How to Make Rhubarb Wine

 In the last couple of years, we have made a lot of wine at home.  It’s easy to do, and is good, cheap fun.  Yes, we have had a few flops (still need to dump a few bottles of dandelion wine that are in the basement) but many of them have been pretty darn good (especially elderberry wine!)  Our most successful country wine of 2013 was definitely a batch of Rhubarb Wine that Jeff made, following these instructions.  It yielded a beautiful rosé that we and our summer guests thoroughly enjoyed.  We were excited for rhubarb season to come, since we had polished off the last of it a couple of months ago.  A lot of the recipes Jeff followed ended up with really strong, really sweet wines that were more in the dessert wine category– but not this one!  We felt that it really competed with the bottles of rosé we were lugging back from France whenever we got the chance to drive across the channel.  You should definitely try it!How to Make Rhubarb Wine

How to Make Rhubarb Wine

What You’ll Need

    • 1.5kg (3.5 lb) rhubarb
    • 1.3kg (just under 3 lb) sugar– we like to use organic sugar or sucanat
    • 250ml (8 oz) white grape juice concentrate
    • 1 sachet general purpose white wine yeast
    • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
      In terms of supplies, there are a few basic items you should have.  You can often find these on craigslist, and definitely at a brewing supply store.  But you can also order them easily from amazon.  I have put together a little gizmo to show you what you’ll need.

What to Do:

1.  Chop the rhubarb stalk into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick.IMG_80402. Put the chopped rhubarb into your (sterilized) fermentation bucket, and add the sugar and mix it together.  Put the lid on your container and leave it for three days.IMG_80493. Pound the pulp up a bit with a clean wine bottle or potato masher, then stir in three liters (a generous 3 quarts) of boiled but cooled water. Strain the pulp through a clean mesh strainer of piece of muslin into another clean bucket, add the grape juice concentrate and make it up to 4.5 litres (a generous 4.5 quarts) with more water. Add the yeast nutrient and sprinkle the yeast on top.

Cover this up with the lid, and leave for a week.

4. Using a funnel or a siphon hose, pour into a sterilized demijohn and add an airlock, leaving any dregs behind.IMG_85865.  After about a month, “rack” the rhubarb wine by siphoning into another sterilized demijohn.  Replace the airlock.

6.  You may choose to rack again in a few weeks, to further clarify your wine.  The picture below is where we’re at, one month into fermentation.  The flavor is developing nicely, but we’d like it to clear some more before we bottle it.IMG_85927.  When you’re happy with the clarity and there is no more fermentation happening (watch the airlocks for bubbles for a couple of minutes) then you are ready to siphon your rhubarb wine into sterilized bottles.  It will be ready to enjoy right away, but waiting will make it better.

Enjoy!

I am already enjoying a glass as I type this up– it’s incredibly gratifying to make good drinks with things that either grew in your own garden or nearby.  And, of course, at a fraction of the price.  Cheers!

P.S.  If you have kids who feel left out of the the home brewing action, you should definitely make up a batch of Rhubarb Soda with them!

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How to Make Rhubarb Wine at Home PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.



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58 Responses to How to Make Rhubarb Wine

  1. Dominique April 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Wonderful!
    I made homemade cider much of the same way, but didn’t really like the taste in the end. I will definitely be trying out your recipe!!

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      Great! Let us know how it turns out!

    • Carl June 28, 2015 at 12:50 am #

      I removed the lid from the rhubarb/sugar mixture on the third day, and it was all moldy. Bummer to have wasted the rhubarb and sugar!

  2. Swamp Pixie (@PixiesPocket) April 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    If you have flops, pour them into a bucket or crock, and try adding a bit of the “mother” from apple cider vinegar to it and make it useful! It’ll become a vinegar after a bit of time.

    OR if you are in a place where you can use a still, distill icky wines or meads to make rather delicious booze (distill it three times, and you’ve got high-test moonshine!)

    I’ve never had rhubarb, but this sounds nummy.

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      I would love to know someone with a still! I think I’ll try turning the dandelion wine into vinegar– why not? Thanks for the idea!

      • Maria May 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

        My parents always made dandelion wine. The thing with dandelion wine is that people try to drink it too soon. Dandelion wine gets much better with age. I’ve got a bottle of it that my parents made about 15 years ago. When they first made it, it tased very bitter. But with sitting in the fruit cellar for 15 years the dandelion wine is now a warm, smooth, sweet wine. Let it sit and then try it in a couple of years from now. It will keep getting better year after year.

