Dandelion wine has quite a long history, people have been enjoying it for centuries. It’s easy to make, and just as easy to drink. 🙂
In order to make the wine, you must pick the flowers at the onset of the dandelion season, which fluctuates, depending on the weather, sometime between early April and May. Although dandelions grow throughout the summer, after the early spring crop they quickly turn to seed heads. There is then only this very limited annual window in which to make the wine.
Here is how to make the delicious, natural treat!
What you will need :
1 package (7 g) dried brewing yeas
1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
2 quarts (230 g) whole dandelion flowers (Using 2 quarts+ of just the petals can make for a less bitter wine.)
4 quarts water (3.785 L)
1 cup (240 mL) orange juice
3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon (1.25 g) powdered ginger
3 tablespoons (18 g) coarsely chopped orange zest; avoid any white pith
1 tablespoon (6 g) coarsely chopped lemon zest; avoid any white pith
6 cups (1200 g) sugar
How to make :
1. Wash and clean the blossoms well. Think of it as a fruit or vegetable; you don’t want bugs or dirt in your food. Remove all green material.
2. Soak flowers for two days.
3. Place the blossoms in the four quarts of water, along with the lime, orange, and lemon juices.
4 Stir in the ginger, cloves, orange peels, lemon peels, and sugar. Bring the mix to a boil for an hour. This creates the ‘infusion’ that will later become wine after fermentation.
5. Strain through filter papers (coffee filters are recommended). Let the infusion cool down for a while.
6. Stir the yeast in while the infusion is still warm, but below 100 degrees F.
7. Cover it and leave it alone, let it stand overnight.
8. Pour it into bottles, poke a few holes in a balloon and place over the tops of the bottles to create an airlock, to keep out unwanted wild yeasts, and store them in a dark place for at least three weeks so that it can ferment. At this point you now have wine!
9. Rack the wine several times, optionally. Racking means waiting until the wine clears, then siphoning or pouring the liquid into another container, leaving the lees (sediment) at the bottom of the first container.
10. Cork and store the bottles in a cool place. Allow the wine some time to age. Most recipes recommend waiting at least six months, preferably a year.
…and now you know! 🙂
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