Sunday, 24 April 2011

Dandelion wine.

I have to admit to a certain fondness for making something from nothing, so when a brewing forum advertised 'wine for free' I was instantly curious. Well, to be fair the wine isn't totally free especially when you take into account the rising cost of sugar, plus the time it took to pick all the dandelions, but you know, it's nearly there, so I thought I'd give it a go. Being a bit of a greedy whatsit, I doubled the ingredients, especially as our field is over run with dandelions at the moment. The weather seems to be perfect for them,as I've seen fields yellow with their flowers around here. I have no idea how this wine will turn out, but I love to experiment. I've made some divinely delcious wines and some gut-clenchingly awful ones, but that's half the fun :D

So here is my brewing bin filled with beautiful yellow, fragrant flowers. Nearly 7 pints worth!

3/4 pints of dandelion heads
1.2 kg sugar
1 gallon of water
5 grams wine yeast
3 oranges

Some of the dandelions I washed, but so much of the colour and pollen came out, that I worried I was losing flavour, so the rest I left.

1. Boil the water in a large pan and pour onto the flowers in the brewing bin.
2. Leave to steep for 48 hours, no longer.
3. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil.
4. Add the zest of the 3 oranges.
5. Strain through muslin back into the fermenting bin, add the juice from the oranges and add the sugar.
6. When cool, add yeast and pour into the demijohn and add an airlock.
7. Ferment until the bubbles have finished.
8. Rack off until wine clears.
9. Pour into sterilised bottles and leave for around 6months or longer.

There are some very good on line suppliers of wine kit and ingredients but I've managed quite well with what I can pick up from Wilkinsons and Ebay. After the initial outlay, the cost is absorbed by the money you save overall. Plus, I think it's a fun hobby and takes me back to the days of watching The Good Life and their adventures in Home Brewing. Pea Pod Burgundy anyone? :D


pattypan.2 said...

Hi Yarrow

You can also make a dandelion marmalade recipe its sweet but nice on toast. Pam Corbin recipe from River Cottage if that's of any use - being as you have a field of them. I think I also posted something on my blog about this too. Hope you are keeping well and enjoying this Easter weekend.

Take care

Tricia (aka Pattypan)

Captain Shagrat said...

Thought about doing this recipe before but never got round to it. I have made elderberry champs and wine. Have you ever tried gorse wine its supposed to be very good the flowers smell of coconut. Bit hard to pick though

Tammie Lee said...

oh, wonderful, I hope you like the results.

Yarrow said...

PP, I could give the marmalade a go, but only if I've the patience to pick more of the things!!!

Captain, I'd like to try gorse, it smells divine and is probably good to pick around now :D

Tammie, I'll let you know how it goes :D

Captain Shagrat said...

How many dandy heads did you use, do you mean 7 pints of flowers or that how much wine you are going to have?

Yarrow said...

Captain, I filled a pint glass 7 times with the dandelion heads!!! The recipe only calls for 3-4 pints, but I'm doubling it up! Adding the orange juice and yeast today :D

rossichka said...

I've never drunk such a wine or eaten a dandelion marmalade! Sounds rather intriguing and exotic... I suppose it's tasty. Good for you!:) I like how the word sounds! In Bulgarian we call it "глухарче" [glu'harche] and I've heard that people make salad from the leaves.

Captain Shagrat said...

Thanks Yarrow I think I might have a bash at it too.

Yarrow said...

This will be a first for me too, Rossichka :D
It smells lovely Captain S, but I may have made an error in leaving the green bits on! We shall see!!!

Captain Shagrat said...

Well I've done my dandy juice hope it turns out alright. I must have spent an hour and a half picking off the green bits but I bet it doesn't matter that much if you keep them on. Thanks Yarrow for the inspiration. Will post a picture later

Yarrow said...

Your welcome, Cap :D