Making Dandelion Wine: Easy Steps Anyone Can Follow
Finding directions for making dandelion wine online is fairly simple, though confusing at first blush for most people. Dandelions are weeds, aren’t they? Why would anyone want to drink wine made from dandelions? Well, many folks out there have heard that dandelions are edible, and it is quite true and they can be very tasty! So if you want to know about making dandelion wine, you’ve come to the right place! One of the easiest methods for making dandelion wine is as follows.
One thing you’ll find you need for the basic dandelion wine making process is a list of equipment, which frankly can be very overwhelming. Don’t let this dissuade you, however! The good news is that there are many winemaking kits out there that have pretty much all the esoteric equipment you’ll need! Depending on what you want to make and other factors, a kit will cost you anywhere from $80 all the way up to $200. Your kit will also have more detailed directions for making wine.
Once you have your kit, you will need 2 quarts of washed dandelion blooms (best harvested in April or May) that have soaked for 2 days, 1 cup of orange juice, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 8 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger, 3 tablespoons of coarsely chopped orange zest, 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped lemon zest, and 6 cups of sugar. Once you have that stuff, put it all in a pot and boil it together for 1 hour.
Now it’s time to begin fermentation. For primary fermentation, once again follow the instructions your kit provides. During this time, you’ll have to add some additives such as yeast, sulfites and enzymes – all of which are essential. You also have to be sure to follow the directions to the letter and add the additives at the appropriate time. After everything is blended, cover your fermentation container with cloth and tie it with a rubber band. Primary fermentation will take 3 to 10 days.
Now you move onto secondary fermentation. Secondary fermentation takes place in a glass jug called a carboy. Before you pour the wine into this vessel, however, it needs to be strained to get rid of all the pulp. Once in the carboy, the wine will need to ferment for an additional several weeks. During this period, you’ll need to “rack” the wine occasionally. Racking is the process by which you remove sediments from the wine by siphoning with a plastic tube.
Last, but not least, comes the bottling. Bottling is just as important as every other step, because if you don’t do it right all your work will be for naught. Siphon your wine into the bottles using the plastic tube you used for racking, taking care not to overflow the bottles. Cork the bottles and let them sit upright for three days. After this period, you should store them on their side at 55 degrees Fahrenheit in dark bottles for 6-12 months. The real final step, of course, is for you to enjoy your dandelion wine! Dandelion wine is a treat as-is, and if you make it yourself right in your own home that makes it all that more special!