Strawberry-Rhubarb Wine


Started a batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb Wine on the 21st.  The rhubarb is from my garden, and the strawberries are from Costco.  The berries that are in the primary have not been chopped up, as they were frozen.  I cut them the next day when they were thawed, and whole strawberries make for a better picture.

The recipe is one that I found on the Internet at Jack Kellers web site, and it looked interesting and easy, so I decided to try it.  The only deviation is that I added only half of the citric acid.  I will add more later when I know the wine needs it. 

This is my ingredient list:

24 lbs. frozen strawberries

12 lbs. red rhubarb stalks

6 cup Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice frozen concentrate

Water to make 6 gallon batch (will be adjusted later)

4.5  lbs. granulated sugar

3 tsp. citric acid (more may be added later)

4.5 tsp. peptic enzyme

3/4 tsp. powdered tannin

5 crushed Campden tablet

6 tsp. yeast nutrient

1 sachet Red Star Côte des Blancs wine yeast

I pitched the yeast on the 22nd and the wine took a day to start fermenting, but it is going quite strong now.  The slow start is partially due to the temperature of the room where I ferment my wine.  I do all my fermenting in my computer room, which is usually at temperatures in the 60 – 65 degree range, a bit cool for starting a ferment.  But it started and now the house 21Jul10_Strawberry_Rhubarb_Wine_3001061 smells like strawberries and alcohol, so all must be well. 

Foaming when pressing down the cap is moderate, though fermentation is quite active.  The image on the right is the berries standing in liquid for a day to defrost.  After the berries defrosted, I cut them with a (really sharp) knife and scissors.  All went well, and much easier than doing it on a cutting board – less juice loss also.

I will transfer to a secondary on the 29th, at which time I will adjust for liquid levels as well as acid.


  1. Ben
    May 15th, 2012 | 0959.57

    How did this turn out? I’m getting ready to do a batch of something similar.

  2. admin
    May 15th, 2012 | 1227.09

    Personally, I did not like it at all. That said, I think the process and ingredients were fine, I simply dislike the taste of Rhubarb, and the Rhubarb taste was significant in the wine. I bottled a few bottles, and while others liked the wine, I found the wine unpleasant to drink. Since I needed bottles, I ended up dumping the the majority of the batch. Good experiment though.

  3. Ben
    May 16th, 2012 | 0743.46

    Thanks. Noted a couple of recipes for strawberry, rhubarb and/or strawberry-rhubarb with varying amounts of sugar. Your 4.5# per 6 gal. batch was the lowest I’ve seen. I’ve seen one with 6.5# and one with 10# for a 5 gallon batch. Any thoughts on how it fermented with your sugar amount? I’m just getting into this hobby and am working off of Terry Gary’s book and wine forums so am learning as I go.

  4. admin
    May 16th, 2012 | 0950.29

    I was shooting for a specific ABV that would be very drinkable for the type of fruit used. Last year I made a few high alcohol level wines and meads (blueberry), and while great, I felt that a high alcohol percentage would be overpowering for a lighter fruit wine like strawberry. While I followed the recipe from the Keller site, I calculated the ABV to see if it was what I wanted using the calculator at Hope this helps.

  5. Ranger
    June 12th, 2012 | 0749.01

    Ben, do your self a favor and get a Hydrometer.Learn how to use it and never go wrong seriously.A good Specific Gravity reading would be around 1100 to start with.

  6. admin
    June 12th, 2012 | 1327.14

    Have to agree with the Hydrometer suggestion, and I use a hydrometer during all stages of wine and beer making. However, it is also necessary to understand the sugar and water content of any fruit that you are using when making wine. A hydro will not measure these properties, and this can lead to an inaccurate starting gravity and volume, and therefore an ABV you may not have expected. That is the reason I recommended and also use the calculator as a guide when making wine and mead.

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