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Need help- trying to make dandelion wine

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Dandy

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I'm new to winemaking and decided to try making dandelion wine. I'm using a winemaker's recipe for 1 gal. I followed instructions which said to ferment everything together for 3 days. I had it in the basement where it is cool. The siphon showed no signs of activity after three days. I moved it upstairs and I let it keep going and then got distracted (ahem) and it's now been 6 days. There are now noticeable bubbles coming through the siphon. Can I/should I proceed at this time with straining/racking and continuing fermentation or...what? All help appreciated. Thanks!
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Dandy - and welcome. There is really no good way to know what is going on - and so when your next step should be taken unless you can monitor the change in density of the wine. The density of water is nominally 1.000 and when you add sugar that density rises. Depending on the amount of sugar you added will be what we call your "starting gravity" (another term for this density), when the gravity or density drops to about 1.005 then you would rack (transfer) the wine from the fermenter you started with into a fermenter with a narrow neck andsealed with a bung and an airlock (the secondary fermenter).
That said, if the recipe calls for you to remove the flowers from the wine after 3 days I would do that anyway, but when is the time to transfer the wine to the secondary is only when the gravity indicates that there is very little residual sugar remaining and so very little additional further fermentation about to take place. The reason for the transfer at this time is because if the yeast is no longer fermenting sugar then the yeast is no longer pumping out carbon dioxide and if the yeast is no longer pumping out CO2 then air (oxygen) can spoil your wine..
 

Dandy

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Thank you. Is it ruined since I did not remove the flowers and raisins? Should I try to keep going or just throw it out.
 

sour_grapes

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Don't throw it out! I am sure it is just fine. Just keep going!
 

Dandy

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OK. Thanks! stupidly I did not buy a hygrometer, but am going to do so now. Any ideas on what it should read at this point?
 

sour_grapes

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It's a little hard to guess without knowing even what the recipe was. I won't be surprised if it reads ~1.000 at this point (which would mean the process is nearly done).
 

wildhair

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What they said. Definitely get the hydrometer. I did go into more detail in your other post. As long as you removed all the sepal (the green parts) of the dandelion, it should be fine. Go ahead and remove the blossoms and raisins and give them a good squeeze. It will be fine.
 

BernardSmith

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Thank you. Is it ruined since I did not remove the flowers and raisins? Should I try to keep going or just throw it out.
Simple answer: taste it. I doubt if the wine will be ruined but it may taste more "vegetative" (grassy) than it would if you had removed the leaves sooner. But taste it.
 
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