Dandelion Wine

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Homercidal

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I really want to try to make some, but the portion of my mind not attached to my hobby nerve center says there wont' be enough time to pick and deflower all of those dandelions. Maybe I could swap with someone who has a bottle and see how it tastes before deciding to go through all of the work too.

I think my daughters will be too busy this spring too help pick and prepare.
 

KingBrianI

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How big are your yards, Jesus! I was at my Grandma's house for Easter and she has a damn farm. I spent a couple hours picking them and I only got 100 grams. Is this like a snipe hunt?
 

Alcoholalchemy

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I didn't really get all of the little greenies off of the petals so I might end up with a bitter wine. Also, instead of raisins I racked onto the juice from 1.25 lbs white seedless grapes and the juice of one honeycrisp apple. So we'll just have to see how it turns out.
 

wolverinebrewer

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Picked 330 grams yesterday and was done in only a couple of hours. I can't wait to try this.
 

loetz

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Boil for one hour, then pour into a crock or plastic pail. Add the juice and pulp of the lemons and orange. Allow to stand until cool (70-75 degrees F.). Add yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and put in a warm place for three days. Strain and pour into a secondary fermentation vessel (bottle or jug). Add the raisins and fit a fermentation trap to the vessel. Leave until fermentation ceases completely, then rack and top up with reserved pint of water and any additional required to reduce all but 1 inch of airspace. Set aside until wine clears, rack whenever lees are 1/4" thick or every 60 days as needed, then rack and bottle.
These last few stages of racking concern me because I'm not going to have enough free FVs to do this at this time.

What would happen if I stopped racking when I added the raisins? Could I just let it ferment out and then bottle it?

I'm not really concerned about it clearing out.



I wouldn't mind if it looked like this one. That stuff was amazing and I'm kicking myself now for not asking the guy how he did it.
 

loetz

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Oh, and how much yeast would you pitch for 3 gallons? Is 5g enough or should I pitch 10g?

I started picking today!
 

seanstermatic

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Girlfriend and I picked about 13 L of flowers today for 4 gal batch. We calculated that this is somewhere between 5-10,000 flowers. We live near a big field where lots of them grow so we didn't have to walk around too much. I foudn the best way to pick is to reach below each flower and scoop it up between your fingers. Gather as many flowers between your middle and ring finger and pull the flowers off. Do the same between your index and middle finger and continue. Rip the stems that are hanging through the other side of your hand. But don't worry about making a clean removal, you'll remove the petals later. The trick is to gather as many as you can in your hand before pulling the heads off, and to gather large flowers.

You will encounter bees. Many bees. I just ignore them but if you're more daring you can swat them off with the bag you're carrying or your hand. They usually just fly away. Wear gloves (unless you want dandelion resin all over your hands), and wear long work pants because you will be kneeling a lot and wiping your resin fingers on your pants.

Picking them is easy. We picked this many flowers in about an hour. Removing the petals is the long but fun part. You need to do it ASAP after you've finished because the flowers will go bad soon.

What I find is best for the de-stemming is to grab a nice seat outside with some music going and some beer/wine. You're going to want to get drunk while doing this because you would otherwise lose your mind. I'll have 1 bag that contained the flowers, another bag for discard, another bag for de-stemming processing, and another bag for stashing the flowers. Wear gloves and grab some scissors. Set up the bag on one knee so the bag is separated into two compartments. Store flowers that you picked in the left compartment and put the petals (after de-stemming) in the right compartment. This is to avoid grabbing a flower from the bag every time and makes you more efficient. Once you have enough flowers in the right compartment put them in the stash bag. You may need to adjust the weight so the bag doesn't slip. Grabs a handful of flowers and place them in the left compartment, then grab a flower from this compartment and snip at the base allowing them petals to fall into the right compartment. Don't worry about the fluffy stuff and the bits of green, you just want to remove the base that would otherwise give the wine a bitter flavor. Repeat about 5000 times. A good pair of scissors makes a difference. This is the method that I found works best for me in my current situation.

You will encounter spiders. Towards the end of the bag all the insects that you gathered along with the flowers will start showing up. Be ready for this.

After de-stemming, my girlfriend and I did about 13 L of flowers in about 4 hours. It's hard work! But it's a good time to listen to an album or 6.


Also, I was thinking about straining the mix after boiling for the second time. That is, after boiling the petals and orange/lemon I want to strain and then pitch the yeast and raisins. It just seems like it would be easier. Any fore-seeable problems?
 

seanstermatic

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Here's how I did it:

To make 4 gallons

12.5 L dandelion petals
4 lbs raisins
4 gallons water
8 lbs sugar
4 lemons
4 oranges

Put petals in about 3 gallons boiling water, let water cool and add to primary
After 48 h, brought the 3 gallons water to boil and added quartered lemons, oranges and 8 lbs sugar
Let cool and then strained into primary, brought up to 4 gallons. Added 4 lbs raisins (chopped in food processor). Pitched yeast.

After 1.5 weeks strained the mixture (SG 0.990) to eliminate the raisins and put into secondary along with metabisulfite. After the yeast settled to the bottom, rack into a new carboy and degas.

Tastes very strong. OG was around 12% potential alcohol but it tastes much stronger. I have an alcohol reader and will tell you all what it is in time. Those damn raisins probably brought a lot of sugar that I didn't account for. If I were to do this again I would only add 5 lbs of sugar for 4 gallons, or consider less raisins. I think I will dilute it with white grape juice or something because I don't like wines this strong.

