Who doesn't love Strawberry and Rhubarb pie? It's one of those classic combinations that reminds us of our grandmothers home. The sweetness of the strawberries and the tartness of the rhubarb compliments each other in ways only people in love can appreciate. Which, I wouldn't know anything about right now... cause you know... the single life. BUT I did think that it would make a great cider. My goal was to get a sweet strawberry flavour on the front of tongue with a tart rhubarb finish, unfortunately I completely missed that mark... probably because I'm single. What I got was an earthy taste with a slight strawberry scent. It reminds me of some English pear ciders I've had. It really isn't terrible but definitely not what I was aiming for.
Here's what went wrong, I made a strawberry and rhubarb concentrate out of fresh fruit and added it to my apple juice at the beginning of fermentation. This allowed the yeast to eat all the fruit sugar and gave me that earthy flavour I mentioned above. I don't know why I thought it wouldn't do that. Yeast eats sugar, produces alcohol, and changes the flavour of the cider, this is brewing basics. It was a stupid mistake and unfortunately didn't turn into a magical mishap like some dump mistakes sometimes do. So if you are interested in brewing a cider that is good but is less strawberry rhubarb pie delicious and more like the biggest disappointment of my summer; the recipe is down below.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cider
5 Gallons Apple Juice
2 1kg bag frozen strawberries
6 stalks of Rhubarb medium dice
6 Cups sugar
1 packet of Nottingham Ale Yeast
In a sauce pan cook strawberries and rhubarb with three cups of sugar until the strawberries and rhubarb are cooked down and sugar is dissolved. Strain through a sieve and let cool. In a carboy poor in apple juice and strawberry rhubarb concentrate and then pitch yeast. Let ferment for 2 weeks. Once fermentation is finished cook down another bag of frozen strawberries with the remaining sugar and add to bottling bucket. Funnel in fermented cider and mix well. Bottle and carbonate until it has reached proper carbonation (I test this against a pop bottle). Refrigerate and enjoy.