Thursday, September 4

Beetroot wine recipe

In response to a few requests for a wine making recipe, here's a relatively easy one for Bosun's Creek Silver Medal Beetroot wine. My husband is really the veritable wine making champion in this family and getting him to do a post was first on my mind when confronted with the request. However, my husband is, besides being gorgeous and brilliant, a pedantic GASBAG so i felt it was safer to respond myself. However, i did glean a few salient tips from the maestro himself. Now wine can pretty much be made from any fruit or vegetable, and im gonna show off here and tell you that in our cellar we have wines made not only from beetroot (1 half bottle left i found today. in pic), but carrots, parsnips, fejoa(ugh, no thanks) elderberry, elderflower, stock standard grape varieties,various blends, damson and satsuma plum, orange, peach, lemon balm, passionfruit, gooseberry, loquat, apricot, nectarine, blackcurrant, blackberry, rasberry, loganberry, rhubarb, rice, quandong, and quince.

In addtion to a still wine, we also have done the rhubarb and quince in the methode champenoise style which is quite spectacular and well worth the not so much more effort, just time. For my taste, which in a grape variety tends towards the more dry style of wines, the root vegetables make a really nice wine as do the plum and plum/grape blend.

1. Borrow a book from the library or net search wine making basics, just so you are familiar with the basic chemistry of wine making and fermentation; yeast and sugar issues.
2. The right gear is pretty essential and requires a few more bits and pieces than beer making so a trip to the brew shop will be on the cards. I think you can hire corking machines from the brew shop too.

Beetroot wine is interesting as the wine will change colour once exposed to light so bottle up in a dark glass. Once it oxodises it will turn from a lush amber to clear liquid after time, so dont leave it open for too long...

Beetroot Wine ( Silver trophy winner for best overall wine made from a fruit or/vegetable 2002)
3 lbs beetroot
2 bananas
3 litres dark grape juice
3 1/2 ltr water
4 limes (zest of 4)
6 oranges (zest of 4)
3 oz ginger (grated)
1 tsp coriander seeds (bruised)
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp whole cloves (bruised)
1/2 cup blackcurrant wine (juice if you dont have to hand ;-)
1 tsp malic acid
2 tsp tartaric acid
2 lbs 80z sugar
ENDFERM H2 (2.5g /10ltr)
DAP (150mg/1ltr)(diammonium phosphate, is necessary to prevent formation of the byproduct urea which the yeast cannot metabolise)
FERMAID (yeast nutrient)(2.5g/10ltr)
RAPIDASE EXCOLOR (2.5g/10ltr)(Rapidase® Ex Color is a pectic enzyme with enhanced side activities, it will promote a rapid extraction of color during maceration of red grapes (or beetroot!)
TANIN GALACOOL (220 mg/1 ltr)(protects the must from oxidation)
VINOSUPER - removes pectins

You'll need food grade bins for the mash and fermenters for the wine; the ones with the fermenting seals.

Method: wash beetroot, slice thinly and place in a saucepan with cold water. Add sliced lemons, ginger, orange and lime zests and spices. Boil for approx. 30 minutes until tender but not mushy, this is the mash or must. Strain this 'must' into fermenter, add grape juice, orange and lime juices and wine. Now this strained liquid is called the 'wort'. Cool to 20*C, add remaining ingredients, pitch yeast (add yeast to the wort) and add to fermenter, ferment for 7-10 days. (pH=2.8/6.2g total acids per ltr) Starting Specific Gravity(SG)=1032, after addition of sugar SG=1090.Read this. SG is the viscosity of the wine, the sweetness measure; thick wines are sweet wines. You measure SG with SG instrument. likewise pH can be measured using pH strips like those used for swimming pools.

After fermenting wine 7-10 days, strain into another fermenter.
Leave for 3 months. Siphon wine from one container to another leaving the sediment behind. This is called 'racking' the wine. To this is added 50mg/L of So2 ( sulphur dixide). This protects the wine from bacteria and spoilage and is an impotant measure in sanitation of the wine. Rapidase is added 50mg/L and Vino Super 0.3ml/10L, resulting in pH of 3.15.

5 months later a second racking was completed. pH was 33, SG was 990. Wine was seperated to make 1,5Ltr of dry wine and 4.5 Ltr had 11lb of sugar added to make a sweeter wine (raised SG to =1026) also SO2 was addedd to sweet wine only (5mg/L).

One week later potassium sorbate was added to the sweet wine to further sweeten it. (350mg/L). The dry wine was bottled and a few days later the sweet was also bottled.

I hope i've explained everything clearly.
Happy wine making!

**addendum** The fermentation process can be done in any container; food grade bins, demijohn or fermenting bottle. The essential component is the rubber bung and air lock which lets gas out but keeps the inner environment sterile. Search Flickr for wine and fermenter and you will get an idea of what the various processes all look like.


Gavin said...

Thanks a million Kel & Simon. Now that I see how you make it, it is similar at the begining to making beer. It looks like time is definately the key to success! I have one question, is a fermenter the same as a demi-john?


Kel said...

Sorry , what i mean by fermenter are the ones with the air lock rubber seal.

Crazy Mumma said...

Sensational Kel, thank you (and Simon) so much for sharing that! I can see this being the beginning of something pretty cool ;-)

And how luscious does that glass of beetroot wine look, by the way? Mmmmmmmm.

Cheers, Julie

Kel said...

Julie,no worries, it was a pretty great drop, it reminds me of a good whisky in colour, hope you enjoy te venture into home winemaking. Watch out, like blogging, its addivtive. You'll never look at a big crop of carrots in the same way again ;-)