Wine Recipe for Green Runner or String Beans

Updated on August 18, 2019
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Friends say I have "green-fingers," and the garden certainly seems to respond to my efforts. I enjoy watching wildlife and being outdoors.

Most varieties of green bean do not need peeling. Use the whole bean to make wine.
Most varieties of green bean do not need peeling. Use the whole bean to make wine. | Source

Can You Make Wine from String Beans?

Yes, you can make alcohol from almost any vegetable or fruit. Wine-making is a good way to use excess produce before it spoils.

Home-grown green (runner, string, snap or French) bean plants tend to mature within a few days of each other. This gives the home gardener a big harvest, but too much to eat before the fruit rots. Making wine from string beans is a good way to prevent waste and make the most of a bumper harvest.

How to Brew Runner Bean (String Bean) Wine

Brewbitz Homebrew Shop's Recipe For Snap, or Green String Bean Wine

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs snap or green string beans
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp pectic enzyme

  • 7 pts water

  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient

  • Champagne or Hock wine yeast

Method

  1. Wash the beans to remove dead flies and other dirt. No need to remove stems or pods; use the whole bean.
  2. Cut beans into 2-inch pieces and put into a saucepan. Cover with water and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar until dissolved and then remove from heat.
  3. Strain the beans and discard their water. Place in primary fermenting vessel and pour sugar, and water over it. Stir and cover
  4. Allow to cool, then add pectic enzyme. Stir, cover and leave for 12 hours. Add activated yeast.
  5. Stir the brew daily to agitate the contents. After two weeks, remove the bean pulp. Save the water drippings and discard the pulp.
  6. Transfer to demi-john or carboy, and attach airlock. Rack every 2 months for 6 months, topping up and reattaching airlock each time. The wine should clear naturally, but if not, use Amylase or starch enzyme.
  7. Stabilize the wine when it is clear and no longer depositing sediments. Wait 14 days and then bottle. Age for at least one year (longer may be needed) before tasting.

How much wine will you make from your garden beans?
How much wine will you make from your garden beans? | Source

Making Homemade Wine

You can use any fruit, herbs or vegetables as a base for your homemade wine. As a beginner winemaker, it is a good idea to follow a recipe or reference book at first. As you gain confidence and experience you will be able to be more experimental with your wine flavors.

The basic equipment needed to make wine is a large bucket and a glass demi-john or carboy. When I started making wine, I bought a gallon wine from fruit kit. It contains all the equipment you need to start fermentation including yeast. It's an economical way of buying what's needed and includes a recipe book of over 100 fruit wine recipes.

The gallon bucket acts as your primary fermentation tank. In this you place the mashed or chopped fruit or vegetables. Water, sugar and yeast are then added and the mixture is left for about a week for fermentation to take place.

To clarify the liquor, you siphon the liquid into the glass carboy or demi-john. This is left for secondary fermentation to occur. In order to prevent contamination and oxidation of the wine during this process, the glass demi-john is sealed using an airlock. Once fermentation is complete (i.e. when there are no more bubbles produced), the wine is siphoned into a sterilized wine bottle and sealed tightly with a cork.

3 Tips For Making Runner Bean Wine

  • Use only freshly picked beans. Don't use ones that insects or birds have got to before you.
  • Make sure all your bottles and corks are sterilised otherwise the wine will sour.
  • You need a lot of patience for this endevor. String bean wine can take many years to mature.

Green runner beans growing on a cane frame.
Green runner beans growing on a cane frame. | Source

Gardening is Hard Work and Fun

I am an amateur gardener. Sometimes my efforts produce very little in the way of garden produce. But occasionally I get more vegetables than I can keep up with. I try not to waste any of the harvest in these bumper years, so one year I decided to make wine from runner beans. That way my excess crops were converted into something useful rather than being wasted.

I turned a barren garden plot into something more fertile by planting green beans. I had followed the advice of an expert friend who said that beginner gardeners should plant runner beans as they were easy to grow and increased the fertility of poor soils. What he hadn't said was that once the soil regained its nutritional value, the plants would produce an abundant crop. And there's a limit to the number of runner beans I want to eat each season.

The weather was perfect for growing runner beans that year. At first I enjoyed having fresh runner beans with every meal. However, after a week or so, the novelty began to pall. I toyed with the idea of making chutney, but decided I didn’t want to spend hours over a hot stove in the fine summer weather. My freezer was too small to take the overflow, so I was left with a glut for which I had no use.

Eureka! Green Bean Wine

I have made home-made wines from wild berries and fruits for years. Creating drinks like blackberry or elderflower wine is easy as they are quick to mature. I had never made any vegetable wines, but a friend assured me that if you can make wine from parsnips, there is no reason why green beans why you could not use green beans.

I had nothing to lose as if I chose not to make green bean wine, only my compost heap would benefit. So I set my demi-john flasks (glass carboys) bubbling with a green bean wine mash. When fermentation was complete I bottled the batch and put it into my usual wine storage closet.

The Result: Wine From Fermented Runner Beans

Somewhat impatiently, I resisted opening any of the bottles for a year. Which was just as well, because when I did so the taste was similar to strong drain cleaning fluid. Ugh! Awful!

Another couple of years passed by and I and some friends gingerly tasted some more. Good enough to use in cooking, but not a palatable drink that could be dignified with the name of “wine”.

At last, more than seven years after it had been made, just one bottle remained unopened and untasted. I was about to put it straight in the cooking pot to be used as part of a stew, but I tasted it, just in case… And yes, it was not only drinkable, but rather delicious.

All the other bottles had lacked was time to mature properly. I felt a bit of a fool for being so keen to open all the other bottles too early.

Use Wild Plants or Weeds to Make Wine

Once you start making your own wine you may find it difficult to stop. There are plenty of recipes on the internet and in the library to help you make use of all kinds of fruit, vegetables and herbs. You can make wines for virtually no cost if you use weeds and plants growing wild. Good plants to use in this way are dandelions. They seem to grow almost anywhere and are brightly colored making them easy to find. Most important of all they are easy to correctly identify so you are unlikely to harvest a poisonous plant by mistake.

The video below shows you how to make dandelion (or other weeds) into a tasty homemade wine.

How to Make Dandelion Wine

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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