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 70º 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 ???
Last edited by Minnesota
on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.