I made a DIY CO2 system for my fish tank. I use fermentation for the CO2. 2 and a half weeks ago I filled a 2ltr soda bottle with water, 2 cups of demerara sugar and a tsp of bakers yeast. This wasnt intended for drinking (no sanitisation first etc) just for producing co2 as cheaply as possible.

I came to change my mixture today and rather than just throw away whatever it is i'd fermented I thought i'd try syphoning the mix into another 2ltr bottle (this is called racking, right?). Then, unable to resist, i poured a little into a glass and tasted expecting vinegar. Although its quite sharp to taste, its not vinegar by any means! it is still very fizzy and has a lasting sharp taste that tbh is not unpleasant. I could mix this with juice and drink it quite happily..

so as the subject says, WHAT have I made and if I choose to drink it all am I going to make myself sick? Now I have this mixture syphoned off into a bottle is there anything else I should do to improve it?

2 Answers 2


You've made sugar wine, called kilju in Finland. It's also the precursor to rum, which is distilled from a wine made from sugar cane juice or molasses.

It's safe to drink, but to everyone's taste.


This mix of water, sugar and yeast could be called a wash. Some people use this as a cheap method to feed a pot or reflux still to produce high percentage spirits (to get essentially Vodka but very cheaply). If you allow the fermentation to complete, the majority of the yeast will fall to the bottom and settle in a process called flocculation after which it will be even more agreeable. Although this active yeast is perfectly fine to drink it will taste a bit better after it settles down.

I have heard of the same process, but starting from any kind of fruit juice be called prison wine. How nice it tastes is variable depending on what you use but it is a pretty common and very cheap way to get wasted if that is your goal.

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