Since I’ve been trying a few different wine recipes lately, I decided to do a rhubarb wine using some of the rhubarb that grows under our apple tree. I’ve been reading a bit about making wine with juice instead of whole fruit, and I decided to try juicing the rhubarb with a steam juicer and adding that juice to the must instead of whole rhubarb. We probably had enough for a 5 gallon batch, but I just wanted to make a couple gallons like I’ve done with the raspberry and salmonberry wine. Here is a recipe for rhubarb wine, 2 gallon batch.
Rinsed all of the rhubarb and cut it into 1/2 inch chunks. I then added all of the rhubarb to my steam juicer and began heating it up. After the steam began coming out of the top I began my timer for 90 minutes and let the steaming go for a bit. After 15 minutes I collected the first quart of juice and poured it back over the rhubarb in the steamer, which I read will help get a better juice. I checked the water a few times to make sure it was still boiling, and after the timer went off I turned off the heat and collected the rhubarb juice into my primary.
I ended up with a little over 1/2 gallon of rhubarb juice, so I added enough cold water to bring the total volume to 2 gallons. I then added the sugar to bring the specific gravity to 1.094, which is just about right for a fruit wine. I let the must cool to about 80 F and then added the yeast nutrient and yeast. Reading online revealed that adding Campden tablets at the beginning of fermentation can cause a lot of the rhubarb flavor to be lost, so I will only add Campden tablets when preparing for bottling.
Put into primary 7-9-10. Original Gravity measured at 1.094 (12.7% potential alcohol). Will rack to one-gallon carboys in a week.
Racked into 1 half-gallon and 2 one-gallon carboys on 7-16-10. Specific gravity was measured at 1.030, so I did not add any sugar at this point. I intend to make this a sweet wine, so I plan to add a bit of sugar every time I rack it until it doesn’t restart fermentation. I read that the acid in rhubarb can cause the yeast to work slowly, so that is probably why this didn’t ferment as quickly as my raspberry and salmonberry wines.
The wine is a light pink color but still very cloudy on 7-26-10. I will rack this one again in a week or so.
Racked again on 7-31-10, SG mesured at 1.000. The wine is still cloudy and a nice pink color. Added 1/4 cup of sugar for each gallon to make it a sweet wine.
12-19-10: Bottled into 12-ounce bottles.