How to make Dandelion Wine.
1 hour for preparation TIME FOR COOKING:
15 minutes 312 quarts/liters of yield
Almost everyone has heard about dandelion wine, but very few have ever tried it, giving it an almost mythological character.
Although it is not difficult to create, it does take time: patience while waiting for the wine to develop and time to select enough flowers for the recipe. Despite the fact that sugar is in the recipe, it is fermented out, creating a dry wine with a sunshiny hue.
- Dandelion blooms in two quarts
- Filtered or unchlorinated water, 1 gallon
- Three lemons’ juice and zest (but not the seeds or bitter white inner peel)
- Three oranges’ juice and zest (again, not the seeds or bitter white inner peel)
- Sugar, 11.2 pounds
- 34 pounds of chopped golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons of cornmeal or 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrition (see Resources).
- 1 packet wine yeast or 1/2 teaspoon baking yeast (see Resources).
- Snip off the majority of the calyces (green sections) from the dandelion stems’ base using scissors. The stems and the green pieces should be composted or discarded. It’s okay if a few green flecks appear in the recipe with the yellow blooms, but keep in mind that too much green will produce a bitter wine. Put the clipped flowers in a pot, crock, or another nonreactive container (no aluminum, copper, or non-enameled iron).
- Bring the water to a boil in a different pot. After pouring it over the flowers, let them steep in the hot water for two hours. Pass the mixture through a jelly bag, a colander, or both, each lined with a layer of butter muslin or several layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze the fruit to release as much juice as you can. The dried dandelion blooms make excellent compost. Save the liquid after straining.
- In a big saucepan over high heat, bring the dandelion flower infusion to a boil. Add the sugar and the citrus juices and zests. Stirring will aid in sugar dissolution.
- Add the chopped raisins and stir. After turning off the heat, let the pot’s contents to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the wine or baking yeast with the yeast nutrition or cornmeal.
For 10 to 14 days, cover the mixture and store it at room temperature. Stir it at least three times every day throughout that period (you can’t stir it too much).
- To sanitize a glass gallon jug, add 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water, or use an oxygen-based sterilizer, such as One-Step, which is available from providers for home winemaking. The jug should be rinsed out. Pour the dandelion mixture into the jug after straining it through a funnel and filter. Use a fermentation lock or a balloon with a single pinprick to close the jug. The fermentation lock and the punctured balloon both let gases out while keeping mold and hazardous germs out.
- After a month, siphon or gently drain the liquid into another jug that has been cleaned and disinfected, leaving the yeasty “lees” or sediment in the first jug. Add a simple syrup composed of equal parts water and sugar to the top if there is more than 2 inches of space between the top of the wine and the lip of the new jug. Add a fermentation lock or punctured balloon to the top as previously.
Sugar with water. Add a fermentation lock or punctured balloon to the top as previously.
- Continue siphoning the wine out every three months until the wine is clear rather than hazy and no longer forms any yeasty sediment on the bottom of the jug, leaving the lees behind each time.
- Pour the wine into clean wine bottles using a funnel. Cork the bottles by purchasing a hand corker from a supplier of winemaking equipment (see Useful Resources). They are cheap and far more effective at securely corking the bottles than you can accomplish by hand. Before opening, keep the bottles on their sides in a cold, dark location for at least a year.