I have been making beet wine since last two years and guess what this recipe is even simpler. The fun part is till date no one has identified the main ingredient used even our friends who happen to make wine in the very traditional Indian way very close to the Biblical era style. (With the ceramic jar , resting the mix for first 21 days then religiously stirring it everyday at same time for the next 21 days etc. ..)
Recipe adapted from Swapna's Cuisine
Ingredients: (yields around 2 liters)
Beetroot- 2 medium sized (2 cups) (I have used Californian beets here)
Sugar -2 cups
Water -8 cups
Yeast - 1/2 tsp (Active dry baking yeast) (Use 1/4 tsp more if you need)
(Use wine making yeast if u get it, in the proportion said on the pack)
Lime juice - juice of 1 lime
PLEASE read the instructions and pointers given at the end of the page for getting 100% success in wine making.
I need to emphasize here that PLEASE drink responsibly and use your discretion as this wine is strong.
I make wine in very small quantity and just for my family and friends visiting us at this time of the year. I love serving it with rich IRISH FRUIT CAKE / KERALA PLUM CAKE (Instant cake no longtime fruit soaking involved. )
Proportion is 2:2:8 (all the ingredients are measured with the same cup) That is 2 part beet 2 part sugar and 8 part water.
1. Select good,firm beetroot without too many bruises.Peel it and give a very quick rinse under running water to remove trace of sand or dirt stuck.Don't wash too much or soak in water etc as the color runs out.
2. Chop beet into fine julienne strips (Grate or run in food processor).
3. Boil the beet and 8 glasses of water together.Let it come to a rolling boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.You will find that the beet is losing its color and becomes pale red. Remove from stove top and allow it to cool completely.
4. Sieve the beetroot water using a strainer or clean (new, washed and dried) cheese cloth into another sterilized pot. Discard the grated beetroot.
5.In the meantime take a small bowl put the yeast and dissolve it with 1/3 cup water (boiled and cooled to lukewarm (around 60-70°F / 15-20°C) (ie;slightly warm when you touch) High water temp will kill yeast.
6. When the beetroot water is entirely cool add the yeast mixture, sugar and lime juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Sieve once again if there is any scum or dirt from sugar floating.
(I have used a 1.75 ltr bottle (seen above) and a small glass bottle for the remaining.)
7. Pour into glass bottle, fill to only below the neck of the bottle so the fermenting gases have enough space and for frothing. (This wine has very less frothing.)
8. Put the lid close it to 90% so if there is extreme gases formed it can escape without bursting when u open.
9. Leave it in cool dark place (check very important info below) for 14 days undisturbed (do not touch, shake or open). Label the date on the bottle. Even though there is not much frothing the beetroot wine will still have slight fizzing sound from the bottle and tiny bubbles rise from the bottom (it is a good sign that the wine is fermenting well)
On the 15th day inspect wine carefully, smell it by inhaling-it should have a fruity fragrance , sample taste it by rolling the wine on ur tongue- it should have fruity sweet taste with slight tingling on your tongue.(check very imp info below). If u think the wine has not fermented enough keep it back in the same place for 3-4 more days and sample check again.
Now your beetroot wine is ready to be served. Keep the bottle tightly closed to keep the sparkling and fizz intact.
This is a sweet wine.
You may serve it along with dinner or along with dessert .
- Sterilize - I always wash all the utensils and bottles used with soap first then wash again with hot water ,hands too 🙂 to remove any trace of soap or chemicals. I thoroughly sun dry the bottles and lids used to ensure that there is no moisture present.Use only dry containers ,wooden ladle etc. If u live in cold places where sun drying is not possible then warm the oven well ,switch it off and leave the bottles to dry inside overnight. The empty utensil can be heated on stove top for a minute or two to get it dry.
- The yeast should be fresh and when mixed it should dissolve quickly into the lukewarm water but if it sinks to the bottom even after mixing then the yeast should not be used. Do not overlook this as the entire wine depends on yeast.
