Rhubarb Wine 2012

Well, I collected about 12 lbs of rhubarb this summer.  That was cleaned, sliced, bagged and frozen 12 lbs.  There was a lot more I cut out / off from the ends.  My plan all along was to make a rhubarb wine, and the friend where we got most of the rhubarb was very interested in trying rhubarb wine.

Rhubarb 'must'Our friend, another Jackie (spelled differently than my wife), brought over another 4 lbs today, frozen for us to use.

I boiled a total of 2.5 gallons of water, added 12.5 lbs of sugar, and poured the hot sugar water over the 16 lbs of rhubarb and 1.5 lbs of chopped golden raisins   This left me with 110F ‘must’ which I then let cool down.

I then collected 1L of must, boiled it and cooled to room temperature.  I made a starter with this, putting on my stir-plate which worked sporadically.

After the must cooled to about 90F, I added 1 tsp tannin powder, 4 tsp pectic enzyme, and the zest from 2 large oranges, and finally I put in 4 campden tablets after my friend left (she didn’t want to do it since her sister back in Wales doesn’t use campden tablets).  I didn’t want the must hanging out for 1 day without killing whatever was in it.

Ingredients for 4 gallons of sweet rhubarb wine

  • 16 lbs sliced frozen rhubarb
  • 1.5 lbs chopped golden raisins
  • 12.5 lbs of sugar
  • 2.5 gallons water
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 4 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp tannin
  • 4 Campden tablets
  • 1 package wine yeast (I used Lavlin 71B)
  • 3 tsp yeast nutrient

My gravity came out to 29B, about 1.119 SG I believe.

The Lavlin 71-B is known as Narbonne and is apparently good at making blush, semi-sweet

Golden Raisins & Rhubarb

wines, just what I’m really looking for.  I was going to go more for the dry wine using only 9 lbs of sugar, my our friend really was looking for something a bit sweeter.  It worked well then planning the 71-B yeast.

That is it for the first day of this project, tomorrow evening I will pitch the yeast, place the lid & air lock on and let it go for the next two weeks.  I will be “punching” down the fruit daily and trying to get as much CO2 out of solution as I can.


Stirred, degassed and punched down the fruit for the second time today.  Fermentation is

De-gassing 2nd day

proceeding at full speed now, a lot of CO2 coming out of solution.  I measured only 25B tonight, so very little change.  The fruit is swelling up greatly and pushing up near the top of the 6 gallon bucket lid.  Will be interesting to see how this goes over the next few days.  Temp was 71F of the must.


Removed the fruit, what was left of it.  I added nutrients last night when I stirred, and measured 19B today.  Seems to be dropping slowly.  Temp was down to 62F, 2F warmer than the basement so I’ve moved back upstairs to 69F ambient to help finish this out.


I measured 1.040 with the hydrometer, 16B with the refractometer.  That tells me I started at 29B, 1.119 – a little higher than I wanted.  At 1.040 it still tastes significantly sweet, but there is a touch of alcohol taste as well, definitely a white wine flavor going on.  I’m pretty happy with this so far, and should add my final nutrient addition tonight.  I hope to get it down to a measured 13B on the refractometer, actual 1.003 before it is done, and hopefully within a week.


Measured out at 14B and this puts it around 14.7% ABV, the max for 71-B yeast.  The plan may be to blend with the Rose Hip Wine as it is pretty dry and tart.  It is still cloudy pink color so I will rack it and wait a bit longer.  I may use a fining agent if I don’t get it to drop out clear.

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