Not the first thing you think of making wine from, but this was inspired due to a huge glut of runner beans many years ago. 

A long time ago, on peeling a huge harvest of beans to remove the stringy bits, I found I had a large amount of peelings and they had to have a better use than just throwing them on the compost heap, so I tried making wine out of them.

As it was a first go as I could not find another reference to it anywhere, I decided to go a little bit mad and use 50/50 muscovado sugar and supermarket sugar.  The result was, lets say interesting.  I still have a few bottles if anyone fancies trying it.  It was more like a whiskey, earthy and buttery, strong and a sipper.  Not the best wine I've ever made.

Runner Bean Wine Recipe

So, you learn from your mistakes and I had another go at brewing this unusual wine.  The results were a lot better.  It still has that whisky, earthy undertone, but a lot more palatable.

This recipe for this runner bean wine has an aroma of sherry, is smooth, a slight sweetness and a dryness from the tannins in the beans all topped off by a strong boozy hit.  This is a warming wine.

The extra good news is that because we are cooking the runner beans and then using the cooking water, we can then eat the runner beans.  I love mine with lashings of slated butter and doused in a really good balsamic vinegar.

Anyway, let's get brewing...


1.4kg (3lb) Runner beans
1.4kg (3lb) Sugar - 50% Supermarket (granulated) Sugar & 50% Brewing Sugar
4.5 litres (8 pints or 1 gallon) Boiling Water
Campden Tablets
White Wine Yeast
Yeast Nutrient
1 tsp Tartaric Acid


Equipment: (We have a fruit wine starter kit if needed for £25)

Brewing Bucket
Demi-John with Air-Lock
Muslin or Straining Bag
Bottles Corks Corker



1 - Peel and string your runner beans

2 - Pop them in a large saucepan and add the 4.5 litres of water.

3 - Bring the pan up to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the beans are cooked.

4 - Strain the beans into a clean sterilised bucket through the straining bag and remember to keep the water.

5 - Leave the runner bean water to cool to 20°C.  Pop the beans on a plate with butter and balsamic vinegar and enjoy eating while the bean juice cools.

6 - Add the sugar to the bean water and stir to dissolve.

7 - Add the tartaric acid, yeast nutrient , pectolase and stir.

8 - Take a sample and a reading with your hydrometer and keep this safe.

9 - Add the yeast and stir


10 - Loosely put the lid on and put it into a warm cupboard (20°C) for 7 days.


11 - Siphon into a clean sterilised Demi-John & pop in the airlock.

12 - Put this back into your warm place (20°C) until no more bubbles pass through the airlock.

13 - Once fermentation is complete, check with a hydrometer it should be around 0.996. Use this new reading with the original reading to work out the ABV of your wine.

14 - Rack off into a clean Demi-John add 1 crushed Campden Tablet and leave to clear.

15 - Once clear, bottle and keep for 6 months to condition.


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