- I have used only 1/2 tsp yeast as I find that it ferments other batters too much if used more.You may increase the amount by another 1/4 tsp if required.
- Make sure to buy good quality beetroot as the color of the wine depends entirely on beet. The darker the better.
- This recipe can be played around with.Sweetness, it can be increased or decreased.
- Strength of wine becomes higher if quantity of water is reduced. Also as the wine matures it gets really strong.The color turns slight brownish after about 3 months to clear to transparent as it ages.
- I would not recommend storing the wine for long as no additives are added to maintain the acidity level .
- Always store wine for fermenting in a cool dark place (not fridge) and do not get curious shake or open the lid unless the recipe asks for it.If you live in a hot climate then store in the kitchen cabinet away from any heat source. If you live in cold climate then store it near the cabinet closest to the oven and keep rice packets/sacks next to it.(Keep rice well protected with plastic bags so it does not ruin rice sack in case of accidents)
- There would be few bubble and frothing marks on the sides of the bottle that is o.k but before consuming definitely check if there is any bacteria layer formation floating on top of the wine and check taste .It should taste sweet and have a nice fruit smell. If it tastes really really sour and smells like vinegar,sorry ! then u have gone wrong in some step just have to throw it away.
- Most of all pray and bless it to come out well. a.k.a good mood works fine :))
Enjoy the moment of happiness while you serve the homemade wine. Remember to reserve some compliments for me too 🙂 ..and write back to me. Whichever part of the globe u live in do try this at least once and I bet u will never go back to the store bought ones.
Hope you will like it.
WOW WOW WOW!!! I am speechless. Gorgeous!
wow beautiful colored wine and lovely pics....
Anu @ RasAsvAda
Lovely lovely capture sis..Get some for me ,at least to see it 🙂
Wonderful post meena...simply loved reading clear explanation...
now tell me something - you meant "Wine will become Inedible"...now for a starter like me how can we recognize its inedible - do you mean if it does not ferment in the required time we are not supposed to use...it will not get poisonous or something right? i mean should we throw off if its not fermented in required time?
Remya Elizabeth Anish
Wau.....! Clearly illustrated each step in wine making.......and ready to serve in 14 days makes it more attractive......ur pics are so beautiful..... 🙂
Divi, when there is moisture content or any other particle in the bottle the fungus will start growing (same like in any homemade achar put in Horlicks bottle) that is most often the first sign then if yeast has not acted well for some reason then fermentation will not happen well. The wine will be sour like vinegar u wont be able to drink more than a sip then u will have to throw it away.
Since I know u live in cold climate keep it for 4 -5 more days to ferment to be on the safer side.
I don't think it will be poisonous as people dont die even after drinking brewed charayam/arrack :))
If u have more questions please don't hesitate to ask I will be happy to assist. It is all about trial and error .
Beautiful pics.. Love the color of the wine..
beautiful wine clicks,dear...njan Christmas nu ethi kollaaam to sip the wine 🙂
Lol... I am glad charayam opened ur eyes :))
Thank you Sathya. 🙂
Thank you Taruna 🙂
Thank you Remya.
Thank you Anu.
Thank you Sona.
Thank you Ramya. Would love to hear how it turned out.
Please come Julie I have one full bottle. Lets have a good time.
Thank you da...all of a sudden the word "Inedible" changed my mind from tempting attempt to fear - that is the reason i asked you will that be poisonous. Ofcourse i should have know - 1/2 bottle wine + some rum and whisky(following day) thanksgivingindde annu kudichittum i am still alive....ha ha 🙂
wow pics and love the step pics.will try this soon
I am certainly feeling good after reading through the key points and that I can make wine from beetroot. Not sure if I will make but certaily its a knowledge post with beautiful pictures, as usual.
lovely and i am now so curious to try this. Great pics Meena
I got lots of beets from my garden last year and made a jar full of wine. I have still some left over. The best thing I like about the wine is its color. Beautiful clicks!!!
