Tips For Making And Serving Dandelion Wine
When making dandelion wine, consider the following tips:
- Always start with sterilized equipment.
- Use only the petals for the wine. Avoid any green parts, which will add astringent flavors. If you want some astringency in wine, you can leave a few green parts – but not many .
- When siphoning your wine from one container to another , filter through a very fine filter to remove any microparticles from the wine. You can use multiple layers of cheesecloth as a filter.
- Serve chilled, just as you would any other white wine or dessert wine.
- Keep the wine for up to two years, stored as you would any other bottle of wine.
Racking And Bottling Your Dandelion Wine
After about 4 weeks, rack it down into another jug. Notice the sediment in the bottom of the jug on the right.
You want to rack it without disturbing this sediment.
Over time you rack it again and again.and each time you are left with clearer wine.
This is because you leave the sediment on the bottom of the previous jug.
The longer it stays in the jugs between being racked down again, the better.
Wait till it stops working to bottle it. Use a hydrometer to determine specific gravity.
If it is at .98 to .99 then the sugars have finished working and it is ready to be bottled.
Here is Dandelion Wine from 2010 all bottled. It was started in the early Spring of 2010.
This wine was not bottled until November 25, 2010.
We made 2 gallons and bottled it mostly in 375 ml bottles.
We gave it a try. It is fairly citrusy in flavour. Its dry, probably a 00.
These bottles are going down to the wine cellar, to be brought out one at a time in a year or so. Enjoy!
Read here about cooking with Dandelions.
How To Make Dandelion Wine Directions
1) Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. Remove any green parts.
2) Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the flowers in a large pot or crock. Cover with a towel to keep dust out and let steep for three days. Stir daily to keep the petals submerged. They will develop a musty smell. This is normal.
3) Prepare the oranges and the lemon. Zest about half of the rind and peel off the rest in thin strips. You want to minimize the amount of white pith added to the brew. Peel the pith off the fruit and slice into thin rounds.
4) Add the lemon and orange zest to the flower-water mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain out solids. Dissolve the sugar in the flower water. Allow to cool to room temperature.
5) Add the yeast, orange and lemon slices, and raisins to the liquid. Put everything into a crock to ferment. I cover my crock with a clean cotton towel held down by a rubber band to keep dust and bugs out. Stir daily with a wooden spoon or non-reactive stir stick.
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Give Your Dandelions A Bath
Next, youll need to place your dandelions in a colander and run cool water over them. Think of it as though you are washing fresh fruits and vegetables. Youll remove any dirt, any bad parts of the flowers, and try to remove any bugs as well.
Obviously, washing is a vital step that you dont want to skip in order to avoid ending up with unwanted ingredients in your wine.
Boil Water And Sugar Solution In A Large Pot
Then, in a large one-gallon fermentation vessel, add the dandelion petals, yeast nutrient, citrus juice, and citrus zest. Then pour in the boiling water.
Just make sure to NEVER use aluminum or iron as a fermentation vessel. Why? Because the fermenting process can react with both of these materials in a way that will contaminate your wine with unhealthy components. So, stick to stainless steel, ceramic, etc.
Using a different bowl, dissolve the wine yeast in lukewarm water and wait for about 2 hours, to allow it to stand until it cools.
After that, pour in the yeast to the container and then top it with water. Make sure to leave at least an inch of space for the carboy.
Cover your container with an airlock and ferment it for three weeks, or until you notice that the fermentation has stopped.
Take note, it will take a bit longer if you dont use raisins because they provide extra micro-nutrients to get the yeast working faster.
After that, you may now siphon the wine into another clean container, leaving the yeast sediment behind. Then give it a secondary fermentation for another 6 to 8 weeks.
A post shared by Helen Avitabile on Jul 28, 2020 at 3:10pm PDT
Once the second fermentation has passed, siphon the Dandelion Wine into a clean container, again leaving the sediment behind, to prepare it for bottling.
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Winemaking At Home Why Not
Are you now ready to make your homemade Dandelion Wine? In fact, your kids could also participate in this activity. Just give them a basket and then ask your little ones to go out and pick those dandelions outside.
