Developed by a group of Europeans in California who missed their traditional Federweißer drink, Spike Your Juice is a product comprised of yeast, organic evaporated cane juice, and emulsifier that turns fruit juices into an alcoholic beverage. For $10, consumers get six Spike packets and labels, one airlock, and one stopper. It’s a very simple procedure that even novice home brewers can handle.
To begin, a 64 oz. bottle of juice, though nothing refrigerated, artificially sweetened or unfiltered, is needed. The website offers recommendations. A packet is emptied into the bottle and there’s no need for stirring. Water goes into the airlock up to the Fill Line. The bottle is then sealed with airlock and stopper and left at room temperature. The packaging says, “wait 48 hours” but one page on the website says it okay to start sampling after 24. For a drier and more tart taste and an increase in alcohol content, the juice bottle should be resealed with airlock and rubber stopper.
For my own taste test, I used Ocean Spray Cran-Grape. Shortly after pouring in the Spike powder, the juice begins the process and foam forms at the top. After 47 hours (the anticipation was too much for me to go another hour), the spiked juice tasted not much different than the original juice other than the addition of carbonation. I tried about three lowball glasses of spiked juice on ice and could feel a little buzz from the alcohol.
In the interest of science, I gave the juice another approximately 24 hours to work its magic. The carbonation wasn’t as strong, though it still noticeable, and the juice was tarter and drier as claimed. I felt a warmer glow after drinking but I had more beverage than the day before so I can’t comment on an increase in alcohol. It did taste good and went down smooth.
I then stored the remainder in the refrigerator as the instructions suggested with just the stopper, which has an opening, capping it because a bottle will burst if sealed airtight. However, after another 24 hours and without the airlock, the juice lost a good deal of carbonation and was slightly flat. There was also a bit of settlement at the bottom of the bottle that quickly dissipated as the remainder of the juice was drunk.
Spike Your Juice accomplishes its task of turning juice into an alcoholic beverage and is a great introduction into home brewing. I would recommend its use for those planning on consuming the finished product quickly, say at a party, because the juice went flat surprisingly quick after a day in the refrigerator.
Next up in the lab, I am going off the recommended-juices list and am going to try Ocean Spray Blueberry. I will report back with the results.
Spike Your Juice in 3 Easy Steps – Dance Mix version: