Rhubarb Wine

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Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » April 29th, 2015, 1:18 pm

I've been asked to do a video on making rhubarb wine. Any tips from personal experience?
Most recipes say slice and sugar the rhubarb to extract the juice, some say young and some say old stems cause cloudiness, some use pectinase anyway.
Last edited by cheshire-cheese on April 29th, 2015, 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby scullion » April 29th, 2015, 4:17 pm

hi, i made a couple of gallons, years ago, when neighbours gave us a large armful of very long, fat stalks so I assume they weren't that young. I used the recipe from c.j.berry's 'first steps in winemaking' so I would imagine I would have done as he said and sliced the rhubarb and left it covered in sugar. I cant remember if I used pectinase or not but as it isn't in his recipe I would imagine I didn't. it turned out a beautiful, clear wine with a hint of pink and a lovely flavour. I would probably have put less sugar in than he suggested as I found his wine recipes turned out a bit sweet with the amount of sugar he uses.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » April 30th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Thanks, Scullion, I have that book too. Good to know it turned out well. I almost bought some rhubarb the other day, but it was extortionate, I may ask around, see if my sister has any on her allotment. I may even plant my own, but I have a feeling it may be a while before I get a crop (not sure about that, must read up).

I will look to reduce the sugar, as you suggested. I would imagine it would be nice as a 'lighter' wine.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby scullion » April 30th, 2015, 3:57 pm

yes, it was, very much a summer/picnic wine and quite like the hock he suggests. well worth it.
his gorse flower recipe is nice, with a hint of coconut (again, rather sweet) but you have to make rather a lot more effort getting the main ingredient! wearing leather gloves is a good idea.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » April 30th, 2015, 4:03 pm

Rhubarb it is! :D
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby Seatallan » April 30th, 2015, 4:49 pm

Oooh, I'd love to have a crack at gorse flower wine! I love the way gorse smells of coconut. So exotic for a British plant. :D
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby scullion » April 30th, 2015, 4:55 pm

if you do make the recipe from the above mentioned book, reduce the sugar by quite a bit. i think i made it with about two and a half rather than the three pounds stated and it was still sweeter than i would have liked. you can always add more later if it's not sweet enough.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby scullion » April 30th, 2015, 4:57 pm

just a thought. the rhubarb might also be nice with a little secondary fermentation for a light fizz.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » April 30th, 2015, 5:18 pm

And it's a good one, the thought had crossed my mind. I may do both.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby Zosherooney » July 26th, 2015, 1:53 pm

I have a rhubarb crown and had not considered wine before, thanks for the :tu: :tu: up
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby Zosherooney » August 12th, 2015, 7:06 am

Although, now I cast my mind back, I did do a batch of rhubarb champagne a few years back... :cocktail:
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » June 1st, 2016, 11:59 am

Rhubarb was on offer in Tesco today, so I've made a start:
Day One
1600g rhubarb washed and sliced
zest of one lemon
600g sugar

Later I will add water and extract the juice, then add 2 litres of tropicana red grape juice (also on offer), wine yeast and maybe pectolase.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » September 8th, 2016, 6:25 am

I didn't add the pectolase after all and it came out clear. However, I will change the method or recipe next time because the rhubarb aroma and flavour is not easily detectable. I'm having a crack at méthode traditionelle to make it into sparkling wine. Not with a metal crown cap for the secondary fermentation in the bottle, but a hollow plastic closure to hold the sediment after riddling. With them being plastic, not sure how successful the freezing brine part of the method will be.
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Re: Rhubarb Wine

Postby cheshire-cheese » September 17th, 2017, 7:46 am

Well, the rhubarb bubbly, Rhububbly?, was a big success. On the day we had sunshine this summer, I opened a bottle before I lit the barbecue and it went down very well. Even my wife, who is less than supportive of my brewing hobby, though it was lovely. However, it still wasn't overtly rhubarby, which was a bit disappointing to me. That said, as a drink in it's own right, it produced glasses of crystal clear pink fizz that kept fizzing down to the last drop. The bottles didn't make an ear-splitting pop as they were opened, but this could have been down to the plastic 'cork', but I am aware that I added a restrained amount of sugar for the secondary fermentation in the bottles. I think the quality of the bubbles and their longevity could be down to the length of time spent in secondary, almost a year, but the main reason I left them on the lees for so long was to allow the yeast to impart flavour.

The freezing brine worked well, but a little sludge remained in the neck of the first bottle after disgorgement. I guess metal caps may have worked better, but leaving the bottles in the freezing brine for a little longer and getting the brine to -20C seemed to do the trick.
After tasting and pondering, I finally decided to have the Rhububbly "nature" with no added sugar or sulfite after disgorgement, just topped up with the base wine.
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