Rhubarb Wine is tasty and easy to make – here’s how we turn our Rhubarb into Wine. Right now is the ideal time (mid June) to pick your Rhubarb stalks.
When you pick them, you can either twist the stalk (close to the ground) to snap it off or cut it using a paring knife. Be sure to leave several of the smaller stalks on the plant. This way, your Rhubarb plant will continue to grow.
We have 5 Rhubarb plants. Last Fall, the Gman made a new bed for them to go into. They had been in our Berry Bed and it was getting too crowded and weedy in there. We also wanted to enlarge the Garlic Bed, so something had to be moved out, in order to give us more room.
Ready to make wine? When your Rhubarb is ready to be picked, harvest it.
Weigh the stalks - you will need 5 lbs for every 1 gallon of wine.
This year we ended up with 37 pounds of Rhubarb off those 5 plants!
Clean out a primary fermenter and snap all the stalks many times.
You don’t need to cleanly break each stalk into pieces, just a quick snap so the rhubarb is exposed. The more you can snap each stalk, the better as more surface area is exposed.
Snap the stalks into the primary and pour cold water over to cover them. Now let it sit 3 days, (give it a stir every day) then scoop out the rhubarb and leave the water behind. Do NOT mash the rhubarb, as this can lead to a cloudy wine.
According to the recipe, I had to add 3 lbs of sugar for every 1 gallon of liquid. I started with 2 1/2 gallons of water, so I added 7 pounds of sugar. I stirred it quite a bit to get the sugar dissolved.
You may find it better to make a sugar syrup on the stove as the sugar will dissolve before adding it to the primary fermenter.
After you add the sugar, test the specific gravity with the hydrometer. You are looking for a reading of 10 – 12%. If it is closer to 10% you may want to add some more sugar.
Next add a few Camden tablets (optional).
Scoop out some of the liquid out and add 1 packet of yeast for every 5 gallons of liquid, then pour it into the primary. It sure has a pretty pink colour!
It’s supposed to start foaming, which will mean that it’s working.
The Rhubarb wine is foaming! Excellent - It will take a few days for the foaming to stop.
After you rack it, move the carboy up onto a table or counter right away – someplace where it will be able to sit undisturbed. This way, the sediment will fall to the bottom. You will want your carboy up high to be ready to rack it the next time.
Before you bottle it, rack it down one last time into another clean carboy. You want to leave all the sediment behind, so be sure that your siphon hose does NOT go all the way to the bottom of the carboy. We use a clothespin to hold the siphon hose at the level we want.
The finished result – a beautiful pink colour. It is ready to drink now, but will taste even better in a few months. Squirrel some away so you can enjoy some months later.
Bottle them with corks, using a corker and then lay them on their side. Enjoy your Rhubarb Wine!