In retrospect I wouldn't chop the raisins up, they absorb the liquid very well and I'm sure the flavor is extracted from them easily in this time frame.
 

wolverinebrewer

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Yooper, can you look at this and tell me if the dandelion wine is supposed to clear more than this (left in pic.). I believe I followed your recipe and used 330 grams of petals. I have racked it once. The taste is unbelievably good! I'm just confused on the clarity as compared to the banana (center) and rhubarb (right).
wine 12-6-12.jpg
 

wolverinebrewer

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Ok, thanks. I racked it for a second time yesterday but this is now at 6 months so I'm not sure if it's going to clear up that much. I'll wait it out.
 

bandg72

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What if you don't have enough dandelions - can they hold until the next day to get enough? Also, can I double the recipe to make two gallons?
 

Goofynewfie

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What if you don't have enough dandelions - can they hold until the next day to get enough? Also, can I double the recipe to make two gallons?
You can stick them in a bag in the freezer , and to make two gallons double everything except the yeast
 

FermentNEthinG

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Tired of picking dandelions yet? We head into cow fields and pick some monster "lion heads" out of them. They are easily double size than the ones you find in your yard. Takes half the time which is a blessing when you are making 5 gallon batches.
 

Goofynewfie

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You guys are picking already?? I still have a couple feet of snow on the ground supposed to snow all week too
 

schooner427

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Wow. This somethin that I've been wanting to do, there was a winery in lansdale penna, that actually had dandy lion wine, they priced it at 50 dollars a bottle because of the labor picking the darn things,
 

bandg72

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Thanks for the info - I don't have dandelions yet either, but they will be here very very soon! I live in the country on a cow pasture, so there probably won't be a problem getting enough petals. I've only made kit wines so far, so this will be my first time doing something like this. I re-read the instructions and it says yeast and nutrients. What are the nutrients? I am lucky enough to have two wine making shops within about 30 miles, so I am certain they have whatever I need. Plus we have two different wineries in the area that also sell wine making supplies. Reading all the threads is so informative. THANK YOU ALL! :)
 

scorpien222

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bandg72 said:
Thanks for the info - I don't have dandelions yet either, but they will be here very very soon! I live in the country on a cow pasture, so there probably won't be a problem getting enough petals. I've only made kit wines so far, so this will be my first time doing something like this. I re-read the instructions and it says yeast and nutrients. What are the nutrients? I am lucky enough to have two wine making shops within about 30 miles, so I am certain they have whatever I need. Plus we have two different wineries in the area that also sell wine making supplies. Reading all the threads is so informative. THANK YOU ALL! :)
Yeast neutriant your will just get in a tub called yeast neutriant that's all you need to ask for :) it just helps the yeast stay healthy and get on with its business.
 

Goofynewfie

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Yeast nutrient is like red bull for yeast. You will have a quicker, better fermentation with it
 

Atek

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Anyone with a pic of the picked petals??
 

LoneTreeFarms

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sorry iowa just got hit with snow again, we've got no dandelions, what's the problem people? don't you know what a sack of dandelions looks like?

btw get a comfy chair and a bottlw of wine for when you start taking the greenery off the petals, you're gonna be there a while!!!
 

devo2002

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True Story

When I was in 3rd grade soccer I was the goalie. One day, my dad decided to sit indian style behind the goal post and pick a very large patch of dandelions for wine. While play was down the field the ref came over and asked me what that hippie guy was doing. I looked him straight in the eye and said "I have no idea who that man is" :D

Fast forward to high school and the police caught me drinking his dandelion wine in the woods:rockin:
 

LiquidBarley

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could I use the Abbey Ale II yeast I washed to get more fruity esters and clove flavor (or just go buy some wine yeast and not mess with wrecking a year long process)?
 

bandg72

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2 gallons of dandelion wine in the bucket now! YIPPEE! That's ALOT of dandelion petals!
One more question - I have a 3 gallon carboy but it's only 2 gallons of stuff. Will that be ok?
 
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2 gallons of dandelion wine in the bucket now! YIPPEE! That's ALOT of dandelion petals!
One more question - I have a 3 gallon carboy but it's only 2 gallons of stuff. Will that be ok?
No, once you move the wine to secondary you need to have no headspace. You can use two 1-gallon jugs (I use Carlo Rossi wine jugs) with a #6 stopper and airlock, as I've never seen a two gallon carboy.
 

bandg72

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oh darn..another reason to buy some wine.... I have one 1 gallon vessel so i only need one but i also need another bung. hubby is tired of going to the wine store! thank you!
 

bandg72

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oh dear, messed up and put the raisins in with the yeast. Now what?
 

thejudge

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Knowing that this wine drops lees like crazy for awhile, has anyone experimented with finings? I was thinking of using Bentonite after 5-6 months of it dropping on its own.
 
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Knowing that this wine drops lees like crazy for awhile, has anyone experimented with finings? I was thinking of using Bentonite after 5-6 months of it dropping on its own.
I've used sparkelloid in it, as I don't use gelatin or other animal finings. Sparkelloid works very well, but the lees do remain "dusty".
 

thejudge

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That's my concern, that's why I was wondering on the bentonite since its good for white wines etc.
 

bandg72

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It is fermenting like crazy without raisins, so I'll let it be. I looked up other recipes and they didn't have raisins in it at all, so I hope it's ok. Smells devine!
 
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