B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beets) Farmhouse Ale Recipe

This beer recipe is marked by the signature red hue of beets, not to mention the variety of tastes from hops and malts, and is perfect for any homebrewing adventurer.

From "The Homebrewer's Garden, 2nd Edition"
June 2016

Yield: Yields 5 gallons (19 L)

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From those just getting started to small farmers looking to expand their repertoire, the pages of The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition contain no shortage of growing and brewing inspiration. For the garden, there are sections filled with advice about small-space hops cultivation, trellising, the latest grain-growing techniques, tips for successful hop, herb and grain cultivation, troubleshooting, and more. And for the beer, there’s a collection of delicious recipes for 32 specialty homebrews just like this one. Filled with wisdom from two men who have experienced it firsthand, this book is the essential guide for the gardener who loves beer.

This partial-mash beer comes from our friends at Central Street Farmhouse. Owner Zeth Lundy says: “This is a recipe that has been really popular around here this past year. It’s one that our manager, Josh Parda, brought to the store. You actually use beets in the mash and (if desired) as a ‘dry hop’ in the secondary. The beer base is a Saison style, so the beets bring a really nice earthy, complex flavor to the exist­ing fruity-peppery flavor profile (not to mention a brilliant red color!)”

Initial Gravity: 1.052–1.058
Final Gravity: 1.004–1.01


• 1 pound (454 g) beets for mash
• 4 pounds (1.8 kg) Pilsner malt
• 1/2 pound (227 g) caramel 20L malt
• 1/2 pound (227 g) aromatic malt
• 1/4 pound (113 g) honey malt
• 1 ounce (28 g) Fuggles hops
• 1 ounce (28 g) Willamette hops
• 1/4 ounce (7 g) Whirlfloc tablet or a pinch of Irish moss
• 3-1/3 pounds (1.5 kg) Pilsen Light liquid extract or 3 pounds (1.36 kg) dry malt extract
• Wyeast French Saison (3711) liquid yeast or Belle Saison dry yeast
• 1/4 - 1/2 pound (113-227 g) beets for secondary fermenter
• 2/3 cup (160 ml) corn sugar for priming


1. Roast 1 pound (454g) beets at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) for 50 to 60 min­utes (peeling them is optional).

2. Heat 4 gallons (15L) water in brew kettle to 150 degrees F (65.5 degrees C). Add crushed grains with roasted beets, and mash 45 to 60 min­utes. Sparge grains and remove grains and beets from kettle.

3. Bring liquid to a boil. Add Fuggles bittering hops. Boil 45 min­utes. Add Willamette hops and Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. Boil 15 minutes. When boil is over, turn off heat and fully dissolve extract.

4. Cool wort and add to 2 gallons (7.6 L) cold water in sanitized fer­menter. Top off to 5 gallons (19 L).

5. Pitch yeast, and ferment at room temperature (65–70 degrees F/18–21 degrees C) 7 days. (Zeth also likes to pitch a vial of White Labs’ Clarity Ferm with the yeast, which greatly reduces gluten content to under 10 ppm and improves flavor as well.)

6. After 7 days, check hydrometer reading; if close to final gravity, rack beer into another sanitized fermenter for another 7 days. At this time, boil additional 1/4–1/2 pound (113–227 g) beets. Allow to cool to room temperature (65–70 degrees F/18–21 degrees C). Add beets and cooking liquid to secondary fermenter for increased color and beet flavor.

7. Bottle, let age at least 2 weeks, and enjoy!

For more homebrewing recipes and tips, check out the excerpt from The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition. For another sample recipe from this book, take a look at the Wild Hops Honey Ale.

Reprinted with permission from The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition by Joe Fisher and Dennis Fisher, published by Storey Publishing, 2016.