I’m a latecomer to beets. They were not part of my childhood diet and I really didn’t start eating them until sometime in the last ten years. But now they’re one of my favorite foods – a good beet salad can’t be beat (harhar)! And while I’ve had several beet beers that I enjoyed in the past, I hadn’t yet made a beet beverage myself. So when I volunteered to teach a workshop at the annual Ferment! Ferment! festival this year, I had the perfect excuse. Ferment! Ferment! is a fantastic free fermentation fest that takes place every February here in Brooklyn – there are workshops, live music and the attendees bring all kinds of wonderful fermented foods & beverages to share. It’s pretty amazing. I wanted to pour a couple of short meads made with local, seasonal ingredients during the workshop so I headed to the Stannard Farm stand at the Tompkins Square Greenmarket and picked up honey and beets to make my first fermented beet beverage.
-1 gallon batch-
- 4.5 oz local beet, diced (about half a beet)
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 lb local Stannard Farm honey
- filtered water
- Red Star Pasteur Champagne dry yeast (yellow packet)
- ~1/16 tsp Wyeast beer yeast nutrient
- Added diced beet, star anise and nutrient to Pyrex measuring cup, poured off-boil water to cover and steeped for 10 minutes
- Poured honey into a 1-gallon wide-mouthed glass jar
- Added a few cups of filtered water to honey in jar and stirred until honey dissolved
- Removed 1 star anise pod from “tea” and added liquid, beets and remaining star anise to jar
- Topped off with filtered water and pitched around 1/3 packet of yeast
- Fermented at around 78º F for four days
- Cold-crashed and force-carbed 2 liters in a plastic soda bottle with The Carbonater Cap, bottled remainder in a glass flip-top jar
OG: 1.040 (3.10.2015)
FG: 1.004 (3.14.2015)
ABV: Around 4.7% (the beet may have added sugar but I have no way know if it did or guesstimate how much)
I really love this one. The star anise complements the earthiness of the beets perfectly. Highly drinkable.
This is a terrific late-summer/fall/winter seasonal short mead to make. It’s easy, ridiculously quick and delicious – plus it is such a beautiful color! I have another half-gallon batch going now and will definitely be adding this one to my go-to short mead recipes for events, tastings and the like. It’s an attention-getter that tastes as good as it looks.
Fermentations in Progress:
- sourdough starter
- Jun & Kombucha
- more Heart Skips a Beet Short Mead