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With the coming of Spring, so comes the sunshine, the warmth….and the dandelions! If you’re like us, you don’t spray chemicals on your lawn, so you have organic dandelions. Why not try your hand at making some Dandelion Wine?
If this is going to be your first time making any kind of wine at home, you will need a wine making equipment kit. It’s a one time investment and will pay for itself with the first batch of wine.
Dandelion Wine is light and delicious – give it a try this year.
How to Make Dandelion Wine
Makes 1 gallon
3 quarts dandelion heads (no stalks)
3 quarts boiling water
1 pound seedless raisins
3 sliced oranges
3 sliced lemons
1 quart water
1 tsp wine yeast
Gather dandelions and put them in the crock. Note I have not picked off the green at the back of the flower, but there are no stems in there.
Pour boiling water over dandelion heads, cover and let stand overnight. The next day, strain through cheesecloth, pressing until dry. Put strained liquid into a plastic pail or crock.
Cutting up the lemons and oranges to add. These will add a wonderful citrus flavour to the wine.
Add oranges, lemons, raisins and a sugar syrup made from boiling 1/2 pound sugar with 1 quart water. Add the wine yeast. Cover and ferment for 15 days, stirring every day.
On the last day, you need to make a sugar syrup. Use 1 pound sugar and 2 cups water and heat it on the stove. You don’t want it to boil, you just want to dissolve the sugar.
Make sure the mixture is warm, give it another stir and remove from the heat. Let it cool. Strain fermented juice through cheesecloth and add cooled syrup.
We put the fruit into a colander and just let the juice drip out. It is likely best to NOT mash the fruit as this can result in cloudy wine. Instead, just leave it for several hours to allow all the liquid to drip out.
Pour into a gallon jug fitted with a fermentation lock. Leave in a warm place until all fermentation has stopped. I like to wrap an old towel around the jug to keep the light out.
Racking and Bottling Your Dandelion Wine
After about 4 weeks, rack it down into another jug. Notice the sediment in the bottom of the jug on the right. You want to rack it without disturbing this sediment.
Over time you rack it again and again….and each time you are left with clearer wine, because you leave the sediment on the bottom of the previous jug. The longer it stays in the jugs between being racked down again, the better.
Wait till it stops working to bottle it. Use a hydrometer to determine specific gravity. If it is at .98 to .99 then the sugars have finished working and it is ready to be bottled.
Here is Dandelion Wine from 2010 all bottled….made in the early Spring of 2010, this wine was not bottled until November 25, 2010. We made 2 gallons and bottled it mostly in 375 ml bottles.
We gave it a try. It is fairly citrusy in flavour. It’s dry, probably a 00. These bottles are going down to the wine cellar, to be brought out one at a time in a year or so. Enjoy!