The reason you should remove the green parts is that they give a bitter taste. Its best to always get rid of them and just stick with the yellow flower heads.
Winemakers suggest harvesting dandelion flowers in the early afternoon because thats when they are fully open.
Basic Recipe For Dandelion Wine
Make dandelion wine with the flowers or with the flowers. Stems and other green parts of the plant will impart bitter or astringent flavors. Make sure you use dandelions that haven’t been treated with any weed killer or other pesticides. Pick flowers in the early part of the day when they are at their fullest. This recipe makes one gallon of wine.
- 1 gallon plus ¼ cup water, divided
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 quarts dandelion flowers, petals only, green parts removed
- 1 packet wine yeast
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Juice and zest of 2 oranges
- 2 cups golden raisins, chopped
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Dandelions For Homemade Wine
Dandelions grow in most parts of the country. Here in North Carolina, we see them all year, but they mainly flower from March to November. You can collect the entire plant including the root if you want a drier, more bitter wine. Use just the flowers if you want a sweeter wine. Either way, clean them well. The roots can harbor sand in the crevasses, and bacteria on the entire plant.
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Benefits Of Dandelion Wine
There are many benefits to making dandelion wine. First off, you need not step into the wine section of the grocery store to buy your wine. It will likely be hard to find a bottle of it there anyway. Making your own dandelion wine is a simple process that puts you in touch with the plants, and all of nature in a deeply fulfilling way that words can’t really do justice to. It is an experience of connection. Step right outside into the delight of springtime and pluck those bright yellow flowers for free!
Just imagine drinking a cup of the essence of spring in the middle of winter. It’s a really wonderful magic to be able to bottle up a season in this way. You’re connecting with the seasons in knowing how to make dandelion wine. And there is nothing like the taste of dandelion wine. Just imagine a dandelion blossoming right into your mouth – it is amazing!
Dandelion is high in calcium, protein and vitamin A, not to mention that there are a plethora of medicinal benefits to dandelion wine as well. Let’s learn how to make dandelion wine!
Drum roll please…
- Juice and thinly sliced peels of two oranges
- Juice and thinly sliced peels of one half of a lemon
- Small piece of ginger root
- One and a half pounds sugar
- Half ounce yeast
Is Dandelion Wine Alcoholic
Yes. If you use wine yeast as recommended in the recipe, you should end up with around 12 to 13 percent alcohol.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may be able to nurture wild yeast from the raisins into fermenting. Wild yeast brews will have a lower alcohol content, because wild yeast dies off if the alcohol levels get too high.
You can learn more about using wild yeasts in the book, The Wildcrafting Brewer, or in the Art of Herbal Fermentation online class from The Herbal Academy.
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Sweet Dandelion Wine Recipe
The above recipe produces a lightly sweet, floral wine. If you prefer a sweeter dandelion wine home brew, you can simply add more sugar to the basic batch- up to 8 cups. You can also back sweeten wine by adding a sugar with potassium sorbate and Campden tablets to stabilize the wine and prohibit further fermentation. Only do this after fermentation is complete.
How To Harvest Dandelions For Wine
When choosing your forage grounds for harvesting your dandelions, be sure to choose flowers from non-sprayed areas. Never harvest from city parks, urban areas, or near roadways, as these might be contaminated with fertilizer, physical contaminants, and/or pesticides. Its also good to make sure your dandelions do not come from grassy areas used by pets, as the plants might be contaminated with urine or feces.
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While the whole dandelion plant is edible, only the bright yellow petals are used for wine making. But its not as easy as just snipping off the heads: Each of those tiny little petals must be removed from the flower head entirely before proceeding. Find a friend and get plucking!
Its best to pick dandelions first thing in the morning . Feral Botanicals shares two tricks to easily remove the petals from the flower heads. First, use your fingers to split the head down the middle, separating the flower from the green parts. Alternatively, you can snip off the green sepals leaving just the petals.
If you dont have a huge dandelion field nearby , you might need to harvest in batches throughout the season, freezing the flowers in the meantime. Luckily, dandelions have a long season, so you could theoretically gather them all season, keeping the extras for winemaking all year round.
