dandelion wine

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SkylerChaBro

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My girlfriend and I were curious about making dandelion wine. While I can find many recipes for the wine, I want to know where to get dandelions. I would figure (from brewing beer) that you can't just pick them as they will most likely have wild yeasts and bacteria found in nature on them. If we wanted to make this how would we get it's main ingredient, or sterilize it without destroying it?

Maybe wine works differently than brewing.

Thanks,

Mark K.
 

Revvy

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Yooper's got a recipe on here. And I trust her

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/dandelion-wine-21095/

There's also a basic brewing podcast as well on the subject.

May 8, 2008 - Dandelion Wine
Tired of looking at those dandelions in your yard? Home brewer Don Osborn tells us how to put them to good use in the fermenter.
Don's recipe page
Dandelion Wine
Click to listen
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr05-08-08dandelion.mp3
You have a long cold winter to learn as much about it as possible, don't think we'll be seeing them in Michigan for awhile. :D
 

Yooper

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The key for dandelions is to pick them on a bright sunny day, while they are fully open. Then, sit in the shade and remove the yellow petals from the green calyxes. (The green part is very bitter). I like to freeze the petals in a ziploc bag until I have enough for a batch.

You don't have to worry about wild yeast/bacteria/ etc. Yes, I'm sure it's there, just like it is on everything we use for wine. But, I use campden tablets and I also use boiling water on the petals. It's not a concern at all. I use many fruits and flowers for wine and there are ways to prevent wild contaminations.
 
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SkylerChaBro

SkylerChaBro

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Yooper's got a recipe on here. And I trust her

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/dandelion-wine-21095/

There's also a basic brewing podcast as well on the subject.



You have a long cold winter to learn as much about it as possible, don't think we'll be seeing them in Michigan for awhile. :D
Looks like I missed that in my search, probably misspelled dandelion, thanks Revvy.

With freezing rain and and sleet coming down since yesterday, I'm sure we won't be seeing them for a nice long time as well. Gives me plenty of time to read up and make a few brews before hand.

The key for dandelions is to pick them on a bright sunny day, while they are fully open. Then, sit in the shade and remove the yellow petals from the green calyxes. (The green part is very bitter). I like to freeze the petals in a ziploc bag until I have enough for a batch.

You don't have to worry about wild yeast/bacteria/ etc. Yes, I'm sure it's there, just like it is on everything we use for wine. But, I use campden tablets and I also use boiling water on the petals. It's not a concern at all. I use many fruits and flowers for wine and there are ways to prevent wild contaminations.
I was thinking that the boiling water may be too much for the petals. I have only tried a couple beers so wine would also be pretty new for me. My girlfriend

*Lame alert*
When I was much younger I would go out into the yard and pick dandelions for mah mawm, because I was such an awesome son. When I tried to remember the flower I remember them being somewhat delicate and thought boiling water would possibly destroy the petal.

Thanks for the advice Yooper.
 

will_cbe

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Wild yeast is not what you need to worry about, it's pesticides and weed killers. I'm considering growing a bunch of dandelions on my front porch so that I can have a supply that isn't contaminated.
 
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SkylerChaBro

SkylerChaBro

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Wild yeast is not what you need to worry about, it's pesticides and weed killers. I'm considering growing a bunch of dandelions on my front porch so that I can have a supply that isn't contaminated.
Yeah that was a cause for concern as well. We know of a few fields out in BFE Michigan that we may be able to use and are not maintained. Maybe those would work?
 

guscampag

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Working on a 5-gallon batch of dandeliion wine per Yoopers/Jack Keller recipe. Ready for the boiling/add lemons phase tonight after work. Had a couple of questions. As far as peeling the lemons and oranges. Do you just use a potato peeler or something or a cheese grater and put the zest in? (I think that's what they call it.)

Also what kind of yeast would be good? Montrachet? I hope-that's what I have on hand. But I could run by the LHB store today if I need to. I'm lucky to have one close by!

Comment-Wow it really was a lot of work to clean those dandeliions. My thumbs were really sore afterwards. I hope this is some good stuff! Never had it before. I'll ake sure to let it age before I try it.

Thanks for any input.

Gus
 

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Dandelions are a TON of work- I can't even get my best friend to help any more, even though I bribe her with wine. But trust me- it's worth it!

I use only the colored part of the zest- no white pith which is very bitter. I actually have a little tool that looks like a vegetable peeler called a "zester" which helps alot. You can peel the fruit, and scrape off the white part off of the back of the peel with a knife.

