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Making Rhubarb Wine

Posted by sheryl_ontario (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 14, 11 at 17:28

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...)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Making Rhubarb Wine

Oh, it sounds good. Let us know how it tastes. I have never cooked my rhubarb. I like to freeze it first to break down the cell walls. When thawed I press out as much juice as possible, add water sugar and ferment.

RE: Making Rhubarb Wine

Rhubarb wine is one of my favorites and easiest to make. To begin the process I harvest rhubarb during the season, cut and freeze it in gallon zip lock bags. For my recipe I use twelve pounds of frozen cut into one inch size rhubarb, usually about three gallon bags, a two and a half pound bag of raisins, ten pounds of sugar, and three jugs of water. All is put into a (guessing about a 20 gallon plastic tote) as the rhubarb thaws I begin stirring allowing all to warm not quite to room temp before adding a package of Red Star premere curvee yeast... Prior to adding the yeast i check the liquid if its at my desired "balling"reading. Stirring is done twice a day for about a weeks time, at which time I tip the tote up a couple of inchs on one end and insert a siphon hose down into the other end and begin drawing off the juice into a five gallon carboy. I stop filling at the point in the glass carboy where it begins to round into the top portion to allow for expansion during "working" process. usually I fill a couple more cleaned jugs for topping off after racking the first time... Note at no time was a wine press used or any boiling of water. I use city water from the tap which is prefect for use in my wine making recipes and cleaning of equipment...
Most of my fruit wines are made using the same steps...
In using rhubarb wine - I usually use it in a mix with other wines because it usually enhances the favor of the wine to which its added without any rhubarb after taste.

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