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Tomato beer

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:27 pm
by Andy Hamilton
Just found a victorian recipe for tomato beer and thought it might be worth a try.
Gather ripe tomatoes, mash and strain through a couarse linen bag and to every gallon of juice add one point of good moist brown sugar, pour off and bottle closley, the longer kept the better. When used, fill nearly full a pitcher with sweetened water, add lemon juice to suit taste, and to this some of the preparation described, and you will find it equal to the best lemonade. To half a gallon of seetened water add one tumblerful of beer.
I thought I'd call it not quite beer as it certainly isn't a typical beer and it doesn't sound very alcoholic either. It does strike me as an oddity and might be worth a taste?

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:01 pm
by Milims
:pale: :pukeright: Let us know if you survive! :lol:

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:07 pm
by Andy Hamilton
Still here! Actually, after trying to mash 3 tomoatoes through a sieve I decided that I would make the juice the easier way, skin the tomatoes and then boil them down before straining. Will let you know the next stages.

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:40 pm
by Minnesota
I have tried to ferment tomatoes before, about 3 times.
the first two didn't turn out, I found that the tomatoes I like
to eat are too acidic for a dry fermented beverage.
my third try would be properly called a Tomato Melomel
about 4 years ago I experimented using a wild yeast technique,
not only with tomatoes, but Rhubarb and Gooseberries too.
OK, back to Tomatoes... I used a variety called "TAXI",
a yellow, low acid, sweet tomato with a short season (55 days).
I grow it distinctly for this purpose.
I titled my Beverage after the variety.
Here is the recipe


For every 5 lbs of yellow tomato, I add one pint of water.
For every 2 gallons of slurry, I add one tsp yeast nutrient.
At 4 to 8 days, I strain pulp and discard, I add two lbs honey per one gallon liquid.
Let if ferment til specific gravity is around 1.000
Bottle with conditioning sugar if you want it carbinated,
otherwise bulk age as long as possible...12 months at least.

OK that is the jist of it. My Melomel experiment in 2007 went like this.

I had 25 lb of tomatoes, I smashed them with my hands in a bucket/fermentor. This yielded about four gallons of slurry. I added 5 pints of aerated water and 2 tsp yeast nutrient. I aerated (vigorously stirred) the mixture, then I fitted the fermentor lid with an airlock and put in a room which stays about 70ยบ F.

On day 2, some fermentation activity started.

On day 8, I noticed fermentation slowed to almost a stop. I strained out the pulp and seeds. yeild was about 4 gallons. I added 5 pounds of raw fresh honey. After the honey was gently blended in, I transfered to a 5 gallon glass carboy with airlock. Fermentation started within 24 hours and continued for about 2 weeks.

On day 23, Fermentation had nearly stopped. I took a gravity reading, 1.002 it has a great citric, tart taste with a little tomato acidity. it was still quite cloudy. I racked off the sediment and transfered to another glass carboy.

On day 48, the gravity was 1.000, it was nice and clear. I added 3.2 ounces of conditioning sugar to the 4 gallons and bottled. Bottle conditioning took about 3 weeks.

This was a very dry melomel. Golden in color, tart and tomatoey on the taste buds. Lots of bubbles, it drinks well, Ice cold on a hot and humid day. I really like how it turned out, but the weird thing is, it is very tough to drink on a cool or cold day ???

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:44 pm
by Rosendula
It's funny, I was just wondering out loud to OH yesterday about tomato beer, but I was joking. I don't think I want to try it really.

To make some types of sauce I give the tomatoes a wipe and drop them one at a time into the blender while it's whizzing, and then I put them through the sieve. No squirtiness, and no scalded fingers.

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:17 am
by frozenthunderbolt
PLEASE dont waste your tomatoes! - By all accounts you have to be an alcoholic to drink something fermented from tomatoes - every one of my 20 odd brewing books has the recipe for tomato wine (or similar) and a recommendation not to waste your time and ingredients.

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:06 pm
by MKG
I've been trying my hardest to imagine the taste of tomato beer ... and trying ... and trying. Can't get there :iconbiggrin:

Andy's recipe, and Minnesota's, look like they are more for a background tomato-ish taste and sound like they could be very refreshing (conjuring up thoughts of just slightly under-ripe salad tomatoes on a hot summer day). But tomato beer?

No ... I'm still trying ... and trying ... and trying.


Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:03 pm
by oldjerry
Tomato beer? no thanks..when you've made all the puree,passata and ketchup you and your family,friends and everybody you've ever met can possibly want,throw any remaing fruit at your local M.P.

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:16 pm
by Minnesota
Just a quick update here, my tomato beer recipe "Taxi" is very reminiscent to a Belgian Gueuze, if you are familiar with Beer styles?

Gueuze has a dry, cider-like, musty, sour, acetic acid, lactic acid taste.

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:49 pm
by Brewtrog
Is it one you'd try again? I know my brewing forum have a standing thing of attempts to brew tomato wine (with no success (actually no one has tried for a long time)).

Re: Tomato beer

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:06 pm
by Minnesota
Yes it is, but I do like sour beers.