Recipes: Wine-beer hybrids

Hand holding bunch of carrots

Written by Paula Goddard

Paula started her home-made beer and country wine journey in the 1990s when she won the Tunbridge Wells Wine Circle Brookside Novices’ Cup, Ladies Trophy, E&R Jubilee Bowl and Wells Trophy. Which matched her move from the research team at a food packaging manufacturer and deciding to be more involved with the food inside the packaging while beginning teaching food and drink courses at adult education colleges. Tea tasting expanded into popular wine courses that were regularly over-subscribed. She now runs online wine courses with Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, and tasting events through her own wine website You’ll find her on social media dispensing tips, views and wine reviews as @wineuncorkeduk

9 August 2022

We started to look at Can wine taste like beer? in a previous blog post and now let’s get practical with two wine-beer hybrid recipes that you can make at home. I’ll share my Orange, Ginger and Wheat wine recipe that was so tasty it won first prize in a local winemakers’ show and the second is Gladys Blacklock’s Carrot and Hops wine from her book Modern Winemaking Techniques (published 1982 by Amateur Winemaker Publications who also used to publish a magazine of the same name, my second-hand copy of the book cost 79p). So let’s get on with it.

Whole wheat wine

Whole wheat grains added to a wine recipe (buy them uncrushed from High Street wholefood shops) will add a richness to the flavour similar to French brandy. It’s best to add them whole to your fermentation bin at the same time as your other main ingredients and also pour on cold water, rather than boiling as many recipes advocate, to avoid extracting starches which can cause a hazy final wine.

This cold-water soak method will slowly soften the outer shell of the wheat and the release of the flavours – so allow for a double length 10-day bucket fermentation before straining out the solid ingredients and transferring to a demijohn.

Very few of the grain’s internal sugars will be available for fermentation as the grain hasn’t been allowed to start sprouting a growing shoot, as would be the case for malted grains used in beer making. Hybrid recipes need to get enough sugar from the other ingredients (granulated sugar, raisins or grape concentrate and other fruits). And rather than using a wine yeast, use one used to dealing with grains – so either a bread making yeast (be prepared for a lot of sediment) or a beer yeast like Mangrove Jack’s Bavarian Wheat yeast M20.

Hop on board

Adding hops to a wine recipe will impart, well a hoppiness. That bitter tang familiar in beer can balance out the earthy flavours of carrots, parsnips and potatoes put into country wines. And it’s even getting fashionable (see blog Right-on wine: Dry-hopping your wine kit).

Root vegetables, like carrot, need to be washed (but not peeled) and simmered in water for 20 minutes before adding the cold cooking water to your fermentation bucket (don’t chuck the cooked carrots! Just eat them, or perhaps freeze them as you’ll have a lot).

The carrot’s natural pectin will be released into the cooking water along with its flavour. And as we don’t want the jelly-setting properties of the pectin you’ll need to add one teaspoon of the pectin destroying enzyme Pectolase to every gallon made while it’s fermenting in your bucket.

And now the recipes

Award-winning Orange, Ginger and Wheat Wine Recipe (makes 1 gallon, 4.5 litres)

450 grammes (1 lb) whole wheat (washed but not crushed)

1.5kg (3 ½ lb) brown sugar

1kg (2 lb) chopped raisins, or 500 ml (1 pint) grape concentrate

85 grammes (3 oz) grated ginger root

1.3kg (3 lb) Seville oranges (remove the peel and as little white pith as possible, strain the juice of pips)

Yeast (either bread yeast or beer yeast)

1 teaspoon yeast nutrient, plus 1 teaspoon tartaric acid and ¼ teaspoon malic acid or citric acid

Add the wheat, sugar, raisins, ginger and orange juice to the fermentation bin. Stir in your yeast and nutrients. Ferment on the pulp for 7 days, stirring well daily. Then add the orange rind and ferment for a further 3 days. Strain into a demijohn. Ferment to finish which may take some time. Will keep improving with age. Mine lasted 3 years.

Carrot and Hops Wine Recipe (makes 1 gallon, 4.5 litres)

Recipe courtesy of Gladys Blacklock from her book Modern Winemaking Techniques page 78)

3kg (6 lb) carrots (washed, not peeled, and simmered in water)

30 grammes (1 oz) hops of your choice

1kg (2 lb) granulated sugar

250 grammes (½ lb) chopped raisins or sultanas

3 heaped teaspoons tartaric acid

I teaspoon Pectolase

I teaspoon yeast nutrient

1 Vitamin B1 tablet (crushed) for extra nutrient, or ¼ teaspoon Marmite (yes really!)

Wine yeast (use General Purpose yeast like the Gervin GV1)

Simmer the whole washed carrots for 20 minutes and add the cooled liquid to your fermentation bucket. Simmer the hops for 30 minutes in 500 ml (1 pint) of water and the strained, cooled water to the bucket. Add the sultanas and sugar and stir until sugar dissolved. Make up to 4.5 litres (1 gallon) with cold water and add acid, Pectolase, nutrient and yeast. Ferment on pulp for 5 days stirring daily. Strain into a demijohn and add the crushed vitamin B1 tablet. Fermentation will finish in about 3 to 5 weeks. Bottle and store for several years to allow the flavours to mellow.


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Can wine taste like beer?

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