Timely Tips and Tidbits – Dandelion Wine

Dandelions are popping up all across the landscape. Here is a lovely way to utilize this infamously ‘unloved flower’.

By Sherry Vogel

Homemade Dandelion Wine

3 quarts dandelion blossoms        

3 lbs. sugar

1 gallon water      

1 pkg. wine yeast

2 oranges, with peel                     

1 lbs. raisins

1 lemon, with peel

1. Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. *Do not use dandelions that have been sprayed.

2. Remove any green parts; they will impair fermentation (and ruin the taste of the wine).

3. Bring water to a boil and pour it over the flowers in a large crock cover and let steep for three days.

4. Prepare the oranges and lemons. Wash, slice and add to the brew. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, strain out solids, then add sugar, stirring till dissolved. Allow cooling.

5. Add the orange and lemon slices, yeast and raisins to the liquid. Put everything into a crock with a loose lid (so gas can escape) to ferment. * You can cover the crock with a clean cotton towel held down by a large rubber band.

6. When the mixture has stopped bubbling (2 days to a week) fermentation is complete.

7. Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth and transfer to sterilized bottles. Slip a deflated balloon over the top of each bottle to monitor for further fermentation. When the balloon remains deflated for 24 hours, fermentation is complete.

8. Cork the bottles and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 months before drinking. *Be sure not to seal these tightly before they finish fermentation and don’t store in a warm place. Otherwise you will end up with exploding bottles.