Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Delicious Dandelion Wine
Dandelion wine is a delicious medium-sweet, social wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with light meals or desserts.
While many people view dandelions as pesky weeds, they are actually packed with nutrients and have a variety of culinary uses.
Making dandelion wine is a fun and rewarding activity that requires only a few simple ingredients and tools.
In this step-by-step guide, we'll take you through the process of making dandelion wine from start to finish.
What is Dandelion Wine?
Dandelion wine is a type of wine made from the flowers of the common dandelion plant.
The plant is native to Europe and Asia but has since spread to other parts of the world.
The flowers of the dandelion are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
Dandelion wine is a light, refreshing, and mildly sweet wine that is perfect for a hot summer day.
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions are packed with nutrients and have a variety of health benefits.
They are high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, potassium, and iron.
Dandelions also contain antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
Additionally, dandelions have been shown to have diuretic properties, meaning they can help promote healthy kidney function and reduce water retention.
Ingredients for 6 Bottles of Dandelion Wine
- 2 litres of dandelion heads
- 500ml of concentrated white grape juice
- 900g of sugar
- 3.4 litres of hot water
- 3 tsp of citric acid
- ½ tsp of tannin
- Campden tablets
- Gervin GV1 yeast
- Potassium Sorbate
Equipment Needed to Make Dandelion Wine
- Glass Demijohn
- Funnel with Fine mesh strainer
- Fermentation Vessel - Bucket
- Wine bottles
How to Harvest Dandelions
Dandelions can be found growing in fields, meadows, and lawns throughout the spring and summer months.
To harvest dandelions for wine, you will need to pick the flowers from the plant.
It is best to pick the flowers on a dry day, when the dew has evaporated, and the flowers are fully open.
To pick the flowers, simply grasp the stem of the flower and pull gently.
Step 1: Cleaning and Preparing Dandelion Heads
- The first step in making dandelion wine is to clean the dandelion heads.
- Remove all the green from the flower heads and use only the petals.
- Thoroughly rinse the petals with cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
Step 2: Extracting the Essence
- Once the petals are clean, place them in a suitable vessel and pour hot water over them.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon to rub the petals against the side of the vessel and extract the essence.
- Cover the vessel and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
Step 3: Adding Citric Acid and Campden Tablets
- Once the essence has cooled, add 3 tsp of citric acid and one crushed campden tablet.
- Steep the petals twice each day for three days, keeping the vessel covered at other times.
Step 4: Straining and Discarding Petals
- After three days, strain out the petals and press them dry.
- Discard the petals and stir in the concentrated grape juice, sugar, tannin, nutrient, and yeast.
Step 5: Fermentation
- Pour the must into a fermentation jar and fit an airlock.
- Make note of the starting gravity of the mixture using a hydrometer.
- Fermentation can take anywhere between 1-2 weeks.
- During this time, the yeast will consume the sugar and produce alcohol.
- When you think fermentation has stopped take a hydrometer reading.
- Fermentation will be over when the mixture is down S.G. 1.006 or below.
Step 6: Clarification
- After 1-2 weeks, the fermentation will slow down, and the mixture will begin to clarify.
- Carefully siphon the clear liquid off the top of the mixture, leaving behind any sediment or debris.
- Transfer the liquid to a clean fermentation vessel and add 1g potassium sorbate and one campden tablet.
- Replace the airlock and stopper and allow the mixture to sit for an additional 2-4 weeks to clarify further.
Step 7: Bottling and Storage
- Once the wine has clarified, it is ready to be bottled.
- Carefully siphon the wine into clean wine bottles, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top.
- Cap the bottles tightly and store them in a cool, dark place for at least 1-2 months to allow the flavours to develop.
Tips for Making Great Dandelion Wine
- Be sure to pick the flowers on a dry day, when they are fully open.
- Use only the petals of the dandelion flowers, not the stems or leaves, as these can impart a bitter flavour to the wine.
- Make sure to clean the dandelion petals thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use a suitable vessel for steeping the petals, and keep it covered during the steeping process.
- Use high-quality ingredients, including concentrated white grape juice and Gervin GV1 yeast.
- Use a hydrometer to measure the sugar content of the wine and ensure that the alcohol level is appropriate.
- Allow the wine to age for at least 1-2 months in a cool, dark place before drinking to allow the flavours to develop fully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is dandelion wine alcoholic?
- Yes, dandelion wine is an alcoholic beverage, typically with an alcohol content between 8-12%.
- Can I use any type of dandelion to make wine?
- While most varieties of dandelion can be used to make wine, it is best to use common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) for the best flavour.
- How long does dandelion wine last?
- Dandelion wine can be stored for up to 5 years if stored properly.
- Can I use honey instead of sugar to make dandelion wine?
- Yes, honey can be used instead of sugar to make dandelion wine, but the flavour will be different.
- Is dandelion wine gluten-free?
- Yes, dandelion wine is gluten-free.
Dandelion wine is a delicious, light, and refreshing wine that can be made easily at home using just a few simple ingredients.
By following the steps outlined above, you can make your own batch of dandelion wine and enjoy it with friends and family.
Not only is dandelion wine a tasty beverage, but it also has some potential health benefits.
Dandelion is known for its diuretic properties and may also help to stimulate digestion and boost the immune system.
However, it is important to consume dandelion in moderation and talk to your healthcare provider before adding it to your diet.
Overall, making dandelion wine is a fun and rewarding project that can yield a delicious and unique beverage.
With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create your own batch of dandelion wine and impress your friends with your homemade libations.