  3. Ian April 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    How much does this recipe yield? I’m shopping from demijohns.

    • Ariana Mullins April 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

      We had a bit more than filled our 1 gallon demijohn– I kept in a large flip-top bottle, and will add it when we rack ours.

      • Jason May 23, 2015 at 10:43 am #

        When you add the yeast to the bucket and leave for a week shouldn’t it foam and bubble,mine is at day two and nothing

        • Stuart June 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

          I’m exactly the same Jason. I’ve stirred it up a few times to try and put some vigour into it but still nothing…

          • ariana June 10, 2015 at 8:02 am #

            If you still don’t see any action, it wouldn’t hurt to try again with a fresh pack of yeast.

  4. Marie Loughin April 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Would you trade some rhubarb wine for a little statistical consulting? (Sorry, that’s all I have to offer.)

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:33 am #

      Sounds good to me! :)

  5. Sue mckown April 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    You might want to make sure the dandelion wine is still bad. Wine goes through a lot of changes once bottled. You can also amend it with acid or sugar to adjust the taste.

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:34 am #

      It’s getting close to a year old now, and we keep tasting it. Still bad. I’ve added sugar, but it just tastes weird– kind of like tropical punch kool-aid, in a bad way! I think I’ll see what happens when I turn some into vinegar.

  6. sue April 10, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    im making rhubarb wine now. after only 5 days in demijohn movement in airlock has stopped but still see bubbles rising in demijohn..do you think that fermentation is stuck?

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Hi Sue. I don’t think fermentation is stuck. It’s just slowing down, and that’s normal. There is a lot of variability in terms of speed– for example, if your home is warm, it will go faster, and then die down more quickly. One way I check is to have a little taste and see how sweet it is– if it’s still a bit sweet, then I know there’s a lot more fermenting to do, as there is still sugar to metabolize. I’d give it a couple more weeks, rack it, and wait longer. The wine goes through a lot of different stages in terms of taste, so don’t worry if you don’t like the flavor yet or even in two weeks. Hang tight and see where it goes.

  7. Carly April 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I am so happy to have come across this post today!!! What a great way to start the day :) I have so much rhubarb that I’m always looking for a use for, and I love wine, and even more, I LOVE fermenting–so much so, that I have a heath and wellness blog (that I started back in January) and have a section dedicated to fermenting food (www.modernhippiehousewife.com). You make making wine sound so easy! Thanks so much! I

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Hi Carly, so glad you found this post, and that you can make some wine with all of that rhubarb! There are a lot more technical wine making blogs out there, but I think that can be really intimidating. I love just trying all of these projects, and find that they turn out well more often than not, even with a more laid-back approach. Hope your wine turns out great!

  8. John Naylor May 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    “A litre of water is a pint and three quarter”
    2 pints = 1 quart
    So a litre is not quite a quart rather than being generous.
    Hope this helps with the quantities!

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks, John!

  9. Barbie Kossman May 21, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    I’m a bit confused. Sorry new at this. I’m stuck at: add the grape juice concentrate and make it up to 4.5 litres (a generous 4.5 quarts) with more water.. so how much grape juice concentrate to water. Also where did everyone find demijohn.

    • ariana May 21, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      Hi Barbie. Just add the 8 oz. grape juice to the mixture, and then add enough water until your total volume of wine comes to 4.5 litres. If you click on the little widget in the post that has brewing supplies, you will see a demijohn (big glass jug) there, and you can click to buy it on amazon, or look for it at a brewing supply store. Hope this helps!

  10. Shannon May 28, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Quick question. Do you remove the rhubarb permanently after you add the boiled but cool water ? I would think you would add the rhubarb back to the bucket w some enzyme to help break down the rhubarb further and then leave in bucket till fermentation has completed in the bucket

    • hawaii52 June 26, 2015 at 1:07 am #

      I like your enzymatic activity addition, you could also add corn meal or any carbohydrate with the enzyme getting more free sugar, it all depends on the benefits derived of course.

  11. vjg86 June 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    I have a 5 gallon carboy (demijohn), Can I multiply the recipe to fill it completely?

  12. eatmyblog July 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Hiya – followed your recipe, but when I got to the end of three days and was preparing to add the cooled water and whatnot, my rhubarb was covered in an inch of mold. I had sanitized the heck out of everything, and double washed the rhubarb… my garden has a bit left, but I don’t want it to go the same way as the first batch. Any thoughts?

