Sunday, 22 July 2012

Rhubarb Wine

Firstly, I'm going to announce now that I have NEVER made any wine in my life!  (That covers off any fumbling that may or may not happen from now on!)  Since we inherited a couple of extra rhubarb plants and ours transplanted better than we could ever have imagined.... I thought I'd give it a bash.

The recipe I followed was from Tanya's blog, but I didn't have enough to make the full amount.  Never mind, I'm sure 3 bottles will be just grand!  If you want the full recipe now, check out her blog.  If you just want to see a learner bumble through, I'll be updating this as I go along.

1.15g rhubarb (you're going to love how I got to this!)
700g sugar
1.4 litres water, boiled
1.425 ml strong black tea, boiled & cooled
1t yeast nutrient
1/2 x 5g sachet white wine yeast 
extra water, boiled and cooled

10 July 2012
I had to halve the recipe and I'm a self-proclaimed one-pot cook.  Considering I was going to have to put the rhubarb into a sterile bowl and wash the rhubarb that's already two pots!  Eeek.  No speaking to me! (yup, seriously).

So, I got rougly the right amount of rhubarb balanced nicely on the scales, top and tailed them and chopped into small pieces, washed and into the bowl....
Then I weighed the scraps, deducted that from the original amount and that told me how much more I needed to add to the bowl (considering I have a close friend who uses pythagorus therum to line a cake tin, I can admit that I did this!)
The sugar then got stirred into the bowl with the rhubarb, which I then covered with clingfilm, hid in a cupboard and will now ignore it for 3 days.

See you in 3 days time!

15 July 2012
Okay, so it was longer than 3 days, but we got here!  Had to pop to the shop and collect the bits'n'pieces that we didn't have.  All sorted!

 Here's the mixture after sitting in the cupboard, I scooped out the pieces then drained the syrup through a seive to make sure there were no bits in there.

Here's the mixture with the cold tea and yeast added in.  Waiting patiently for 5 days now.

...and I mean 5 days this time!

23 July 2012
...In my calendar, this is 5 days.....

We had a bit of an issue with the racking - there was going to be too much water added to the demi-john and shouldn't be left half full, so it was a quick discuss with Tanya and decided that a bottle of Scrumpy would do the trick (but our shop didn't have any).... I was tempted to make a second half-batch, but we didn't have enough new rhubarb at the allotment.

I left Mike to sort out how to bung the new bottle out, because the bung was exactly the same diameter as the bottle now.  He did a very good job, as you will see!

This was a two person job, for one very good reason - I'm a rubbish syphoner!  Everything was sanitized first, using the instructions on the bottle and you should only syphon out the clear liquid so we've got a extension bit on the tube that has a hole a little way up to help with that.
This is the gunk that's left.  Nice, isn't it!

There was a bit of a gap at the top of the bottle so we topped up with boiled & cooled water.
Here it is, bung in - there is boiled & cooled water in the bong,so that the water was in the innermost bubbly bit and as the bottle was emptied of air (naturally) the water has been moving to the outer bubbly bit.

You can't see Mike's handiwork very well, but he cut a perfect sized hole in the lid for the bong and we sealed it with bluetack after the bottle was filled.

We now leave this for about a month (you already know that this'll be about a month + 3 days!)