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Old 03-16-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
CidahMastah
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Default Dandelion Wine - Ginger Clove

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Cotes De Blanc
Yeast Starter: None
Batch Size (Gallons): 1
Original Gravity: Varies
Final Gravity: Varies
IBU: N/A
Boiling Time (Minutes): N/A
Color: Light Yellow
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 5-7 Days
Additional Fermentation: Under airlock 3-4 months
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 3-4 weeks
Tasting Notes: Light floral tones with ginger and clove spice emerging at around 7 months of aging.

This recipe is a compilation of recipes I read from all over, and techniques I read from all over. I tried to find the original one that I took most of the guidance from to give credit, but could not. A thousand pardons....

UPDATED - for clarity

My experience with this recipe yielded a very nice light white wine with floral and slightly spicy ginger and clove notes (not at all overbearing, they round out the finish and are slight but add complexity). I would not characterize this as a "fruity" tasting wine. Depending on your sugar, something between a Pinot Grisio/Riesling/muscat (from dry to sweet).

Makes one gallon (5 bottles)

Ingredients:
1 gallon water
2qts loosely packed dandelion tops (no green) - will get a gram weight this year.
4 cups sugar (confirm with hydrometer that this gives you roughly 1.110 S.G.)
NOTE: I did S.G. of 1.130 and ended with a F.G. of 1.024 (13.91%ABV) Yeast fermented out to failure and left a residual sweetness I was targeting for (1.020-1.025) for a muscat sweet wine
(depending on your ABV desired)
2 Oranges
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1/2 tsp ground ginger
8 Clovers (whole)
1/2 packet Yeast (I used Cotes de Blanc)
1/4 tsp Yeast nutrient
3 Camden tablets

1. Add water and flower petals into a container and cover (put in the sun for 2-3 days) -i.e. make a sun tea with dandelion petals.
2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a HD bucket. Include the flower petals and the fruit peels.
a. Hand juice the fruits and throw in the skins
b. mix well so sugar is integrated.
3. If you are adding Camden, use one tablet and let the mixture sit one day under a towel in a cool dry place before pitching yeast.
4. Add yeast to 1 cup 100 degree water and rehydrate 10-15 minutes and pitch.
5. Cover bucket with towel and let sit in dry cool place with no sunlight light - ferment at ~68F degrees for 5-7 days (CONSTANT temperature is desired).
6. Rack off through coarse strainer into gallon growler and airlock - leave to ferment to dryness for about 3-4 weeks (1 month from start of ferment).
7. Rack off (add a camden tablet if you prefer) and top off with water as needed. Let sit for 3-6 months from start of ferment - this allows the wine to clear.

Before Bottling:
8. Because this recipe is designed to exhaust the yeasts capability to continue fermentation, you should end up with 11-14% alcohol (cotes de blancs rated ABV potential) and the yeast will not be able to convert any more sugar after that point. i.e. you shouldn't have to add sorbate - but you can do so to ensure you don't get a start up of fermentation if your yeast under attenuated.

a. Before bottling, take a hydrometer sample - if you are at 1.000 - this will be a bone dry wine. If you are above 1.000 then your yeast under attenuated. At this point you must decide what type of wine you are looking for (dry, semi-dry, sweet) and add sugar to get there. My recommendation is to shoot for something in the 1.010-1.020 range - depending on how sweet you like it.
9. Once you decide your type of wine, add sugar and stir in and take hydrometer samples until your reach your desired gravity. Once this has been completed, you are ready to bottle.
10. Bottle as early as 3-6 months from start of ferment (be sure to add 1 camden tablet when bottling). Let condition no less than 5 months (from start of ferment) before trying. I would try your first bottle at 7 months and then try a bottle per month. If you are patient, wait a year.

If you backsweeten:

1. cold crash wine 24-48 hours (bring temp to <50F)
2. In your bottling bucket add sorbate (1/4 rounded tsp per gallon) and sugar to a gravity reading of 1.010-1.020 - as per your tastes).
3. Once you reach your sweetening gravity add 1 camden tablet before bottling.


Notes:
1. Camden additions. I personally add Camden at the start and at every other racking.
2. My wine was good at 5 months, getting really good at 7 months, but I ran out! The spice notes did not come out until about the 7 month mark. These were subtle and at the end, rounding out the finish. They were great.
3. I would bottle at 3-5 months, then try a bottle a month or so, starting at 5-6 months.
4. Store in <50F environment for bottle conditioning if possible.

Other notes and backstory

Let me say that I initially screwed up this recipe by putting in too much sugar (so I ended up with something of a light floral Riesling wine) - however it was still very very good. I think I accidentally put in 10-12 cups of sugar (I thought I was going to do a double batch originally). I would go with the recipe posted below and back sweeten if needed. I will be doing this one again in the spring and will update my results. I hope to add sugar to ferment out to ABV failure and have a residual sugar of 1.010-1.020. Will post when I get those results.

My original batch fermented out with residual sugar left (I believe I had 1.040 F.G. but will check my notes - I forgot to grab a S.G.), so I assumed I tested the yeasts maximum ABV threshold on the cotes de blanc. I believe it ended up at somewhere like 11-14%ABV.

