1981 Rhubarb

June 2021 – In May 1981 I saw a recipe in a local newspaper (Boonville Herald?) for rhubarb wine, and it caught my interest. My neighbor had a huge rhubarb patch, which they did not use, but gave us full access to. So my brother and I collected a bunch of rhubarb.

I did not record notes nor did I save the recipe. The recipe called for a specific amount of rhubarb, sugar, and water. It specified to use bread yeast.

We cut the leaves from the stalks, washed the stalks, and chopped them roughly. I used an expended beer ball (plastic 5 gallon beer dispenser) as the fermenter, mixed everything together, and let it go.

The wine foamed for about 10 days, and at which time I poured the wine off the sediment, and put it back in the beer ball. A few weeks later I did it again, and then poured it into empty whiskey bottles.

In hindsight, I’m positive the wine was oxidized, and it wasn’t the tastiest thing I’ve ever had. But it got me started in winemaking.