Recipe file created November 14, 1999.
When we moved into our new house, I was amazed at the number of dandelions growing in the front lawn. So, I harvested them. The neighbours were wondering about me....
Pinch off any green calyces. Place in primary fermentor. Add water, and let cool. Add crushed campden tablets. Add raisins and cinnamon stick, if using. Let sit for three days, stirring frequently.
Strain and discard flowers. Add orange and lemon juice and grated rind. Stir in sugar and nutrients. Specific gravity should be between 1.100 and 1.110. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and stir. Stir daily for three or four days, until frothing stops.
Strain. Siphon into secondary fermentor and place airlock.
For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.
For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.
This wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for two full years from the date it was started. It will definitely improve with age.
The calyces, along with the white sap, will make the wine bitter and require many years to age. Be sure not to get any in the wine. The best source of dandelions is your own or a friends yard. That way, you can be sure when the lawn was last treated -- with either fertilizer or herbicide. Dandelions bloom in early spring, so it should be no problem to harvest them before trying to eliminate them.
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