May 26, 2014

How to Make Dandelion Wine - A Recipe for Making it the Easy Way!

Dandelion wine has been around for about as long as there have been dandelions and wine making - so it's no surprise there are about a gazillion ways to create it. However, most recipes use very large quantities and call for removing the petals from the dandelion flowers. This recipe is different. Not only is the quantity small (about enough to fill a gallon jug), but it saves a ton of time because you don't need to remove the petals from the flowers. The process is also about as simple as you can get, making it a great choice for beginning wine makers.

A Few Notes on Making Easy Dandelion Wine:

* Be sure to collect dandelions you are 100% sure have not been exposed to chemicals (like weed killers).

* Collect only dandelion flowers. It's fine to keep the green leaves (sepals) at the base of the petals, but don't include any stems.

* Choose only fully opened, fresh flowers. Avoid partially-opened blooms or blooms that are wilted or are turning brown.

* It's fine to freeze dandelion flowers until you have enough to make wine. However, measure the flowers before you freeze them, not after.

* Use wine or champagne yeast or your wine will end up way, way too sweet. Regular baking yeast dies before it can fully eat up the sugar in this recipe. Wine or champagne yeast lives longer, and eats up more of the sugar.

* You'll need something to help you cap or cork your bottles. The easiest and cheapest is a bottle caper and caps, like this one.


Dandelion Wine Recipe


8 cups dandelion flowers
1 gallon boiling water
9 cups granulated sugar (you can experiment by using less)
juice from 4 oranges
juice from 3 lemons
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) wine or champagne yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water

Large, non-reactive pot with lid
Mixing spoon
Colander
Small bowl
Funnel (I used a new, never used car oil funnel)
1 gallon glass jug
Balloon
Fine mesh strainer
Wine or beer bottles with new corks or caps


How to Make Dandelion Wine, the Easy Way:

1. Pour the dandelion heads into a large, non-reactive pot. Pour 1 gallon of boiling water over the flowers. Cover with the pot lid and steep for two days.




After two days, it will look like this:
 2. Place a colander over a large bowl and strain the flower mixture. Reserve the liquid, but discard the dandelion flowers.


3. Clean the pot so no trace of dandelions remains. Pour the liquid into the pot. Stir in the sugar and citrus juice.
 4. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water, stirring a couple of times to combine.

5. Pour the yeast mixture into the dandelion mixture and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.

6. Place the funnel in the jug and pour the liquid into it.
Cover the opening of the jug with a balloon, to prevent bugs, dust, etc. from getting into the wine. Store in a dark location until the mixture stops fermenting.
7. Keep an eye on the balloon for a few days. If it grows quite large, lift up part of the balloon end, releasing the gas. After about 5 weeks, the balloon will probably be only slightly inflated. Release the gas from it periodically; when the balloon stays deflated for one or two days, the wine is done fermenting and is ready to bottle. (Don't bottle before this time, or you risk having your bottles of wine explode!)

8. Strain through cheesecloth until you are satisfied with the clarity of the wine. Funnel into bottles and cork or cap. For best flavor, allow the wine to sit in a dark, cool location for at least 6 months. As the wine ages, it will become lighter in color.

I can't show you my dandelion wine all bottled up yet, because it is at the final stages of fermenting.  But once it's bottled and aged, it should look something like this:

_________________________
Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook
Did you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.


For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:

"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe) 
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Medicine 
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It


Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.


5 comments:

  1. Did you use an entire packet of wine yeast? I noticed (on amazon - link below) on the back of the packet it says one entire packet makes 5 gallons. Since your recipe only yields 1 gallon, do I only use 1/5 of the packet for one gallon, or do I really use the entire packet for one gallon? http://www.amazon.com/Pasteur-Blanc-Champagne-Dried-Yeast/dp/B0064OBJ2E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1462571477&sr=8-4&keywords=champagne+yeast

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessica, I would always follow the suggested amount of the packet of yeast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. after its done making and you leave it to sit for 6 months to age will it hurt the quality of the wine to refrigerate it before drinking i know some wines you drink cold and some you drink warm

    ReplyDelete
  4. Heather, that's totally a matter of personal preference. Try it both ways. Refrigerating won't damage it. If you decide you don't like it chilled, just let it sit out and come to room temp.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

    Keep up the good work :) from TheStillery, a stuart bar in Florida

    ReplyDelete