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Requested Recipe:

RHUBARB WINE


"Can you give any suggestions on a good
recipe for rhubarb wine?"
Terry Groth




RHUBARB


Rhubarb wine is one of those wines you either love or hate. My wife doesn't like the taste of rhubarb in any form, but I do. As a result, I don't make it often and only make a gallon at a time when I do.

Rhubarb contains an excess of oxalic acid, which is what gives it the taste some people find unpleasant. But oxalic acid can be easily removed (as in the recipe below) and the wine will be better for it. Although rhubarb wine has its own taste, it is excellent for blending because it will take up the flavor of whatever it is blended with and in the process will lose most of its own flavor.

If you're not sure you'll like it, you can always make a one-gallon batch and freeze enough rhubarb for another batch or two later. You can save space by crushing the rhubarb and freezing the juice.

Rhubarb Wine

Wash the rhubarb and cut into 1/2-inch lengths. Crush with a piece of sterilized hardwood (the end of a baseball bat is perfect) and put into primary. Dissolve crushed Campden tablet in gallon of cold water and pour over rhubarb. Cover primary and let set for three days, stirring daily. Strain through a nylon straining bag and squeeze as much liquid as possible from the pulp. Discard pulp and return liquor to primary. Add the precipitated chalk (obtainable at winemaking shop). The liquor will fizz, but then settle down. Wait 3 hours and taste. If oxalic acid taste is still too strong, add another 1/2 oz of precipitated chalk. Stir in all remaining ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves completely. (NOTE: You may want to hold back one pound of the sugar and add it after fermentation is well on its way.) Cover and set aside overnight. Transfer to secondary and fit airlock, but to allow for foaming during fermentation hold back a pint or so in a small bottle plugged with cotton. When ferment settles down (5-7 days), top up with reserved liquor and refit airlock. Set aside in cool place until wine begins to clear. Rack, refit airlock and top up. Allow at least another two months, making sure fermentation has ceased, and rack again. If possible, cold stabilize wine for 30 days. If you can't cold stabilize, at least allow the wine the additional 30 days. Rack into bottles or blend with another wine.

If you bottle the rhubarb wine pure, it is drinkable right away. If you blend it, age it according to instructions for the wine you are blending with. If you make a 3-5-gallon batch, add 1/8 tsp tannin per gallon when you add the other dry ingredients to extend the life of the wine. [Author's own recipe]


My thanks to Terry Groth for the request.


This page was updated on May 11th, 1999 and updated July 15th, 1999.

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