Montrachet will work just fine.
 

guscampag

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Thanks for the reply.

I'm hoping for the best. I am following the recipe. Only I used only 10 quarts of dandelion petals instead of 15. I'm thinking it should be okay because Jack Keller says he has actually only made this recipe with less dandelions than the 3 quarts per gal called for. I see a lot of the other recipes call for 2. Anyway, I could not have possibly picked or cleaned any more dandelions!

I made the mistake of trying to freeze some the week before, but I guess I should have read the post a little closer. Apparently, you need to seperate the flowers from the calyx, etc FIRST. I didn't seem possible to do anything with the frozen mess. So I had to repick another bucket. My thumbs weren't the only thing hurting. The ole back was a little tired, too.

I'll need to pick up 5 lbs of golden raisins on the way home.

Maybe next I'll try a batch of rhubarb. Need to keep something in those carboys over the summer, I guess.

Gus
 

will_cbe

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Yooper, what type of raisins do you use? Purple raisins or golden raisins?
 

guscampag

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Working on my dandy lion wine. Boiled for one hour day before yesterday and pitched the yeast (Montrachet). Bought 5 lbs of golden raisins today to add tomorrow when I transfer to carboy.

When I checked the must today, it has formed a real cap on the top with all the oranges, lemons, dandelions, etc.

Should I punch this cap down and stir it up or should I just let it be til tomorrow evening when I transfer?

thanks,

Gus
 

Yooper

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Working on my dandy lion wine. Boiled for one hour day before yesterday and pitched the yeast (Montrachet). Bought 5 lbs of golden raisins today to add tomorrow when I transfer to carboy.

When I checked the must today, it has formed a real cap on the top with all the oranges, lemons, dandelions, etc.

Should I punch this cap down and stir it up or should I just let it be til tomorrow evening when I transfer?

thanks,

Gus
Punch it down, and stir it up well. It'll float again- I like to break up the cap a couple of times a day. You don't want the top to dry out.
 

guscampag

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Transferred the must over to a carboy today! Added 5 lbs of golden raisins and Wow is it cooking! SG was 1.100--before adding the raisins. i would surmise this will be some pretty strong stuff.

Now I guess I leave it until it ferments dry and then rack. My question is do I stir up the raisins at the bottom once in a while or just let it set as it is?

Also, at what point do the raisins get taken out? When I rack it?

Thanks for all the answers.

Gus
 

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Transferred the must over to a carboy today! Added 5 lbs of golden raisins and Wow is it cooking! SG was 1.100--before adding the raisins. i would surmise this will be some pretty strong stuff.

Now I guess I leave it until it ferments dry and then rack. My question is do I stir up the raisins at the bottom once in a while or just let it set as it is?

Also, at what point do the raisins get taken out? When I rack it?

Thanks for all the answers.

Gus
No, no need to stir up the raisins- the yeast know where they are. Now is the time to let it finish up, and when it's done it can be racked off of the raisins. No need to rush it- you can wait until you have 1/4" thick lees in the raisins. Maybe a month or so, depending on how much sediment drops.
 

guscampag

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Wow!!!

This is the most active ferment I have ever seen.

About 1 bubble per second or more!

All the raisins have risen to the top of the carboy and I had to pull a little liquid out to keep the must in the jug. Will the raisins eventually sink back down to the bottom? If they sink, would that give me an indication that the ferment is done?

It is a sight to behold.

Gus

thanks again.
 

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Wow!!!

This is the most active ferment I have ever seen.

About 1 bubble per second or more!

All the raisins have risen to the top of the carboy and I had to pull a little liquid out to keep the must in the jug. Will the raisins eventually sink back down to the bottom? If they sink, would that give me an indication that the ferment is done?

It is a sight to behold.

