Making Rhubarb Wine
Two days ago, on the weekend, I put about 15 pounds of chopped, frozen rhubarb in to my two large pots, covered it with water and brought it to a good boil. Then I left the lids on, took it off the heat and left it to sit until today.
I cut all the rhubarb just this season! I have a lot of rhubarb!
This morning I put the rhubarb wine into the primary fermenter. I did a bit of research online, reading many, many recipes before I started.
After straining the juice from the boiled rhubarb, I ended up with about 6 gallons. I put this into the primary fermenter. To this I added:
- 2.5 teaspoons pectic enzyme, dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water. (Still not sure this is enough. I might add another teaspoon or two before racking. Rhubarb has a lot of pectin.)
- 1 tea bag in a cup of boiling water, left to sit and "stew" for a couple of hours before adding to the wine
- 1 package E-1118 wine yeast, proofed in 3/4 cups of lukewarm water with a sprinkle of sugar
- 20 cups of sugar, bringing the hydrometer reading to 13% potential alcohol, perfect! I added 8 cups, then did a hydrometer reading for every 4 cups of sugar added after that.
I ran out of sulphite for sterilizing, so switched to a mild bleach solution, rinsing everything very well, of course.
I did not use acic blend for this, since rhubarb has a lot of acid, however many of the recipes called for either tea (for the tannin/tanic acid) or liquid tannin. I used one tea bag (black tea), as asked for in several recipes, just to be sure. Acid is important. I would have preferred to use green tea, but didn't have any. I thought about using the white tea in the freezer, but that's special tea, to be used only when my MIL visits. ;-) I went with black. No one is going to notice the taste of one black tea bag in 6 gallons of wine.
All in all, I thought it went very well! I'm quite pleased with the resulting red liquid foaming away in the primary fermenter!
It won't be ready for at least a year, which means I will probably be drinking it at about 8 months. :rolleyes:
It's so exciting when it goes well! (It doesn't always...)