Making wine is simple, it requires very little equipment to get going and you can make delicious home grown or foraged wines.
There is a glut of rhubarb in the garden at present and every year we wonder what to do with it. There are only so many rhubarb tarts you can eat! So last year we tried the rhubarb wine and it was very pleasant. Problem solved.
Sunday 15th May 2016 was a fantastic day to gather the rhubarb and sit outside chopping it up. 10 kilos is required for a final volume of around 23 litres
Chop the rhubarb into small pieces like shown in the picture. A travel scale is a handy tool for measuring the weight of fruit and can picked up in most discount shops for around €3/£2. The rhubarb is washed to remove any dirt before chopping. The water is filled to 22 litres of cold well water.
Then lid it and keep indoors for the next three day. Twice daily, stir the rhubarb to help infuse the juices of the rhubarb. After three days.
Strain off the rhubarb and pour the juice into a sterlised 23 litre carboy, adding 6kg of raw organic sugar, stir well add 1 & 1/2 teaspoon of yeast and nutrient and 4 teaspoons of citric acid. Stir the sugar until dissolved. Fill to the level indicated in the picture below, add additional water if required.
Next fit an airlock to the carboy and place beside a heat source, such as a range, open fire, for the next three months, so the brew can ferment at at average of 22°C/72°F, avoid allowing the wine to go below 22°C/72°F or above 27°C/80°F . Label your carboy with the name of the wine and date it was made. Fit a temperature sticker to the carboy. Within a couple of minutes to 24 hours, the yeast should start converting the sugar into alcohol and in the process produce gas. The airlock is to allow gas to escape and no contaminants to enter the sterile solution. The yeast kills all other micro-organism to maintain a sterile environment. Remember to place the cap on the airlock, as shown in the picture below, in this case it is red.
Rack (siphon) off into a sterilised brewing bucket after 6 weeks to help clear sediment and clarify the wine. Pour back into the washed carboy and then again after three months, repeat the process of racking off, before bottling.
Our tip: Once you are happy with the finished taste, specific gravity, alcohol content. Then add a 1/2 beaker of silver colloidal water to the brew to stop/slow down fermentation. Stir in and bottle as normal.
6kgs/13lbs Raw Organic Sugar
4 tsp Citric Acid
1 & 1/2 tsp Yeast & Nutrient
1/2 cup of silver water
Sterilising agent: peracetic acid, Milton, or silver colloidal water
A small amount of distilled water to fill the airlock.
27 litre/7.5 Gallon (UK) Brewing bucket
27 litre/6 Gallon Carboy
Air lock & Bung
Nylon straining bag or muslin cloth
All brewing equipment and the winemaking book are available from Mullingar Homebrew – mullingarhomebrew.ie (Coming Soon) – Until the website is launched you can contact Brendan: +353 (0) 86 8127 305
Airlock just fitted to carboy, notice that the water is not level in the airlock.
Airlock, water now level after a few minutes