Making weed-infused wine is a fairly easy process and is actually an ancient craft. Wines from the Biblical period, for example, were always infused or fortified with additional herbs and additives and cannabis was just one of many herbs utilized in that process. This process is also known as “mulling.” In the United States, this is less common, but in Europe, mulled wine is still a common if seasonal drink throughout the continent.
What can you expect from infusing wine with weed? The combination of different terpenes in both grapes and cannabinoids as well as other mulled herbs or fruit, can create a bouquet and aroma that is truly distinct. Alcohol can also increase the impact of THC by up to 50%.
So why not experiment?
CANNABIS FORTIFIED/INFUSED WINE
There are several ways to approach the idea of making cannabis wine. The first is to fortify wine (infuse it). This is by far the easiest way to do this. However, for the more adventurous, there is another option. It is possible to actually make grape free, cannabis wine.
This is a great recipe for holidays, and special occasions with friends. Even better, it is relatively easy to make.
What you will need:
- 28 grams of trim (leaves and stalk)
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 4 cloves
- 1 orange
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Large crock pot or saucepan
- Sieve or cheesecloth
This is super easy. Pour the wine into the pot, place on the stove. Add spices, cannabis and fruit to taste and preference. These spices can all be swapped out for others. However this recipe will bring out and enhance several elements of both the wine and the cannabis. Vitamin C and citrus fruit also appear to add to the impact of the so-called cannabis Entourage Effect.
The process of boiling everything together will decarboxylate the cannabis.
Boil the mixture at a slow gentle roil for two hours. You will also need to check this frequently to make sure that the liquid does not evaporate too much. Then just strain the wine and serve. Be aware that the result might be stronger than you expected, so be careful.
BREWING CANNABIS WINE
To do this, you will need to set yourself up with a brewing environment. It is not hard to do and in fact home-brew kits are available easily. However these are the basic elements you will need.
- 2 x 5 litre brewing demijohns (a bulbous narrow-necked bottle)
- Brewing airlock
- 1 meter of siphoning tube
- Muslin (lightweight cotton cloth)
- Some air tight bottles that can be sealed or corked
- A hydrometer
- Large cooking pot that is not made out of aluminium
- At least 120 grams of cannabis trim
- 2 oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1.4 kilos of white sugar
- 1 fresh yeast cake or wine yeast
- 3.5 litres water
Cut and grind the cannabis trim and leaves. Place it in one of the demijohns. You only need one for the distilling process itself.
Now juice the fruit and place it with the cannabis.
Next put the water in the pot, and bring to a boil. Dissolve all of the sugar in the water. Mix everything together and split the mixture evenly between the demijohns.
Now dissolve the yeast in a little warm water. 20°C is a good temperature. In fact, for yeast to thrive, it must be kept between 15-25°C. Any lower and it will not ferment. Any higher will kill the yeast.
This is also why the temperature of the water mixture in the demijohn needs to cool down enough before you add the yeast. Once it is cooled, pour the yeast mixture into the demijohn.
Now pour in more water to bring the mixture level close to the top of the container.
Put the container into a warm, dark place. An airing cupboard or closet is good. The important thing is to keep a healthy temperature for the yeast. It is also important to keep this out of the light.
The yeast will now start to ferment, turning the mixture into alcohol. This will look like a bubbling and fizzing. After about a day, place the airlocks on the demijohns to cap them. This will prevent oxygen from getting in, while allowing carbon dioxide produced by the yeast to escape. You also do not want cannabis wine vinegar.
The fermentation process will take between 2-4 weeks. The process is finished when the bubbling is done. However it is important to check the mixture every couple of days. Take the airlock out and push trimming that has risen to the top back into the mix. It is very important to use a sterilized wooden spoon. If you have a hydrometer, this is also when you use it. It will give you an idea of the alcohol content.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the mixture is now ready for the next step.
SIPHONING, BOTTLING AND STORING
Take the demijohns out of their cupboard. Be careful not to disturb the sediment too much. You will need a clean space to work.
Using the siphon tube, carefully siphon the cannabis wine through the muslin from the brewing demijohn into other clean one. Do not worry if this liquid is a little cloudy. This will settle with time. The muslin will catch the larger pieces of trim and sediment.
Now put the airlock on the new demijohn. Return it to the dark space. Leave undisturbed for one month. After a month has passed, the cannabis wine is ready for bottling.
Prepare the bottles by boiling them. It is very important to have properly sterilized bottles.
Now carefully remove the demijohn with the wine from its storage space. Try to move it slowly so the sediment stays at the bottom of the bucket. Be careful not to disturb this. If you accidentally do so, you must wait for at least an hour until it settles down to the bottom again.
Remove the airlock. You will now need to place muslin on the top of each bottle as you siphon the wine into them. Use the siphon tube.
Once you have filled the bottles, you must seal them. Use airtight seals that come with commercially available glass bottles. You can also use melted wax over the stopper if using cork.
While the wine is ready to drink now, it is best to age it for at least another 6 months in a dark place.
ENJOYING THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABORS
This wine should induce a gentle, sweeping buzz. It is a perfect chill out offering for friendly gatherings.
The chill is especially gentle in this case because the cannabis has not been decarboxylated. In other words, it has not been fully activated.
Decarboxylation of the cannabis during production will produce a stronger stone. Also remember that alcohol can increase the effect of THC by up to 50%. So be careful and experiment responsibly.