Turnip wine?

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by BernardSmith, Dec 29, 2017.

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  1. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    I was challenged on a British forum dealing with self sufficiency to make a turnip wine because , as many members argued , you simply cannot make a drinkable wine from turnips. I checked my CJJ Berry books on wine making and he is silent about this root vegetable. I cheated a bit and chose rutabagas (about 5 lbs) because in Scotland (Where I was born) we called rutabagas , turnips.
    The recipe
    5 lbs rutabagas chopped into 1 inch cubes
    1.5 inches of ginger - chopped but not peeled
    Boiled for 30 minutes in 1 gallon water
    2.5 lbs table sugar
    1/2t tannin
    1/2 t nutrient (I use Wyeast wine nutrient) - and this quantity is good for 5 gallons but my understanding is that this is essentially minerals and so will drop out of solution if not picked up by the yeast.
    Yeast - Belle Saison (to enhance the peppery notes of the root vegetable) Pitched after the soup had cooled.
    (did not strain vegetables )
    Fermented in bucket placed in "bath" heated to 78 F
    After 8 days racked off vegetables into secondary (SG approx 1.000). Now at about 64-66 F
    Added 2 T of bentonite to help clear
    Will probably be adding some lemon juice to give it some zing. It is not quite two weeks since I pitched the yeast (12/17/17) but it is certainly drinkable..and it is a true "country wine" IMO... Will keep you informed of its progress - and will provide tasting notes in due course...

    The wine tastes
     
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  2. Stressbaby

    Stressbaby Just a Member Supporting Member

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    Two thoughts/questions.
    Did CJJ Berry recommend the ginger or was that your idea? Ginger makes good wine IMHO.
    Seems to lack acid, are you thinking of using the lemon juice because of how it tastes now? Or based on the recipe?
     
  3. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    Hi Stressbaby, No, there is no recipe. CJJ Berry did not include any recipe for turnip wine. It's my own "recipe". I added the ginger because I think that this will complement the peppery notes I find in turnip. Indeed, I may add some grains of paradise before I bottle to increase the pepperiness and the complexity.
    I agree that the wine currently lacks acidity (though it does not taste at all bad). My thinking was to add lemon juice to wine when the active fermentation has ended - I don't want to stall the process by dropping the pH too much too quickly - and the yeast don't ask for acidity.
     
  4. Vinobeau

    Vinobeau Junior

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    I made Turnip wine once. It was terrible. In my 45 years of wine making, it was the first of two wines that I've thrown out! I aged it for about 3 years, maybe I should have taken 5.
     
  5. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    Hi Vinobeau - what was your recipe... and what was your protocol? I don't see my batch needing a year to age. Bottom line - if it turns out to be "undrinkable" we can always use it for cooking...
     
  6. Vinobeau

    Vinobeau Junior

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    I used the recipe in "Mary's Recipes", published by Purple Foot in Milwaukee.
    4lbs of Turnips and 2 1/2 # Sugar, the recipe called for 1/2 oz of hops, which I didn't use. Chop the turnips & boil the pulp until tender. Remove the pulp, add sugar and the other normal ingredients, etc etc. I'm not real sure that the flavor of turnips would be good as a cooking wine!?!
    I'm anxious to hear about the rutabaga wine outcome!
     
  7. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    As part of a marinade? It should be fine.. but I am very hopeful that it will be good enough to drink - as a fun wine. Not as if it is a Riesling but as a country wine...Perhaps with a saag paneer or roast vegetables and seitan.

    Here's the thing: when I make a wine to bottle a gallon I make a little more so that when I rack I don't need to top up. The excess I put in my fridge. Just tasted this "extra" and it is pleasantly peppery but very drinkable. Perhaps wants some added acidity but a couple of weeks after pitching the yeast and this wine is ... is ... good. The wine itself is bright clear (cold crashing forces the yeast to drop out of suspension; very dry (in a good way).. It is very drinkable.. Would be happy to offer anyone a glass, even today! :db:b.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  8. gratus_fermentatio

    gratus_fermentatio Junior Member

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  9. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    Thanks GF - I generally don't like Keller's recipes. I usually find that he skimps on fruit and tries to ferment water and here again I see that his turnip wines use less vegetables than I would. I went with a hefty 5 lbs (may have been closer to 6) , he uses 4- 4.5 lbs Turns out that the turnip wine I made (see above) was really quite delicious. Got 5 bottles from the 5 lbs of vegetables but I don't think I have any left. Did not taste anything like a poor turnip. Tasted like something from the table of the gods.
     
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