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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Uncle Alf's Rhubarb Wine

My dad used to talk about his Uncle Alf's home made wine and how good that rhubarb wine tasted on a hot summer day. It had quite a "kick" to it apparently. I found this entry in a 1915 note book and de-ciphered the hand writing as best I could. 
Maybe some day I'll try it out. 

Rhubarb wine
Gather the rhubarb in the middle of May, take off leaves, wipe it with a wet cloth, put it in a large wooden tub and bruise it well with a mallet or rolling pin.  When reduced to a pulp, weigh it and to every five pounds add one gallon of cold spring water. Let this remain for 3 days stirring 3 or 4 times each day. On the fourth, pass the pulp through a hair sieve. Put the liquor into a tub and to every galllon add 3 pounds of sugar, stirring til quite dissolved. Then add to every gallon the rind of  a lemon. Let the liqour remain in the tub from 4 to 6 days. The fermentation will begin to subside and a crest will form which should be skimmed off. Put the liqour in a crock and if it still ferments pour it off into another crock and in a fortnight stop it with Isinglass, half an ounce to a gallon. If the wine is not quite sweet enough add a little more sugar. Take care that the crock is full. Bottle the wine in February or March and in the summer it should be fit to drink.

Mangold Wine
Wash and pare the mangolds. Cut in slices and to every gallon of fruit add  one gallon of  water. Boil for three hours at least with one ounce of bruised ginger to each gallon. Strain and as the liquor is diminished by boiling make up the quantity with boiling water. Add three and a half pounds of Demerra sugar to each gallon. That gives it a rich colour. Stir well as the sugar takes a good deal of melting. When cool to just warm add a little yeast and bottle next day. Let it stand four months. March is the best time to make it. About one ounce of cloves to each three gallons boiled with the wine is an improvement
Alf Goff by his cabin. There are likely a few bottles of home made rhubarb wine in the cellar. 


  1. I can't figure what keeps it from spoiling in the crock.

  2. I wondered the same thing Gorges. Maybe its the "isinglass"? Or maybe you just scrape the mold off the top before you bottle the wine? :-)