Dandelion Wine Questions...........

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by wildhair, Apr 25, 2017.

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  1. May 6, 2018 #21

    Jal5

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    I’d like to try this but how would you describe the taste? Is it more of a perfume scent or like a white wine?
    Joe
     
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  2. May 6, 2018 #22

    Dandy

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    Uh oh! I wish I'd waited a bit longer- sounds like good reasoning and advice. I strained the mixture through a sanitzed colander and cheesecloth into a glass gallon container. The hygrometer measured 1.060. It was cloudy. There was no mold or anything strange. Smelled like wine. In fact the whole kitchen now smells like wine! Anyway, I put the airlock top back on and wrapped it in brown paper and it's in the basement stairwell, I guess for the recipe's suggested 3 weeks. Color was nice - I used red raisins. If I do it again I'll use white, but I couldn't fine organic white ones. Crossing my fingers
     
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  3. May 6, 2018 #23

    wildhair

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    I made it as a dessert wine last year, so it's a bit stronger & sweeter than most. The Dandelion-Lemongrass is 17%, the Dandelion is about 15% I think. It has a light flower bouquet, but the taste is difficult to describe. Fresh, clean...............

    You know what - I'm having fish tonight, so I'll open a bottle and report back. They say it's supposed to age at least 18 months, but I could be dead by then and someone else would get to drink it. It may be a bit young, but we'll see how it's coming.

    Stay tuned, Joe.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  4. May 6, 2018 #24

    wildhair

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    Dandy - sounds fine. Personally - I would leave the airlock out, and cover the top with a towel until the sg gets to 1.010. If you leave the airlock in - I would suggest stirring it a couple times a day if possible. The yeast are still feeding and growing until it hits that 1.000 mark.
     
  5. May 7, 2018 #25

    wildhair

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    Well, Joe - I had a couple small glasses of the Dandelion~Lemongrass wine last night and the taste is very difficult to describe. It tastes a bit like the flowers smell...... if that makes any sense. It was clean and light ~ sweet, but not too sweet, it had a drier finish with no negative after taste of any kind. There was a hint of the lemongrass. I honestly don't know how to describe it, but it was very nice.
     
  6. May 7, 2018 #26

    Jal5

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    Thanks for that taste test for me WildHair!
    Just picked a lot of dandelions...this is like work instead of hobby'fun!
     
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  7. May 7, 2018 #27

    HillPeople

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    After making Dandelion Wine for 4 years, I would never consider not making it.
    Nothing quite like it. We do not separate the sepals from the blossoms- but no stems.
    We use orange and lemon peels and one cinnamon stick. Boil for an hour, steep overnight Squeeze the lemons and oranges into the batch. Strain everything second day when cooled, add sugar to 1.096 SG and ferment on D-47. Just had a glass of 2016. Yum!
     
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  8. May 7, 2018 #28

    wildhair

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    Glad to be of service. :dg
    I should probably let a few people with more discerning and sophisticated palates taste it and give their opinions. But I didn't make that much so............

    I think I may have developed a dandelion harvester that should take the back-breaking work out of picking them at least. I'll try and post a pic later once I see if it works.

    I actually ate the different parts of the dandelion to see where the bitter parts were. The green parts at the base of the blossom are OK, but anything below that is bitter. They are easy enough to separate when freshly picked. Grab a blossom in the left hand, thumbnail and 1st finger of the right hand where the stem joins the flower - twist, repeat.....over and over. You can fill a bucket with petals pretty quick.
     
  9. May 7, 2018 #29

    Jal5

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    That is a lot less tedious than picking the flower petals off or cutting them off. Spent most of today picking and cutting. Got about a quart and half quart zip lock bags of only flower petals.
     
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  10. May 7, 2018 #30

    wildhair

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    You can leave the green petals (sepals) that grow UP with the blossom, but remove the ones that hang down. A twist of the wrist separate them pretty quickly. Flower in the Left hand, stem end in the right - bring your thumbnails together under the blossom - twist. Ba da bing, ba da boom.

    P1000433-B.jpg
     
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  11. May 7, 2018 #31

    Jal5

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    Thx that picture helps a lot!
     
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  12. May 7, 2018 #32

    HillPeople

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    Tips- harvest at high noon on a bright sunny day. Only the fully opened blossoms. Pick till you're tired (with volunteer friends) then look at your bucket. The blossoms will have shrunken to almost nothing. Keep picking till all your friends call it quits. Then pick more. We start a batch with 2- 5 gallon buckets of shriveled blossoms. The peels from dozen oranges and a dozen lemons and a couple cinnamon sticks. Add water and boil in kettles for an hour, steep overnight. Add the juice from the lemons and oranges. Strain through cheesecloth. Add your sugar to 1.096 or so. Cool to 75 and pitch your yeast. Ferment with an airlock to SG .996. Forget about it for a couple months, rack, and then forget about it for a year.
     
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  13. May 8, 2018 #33

    wildhair

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    HillPeople - That's a big batch! How many gallons?
    I agree with the blossom picking - fully open, mid-day are best. I don't add the cinnamon or quite that much citrus - IMO - it overpowers the delicate floral bouquet and flower flavor of the noble weed. Personal preference, I reckon. I like the Vintner's Harvest SN9 yeast for floral wines.
     
  14. May 8, 2018 #34

    xune

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    I want to know more about this harvester you designed. The dandelions are just starting to bloom here. ;)
     
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  15. May 8, 2018 #35

    wildhair

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    OK - I have not had a chance to give it a thorough field test as our dandelions have just started to emerge. Nor have I had a chance to apply for a patent or submit an audition to Shark Tank. That said - I would be willing to share the profits with someone if they can improve on the prototype. The idea is based on the "pooper scooper" concept.

    I took a 1 gallon metal can, trimmed the "spout end" and cut V wedges into the bottom. I attached an old broom handle to the back. I cut a slot about 4 inches up into the handle, then using my Dremel to make a groove at the top of the slot, cut a 1/2 round hole thru the can and inserted the handle. Drill a couple holes and run some #6 3/4" screws thru it to secure it.
    I tried it like this, the dandelion naturally goes into the V, then "pops" it's head when it gets to the back. Results were so-so - some of the dandelions didn't loose their heads, but just tipped over.

    So I took a piece of metal (I used ducting), and folded it over, then slipped single edge razor blades into the fold. I used 2 1/2" sheet metal screws to secure it - so the blades can be changed. That works much better, but I need a lot more dandelions to really test it. I think cutting the V's narrower would be better - maybe 1/2" wide at the opening.

    It's light, you don't have to bend over and the dandelion flowers collect in the can. Kind of swing it under the flower head and the POP goes the dandelion.
     

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  16. May 8, 2018 #36

    HillPeople

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    I admire your inventiveness Wildhair. I tried a blueberry rake and a cranberry rake, but I missed just parking myself in a sunny field and having at it. DandelionHarvest.jpg
     
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  17. May 8, 2018 #37

    wildhair

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    Hey! What are you doing in my YARD??!! LOL
     
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  18. May 8, 2018 #38

    Jal5

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    Wow what a crop!!!
     
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  19. May 8, 2018 #39

    Jal5

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    Got more today in a short time using your instructions wildhair. Worked well. Now I have two very full qt. Ziplocks.

    Joe
     
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  20. May 14, 2018 #40

    Jal5

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    Started the “tea” made by steeping the flowers today. Looking forward to this process
     
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