Light wine beverage with a characteristic carrot flavor and barely noticeable citrus notes (if you add lemon juice and orange). Like other vegetable wines, it has quite a unique acquired taste, and you should try it out at least once.
Carrot wine requires ripe and juicy carrots without rotten, spoiled, and moldy parts. You should check whether the long-stored vegetables have a characteristic earthy or musty smell because it will be transferred to your wine.
To prevent contamination you should ensure that all used tools and containers are sterilized with boiling water and wiped dry before getting started.
- Carrots – 7.7 lbs/3.5 kilos
- Water – 6 liters
- 1 lemon or 0.2 oz/6-7 grams of citric acid per 1 liter of must
- Sugar – 0.5 lbs/250 grams per 1 liter of must
- 1 orange (optional)
- Homemade raisin ferment or wine yeast per 8 liters of must
Lemon juice or citric acid are required to stabilize the acidity of the must, otherwise, the carrot wine will have weak fermentation and taste. Lemon juice is preferable as it enhances the flavor. An orange will enrich the taste with light citrus tones.
Warning! If you add dry or baker’s yeast instead of raisin ferment or wine yeast, you’ll end up with a wash with characteristic alcohol tones and sharp taste.
How to Make Carrot Wine
- If you don’t have any wine yeast you should prepare a ferment from raisins or fresh berries 4-5 days prior to starting. A ferment consists of activated “wild” wine yeast which can be found on the surface of berries.
- Wash, cut and fine grate the carrots. Leaving the peels will make wine bitter.
- Put the pulp into a cooking pot, fill it with boiling water, stir, and cover with a lid. Leave it for one day.
- Filter the carrot must through cheesecloth. Squeeze the pulp dry (it’s no longer required).
- Add 5.3 oz/150 grams of sugar, 1 liter of juice, and all of the citric acid or lemon juice, as well as orange juice. Add the ferment (without berries) or activated wine yeast. Stir the mixture.
- Pour the must into a fermentation vessel, filling up to 75% of the volume, to leave enough space for sugar, carbon dioxide, and foam. Install an air lock of any design on the neck (or a medical glove with a hole in one of the fingers).
A simple air lock with a tube
Sterile glove used instead of the air lock
- Transfer the vessel to a dark room with a temperature of 18-28° C. Leave it until fermentation is complete.
5 days after installing the air lock, add 1.7 oz/50 grams of sugar per 1 liter. To do this, pour approximately 50% of the juice from the added sugar into a separate vessel. For example, if you need to add 6.6 lbs/3 kilos of sugar you’ll need 1.5 liters of juice. Dilute the sugar with the juice, pour the syrup back into the fermentation vessel and close it again with the air lock.
After another 5 days, add the last 1.7 oz/50 grams of sugar per liter using the described method.
Depending on the temperature and yeast used, carrot wine ferments for 30-60 days then the air lock stops releasing gas (the glove deflates), a layer of sediment appears at the bottom, and the wine itself becomes noticeably brighter.
If fermentation does not stop in 55 days after the first portion of sugar has been added, it is necessary to decant the wine through a tube into another vessel and then install the air lock and let it ferment at the same temperature, otherwise, the wine might become bitter.
- Decant the fermented young wine by pouring it through a tube. Try it. You can sweeten it with sugar to your liking and (or) fix it with alcohol (vodka) in an amount of 2-15% of the volume. Raising ABV promotes long-term storage but makes the taste sharper.
- Pour the wine into aging containers, filling them preferably to the brim in order to minimize the contact with oxygen. Hermetically seal the containers but if you added sugar then you should install the air lock for the first 7-10 days.
- Transfer the carrot wine for aging into a fridge or cellar with a temperature of 6-16 °C. Leave it for 5-6 month at least (8-9 months is better).
- If you see a 3-5 cm layer of sediment you should filter the beverage by decanting. Usually, it can be done in 3-4 sessions.
- Wine is considered ready when there’s no sediment for more than a month. The beverage can be bottled and sealed with corks.
Wine’s color shade depends on aging and carrots
Store life in a cellar or fridge is up to 3 years. 11-14% ABV.