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Rhubarb wine recipe

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Frjen

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Hello

Can anyone provide me with a great rhubarb wine recipe ?
I have some rhubarb wine fermenting right now but it's a bit sour, any ideas ?
 

GreginND

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I make rhubarb wine almost every year and have made it a number of different ways. I now have developed my preferred method which I'll describe below.

To let you know I do like a drier style rhubarb wine with lots of rhubarb body and flavor.

I harvest my rhubarb throughout spring and early summer. As I harvest it I slice it in my food processor and freeze them in 1 gallon ziploc bags. When I get ready to make the wine I will take all the rhubarb out of the freezer and add it to my primary container to thaw. I will add some bisulfite to the rhubarb at this point. Once thawed (2-3 days depending on how much) I will strain off the juice and squeeze the rhubarb as much as possible. I will then add the same volume of water to the pulp, mix it up well and press it out once more. For example, if I get 2 gallons of free juice after thawing I'll add 2 gallons of water to the rhubarb pulp. Mash it up and press then press it out.

I do not like to ferment with the pulp as I think it gives it too much vegetative flavors.

To the juice I will add enough sugar to bring the SG up to about 1.090. I will adjust the acid if it is too low. I like a TA around 6-7 g/L tartaric. Add nutrients and yeast and ferment away.

Once it is well cleared and aged I'll do some taste tests with various sugar levels. Some I have left dry, others I've made anywhere from 1% sugar to 4% sugar. It all depends on the balance that year.
 

Frjen

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Hi

Can youexplain the acid part for me ?
What is TA ?
Can I use citrus for acid ?
7 grams pr.liter ?

How long do you let it ferment ?
Can I stop fermentation with refridgeration ?
When you leave some dry, is that without adding sugar after fermentation ?
How do you calculate 1% to 4% sugar ?

My wine is quite sour, should I just add sugar ?

Sorry about all the questions, I,m a newbie.
 

GreginND

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Hi

Can youexplain the acid part for me ?
What is TA ?
Can I use citrus for acid ?
7 grams pr.liter ?
TA stands for "Titratable Acid" or "Total Acid". It is a measure of the total free and bound acids (protons) in the wine. It can be measured using a chemical titration and any home brewing shop will have a TA kit. But it isn't absolutely necessary for you to measure it.

I use tartaric acid. You can use citric with a rhubarb wine but citric acid is less stable to microbes and yeast. If the juice tastes tart enough you may not need to add any.


How long do you let it ferment ?
Until it's done! I ferment in my primary until the SG is down to about 1.000 then rack it into a carboy with an airlock. It will finish up there. My last batch was about two weeks in the primary and another two weeks or so to get completely dry in the carboy. Every one is different so you should just monitor it with your hydrometer.

Can I stop fermentation with refridgeration ?
When you leave some dry, is that without adding sugar after fermentation ?
How do you calculate 1% to 4% sugar ?
It is very difficult to stop an active fermentation. The best way to do this is to ferment your wine dry, let it bulk age and clear until it's ready for bottling. Then add some sugar and stabilizer (potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite) to prevent fermentation from starting again. That way you can control the entire process.

Yes, a "dry" wine is one that has no sugar.

1% sugar would be 1 gram in 100 mL or 10 grams in 1 liter. You can calculate your volume and how much sugar to add. If you need to convert it to American weight and volume units after your calculation.

My wine is quite sour, should I just add sugar ?

Sorry about all the questions, I,m a newbie.
Generally if you have a tart (acidic) wine, it can be more balanced if you add sugar. I usually make up 4 samples from 1% to 4% sugar and do the taste test to decide what the optimal level is for that wine. Then I back sweeten the entire batch with that amount.

Again, if you add sugar you need to add potassium sorbate to prevent it from fermenting in the bottle. I assume you know you should be using K-meta (potassium metabisulfite) all along in your winemaking process? That protects from bacteria and helps prevent oxidation.

No problem with the questions. It's how we learn! Keep on asking.
 

Frjen

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Thank you for the information. Well, since making wine is illegal in this country, no brewing shop's existe here. Therefor my knowledge of brewing is limited.
I have no idea what K-meta is, does that mean my wine is dangerous to drink ?
Keep in mind, hygene is a high priority of mine, i sterilize everything befor use, and the wine tastes fine, bit sour.
 

GreginND

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No, is not dangerous. It just might soil easier. But people have made plenty of good wine without it. I would drink it sooner rather than later. If your wine is sour you can add sugar. If you don't have access to stabilizers ( k-meta and sorbate) I think your only option would be to keep the wine cold to prevent fermentation after sweetening or just sweeten it as you drink it.
 

Frjen

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Well after two years I got my academy profession degree, programmer in production techlology. And I did so presenting the wine I made at home, the teachers loved it.

Next step is to establish my very own vinyard, hopefully within the next year.
 

toadie

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I can't imagine many people will see this comment but wow this thread took a major turn at the end. Kudos to GreginND for the good advice that may have led to a winery startup in possibly a former soviet republic!
 

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