Dandelion Wine

baymule

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I made dandelion jelly last year and it was delicious. I read about dandelion wine, but I didn't make any. I posted the dandelion jelly recipe if anyone is interested.

http://www.theeasygarden.com/threads/dandelion-jelly-recipe.13496/

So today I decided to try making the dandelion wine. I did a search online and found lots of recipes, almost all of which called for wine yeast. Really? I go pick weeds out of my garden and yard and I need fancy smancy wine yeast?? In this one-horse town? Right. Order off the internet? Wait days? Nope. I want to make it NOW. Found a couple of recipes that just said a packet of dry yeast. Now that sounds more like what I have in my pantry. Besides when people several generations ago made dandelion wine, my bet is that they never heard of wine yeast and they used what they had.

I liked things from both recipes, so I combined them. I figured I'd better write it down before I forget what I did. It might turn out really bad, but if it turns out really good, then I want to know what I did.

12 cups dandelion flower petals
2 oranges, zested and juiced
4 lemons, zested and juiced
10 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
4 quarts water
1/4 cup warm water
1 packet yeast
10 cups sugar

In a big pot, combine dandelion petals, water, zest and juice from oranges and lemons, cloves, powdered ginger, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for one hour on medium heat. The directions I followed said to strain through a paper coffee filter. I don't know what dummy came up with that idea, but trying to strain a wad of wet dandelion petals through a piece of paper would be like trying to strain a bale of soggy hay through a sock. Not happening. I strained the mess through a colander. I mashed the petals and squeezed all the juice out. It was sticky from all the sugar, licked my fingers......YUM!

Let it stand for a bit to cool off. While still warm, mix the plain, ordinary yeast packet from the pantry in the 1/4 cup of warm water until dissolved. Pour it in the dandelion juice.

This is from one set of instructions:

Let it stand overnight and pour into bottles. (I will strain it better before I bottle it up.) Allow uncorked bottles to set in a dark place for 3 weeks. Then cork (What if you don't have any corks? Will the screw caps work? ) and store bottles in a cool place. Makes about 4 quarts. Your dandelion wine is ready now. (Quarts? Will fruit jars work? LOL)

The other set of instructions:

Put the dandelions only in an earthenware crock or enamel kettle. (What? Like I keep a butter churn around here? And ONLY a crock or enamel kettle? Sounds like a crock to me.) Cover and let stand 3 days. Strain the liquid again. Wash crock and put the liquid back in. (There's that CROCK again.) Cover and keep in a cool place for a month without stirring. Strain once more and pour into sterilized quart bottles. Screw caps on very tight. Chill before serving. Dandelion wine is better if it is allowed to stand several months before using.

To get to 12 cups of dandelion petals, you can freeze them until you get enough. One cup equals approximately 100 flowers.
 

MIchael Hibberd

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Sounds delectable @baymule. I have been eating dandelions this year rather a lot, why didn't I think of wine!? But now I have, thanks!

I made Elderflower Wine today, a very similar process (thought and production) here. Scrrew top bottles have always been fine, for me, once it has stopped fermenting of course. I have found only Champagne needs escpecially strong and sealed bottles, as sometimes I have had bottles randomly explode!

Enjoy!
 

baymule

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Thanks @MIchael Hibberd for the encouragement! I made blueberry cordial last year that turned out delicious, thought I'd try my dirty little garden hands at making wine. I picked 465 dandelion flowers this morning, made some fresh dandelion/spearmint tea out of 30 of the blossoms, drinking some now. I spread the rest out to dry for winter tea! I have enough in the freezer for another batch of wine, if this turns out good.

I am saving any glass bottle I get my grubby hands on, mostly soy or teriyaki sauce bottles. And yes, waffling between products on the grocery shelf, the decision will swing to the one in the glass bottle. :lol:

Dandelion ice tea.jpg
 

Carol Dee

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mmmm @baymule thet tea looks so good. I may give it a try soon. Although most of the dandelions have gone to fluff. We will till have some grow from this seed set!
 

baymule

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Have been counting down the days..... strained and bottled it up today. This stuff is good! (says the very occasional drinker whose wine comes in a box) The recipe says it is better after it sets for awhile, I dunno know what difference that makes, but I am not a wine connoisseuer.

The quart jar on the end was the cloudy stuff at the bottom of the gallon glass jar. I strained it twice, gave up and gosh, guess we'll just have to drink that ugly stuff NOW! :lol:

Dandelion wine bottles.jpg
 

bobm

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Bay... try pouring the wine through a coffee filter a couple times. Very SLOW process , but helps a lot to remove the solids. :caf
 

baymule

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@MIchael Hibberd that is Dandelion Spearmint jelly. I make dandelion spearmint tea all the time, thought I'd try it in jelly. It's pretty good. Lefty? Nope, I an a right hander, but if I shoot a rifle right handed, can't hit the broad side of a barn. Left handed, can drop a running deer with one shot. Favorite rifle 22-250 Remington. Pistol-either hand. 10-key adding machine, left handed. Why do you ask?
 
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baymule

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Bay... try pouring the wine through a coffee filter a couple times. Very SLOW process , but helps a lot to remove the solids. :caf
Tried that. Too impatient. Sooooooo.........I'll just have to remove the evidence........(hic) :lol:
 

Carol Dee

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Baymule my DH and sons would find you an AMAZING lady. Only thing I shoot is a 22 at pop cans and rocks. (They better not move!) I think Michael saw the slant in your lettering that usually shows up in left handed writers. ;) By the way, what have you not made with Dandelions? You must have some BIG crop of the things there.
 

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