Beetroot Beaujolais

by Jason Holman

In response to several requests (you’re all as mad as me!) here is my recipe for Beetroot wine.

1.5kg Beetroot

1kg sugar

1 tsp wine yeast

1tsp starch amylase.

Wash your beetroot and slice thickly. Boil in a large pan with approx 3 litres of water for about until beetroot is soft but not mushy. Strain liquid into a sterile, food safe bucket (I use Milton to sterilise, it’s cheaper than using specialist wine makers sterilisers.) Add the sugar and stir until fully dissolved, cover and allow to cool. transfer to a demijohn and top to the shoulder with cold water. (It’s important that the wine is not exposed to too much light as the beetroot colour is unstable and will turn a murky brown. If you can’t get an opaque demijohn wrap with newspaper or a black plastic bag.) Add the starch amylase and fit an airlock. Leave somewhere dark overnight and then add yeast. Keep somewhere warm (around 20 degrees). After about six weeks, rack (siphon) the wine off the sediment into a clean demijohn and top up to the neck with cool, boiled water before replacing demijohn and returning to a warm place (don’t forget to wrap the DJ if it’s not opaque) Fermentation can take around 6 months but may go on longer. When there are no bubbles passing through the air lock, siphon into clean, opaque, bottles (Screw top wine bottles are fine), seal tightly and store somewhere cool and dark for 2-3 months (longer is better but you’ll be desperate to try it!)

(You can rescue the cooked beetroot, rub off the skin and eat or pickle after the initial stage if you wish, I always end up with way too much beetroot to bother!)