter the wine through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer. Pour the strained wine into clean bottles or Mason jars. Put the bottles or jars into the refrigerator for a week so that the yeast can settle at the bottom of the bottles. The wine will keep in a cool place for about two months.
References and Resourcesfoodbuzz.com: Corn Cob Wine
The Making Wine Blog: Corn Cob Wine
Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum: Corn Cob Wine
slashfood.com; "Corncob Wine"; Kat Kinsman; Nov, 2008
Resources"A Taste of Kentucky"; Janet Alm Anderson; 1986
Popular Mechanics; "Tennessee Corn Cob Wine" (classified ad); Apr 1982