For the past six months, whenever I thought about it, I have been concerned whether I would be able to make rhubarb wine at all this year. When we were in the process of moving house, one of our first gardening jobs was to move the rhubarb from Carr Manor Mount to Bentcliffe Drive. I imagined that the plants would be even more traumatised by the move than we initially were. Then, throughout March and April, the rhubarb grew only slowly and I decided that I would leave it be this year, allowing it to get settled.
When I mentioned all this to Nick in Cornwall, he asked how much rhubarb I needed. I told him six pounds for a double batch. On Sunday 15th May, Pond Digging Day, he turned up with a bucketful of rhubarb stalks.This was considerably more than I needed - I measured out nine pounds for a triple batch, Claire stewed a good deal more for her porridge and there is still overspill. Ironically, our rhubarb plants are currently in the best of health and threatening to take over the remainder of the garden.
On Sunday afternoon, I sliced the 9 lbs of rhubarb into pieces about half an inch thick (a long process) and put these in the bucket. I covered them with 9 lbs sugar and poured 21 pints of boiling water over them. This proved to be a pint too much water. I stirred it all around to dissolve the sugar and left it overnight.
On Monday morning I added the yeast and two tablespoons each of nutrient and pectolase. Throughout the week I stirred it once or twice a day and then transferred it into three demijohns on Friday 20th May, using a collander to scoop out the rhubarb mush at the beginning of the process.
|The Rhubarb Mush|