If you're using commercial kits, or grapes or juice purchased from a
vineyard, the alcohol content is about the same as in commercial wines,
unless you deliberately add more sugar. The reason is that you're
starting from essentially the same raw materials that the commercial
wineries use, and so you're going to wind up with about the same alcohol
If you're making your own from other fruits, all bets are off. Wine
grapes are the only fruit that contains enough sugar entirely on its own
to make good wine. If you're using any other fruit, even other types of
grapes, you have to add sugar -- sometimes a *lot* of sugar -- to get
the alcohol content up into the 10-12% range that's typical of grape
wines. And once you start adding your own sugar, well, you can make the
alcohol content turn out to be anything you want it to be.
Want lots of alcohol? Use lots of sugar, and a yeast that will tolerate
lots of alcohol.
Want less alcohol than usual? Use less sugar.
Don't really know how to make wines. But the difference between home
made wines from commercial ones are their prices. Plus, whatever you are
in control of whatever you like the wine should taste. Unlike in
commercial ones where they already have the formula of how their wine
Probably never. Most strains of wine yeast die at alcohol levels of
around 12 or 13%, some even lower. Champagne yeast will survive 18%.
Whiskey, on the other hand, is typically 40% or more. 86 proof (43%) is