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Several Centuries Ago Dandelion Wine Was First Made And Referred To As The Poor Mans Wine In Europe
Dating as far back as the Celts, one website also said that:
The tradition continued with settlers in the Great Plains of North America because dandelions even grow in dry, sparse environments. Plusthose pioneers probably needed a drink after a long day sowing the plains.
Its known to be closer in composition to alcohol rather than wine.
Homemade Dandelion Wine Recipe
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Dandelion wine captures the essence of summer. Sweet, floral and with subtle notes of honey, dandelion wine is tasty enough to bring out the forager in anyone. It takes quite a few dandelions to make wine, so its best to enlist the help of as many small children as possible.
The author of Backyard Medicine talks about how her very first job as a child was collecting dandelions for her neighbors dandelion wine. He paid her by the paper sack full and she was happy to do it.
The first time we made dandelion mead, a type of dandelion honey wine, I enlisted the help of a 4-year-old neighbor girl. She picked enough dandelions for a 5-gallon batch in about an hour.
After that, every time I saw her for the rest of the summer she would bring me dandelions. That little neighbor girl is a teenager now, and I have my own daughter to lend a hand.
The real work in making dandelion wine is not collecting the dandelions. Its in splitting apart the dandelions and removing the green leaves from each blossom. The green leaves have a milky sap that will ruin the taste of dandelion wine, and a good batch only uses the petals.
That means I get to try out my new wide mouth one-gallon carboy. If youve ever tried to clean out a narrow neck carboy after youve brewed with flower petals or any other small particulate, youll understand why the wide mouth is so convenient.
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What Does Dandelion Wine Taste Like
Some say dandelion reminds them of brandy and others say its tangier. But, a lot depends on how its made. For example, if the dandelion wine tastes sweet then it was made with just the petals. If the dandelion wine has a more tang tinge to it, then they probably used the whole flower to balance out the sweetness.
Generally, dandelion wine tastes warm and earthy. Sometimes compared to white wine. Though, if you were to google what does dandelion wine taste like? youd probably get a host of answers. It all depends on what is in the wine and if the petals or whole head was used. The best answer is to look at the bottle and read the description. But, if youre expecting a bitter and earthy drink then youre in for a pleasant surprise. The dandelion wine is not the revenge of the dandelion weed.
Many parts of dandelions are considered a delicacy in European cuisine and pairs well with many foods. If the dandelion wine youre eyeing is described as light and summery, break out the cheese tray and indulge in a crisp summer afternoon. While it is made from what is considered a pest, its a delicious way to get rid of them.
How To Enjoy Dandelion Wine
Dandelion wine can be sipped immediately after fermentation, or it can be allowed to ferment further. Many people think the dandelion wine tastes similar to brandy with a warmth typical of wines. The light, bright flavor will bring a sense of spring to those months of less sunshine and cooler temperatures!
Dandelion wine can be drank straight, or it can be mixed with soda water for a spritzer. A few drops of bitters will enhance the medicinal aspects of the wine.
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When I was growing up, dandelions were considered weeds. Everyone was so concerned about those little yellow flowers all over their yard.
I never saw why they were so bad. I thought the splashes of yellow were pretty against the green. But, I still grew up thinking dandelions were bad news.
You would imagine how surprised I was when I found out that not only could you eat them, but they were good for you as well.
My interest was peaked. I always thought these things had a weird smell. How in the world could you eat them? But, then I saw where people were making mine with them. And I love wine. I just had to try it.
After scouring the internet, I found tons of recipes. I just didnt find one that really stood out to me. And by that I mean, I wanted a recipe that only used what I already had in my kitchen. So I actually took bits from 3 different recipes and I made my own. AND IT WAS KILLER!!! It was so good, I had to share it with you all!
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How To Make Dandelion Wine
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When life gives you a yard full of dandelions, make dandelion wine! Instead of spraying or destroying dandelions, cut a bucket full and make a batch of wine using sugar, yeast, and citrus. Once you ferment and strain your concoction, you can enjoy dandelion wine that has a mild, floral taste. This sweet wine has a moderate alcohol content, so it’s great as a dessert wine.