I've finally started my wine. The wife was tired of rhubarb accumulating in
her freezer over the past year or so. I've used 30 lb of frozen rhubarb
(which I was surprised to learn resulted in lots of juice and only 8 lb of
pulp after squeezing). Don't let your rhubarb thaw in, say, a laundry
basket. You might discover one or two of your decosonic packages has a leak
in it and you'll get juice all over your floor. Trust me.
I started following Jack's recipe, which I printed out awhile back and
modified to suit my quantity of rhubarb (about 5x multiplier). I had chucked
out the original recipe, so when I went back to Jack's site, I see he's
modified it. (No chalk, acid blend instead of lemon juice, and I think maybe
the sugar amount changed, I'm not positive).
Since I got more juice from the rhubarb than I had figured (my batch is
exactly 7.5 imp gal instead of about 5 imp gal that I had guessed), my
addition of 10 lb of sugar gave me an SG of only 1.062. I used up all the
sugar in the house (17 lb total) and have an SG of 1.092 now. I have the
batch split between 2 glass carboys fitted with blow-off tubes. There's
enough room in them for head, so I shouldn't get any blow-off. I have an old
recipe book that says rhubarb should start at 1.095 to 1.100. I'm thinking
that after heavy fermentation has slowed, I can add more sugar. I'd like to
add more water too, to top up the carboys, but I think it might be a bit to
much water (about 3/4 of an imperial gallon per carboy.)
I used the lemon juice instead of acid blend as per Jack's original recipe,
since I had already bought it. My starting TA was 7.0. I held back about a
gallon of water at the start (when you let the rhubarb soak in water for 3
days prior to straining). I figured that it would be easier dissolving the
sugar in a gallon of boiling water then let it cool, rather than trying to
dissolve the sugar in the cold juice. I used 1/2 tsp pot. met. instead of
the campdens too. After the first night, ALL of the red in the rhubarb was
gone. So rather than getting a rose, it'll be a white.
Oh, and I have to buy another pack of yeast today since I had to split the
I'll let y'all know if anything exciting happens!
Keep us posted. I do like to hear how others are making their wine. I'm on
my third batch of rhubarb wine. This time, I used my leftover frozen
rhubarb, plus a quart of leftover blueberries and a quart of strawberries,
so it will be an interesting gallon of wine. My batch fermented to dry very
quickly, and I've already transferred to my secondary. Good-luck.
Sounds like you're off to a good start. I would say an SG of 1.092 is
perfectly fine and will give a nice dry rhubarb wine with a good alcohol
level. I'm concerned about your comment that you "already bought" the
lemon juice. Are you talking about fresh squeezed lemon juice? I would
not recommend products like "RealLemon" as they just taste insipid. They
may really alter the taste of your wine. In the future I would use fresh
squeezed lemon juice or acid blend. Please let us know how it turns out.
My first wine was also a rhubarb and it was quite good.
Yes, I used bottled lemon juice. I've been making wines off and on for about
10 years, and have always used acid blend. I debated on whether I should use
the juice or blend. Wife suggested I do something different, so I did. We'll
That's a nice amount of fruit for the volume you have. I wouldn't
dilute with more water now if I were you.
The way to go IMO.
SG 1.092 is fine if you're planning on fermenting this to dryness.
That's a little high for my liking but you could always sweeten it a
bit after fermentation if you find it tastes too acidic.
I've read so much about how straight rhubarb wine isn't the best, so I'm
thinking I might have to sweeten it in the end. Maybe I'll sweeten some and
let some go untouched. I have lots to work with, so experimentation will be
Just a note, I have never tried rhubarb on it's own, but will surely
do so next year after your comments. I have rhubab mixed with wild
rosehips in 2001 though, and that proved a very nice combination. I
must add, the vintage rosehip of the same year was awfull, I chucked a
dozen bottles only a few weeks ago.