Simple Potato Wine

Potato wine is quite simple to make and the flavor is fantastic, with a citrus punch-like taste. The wine can pack a wallop, though it isn’t nearly as strong as real vodka. Though sugar is required, much of the fermentation is because of the potato starches. There are several ways to make it. However the following is one of the simplest.

Basic equipment needed

Before beginning, the best advice is to make sure that at least the following basic wine-making equipment is ready to be used. The most basic items needed for properly making this wine include:

5 gallon glass or plastic wine carboy
1 single hole rubber cork and fermentation lock
1 large stainless steel pot
siphon hose
bottles and corks sufficient for bottling 4 gallons of wine

The equipment, except for the pot, needs to be sanitized before use. This is done by placing the various tools in hot water to which bleach has been added at the rate of 1/8 cup bleach to two gallons of hot water. The equipment should then be rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry. One of the biggest mistakes made is to wash the equipment with soap and water, which leaves a residue that can taint the wine. There are other chemicals that can be used to sanitize the equipment, specifically designed for beer and wine making tools, however the bleach is a cheaper alternative. 

Wine ingredients

15 pounds potatoes, cleaned but unpeeled
10 pounds sugar, granulated or brown
1   pound raisins
6   oranges
6   lemons
4   gallons water or a little less
1   packet Montrachet wine yeast 


Cut the potatoes into wedges, place them in the pot and cover with water. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. This usually takes 15 minutes to a half hour.

If any foam forms on the top of the water, skim it off and discard it. Strain the potatoes, retaining the potato water.

Put the sugar and raisins into the carboy, pouring the potato water over the top. Juice the oranges and lemons, adding the juice to the carboy. Add enough hot water to bring the total amount in the carboy up to four gallons. Don’t over fill, because the first stage of fermentation, called furious fermentation, will usually cause an overflow of the carboy if it is too full. 

Put the cork and fermentation lock on the carboy and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Uncork, add the yeast, and replace the cork, making sure that the lock is properly filled with water. The fermentation lock is designed to allow the carbon dioxide that is produced during fermentation to exit the carboy without allowing air to enter.

Within a few hours, the potato mixture, called ‘must’, should be foamed up and working. Allow the wine must to work for a couple of months, then pour it through cheesecloth into a clean and sanitized container, taking care to leave the sediments behind. This is called ‘racking’ the wine.

Rinse out the carboy and sanitize it again, then put the wine must back into the carboy, attaching the fermentation lock once again. Allow the wine to work for an addition two months or so. It is finished working when there is no apparent gas escaping through the fermentation lock. At this point, the siphon hose can be used to fill the bottles with the wine, leaving any sediment that is in the bottom of the carboy, and the bottles can then be corked. The bottles should be stored in a cool, dark place, on their sides.

Potato wine is actually far easier to make than it may sound. The finished wine has a fruity taste of citrus that many people enjoy. As a tip, this wine is more appropriate as an after-dinner sipping wine than it is as a drinking wine, because it is usually sweet and has a high alcohol content. It is good for use in cooking sauces however.