    • Allan May 10, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      I would have thought you would have to sterilize the rhubarb itself first by pouring boiling water over it, I’m going to mash the rhubarb slices with a rolling pin end then pour boiling water over and no sugar, cover leave 3 days. Otherwise you are bound to get mould and other microbes from unsterilized rhubarb

  13. Krisha August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I tried this and it molded in the primary. I would suggest adding a cambden tablet to the sugar/fruit mush or pasteurizing it before the Primary.

  14. Larry Adamson August 22, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    Those looking for 5 gal jug’s ? I use water cooler containers that bottled water comes in , they work great
    And they are plastic , ( unbreakable ) you can get them from the bottled water co. Cheap.
    Thank’s. L.A.

  15. Chief September 9, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    Just made Rhubarb wine from a gallon juice pulp concentrate which was slightly working when I got it. First I heated rhubarb juice to 170 to kill any yeast. Added 5 lbs white sugar syrup and water to 3 gallons. Left covered in SS pot till cool. Transferred to plastic steral lidded with water lock, bucket. Added wine yeast. It worked for 3 weeks. Then racked. (with strain bag) Tasted, sweetness was fine for me so placed in SS lidded bucket with thermometer set at 165 Heated on stove. When alarm went off moved and let it cool in lidded ss pot. Bottled. The result is pasteurized wine that will keep for years.

  16. chris September 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Completed a 2nd transfer to demijohn to clear rhubarb wine a little more but it tastes very dry. Can I add more sugar to the demijohn at this stage?

    • ariana September 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Chris, you can definitely add more sugar at this stage. I often taste and adjust as I go.

  17. julian clarke November 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Having made rhubarb wine before I found some would turn out to be bitter or sweet, but mixed together resolved the taste issue.I have made 5 gallons using your recipe, the fermentation is now in its second month and as yet to clear but I do think it will take a lot longer than the suggested month to start clearing. This now sits along side my 14 gallons of cider. I will let you know how it tastes.

  18. rosemary April 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    So how did the rhubarb wine turn out? I’d love to know how it tastes. I like the taste of rhubarb… I imagine the wine might be like a white wine grapefruit strawberry mix? Is that about right?

    • Tom April 25, 2015 at 2:09 am #

      I’ve made rhubarb wine many times – I think it’s my favorite! Rosemary, if you can imagine drinking a piece of rhubarb pie with a kick, THAT’S what the wine tastes like!

    • julian clarke April 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      This wine tasted gorgeous, even though there wasn’t a overall taste of rhubarb itself, but was smooth and slightly fruity. I’m now embarking on making 9 gallons. I’m fortunate that my soil grows the best rhubarb this side of the Mississippi

      • ariana May 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

        So glad to hear this report, Julian! This is one of our favorites, for sure!

        • julian clarke May 22, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

          Many thanks Ariana , I’m just going to embark on making 9 gallons of rhubarb wine using your delightful recipe Cheers Julian

      • Alan Jones May 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

        My smaller carboy is about 12 liters so I am thinking of doubling the recipe. Anyone try doubling it?

  19. GIL May 29, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    WHEN I FINISH IT AND TASTE IT I WILL TELL YOU. .

    • Mark June 13, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

      Hi there I have a load of rhubarb I have came across this recipe and like the idea of it , but you have no mention of campton tabs and also no use of a hydrometer you say about adding sugar but wont this start up the ferment and cause the bottles to blow if it has not all be used up by the yeast also can you double this recipe by using 2 packs yeast etc thanks 😀

      • Stephen SG June 16, 2015 at 11:07 am #

        The campden tablet should be added after the fruit has been chopped before adding the sugar and remain for a period of three days. Your hydrometer reading should be taken before adding the yeast. The fermentation that occurs is to get the fuller juice before transferring to the demijohn leaving any dregs behind.
        {eponymic144.gmail.com.}

  20. Stephen SG June 16, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    What You’ll Need, should also include “Precipitated chalk”, This is required to neutralize the oxalic acid.

    • Stephen SG June 16, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      What You’ll Need, should also include “Pectin destroying enzyme”, this should be added before the yeast

  21. Crazy Cunner June 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

    Just wondering when you add the yeast, do you put a normal lid on for week?

    • ariana June 25, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      I use a fermentation bucket that has an airlock top. There will definitely be CO2 created, so having a way to let air out without letting anything else in is a good idea.

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