That’s right, dandelion wine!
I’ve heard about dandelion wine for decades. I’ve never tasted it or brewed it myself until this year! I loosely followed a recipe of those who dared to try this homemade wine before my foray.
This blog will take you through my brewing process, successes and pitfalls, and of course, tasting notes.
Before You Pick!
Ensure dandelions are free of pets and herbicides to ensure a safe clean wine. Know your area. We obtained our dandelions near our home as the city has a ‘do not spray policy’. So, dandelions here are plentiful and safe to use.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
Murlo was inspired by two dandelion recipes and wish to acknowledged Moonshiners and Common Sense Home. I tweaked the ingredient amounts based on the volume of dandelions we picked so a hybrid of the two recipes were employed.
10 cups (2.4 litres) dandelion blossoms
2 oranges, with peel
1 lemon *
1 lb Raisins
3 pounds sugar
1 package wine yeast or champagne yeast1 pound raisins
* I used Realemon juice following the equivalent amounts.
Big cook pot – large enough to accommodate the recipe, Primary fermenter, Secondary fermenter/bung
Cheese cloth, Strainer, Syphon hose, Wooden spoon, Wine bottles
1) Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. Remove all green parts.
2) 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.
3) Combine blossoms, lemon, orange zest, sugar and water. Cook at medium heat to start, reduce and let simmer on low for an hour with lid on. Stir occasionally.
4) Turn off heat and let stand for 24 hours with lid on.
5) Next day, strain out solids.
6) Add to the primary fermenter dandelion liquid, raisins, orange peels and slices. Check specific gravity. My S.G. measured at 1.080.
7) Add yeast to liquid when the temperature allows.
8) Let ferment for 7 – 10 days. Begin to check the S.G each day to record reading.
9) Transfer to the secondary fermenter when you get two consistent S.G. readings.
10) I removed all solids from the primary fermenter on day 9. I got two consistent S.G. reading on Day 11 at 1.010.
11) I added 1/4 tsp Campden tablet, 1/8 tsp potassium metabisulphate, 1/8 tsp wine stabilizer to secondary before transfer to the secondary fermenter (2.5 gal) with airlock.
12) The Dandelion wine remained in the secondary for another two weeks before a final secondary transfer.
13) The wine was transferred to a secondary to a final time. I let the wine batch ago to two months/ Check the airlock on ocassion to ensure the airlock is half filled with water.
14) Bottle wine. The wine remained in the bottle for six months before the ‘official’ taste test.
My brewing guide line was inspired by two sources, please pay them a visit.
The Yield from this recipe is 10, 375 ml bottles or 5, 750 ml bottles.
Taste & Nose Test
Besides the novelty factor of brewing dandelion wine, how does it actually taste?
Incredibly smooth with a hit of citrus on the nose and palate!
I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of taste given the blend of many ingredients. All ingredients blended well together for a very smooth refreshing slightly citrus taste from beginning to end. The bonus is no after taste or tartness. The nose is very similar with the addition of lemon mixture.
I would definitely brew this wine again for two main reasons. 1. Processing the dandelions is very efficient to prepare. A far cry from the time it takes to ready lilacs for lilac wine, and 2. the taste and nose as mentioned above.
1. Picking dandelions and removing the yellow blossoms was a fairly easy and a quick process.
2. Primary Fermenter: It took two to three days before the mixture really began to ferment in the 21℃ to 27℃ (70 – 80). By day 5, the fermentation process was roaring with a strong hit to the back of the nose!