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Dani

Rhubarb Wine

ok, a little help please. I am a bit stuck.

I have followed James' advice and used less sugar, and added a yeast nutrient. And over the week, it was really going for it in the bubbling stage of things. A really loud hiss. All very exiting.

But now it stopped, and there isnt any bubbles in the airlock any more. I started it off last sunday, is it time to rack it for the first time?

I started a new topic so that it would be easyer to follow the recipies on the other one
Silas

Quite possibly it is finished, I find rhubarb wine does ferment out very quickly - do you have a hydrometer?
Dani

sorry, no I dont have one. I am not really into wine making. All the stuff is borrowed so we could do something with left over rhubarb other than crumbles.

I have just moved it upstairs where its a bit warmer. It was my mum's suggestion when they used to make wine years ago.
gil

Is it still cloudy ? Or has it started to clear [from the top down] ?
Does it still taste sweet ?

If sweet and cloudy, the fermentation has stuck.
If clear[ing] and dry, it has finished.
Dani

I have just tasted it. Its like white wine, but with surgical spirit in it. Dont know weather that is good or bad.

The colour has lightened from a tea colour to a straw colour, but I cant see through it. I wouldnt have noticed the change at all unless you had said.

what do you think?



gil

If it is like dry white wine, it has probably finished fermenting. Though that is fast for wine.

Clearing - sounds as though it is starting to clear - is it lighter at the top of the demijohn ? Darker sediment should start to collect at the bottom of the vessel.

Yes, it will taste very rough at this stage - keep it in the warm place for a couple ofweeks, see if it does any more bubbling. If not, move it to a coooler place and leave it for another couple of weeks. Then sip[hon clearing wine off the sediment into the second demijohn (racking), stopper with bung and airlock again, and leave for 2-3 months. Rack again. Leave for anothe 2-3 months. Should be cleared enough to bottle then. Leave to mature in the bottle for 3 months.
Silas

The rhubarb wine I make is ready for drinking within 2 months.
gil

Silas wrote:
The rhubarb wine I make is ready for drinking within 2 months.


Within two months of what ? Fermentstion stopping, or after the wine clears ?
fatbloke

Dani wrote:
I have just tasted it. Its like white wine, but with surgical spirit in it. Dont know weather that is good or bad.

The colour has lightened from a tea colour to a straw colour, but I cant see through it. I wouldnt have noticed the change at all unless you had said.

what do you think?



Ok, so you've got to the stage where it's probably finished.

The "medicinal" flavour you allude to indicates that it's actually finished "unbalanced" or "alcohol hot".

Thats not a problem. You can either sweeten it a little (with a non-fermentable sweetener) or you can rack it and store it, the alcohol hot/medicinal taste fades with ageing.

The sweetening idea, you'd need to use lactose or some other wine sweetener (from the local HBS). If you use sugar or honey, then you need to get some potassium sorbate to "stabilise" it first to prevent it starting to referment.

It should clear naturally, but if you keep it somewhere cool or cold then the sediment should drop out a bit quicker. Either way, you should rack it off any sediment. If it needed topping up, then either a natural juice or water should be ok (like less than half a pint or so).

If you then think it's lacking in body (or mouth feel or viscosity) you can use glycerine to improve it - quarter to half a teaspoon per bottle max. that will also sweeten it slightly.
Silas

gil wrote:
Silas wrote:
The rhubarb wine I make is ready for drinking within 2 months.


Within two months of what ? Fermentstion stopping, or after the wine clears ?


Starting it!
alice

The title of this thread keeps making me go all Elkie Brooks Rolling Eyes
tahir

alice wrote:
The title of this thread keeps making me go all Elkie Brooks Rolling Eyes


Rhubarb? Doesn't quite have the same ring does it? Laughing
James

It might have finished fermenting, especially if you also added yeast nutrient.
Normally if a fermentation has problems, its always sluggish and doesnít go off like a rocket.
Like gil says, if it tastes dry, then your fermentation is probably done. Leave it under an airlock to allow the last few bubbles out- it should keep bubbling very slowly for a bit yet.

The rough surgical spirit flavour will go. Let it clear in a cool place, rack it, add a campden tablet and let it mature for a few months before you bottle & drink.

If its too dry and you donít have the correct stuff to stabilise and back-sweeten, Iíve heard of people adding one or two saccharine tablets per bottle. Apparently after a month, the saccharine taste isnít noticeable. I cant stand the taste of saccharine, so havenít tried this, but it may be an easy way through for youÖ
Best of luck!
Dani

hmm, ok. I will give that a go. It is quite dry. No bubble at all for the past few days.
I am going to rack out and leave it like you said to clear up. Do i add the cmpden before or after racking?
James

after.

Move it to a cool place, let it clear, syphon it off the sediment into a clean demijohn, add a crushed campden tablet and leave it to mature for a few months. For dry white wine, I often taste my wine after around 3 months to see if it tastes any less "surgical spirity". If it does, I bottle it, if it doesnt, I leave it.

To crush the campden tablet, put it between two teaspoons and swivel the top teaspoon around, pushing down on the pill.

There are two extra things that will improve your wine:
Firstly, you could rack it twice instead of once. This stops the wine sitting on dead yeast sediment which can give a bit of a funky taste. Syhon off the wine from the first stuff that starts to settle out soon after the fermentation slows/ stops but before the wine is fuly clear (ie now) then again once the wine is fully clear.
Secondly, once you've racked your fully clear wine off the last of the sediment (and before you add a campden tablet & put it down to mature), you can de-gass it by shaking it vigorously untill it no longer fizzes. This gets rid of lots of dissolved carbon dioxide that can give the wine a sharp, acid twang.
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