Eddie (or anyone who has made this recipe), can you please help clarify a few things?
1. The section in UPPERCASE is difficult to understand - should the yeast be re-hydrated a couple days in advance, and stirred during this period?
2. If using campden tablets/kmeta, I am assuming there is 24 hrs between that step and adding yeast. Is it recommended to use them or optional?
3. It says to stir daily pushing down the fruit cap, but then says to press the fruit down twice daily. So once a day stir, then a second time just push down the fruit?
4. Is there any reason not to put the citrus fruit + zest, raisins & ginger in a bag so I don't have to strain it later?
5. Is there any risk of the starting SG of 1.115 being too high and causing issues? With other wines I step-feed to bump up the alcohol %.
Thank you in advance!
What a coincidence, @raelynn
, I just bottled my first dandelion this morning. I did a super traditional version because I was curious about the dandelion flavor. It turned out very nice and I will make it again with numerous tweaks. I think I made 6 flower wines last year and this was the 2nd to be bottled. A lot of work, yes, but in the very least I suggest you make it just to say you did. However, if you have access to honeysuckle I would definitely
make that. Less work, more flavor, I plan on a 3-gallon batch instead of a 1-gallon.
1. You can rehydrate yeast with plain water and the manufacturers suggest adding it to the must within 20 minutes. I add a bit of sugar and it's foamy in less than 30 minutes. I've never tried an overnight starter.
2. If you pour VERY hot water over the flowers it should kill everything and there's no need for kmeta. But I've read that kmeta early on can stabilize color. Also, because of the Crabtree Effect the yeast start making ethanol very quickly to make the environment inhospitable for other organisms. Yeast are ruthless! So is kmeta absolutely necessary, no, but it's good insurance.
3. Oxygen is extremely important during the first 48 hours or so when the yeast are multiplying, can't do it without oxygen. Also, the oxygen will help build stronger cell walls which is important later with higher levels of ethanol. I stir probably 6 times a day which means I also taste 6 times a day.
4. Do whatever you want. Personally I transfer
to secondary, not rack. That means I pour everything into a large brew bag to remove most of the detritus and then pour into a jug or carboy.
5.The stress response of yeast to all kinds of conditions is truly remarkable. They should
be able to handle 1.115 but there's no guarantee and it's kind of iffy. Starting lower is playing it safe. However, I recently did 3 different batches with 71B and a starting SG of 1.140-1.145 and there was no doubt in my mind that I would be successful with those particular wines
...and they were, all the way to .990. But that's another story.
Good luck and have fun!