Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rhu de Barb le blanc

Alaska Rhubarb Wine:

Ingredients for 5 Gals. finished rhubarb wine.

15 lbs fresh picked Alaska Rhubarb
15 lbs sugar
3/4 teaspoon Sodium Metabisulfite OR 6 Campden tablets crushed
1 1/2 teaspoon Grape Tannin
2 pkgs Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast - in 1/2 Gal. white grape juice starter.

Starting Specific Gravity = 1.105  (approx. 26 degrees brix)

All of my wine-making equipment and containers are cleaned and rinsed with a dilute bleach solution and rinsed again just before use with a Sodium Metabisulfite solution. This includes fermenters, carboys, utensils, siphon hose, fruit press, air locks, stoppers, etc. Keeping everything clean is the number one secret to making good wine.

Yeast starter was prepared with 1 can Alexander's Sun Country white grape concentrate and 3 cans water. Yeast was pitched and kept under airlock for 3 days.

Rhubarb stalks were washed and chopped into 1" pieces and added to a 10 Gal. plastic primary fermenter along with 15 lbs of sugar. This was covered and allowed to sit 24 hours to help extract the juice from chopped rhubarb. The next day I added 4.5 Gal. of water to bring the total volume up to 6 Gals. including sugar and chopped rhubarb. Acid content analysis by titration test was not done to the fresh must as rhubarb is a very acidic ingredient and adding supplemental acid for flavor balancing is not necessary.

Sodium Metabisulfite and Grape Tannin powder were mixed into the must and the yeast starter was pitched. The primary fermenter was covered with a plastic sheet. Primary fermentation continued with daily stirring of the must. After 7 days the rhubarb pulp was removed and pressed and the new wine was transfered to a glass carboy and topped with additional water to 6 Gals. Specific Gravity after primary fermentation was 1.046

The glass carboy containing the new wine was stored in a cool dark location and allowed to clear and was racked again after 3 months. When clear and stable the wine was bottled into standard wine bottles and corked.

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