Making Dandelion wine
It doesn't take someone experienced in wine making to make dandelion wine, it's a great wine for beginners. For many years farmers and pioneers made dandelion wine with simple everyday ingredients and tools. Nothing fancy required.
Here's what you need:
A couple big pots
A jug or bottles to store the wine in
8 pounds (yes, 8 pounds) of sugar - you need it
6 Tbsp traditional yeast
a whole bunch of dandelions - about 2 quarts
8 quarts boiling water
To start with, pick your dandelions and trim off the stems just like if you were making dandelion jelly.
Then just like when you are making jelly you need to steep your blossoms in hot water, this time for 24 hours using a large stock or canning pot. Let them steep in a warm place with just a clean tea towel covering your pot.
Slice your fruit and remove the seeds... in a separate pot mix the fruit and peels with the sugar and let them sit overnight.
After 24 hours is up, then strain your blossoms out, reserving the liquid only. Then to the liquid, add the fruit, sugar, and yeast and mix very well.
Now take your pot and place it in a corner of your kitchen out of the sun and just cover it with a clean kitchen towel - do not seal the pot with plastic wrap or a lid... let it ferment. It needs to ferment for 8-10 days. I let mine go for the full 10. It will smell, you'll see the bubbles - just let it work it's magic. If it's very warm it will need less time - but no less than 8 days.
On day 10, using a big slotted spoon, scoop out all the fruit and peels and discard.
Then set up a clean pot and a colander lined with cheesecloth and strain your wine through the cheesecloth.
In the pot your wine has been fermenting in you'll have a whole lotta sugar left. (picture 5.) Discard that.
Re cover your new pot of strained liquid with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 2 days again.
After that you are ready to bottle it.
Place cheesecloth over whatever kind of jars or bottles you are using and strain the liquid into the bottles. Seal well and then kiss it goodbye and put it in a cool dark place (like the basement) for a couple of months.
It will look a mess and the liquid will not clear for quite some time, so don't worry about it.
When it clears, in about 2 months time, open it, sit down and enjoy your delicious dandelion wine.
The best thing I can compare it to if you've never tried it, is mead. It's sweet, with honey flavors and the flavors of orange and lemon.
I'm hoping our wine will be ready to drink for the end of August... we'll crack open the jug on our 1st wedding anniversary with any luck :)