A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dandelion Wine


Inspired by comments on one of my earlier posts I have decided to have a go at making dandelion wine. In the comments on the post I was given a recipe which I have mostly followed but with slight deviation; This was mainly due to being unable to find one of the ingredients but fingers crossed it'll be ok.


The first step I took was to collect the dandelion heads. Due to the time of year and the abundance of them on my lawn, this step didn't take too long. The recipe asks for 6 pints of dandelion heads but I only managed 3 pints, although they where packed quite tight into the pint glass so will assume I have picked enough for the recipe. If I haven't picked enough then the only downside I can see is that it won't taste as much of dandelion as it's supposed to; Having no base for comparison, due to not having tasted dandelions, I will continue with the recipe as normal.




Lawn covered in dandelions


The next step (once I had washed my pollen stained hands) was to pour boiling water (7 pints approx) over the dandelions and let them sit in a cupboard for 48 hours out of the way. At this point they started to have a not entirely pleasant smell about them.





After leaving them for 48 hours they really had a smell to them, again not pleasant. The next step was to peel 2 lemons and 1 orange, trying not to get the white pith in. The peel was placed in a large pan along with the dandelion mix and 3lbs of sugar then brought to the boil for 10 minutes (it took about 15 minutes to get to boil). After taking it off the heat I squeezed the juice from the peeled lemons and orange in and added 1 litre of red grape juice (this is where I deviated from the recipe provided; The original recipe asks for white grape juice not red). It was then left to cool.



Pan of dandelions and peel (pond water)

Upon returning from a rather unsuccessful walk, the baby cried for most of it, I carried on with the next step. I added a heaped teaspoon of pectolase and a heaped teaspoon of yeast nutrients then gave a good stir. Pectolase helps breakdown plant matter and clear the wine and nutrients are to give the yeast food to help it get going better. After I had given it a good stir I added the wine yeast and covered with cling film. It now needs to be kept covered for 4-5 days, stirring daily. After 4-5 days I will transfer the liquid into a demijohn with airlock to ferment.

Garden after dandelions were picked


When I left for work this morning it looked as though fermentation had started but only slowly at the moment.