Sowandso is part of a group called You Can Grow That!. Every 4th of the month we publish posts about our favourite plants, our love for growing vegetables and our enthusiasm for gardening. Want to know more about our group then go to www.youcangrowthat.com
Sadly, the beetroot crop at the Villas this year was non existent. As per usual I sowed the seeds back in April but the leaves that appeared in June proved too tempting for our young, free ranging chickens that had hatched the month before and the plants didn’t stand a chance…
However, last year was a different story altogether and we had more beetroot than we knew what to do with. In fact we were inundated and I was looking for new ways to use them. I always grow Boltardy because it’s the perfect variety for early sowing due to its resistance to bolting. It produces beets with an excellent sweet flavour, smooth skin and deep red tender flesh. If you’re impatient to start cropping or like your beetroot small, seeds can be sown close together to produce wonderfully tender baby beets. The leaves are delicious too and can be used as a substitute for spinach…
I had made wine before such as oak leaf (a great success and our favourite), rhubarb (a very pretty pale pink colour but sour), apple (disappointing taste and never cleared) and quince (delightful) but never beetroot, so I decided to give it a go.
This is the recipe I used:
- 2kg fresh beetroot
- 2 lemons
- 1kg granulated white sugar
- 500g light brown sugar
- 3.5 litres water
- 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
- Wine yeast
Scrub the beetroot thoroughly and slice thinly without peeling. Place slices in large pot and add zest of lemons and 1.5 litres water. Bring to boil covered, reduce heat and cook additional 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into dark secondary. Add the juice of the lemons, the white sugar, yeast nutrient, and remaining water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool. When luke warm, add the yeast and fit the airlock. Allow to ferment for three weeks and then rack. Next, add the brown sugar and stir gently until it has completely dissolved. Refit the airlock and leave to ferment (30 to 45 days), topping up as required. Rack again, top up as necessary, refit the airlock and bulk age in somewhere dark for six months. Finally rack into dark bottles and store in a dark place for 18 months before tasting…
Cheers, enjoy your beetroot wine!