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DIY "Dry" Rhubarb wine from Great Grandpa's Strawberry Rhubarb

12:22 PM

When my Grandma immigrated  from Germany to the USA she didn't bring much with her, but she did bring a chunk of rootstock from her father's Strawberry Rhubarb.  Strawberry rhubarb differs from regular rhubarb in that it generally has a smaller stalk that is a pretty pinkish red color.  My grandma, my mom, and I all have offspring from great grandpa's rhubarb plant growing in our yards... mine's a little small and sad, but mom's was big this year and she's been harvesting. 

my tiny plant

cleaned stalks that my mom harvested from HER plant. 

I've made this wine one other time in the past, and I did a bit of a variation this time based on the ingredients I had on hand.  It is based on a recipe for "dry" wine, but last time it ended up being fairly sweet and very delicious.  My bet is that we'll have similar results this time around.

Rhubarb Wine
3 lbs(1.4kg) rhubarb stalks, sliced into small pieces
8 oz (240g) chopped apple or golden raisins
2 1/2 lbs (1.14kg) white sugar
1 tsp (5g) pectic enzyme
1 Campden tablet (Optional)
1 package wine yeast
1 tsp (5g) yeast nutrient
juice of 1 orange

Put rhubarb and apples (I used apples instead of golden raisins b/c my hubby and kids ate all the raisins... aaaand because we do live in apple country, afterall) in a 2 gallon fermentation vessel that can be fitted with an airlock.  In a medium saucepan,  bring 1/2 gallon (1.9 L) of water to a boil and add the sugar.  Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the water over the mixture in the fermentation vessel.  When the mixture is cool, add the pectic enzyme, and Campden tablet.  Let stand for 24 hours. 

In a jar, make a yeast starter culture by combining the wine yeast, yeast nutrient, and orange juice.  Cover and shake vigorously.  Let stand 1 to 3 hours or until bubbly; then add to must (mixture in fermentation vessel).  Cap the vessel with an airlock.

Our fermentation process went a little crazy... so we added a blow-off tube.  This is in a 1 gallon jug... which is why I said to use a 2 gallon jug in the directions ;-)

Ferment for 2 weeks; then rack off the solids.  Top off with additional orange juice if necessary,  recap with an airlock, and let ferment for another 10 weeks.  Then bottle and cellar the wine.  

Wait at least 6 months before sampling.

Enjoy!  This is one of my favorites and will be ready right around the Holidays.

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