Anupa Joseph (Palaharam)
wow...its looks amazing... beetroot wine ...never heard or tasted it before... kallaki keto... try cheyendi errikkunnu
Nice pictures and lovely wine
Hi .... wowww ... inspired to make it after lookin at the pics ...
Hello meena ji .... m going to try making this wine tomorrow. .. b4 tht need to clear some confusions... regarding yeast we need to wait till the mixture gets frothy ... or directly dissolve the yeast nd add it .... secondly if I try for only 1 litre the measurements wld be 1 beetroot... 1 cup sugar nd 4 cups water...pls also lemme knw the measurement of water in ml if possible ....
thnx in advance ....
Yes, u have to wait till the yeast proofs to make sure it is good and working. My yeast just turns milky as u see in the instruction pic.Regarding measurement it is always better to go by cup here than exact numbers.If the beet is big then 1 would do. Even if you are using 1 ltr bottle ( 1ltr = 4.25 cups approx) u will need another small bottle because wine cannot be filled to the brink of first bottle and there is some water from the yeast dissolved too. Hope this helps. Please let me know if u have anymore questions. Do let me know how the wine turns out.
Thank you Nava.
Thank u Reks do give it a try u will like it.
Oh home grown beets how nice Shibi. I am sure it must have million times better than store bought ones.
Anupa try chethu noku I am sure u will like it.
Thank u Jayanthi.
Thank you so much for dropping by Vandana.
Thank you so much for trying the wine and for the credit. The wine came out really good and I am so glad to hear you liked the wine 🙂
Thank you so much for dropping by Swapna I am doing a happy feet dance here 🙂 .
1.If the yeast is dry grains kind it should work.
2. If you live in cold climate then room temp is fine otherwise it is better to refrigerate after few days (25th day should be good)as we are not adding any stabilizing agent to control the acidity level.
Thank you so much for dropping by. Do let me know how it turned out.
Hi Meena.. I loved the color & also the little bubbles in the glass. I have few questions regarding yeast & storing..
1.I have instant yeast right now in my pantry, so can I add 1/2tsp of it in making as rest of the ingredients remains same as your recipe?
2.After the 15th day when wine is perfect & ready, can I store it in refrigerator or should I keep it where I was fermenting it ?
I was wondering what your opinion is of using a juicer to juice the beets, instead of using the cooking method... do you think that it would severely change the flavor of the wine? Too strong?
Thanks much! 🙂
I find that using 2 roughly chopped beet to 8 part water works best for me. Just the juice hmm still need cooking so might have to use 10-12 beets to extract the juice from juicer in order to get the right color of wine when mixed with water. I think it would be wise and economical to go with cooking method and use the veggie pieces to stain the water instead of just the juice.I am not sure how wine with just beet juice alone would taste.. pretty strong I guess.
Thank you so much Meena for the super quick answer!
Ok, then based on what you have said, because I've only been brewing wine for about 6-8 months and have not the experience, I'm going to try this beet wine going strictly by your recipe. Maybe down the road I'll experiment a bit with juices.
Off to buy beets! 🙂
I am so excited to know that you are going forward with recipe. Please let me know if u have any queries I am happy to assist. Whatever the end result please let me know. Also if u happen to try just beet juice one I am eager to know how it turned out. Wish u good luck with wine making and thank you for the trust Laurie.
I remember my father making beet wine when I was a child. It was a repeat thing, so I'm sure it was good. I felt ambitious and using your recipe, I tripled the batch since I have a container large enough.
I also decided to do an experiment now, and I juiced 2 beets, then used exactly the same recipe you provided. I cooked the beet juice with water for 10 minutes. Let's see how it turns out.
I can't wait to taste these two variances on beet wine! I'll come back and tell you the results when they are ready. 🙂
As promised Meena, I am back to report how the wines turned out... Fantastic!!
