Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 09 Jun 2006

The answer to all your beet woes!

(For those not otherwise in the know, Guy and Megan have been in the past and perhaps may still be members of a local CSA. This supplies them with a variety of fresh from the field produce including, unfortunately, an over-abundance of beets. The question of what to do with all those beets has become perennial in their household and has resulted in some interesting, albeit sometimes disgusting, uses for the humble beet.)

Rather than spending my night sitting on my ass watching Alton Brown I decided it might be better if I went for a walk. Naturally, my feet carried me to my local book-monger, Copperfield’s Books{.broken_link}. I found a few things which I wouldn’t mind owning but nothing I wanted enough to spend more than I would at Amazon. So I wandered downstairs to stare blankly at the shelves of used books for a while.

Oddly enough I found myself in the food section. Tucked between two mammoth and frightfully outdated coffee table books about wine, pushed back almost too far to see, was this tiny paperback. Curious and having nothing better to do, I pulled it out. The title is Home Made Country Wines: Beer, Mead & Metheglin. A quick flip through the pages proved it was worth the six bucks (especially so now that I see the used prices for it from Amazon’s Z-Shop owners), so I bought it.

The sun was still up so I took the long way home so I could flip through my new treasure. And there, lo! and behold, taking up the majority of page 30, I find these…

6 lb beetroot
1 gallon water
3 1/2 lb demerara sugar
yeast [ed. note: the strain is not specified]
1 lemon

Wash beetroot, and cut into slices. Cook gently in the water until tender. Strain and add the sugar. Stir well. When lukewarm add the previously-activated yeast and the lemon juice. Cover and leave for 24 hours in a warm place. Skim if necessary. Pour into the fermentation jar, insert an airlock and leave in a warm place to ferment to a finish. Syphon off and bottle.
[ed. note: makes approx. 1 gallon]

4 lb beetroot
1 gallon water
1 lemon
4-6 cloves
1/2 oz. root ginger
3 lb sugar
yeast [ed. note: ditto]

Wash the beetroot well then slice thinly. Bring to the boil in the water with the thinly peeled rind of the lemon, cloves and ginger. Simmer until the beetroot is tender and loses its colour. Strain on to the sugar, in a large bowl. Stir well. When lukewarm add the lemon juice and previously-activated yeast. Cover and leave in a warm place, to begin fermentation, for 2 days. Then pour into the fermentation jar, insert and airlock and leave in a warm place to ferment to a finish. Syphon off and bottle.
[ed. note: ditto ditto]

This tops “Beet Cake” (which, yes, Megan had the cajones to attempt and the wisdom to throw out) any day of the week. If this sucks, at least it’s got alcohol to deaden the pain on your tastebuds, right?

There are other preliminary and general “making wine outta stuff…” instructions which can be provided on request if you think you want to try this. I can also now provide recipes for things like Carrot Wine, Fig Wine, Ginger Beer, Pea Pod Wine, Tea Wine and any number of other anachronistic and bizarre plant matter (sorry, Suomynona, no Bean Wine. I, too, was disappointed). Just please please please promise me that if you make it I can have a bottle. Puh-leeeeeeeze.