Gus

thanks again.
They will sink eventually. Right now it's the co2 bubbles holding them up. Then when it slows down, you can add some water or must to top up again. You don't want any headspace when it slows down, but you definitely need some now!
 

guscampag

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After about 3 weeks the bubbling has died down some, but still pretty good. I kind of screwed up today. I removed the stopper to add a little more liquid becuase I could see the raisins (still on top) were getting dry on top. Well, I pushed the stopper too far in ( I have had that problem before with this particular carboy, so I should have known better!) Anyway, rubber stopper is in the mix. Is this a problem? Do I need to get it out? Or can I just leave it. For now, I just put another one on.
Please tell me it will be okay!
thanks,

Gus
 

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After about 3 weeks the bubbling has died down some, but still pretty good. I kind of screwed up today. I removed the stopper to add a little more liquid becuase I could see the raisins (still on top) were getting dry on top. Well, I pushed the stopper too far in ( I have had that problem before with this particular carboy, so I should have known better!) Anyway, rubber stopper is in the mix. Is this a problem? Do I need to get it out? Or can I just leave it. For now, I just put another one on.
Please tell me it will be okay!
thanks,

Gus
It's ok! It won't harm the wine. I've done it, too. You can get it out when you rack the wine. It'll be a PITA getting out all those raisins along with the stopper, though!
 

guscampag

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Now, about racking this wine. It has been in carboy for 2 months. It bubbled away real good for quite a while and has now died down. I see no signs of any of the rasins dropping to the bottom. They are all still floating (all five lbs)on the top. Is it time to rack it and check the sg -- and do I remove the raisins yet or What? the only thing I have done to it was add little water a couple of times when I saw that it was drying out on top.

Thanks,

gus
 

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Now, about racking this wine. It has been in carboy for 2 months. It bubbled away real good for quite a while and has now died down. I see no signs of any of the rasins dropping to the bottom. They are all still floating (all five lbs)on the top. Is it time to rack it and check the sg -- and do I remove the raisins yet or What? the only thing I have done to it was add little water a couple of times when I saw that it was drying out on top.

Thanks,

gus
Do you have more than 1/4" of lees on the bottom? If you don't, no need to rack yet. I rack after 60 days (more or less) if I have lees more than 1/4" inch thick or so. You can leave it for quite a long time, as long as you don't have lees forming.

One thing I noticed about dandelion wine is that even after it's seemingly clear, and I bottle it (and I never rush to bottle it, it's usually a year at least), there are some lees later in the bottle. I have no idea where it comes from! So, patience is key here.
 

guscampag

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hello again,

I checked the dandelion wine - been going about 3 months now I think. The raisins are all still floating on top. I do have about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of lees on the bottom. I'm thinking it would be a good time to rack this wine. What about the raisins? Do I take them out now or transfer them to the next carboy?

Thanks so much.

gus
 

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hello again,

I checked the dandelion wine - been going about 3 months now I think. The raisins are all still floating on top. I do have about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of lees on the bottom. I'm thinking it would be a good time to rack this wine. What about the raisins? Do I take them out now or transfer them to the next carboy?

Thanks so much.

gus
When you rack, just leave the raisins behind. They won't get sucked up in the racking cane, so you can just rack the clear wine.
 

guscampag

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Aha, back to the dandelion wine. Started back in May. Racked once about 6 weeks ago. Checked today. Looks good. No appreciable amount of lees on the bottom. Tastes pretty good, but very sweet. Checked SG = 1.010, which is about the same as it was 6 weeks ago. Does this wine finish sweet or has my fermentation stopped prematurely. Is there anything I can do to dry it up a little? I mean, it's good, but I usually prefer a dryer beverage. I notice your recipe says the FG should be about .996.
Thanks for all your help.

gus
 

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Aha, back to the dandelion wine. Started back in May. Racked once about 6 weeks ago. Checked today. Looks good. No appreciable amount of lees on the bottom. Tastes pretty good, but very sweet. Checked SG = 1.010, which is about the same as it was 6 weeks ago. Does this wine finish sweet or has my fermentation stopped prematurely. Is there anything I can do to dry it up a little? I mean, it's good, but I usually prefer a dryer beverage. I notice your recipe says the FG should be about .996.
Thanks for all your help.

gus
Yeah, that's not "normal". What kind of yeast did you use, and what was the OG? Champagne yeast should have taken it to dry.

There are a couple of things you can do- one is to make a little yeast starter with some fresh champagne yeast. Just a bit of the must and some sugar water to get going, and then gradually add more of the must until it's going very well, and add that back into the fermenter. Make sure it's warm enough- in a cool basement the yeast may poop out too early. Since it's clear, I bet most of the yeast have fallen out a bit too soon.
 

guscampag

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I had OG of 1.120 and used Montrachet yeast. It was pretty warm in the basement all summer - maybe too warm?

I'll try to add a starter and see if it will get going again. I have Pasteur Champagne and EC-1118 on hand. Would either be better than the other, in your opinion?

Thanks
 
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