Local Shop Homebrew – Final Part: Carrot Wine!

Remember the past posts, where I gave a quick tutorial on how to make your own homebrew from scratch? Well, the serioes is finally over! If you are interested to know what I am talking about, please click here, here and here

After three weeks in secondary fermentation and three days stabilizing, The wine was finally bottled! I had a taste and it was quite mild in taste, but so alcoholic! It was a very nice brew, very very cheap indeed! The total cost of the brew was about £5, so £1 per bottle, plus 500ml that were drank just moments ago!

If you are tempted to have a go at homebrewing, this is a very hard to get wrong type of brew! Highly recommended and, really, I hope someone will try it!

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Homebrew Labels: Some Photoshop-ing/GIMP-ing

This post contains 8 labels. Click on the label to enlarge.

Some “art” work for my homebrew! A bit of a random post, but I’d like to think that I am very thorough with my brews! From the sanitation to the labelling. I am lagging behind the label making, but I will catch up as soon as I have some time.

  1. Wagerberg Original Lager
  2. Just your ordinary lager, blond and clear! Earlier post!

  1. WillHoneyWeiss Spiced Honey Weiss Beer
  2. Weissbier seasoned with orange peel and coriander Earlier post!

  1. Tobias KinderDoppelBock
  2. High gravity bock-style lager.

  1. StrawberLy GarWeiss Strawberry Banana WeissBier
  2. Wheat beer with fresh strawberries added to secondary fermentation, using yeast which leaves a hint of banana flavour in the beer. That’s technology for ya!

  1. Wagerberg Backyard Plum Wine
  2. Plum wine made with fresh plums from my own backyard! Probably the cheapest brew yet! Less than 50p per bottle.

  1. StrawberLy Mead
  2. Simple dry mead, with strawberry added to secondary and tertiary fermentation.

  1. Feel the Beet Beetroot Mead
  2. Experimental recipe which worked very well! Earlier post!

  1. Ray Teabaggins Tea Ale
  2. Pale Ale with 24-hour cold brew tea added before bottling.


Local Shops Homebrew – Part II: Simple Brew

This posts contains 10 instructional photos.

In Part I, I showed how to make your little homebrew apparatus with equipment you can find at your local supermarket and hardware store for less than £5 (€6.30/US$8.50).

Now, I will show how to make a simple wine recipe using ingredients (yes, all the ingredients) from your local shop. Let’s just hope you will find it delicious when it’s done! I know I do!

But which recipe to try? The options are endless, so why not brew something more alternative? The recipe I chose is a low alcohol, sweet carrot wine. Yes, carrot! It has sugar in it, so let’s brew it!

Ingredients:

  1. 5L of water (which came with the fermenting bin);
  2. 1kg of demerara sugar (any sugar will do, but try using the least refined and bleached sugar);
  3. 1kg of grated carrots;
  4. Juice and zest of one lemon;
  5. Sourdough starter.

Make sure all the equipment has been sanitized!


Instructions:

  • Bring the 5L of water to a rolling boil;
  • Why? This will help sterilize the water;


  • Prepare the yeast by adding a tablespoon full of sourdough starter (), a tea spoon of sugar and a bit of luke warm water;
  • Why? The sugar solution will feed the yeast and allow it to reproduce and reach full activity. Using wild yeast for brewing? Hey, if it is good enough for the ancient egyptians to brew with it, it’s good enough for me!


  • Add the sugar to the water;
  • Why? To dissolve it. Once added, the water boil will stop for a little bit, but soon will come back to boiling;


  • Grate the zest of the lemon and juice of one lemon;
  • Why? Citric acid is very important in wine making, which will influence the colour, balance of the wine, aid vitality of the yeast and protecting the wine from bacteria. Lemon zest is rich in pectinase. Pectinase is an enzyme that breaks down pectin (a complex carbohydrate) into simple fermentable sugar and, thus, aiding against pectin haze and helping the brew clarity;


  • Grate the carrots;
  • Why? Grated carrots will have a greater surface area which will be in contact with the boiling water, thus optimizing the extraction of sugars necessary for fermentation;


  • Add the zest, juice and carrots to the boiling water for 45 minutes;
  • Why? This will extract all the sugar and, during the boil, the must (brew juice!) will be sterilized and break down any complex sugars present;


  • Prepare a funnel and filtering device of your choice;
  • Why? Remove all solids from the must prior to fermentation. Note: Wait for the must to cool down before adding to the fermenting bin;


  • After adding the must to the fermenting bin, close it and wait for it to cool down to about 20C;
  • Why? Temperatures between 18 and 21C are the optimum temperatures for the yeast to ferment the sugars. At lower temperatures, fermentation will slow down and the process will take much longer, maybe even come to a halt. At higher temperatures, different strain of yeast may be produce and aid the infection of the must or the yeast may die.


  • At around 18C, add the yeast solution to the must and close the system, with airlock. Leave it undisturbed in a dark room. Fermentation should last around 10 days.
  • Why? Moving the fermenting bin around may add oxygen to the must and bacteria may thrive and contaminate your brew. Another reason for leaving the brew undisturbed is clearing. Any solids in it will precipitate down to the bottom of the fermenting bin.

    Yeast produces CO2 and oxygen is the enemy! The airlock made with the water in the bottle allows the CO2 to be released without oxygen being allowed to enter and ruin the brew.


Phew! That’s it! Sorry for being a bit pedantic and explaining each step. In short, take the ingredients, boil, cool it, add yeast and wait… ok!

Old photo… new perspective

Going through some of my photos, I found a few from a christmas party I had in 2012, if I recall correctly. My former German housemate introduced me to “feuerzangenbowle”, a german christmas drink. It was very nice to have experienced that! Here is my favourite photo of the evening! Not the best, only my favourite!

Something else elderly…

Couple of days ago, I posted my latest brew: Elderflower mead. What really started the elderflower brewing frenzy was actually a very simple elderflower champagne I made with a friend. Not to give the secret away (which I am very glad to share the recipe upon request!), here is a nice photo of the final product bottled! It will be ready to be enjoyed over a nice picnic in a couple of weeks… so I hope! I really, really hope!

Wagerberg’s Products……. a collection so far!

Wagerberg at full steam! Well, this is the labelled collection, so far! Plus the Beetroot Mead that is not included in the picture! Apart from those, I have brewed a few more products, which will be labelled in time (They take way too much time!)

Wagerberg is a home brewery which I set up and, soon, I will start selling the drinks and all proceeds will go to charity!

Products so far (which I have given away from free to friends at house parties! Want to be my friend?):

  • Wagerberg Original Pilsner
  • WillHoneyWeiss Spiced Honey Weissbier
  • Tobias KinderDoppelBock Bock Lager
  • StrawberLy Garweiss Strawberry Weissbier
  • Pri’s Coffee Ale
  • Ray TeaBaggins Tea Ale
  • Wagerberg’s Backyard Plum Wine
    • Missing from the image:
  • Feel The Beat Beetroot Mead
  • Strawberly Mead
  • Raspberry Mead
  • Very Hoppy India Pale Ale
  • Sour as Life Sourdough Pale Ale

Thanks for reading!