Rhubarb Cider

So after my first attempt at making some cider, I decided to head back to the market to grab another gallon of apple juice to use up the other half of the cider yeast. But this time I also went to the shop for some rhubarb nectar to add to the mix.

So the ingredients for this super simple rhubarb cider are:
Apple juice – 3.5 L
Rhubarb Nectar – 1L
Nutrivit yeast nutrient – a pinch
Mangrove Jacks M02 Cider yeast – 1/2 pack (~5g)

You might be interested to know what’s inside the Rhubarb Nectar. Well according to the ingredients, it is just rhubarb juice, water, and sugar. How much sugar? Well per litre it has 10g sugar, compared to 10.5g of sugar in the apple juice used for this recipe. As you can see below, this rhubarb drink has a really nice deep red colour. Note that the foam is leftover Starsan foam. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of foam left in your fermenter. I even read once (but I don’t know where or if it is true) that this foam is rich in phosphorus and is good for yeast. Again though, I don’t know if this is true, but the foam certainly does not hurt.

When the apple juice is added you get a lovely murky-pink coloured juice mix. It is worth noting here that this mix is also delicious and well worth drinking just on its own but we’re here to make cider so that’s what we are going to do. At this point I took a gravity reading with my trusty hydrometer and can confirm that we have a starting gravity of 1.051. Sticking this into beersmith, if the cider reaches a gravity of 0.996, as predicted, the alcohol by volume will be a not-too-shabby 7.3%.

Next, just like in the other cider we add a sprinkle of yeast nutrient and shake it all together to get it all mixed up nicely. This will also add a bit more oxygen into the mix, which is always a good thing for getting your yeast going. Finally a add the second half of the packet of yeast that I used for the previous cider. I kept this in the fridge for a month or two so just left it out on the table to warm up to room temperature while I got the juice ready. Then I just pitched it dry into the demijohn.

I’m pleased to say that fermentation got off to a good start within a couple of hours or so and without any violent outbursts this time. I expect that the cider is ready now as the fermentation has died down completely (after 5 days or so) and there’s a healthy looking amount of yeast in the bottom of the fermenter. I should bottle this at some point in the next couple of days, and then it should be ready to drink 3-4 weeks after that.

So that’s it. Easy! The whole process took around 10 minutes so there’s no excuse not to try it out for yourself. If you have any thoughts, make them known in the comments below. If you found this mildly interesting, you might want to know how the last cider turned out or how a brew day went not so long ago.

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