May 05, 2014

How to Make Homemade Dandelion Wine

Freshly made it's DARK and cloudy. It clears up as it ages!

Homemade Dandelion Wine

1-2 quarts yellow dandelion blossoms, well rinsed
1/2 gallon boiling water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (wine yeast is great, but I used regular yeast for all my batches)
4 - 6 cups white sugar (how sweet/dry do you want it)
2 oranges, sliced
1/2 a lemon, sliced
1/4 t ginger - optional
*I used 1/4 c lemon juice along with 1 t dried orange rind and a heaping scoop of frozen orange juice concentrate as I did not have fresh oranges or lemons on hand.

Clean the green sepals (tiny leaves) from the yellow blossoms as much as possible and only use the yellow portion for a sweeter wine.  The green can make it more bitter.

Place dandelion blossoms in a crock and pour the boiling water over.  Allow to steep, covered, for 2 days. Strain the water from the flowers.  Discard the blossoms.

Place the water into a pot on the stove and stir in the sugar, orange slices, and lemon slices; bring it back to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove.

(At this point I put the yeast into a cup with 1/4 c warm water and 1 t sugar.  I let it set while the dandelion mixture cools.  It grows and foams in minutes so if it started to overflow the cup before my dandelion mixture was cooled enough, I scraped the top off with a butter knife.)  Most people simply add the dry yeast to the liquid but I wanted to start my yeast first.  

After the dandelion mixture has cooled to roughly 90 F add the yeast and pour into your fermentation container or jug.  Add the air lock, or in my case, a balloon with a couple holes poked into it. Let the wine ferment in a cool area until the bubbles stop, which can be 2 weeks or it can be a month.   During this time it's good to siphon the wine off of the lees (dead yeast on the bottom of your container), and strain through cheesecloth or filters.  After the fermentation stops completely, you can bottle it.  Store for 6 months before using.  A year even better, although your wine would be drinkable at any point, it tastes better and clears a little more the longer it sets.

I strained it 3 times before I bottled.  I managed to spill some when my funnel
slipped and I 'lost' some of my wine on the counter.  I got 4 bottles of wine
from this recipe.

I used recycled bottles with reusable bottle stoppers in these particular bottles

*NOTES regarding my use of mushroom or 'tasting' corks;  In 4 of my bottles (above)  I used reusable wine stoppers and for the rest (I have 2 more batches of Violet Wine and Rose Petal Wine fermenting), I purchased mushroom corks or 'tasting corks' so I didn't have to invest in a corker.   I trust EC Kraus and this is what they have to say about sealing your wine this way.... From

*Mushroom Corks are an easy way to bottle your wine without using a corker. They are basically a cork with a plastic grip top. They come both in natural cork and synthetic cork. With some force they can be pushed in by hand to create a tight seal. While they do not seal quite as tight as traditional corks, they are more than sufficient for any wine that will be consumed within 12 to 18 months.

Another option that does not require a corker is our Reusable Wine Bottle Stoppers. These stoppers can be put in by hand as well. Their unique design creates a series of chambers to produce a seal. While these stoppers are not all that attractive for passing out as wine making gifts, they can be covered up with decorative Heat Shrink Capsules to give them a professional look.

And yes, you can always use screw cap wine bottles, but you know that already, didn't you? Screw caps will seal a wine bottle air-tight, however you must have the right screw cap on the right screw cap wine bottle. Not any wine bottle can take a screw cap; it must specifically be a screw cap wine bottle.

In summary, you do not have to have a corker to seal your wine bottles. There are other methods. But if you plan to continue making wine corks and a corker are your best bet.

You might also be interested in;


Green Wine Bottles (750ml Bordeaux) Case of 12 Bottles
Mushroom Corks (30)
Portuguese Double Lever Corker
#8 Straight corks 7/8" x 1 3/4". Bag of 30

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