Enjoy - this one was a big hit. My mom recently called me and asked "if I pick, will you make the wine for me?" I know she is my mother, but it was unprovoked and unsolicited.

This wine is a winner. Enjoy!

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Old 03-16-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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I might give that a try, but will use fresh ginger. I put it in my rhubarb and I really like it!

Debbie

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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I was actually thinking of using fresh as well, but we didn't grow any last year. Ginger is one of those spices that is really good when used in just the right amount. Good luck with your dandy picking!

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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Just wanted to remind people of Dandy wine season!

My wife and I were out yesterday picking for this years dandelion wine - we grabbed enough for 5 gallons of the regular batch and plan on doing a test batch with the heads (and the green).

I am thinking that since my recipe doesn't involve a harsh heating of the dandelions, it might work with the green on the flower heads for my sun tea method. If it does, that would be unreal. We were picking for about 3 hours in total to get 10qts for the main batch and 2 quarts of green heads for a test batch.

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb_rn View Post
I might give that a try, but will use fresh ginger. I put it in my rhubarb and I really like it!

Debbie
Debbie - did you have a rhubarb wine that you make? Care to share the recipe? I am pretty sure we will have a ton of rhubarb this year.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thank you for this recipe...a little story for you. My mom's family was DIRT poor growing up...think stereotypical west virginia family. Her dad killed or grew everything they ate or drank (a coca-cola was a once a year treat for the kids. This included alcohol as well. Recently she told me her dad used to make a bunch of dandelion wine annually.

She asked how hard it would be to make and I told her I would research it. I am coming home from college tomorrow and making this recipe together will be a perfect (belated) mothers day activity.

Other than applewine I have never made wine. I have a 4-6L bottle (not sure exact size but I was going to use it to start 1 gallon batches of mead since it is a bit bigger than 1 gallon). Should I use that one for the initial fermentation before moving it to my 1 gallon bottle on the first racking? Since the jug will give a little bit of headspace should I just start in the 1 Gallon bottle?

Thanks again for the recipe and any advice you can give!

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Old 05-09-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germelli1 View Post
Thank you for this recipe...a little story for you. My mom's family was DIRT poor growing up...think stereotypical west virginia family. Her dad killed or grew everything they ate or drank (a coca-cola was a once a year treat for the kids. This included alcohol as well. Recently she told me her dad used to make a bunch of dandelion wine annually.

She asked how hard it would be to make and I told her I would research it. I am coming home from college tomorrow and making this recipe together will be a perfect (belated) mothers day activity.

Other than applewine I have never made wine. I have a 4-6L bottle (not sure exact size but I was going to use it to start 1 gallon batches of mead since it is a bit bigger than 1 gallon). Should I use that one for the initial fermentation before moving it to my 1 gallon bottle on the first racking? Since the jug will give a little bit of headspace should I just start in the 1 Gallon bottle?

Thanks again for the recipe and any advice you can give!
That is a really cool story - just goes to show you that you can find a way even in hard times to make your hooch

I would start this one in a home depot bucket or similar (after 5-7 days gently rack off into your gallon jug and top up with water as needed and put your airlock on). I never start fermenations this way (in a homer bucket), but since you have all the dandelion petals, and the fruit halves, etc. It would be really hard to start this off in a glass fermenter. After that 5-7 days - then rack it into your glass jug.

I will tell you this - the dandelion wine from this recipe was hugely popular with those that tried it. I thought it was all a myth about how good this stuff was until i tried it myself.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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Ooooooh this is even closer to her dad's methods...he fermented it in an open 5 gallon ceramic crock (which I still have my dad's from when he brewed 25 years ago!)

Does the camden act as a sanitizing measure for the wine?

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germelli1 View Post
Ooooooh this is even closer to her dad's methods...he fermented it in an open 5 gallon ceramic crock (which I still have my dad's from when he brewed 25 years ago!)

Does the camden act as a sanitizing measure for the wine?
Yes - basically this is like cider. If you have any type of unpasteurized must, many wine makers like to toss in 1 camden per gallon, to sanitize (though - I don't believe it truly sanitizes) and suppress wild yeasts, if any are present. So the key is, pitch in your camden and mix it up, let it rest 24 hours so the camden does its thing, then... pitch in your commercial yeast and it will take over. give it a good stir before you pitch to help aerate the must a bit prior to pitching.

Cool about the crock - sounds like you have something way cooler to ferment it - keeping the tradition alive and use it!
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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I found a cool link for everyone to use to determine how to leave residual sugar in the wine. Cotes de blanc has 11-14% ABV potential - so I think I am going to shoot for 14% on my next batch, and backsweeten after fermentation is completed. Since I will ferment this at around 70-72F, I assume my attenuation will by on the higher side.

http://mbhp.forgottensea.org/sgpat.html

so 4 cups 2 tblsp per gallon for 14% (16 tablespoons in a cup). That means I will be putting in sugar up to 1.110 S.G.

I also posted it above.

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