Spring is here and that means that Dandelions are starting to bloom. Most people don’t like Dandelions growing in their yard, but I look forward to them. It means I can make Dandelion Wine! This is a recipe I make every year and I usually make 2 batches. The best way I can describe how Dandelion Wine tastes is that it tastes like a Chianti Wine. A few things to keep in mind when you make this wine. Make sure you pick your Dandelions from a yard that has not been sprayed with any kind of chemical, you don’t want that in your wine. Pick medium to large dandelions in the late morning after the flowers have fully opened. You only want the head of the flower so you need to remove the stem and any leaves. The inner pedal leaves are fine, but you must remove all of the stem, this is important. I just pinch off the stem when I am cleaning the flowers, some people use scissors. Sometimes Dandelion Wine is hard to get started fermenting. If it has not started fermenting 3-4 days after pitching the yeast you may need to vigorously rack it into another bucket. By “vigorously rack” I just mean shaking the end of the hose the wine is coming out of a little bit to introduce air into the must. Sometimes the yeast just needs a little shot of oxygen to get started. My Dandelion Wine takes a while before it is ready to bottle. I usually start it in April\May and bottle in December\January, so be patient. If you are ready to get started making Dandelion Wine, use the recipe below. It is for a 5 gallon batch of wine.
- 1000 Dandelion (about 2 Walmart bags full of dandelions)
- 5 gallons of water
- 8 lbs sugar
- 10 tsp. Acid blend
- 5 tsp. Yeast Nutrients
- 1 1/4 tsp. Tannnin
- 5 Campden tablets, crushed
- 1pkt. Champaign yeast (Lalvin 1118)
Bring 2 gallons of water and your dandelion petals to a boil, remove from heat and steep for 2 hours. Strain water through a colander to remove petals and pour it into your primary fermentor. Add your remaining water, sugar, Acid Blend,Tannin, and Yeast Nutrient. Take an acid reading, your acid should be between .55% to .65% TA. Take the PA reading, it should be between 10 and 12%. Add Campden Tablets after the must has cooled to room temp. 12 to 24 hours after the Campden Tablets, pitch the Yeast. Ferment and rack as normal for wine. Enjoy!