There was a slight difference between using the juice from the same amount of beets and preparing the beets per your recipe. The beet juice version has a fruitier essence.
We really enjoyed making this, and even more surprising friends with telling them it's made from beet root.
Thank you so much for posting this recipe!
Awesome Laurie, I am so excited to know that the wine turned out fantastic 🙂
I am guessing diluting with water reduces fruitiness than the concentrated beet juice wine..Please mail me pics of both if u don't mind to elephantsncoconuttrees(at)gmail(dot)com. I would really like to see how both the wines look and also how the strength of the full beet wine is compared to the other one.
I tried your recipe but my wine is very sour. Is there a way to make it sweet ?
Sorry to know the wine turned sour Dejies. Try adding little bit of sugar but if it is too sour then I would say to toss it or may be use for cooking. The temperature at which it is stored while fermenting and the yeast used etc could have made it sour.
Wine making is trial and error so please don't be disheartened. I would suggest to make a fresh batch. This time with distilled water and better beets. Take care so they donot oxide which also aids to sourness.Thank u for the feed back.
I must try this out. Thanks dear.
Can we use a plastic container to store the wine during fermentation ? Thanks in advance...
I would not recommend using plastic for wine making,use non-reactive containers like glass or ceramic only.
Hi, thanks for the wonderful recipe. I have used da same measurements as yours in preparing the wine. It's now 10 days in the fermenting stage. I got a bit curious and checked the taste of the left over wine stored in a small bottle(haven't opened the main bottles) and I felt it tasted far more stronger and less sweeter(but not sour) than you have described. One reason I could think of was that I had used extra yeast(a little more than 1 tspn!). Now how do I fix it?..was wondering if I could add some water and sugar in the middle of fermentation or add them after fermentation is over..what do you suggest? thanks in advance!
Nitin, I would suggest not to disturb the bottles while fermentation.Lets wait and see what the end result is. I think it should be ok to add boiled and cooled water and sugar and adjust the wine. Just don't store it for too long.It seems in Ancient Rome wine was served diluted with water to bring down the strength of it.So it should work.
Whatever the final outcome is please keep me posted.
It came out nice as i opened it in 21 days but its too sweet n very less sour. Rest everything seems fine. Can you suggest anything to make it better?
Thank you for the feedback Rahul and sorry for the late reply. I think the yeast did not breakdown the sugar well which resulted in too sweet wine. Allow the wine to sit for a few more days, as it sits the sweetness reduces and strength increases. You may dilute with very little water (boiled and cooled) but that may bring down the strength of the wine.If nothing works a 1/4 cup of store bought red wine can be mixed.Hope this helps.
We live (Dutch woman/American man) on the south coast of Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea and for years have been making wines from many different things, but never from beets, so I am eager to try this. We have made wine from Parsley, Cactus, Mandarin Oranges, Blood Oranges, Pomegranates, Cherrys, Plums and a local fruit called Musmullah because they all grow here in our garden. Thanks for your recipe.
thanks for the post, please i want to know how long this beetroot wine can last?
Hi Paige, Beetroot wine can be kept for 2-3 months after that the wine becomes strong and the color turns transparent. I usually use it up fast as no preservatives or stabilizers are added to prolong shelf life.
Thank you for stopping by.
Hi. I’m Divya from SriLanka. I made my wine following your recipe. I couldnt find lime yesterday so added it only today. When i took the bottles to add them, i saw some frothing and some gas collected. Hope it is all set... Fingers crossed till the end of 14 days!!!!
We are making our first couple of bottles of your Beetroot wine recipe. We want it a little less sweet as we are trying to cut down on sugars. What are your thoughts about using a cup or cup and a half of local honey instead of sugar?
Adding honey to wine is totally new to me. I am not sure how it is going to react in the fermentation process. May be you should give it a try with a small batch only. Do let me know how it goes.