Dandelion Wine Recipe – 11.5 L Batch

Dandelion Field

 

I always knew dandelions were edible and some people use them for salads or even made tea out of the roots, but when I first heard of dandelion wine, I wasn`t sure what to expect. So after a little research and a lot of picking, I made my first batch in 2016 and again in 2017 (with some variation).

Dandelion wine has a unique flavour that is hard to describe: there are hints of delicate floral and honey-like notes, but there`s more to the wine than I can really say. If you want to get a sense of the flavour without waiting a year or two before your wine is ready, it`s a good idea to try making a quick tea out of the flowers.  Yeast and aging will, of course, affect the final taste, but you`ll get a good sense of what the base flavours will be.  In fact, making a small test batch prior to fermentation is a great technique for wine and beer making in general if you want to try some wild new idea that might have struck you!

Jump to recipe here

Day One: Pick and Soak the Dandelions

First, you need to find some dandelions– I`m sure there is a neighbor or two (or a field) with a dandelion problem nearby!  Okay, so here is where the bulk of the work comes in: you have to pick a total of 12-16 cups of dandelion PETALS. Make sure you don`t get any of the green in there, or you`ll get some bitter off flavours (okay, a little green is fine!).  It`s best to use scissors and cut the petals off right away: don’t make my mistake and cut off the heads and wait to get the petals later… the flower closes up and then you have quite the afternoon ahead of you, as you can see in the picture below.  Just for reference, the first time harvesting took two people almost five hours total; this year cutting the petals right in the field took us about an hour and a half!

Dandelion Petals

Dandelion Petals

 

 

Soaking

Dandelins Soaking

All the dandelion soaking

Boil the water and pour and over the petals. Let this soak, covered, for three (but not more than four) days.  Make sure to stir the dandelion tea every twenty-four hours!  After a few days this is what your water will look like:

Soaking Dandelion Petals

Soaking Dandelion Petals

 

Day Four: Prepare the Wine

Strain out the petals and drain the liquid into a carboy using a mesh bag (if you don`t have a mesh bag you can also use a clean t-shirt). Bring the strained dandelion tea to a boil and add in your spices, lemon and orange zest (reserving the juice), and simmer for one hour. In the last few minutes pour in sugar, raisins, and juice from the lemons and oranges.

Transfer into a sanitized primary fermenter. Add pectic enzyme, grape tannin, and yeast energizer. Wait 12 hours, and sprinkle wine yeast on top of your must. EC-1118 is the most common yeast, but KV-1116 and Cotes du Blanc can be used here as well. Check out my post here for more information on the different types of yeast.

Don’t forget you can compost the spent dandelion petals!

Composting Dandelion Petals

Composting Dandelion Petals

Day Fifteen: First Racking

Around this time your fermentation should be slowing down.  That means it`s time to get your wine off the sediment, raisins, and spices, and also to reduce the head space by transferring out of the primary.  Transfer the wine to a glass carboy with an airlock, making sure to top up with pre-boiled (and cooled) water to eleven and a half liters.  If you are unsure of what racking means please click here for more information!  At this point I measured my gravity reading, it had dropped to 1.030. Not done, but well on its way!

 

Day Forty-Five: Second Racking

You should be ready for another racking as more sediment has built up. My gravity reading was 0.990, completely fermented out (no sugar left for the yeast to eat!). Have a taste of your young wine and see what you think so far!

 

Day Seventy-Five: Final racking/ Bottling

If your wine has cleared, you can make a choice of bottling or to let it bulk age for a few months longer– I bulk-aged mine for another three and a half months before bottling! I tried a little just before bottling it and it really reminded me of one of my meads!  If you used EC-1118, your wine should be completely dry.  Feel free to back-sweeten to taste, but you must stabilize the wine to prevent bottle bombs (exploding corks!).  To stabilize, simply add K-meta and K-sulfite, both available at your LHBS or purchase here:

Need some more help with bottling? Check out my post here, but ignore the bottle conditioning portion of the post.

Check out this news clip of Brew Queen in action on CTV! Click here for the video!

Dandelion Wine 2016

12 Cups Dandelion Petals
11 liters of water
2.5 kg Sugar
24 Cloves
3 1/2 Long Cinnamon sticks
3 Inch piece of Ginger
7 Lemons
6 Oranges
3/4 tsp of Grape Tannin
3 lbs Chopped Golden Raisins
1 1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp Yeast Energizer
1 Package of wine yeast (EC-1118, or KV-1116)

Dandelion Wine 2017

We found the cinnamon and ginger was a bit too subtle for our tastes in our 2016 version, so we left in the cinnamon longer and added more ginger.  Feel free to experiment and let me know what you did in the comments!

16 Cups Dandelion Petals
11 liters of water
2.5 kg Sugar
24 Cloves
2 Three inch Long Cinnamon sticks
7 Inch piece of Ginger
8 Lemons
8 Oranges
3/4 tsp of Grape Tannin
1.5 lbs Chopped Golden Raisins
1 1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp Yeast Energizer
Cotes Du Blanc (or D47) Yeast

Brew-Queen-Logo

2 thoughts on “Dandelion Wine Recipe – 11.5 L Batch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *