UPDATED: Finishing the Dandelion Wine - PicsSubmitted by bigmikedude on Fri, 10/10/2014 - 18:15
A pictorial of the process of making dandelion wine.
This is what 12-13 quarts of dandelion petals looks like.
Do you have any idea how grueling a process it was to get a pile of pure petals that big? Lol. And you don't even see all of them in the pile, there's two more quarts separate on a piece of cheesecloth on the table across the room for the smaller pot.
All put together in the bucket it smells awesomely like iced tea.
It's in primary fermentation now. I'll add more pics over the next few months.
Pic Update 4/9/14: Strained the pulp out the primary fermentation bucket, loaded up a 6.5 gallon carboy to start the secondary ferment with about 5 3/4 gallons, topped of with a little tap water/(pretty much spring water) to fill the empty space in the carboy. Now it's the 30-60 day waiting game.
5/10/14 Pic Update:
Racked the wine for the first time today after it had fallen pretty much clear in the last month. A taste test a few weeks ago at first was disappointing, it had fermented to total dryness and was scarily nasty tasting - no sugar at all left and tasted like bitter citrus, also seemed to possibly lack in minimum necessary alcohol content (to maintain a preservative effect), and was sulfur smelling because of the campden tablets.
So at that point I added a few pounds of sugar dissolved in about a quart of water to do two things - sweeten it a tad and let the yeast keep making a little more alcohol.
After racking it today, and snagging a sample and degassing it for another taste test, I'm happy to say the flavor is definitely improving. Still a long way to go of racking and aging, but I'm now a little more confident that it should end up pretty good if it continues to improve like this.
Now we wait 60 days for the next rack.
Pic Update 10/10/14: The wine had cleared very well after 60 days and no further sediment precipitated out of it, so I decided to just let it bulk age for 5 months versus another rack after 60 days. Today after that several months of aging, the wine was lightly metabisulfated and racked one more time to be stabilized via cold stabilization at about 34 degrees for two weeks, before sweetening a bit with honey and or sugar to taste, and then bottling. This process should kill off any remaining yeast and some bacteria that might aid in spoilage, so that fermentation will not re-start after sweetening before the bottling.
For now I says "Yum."
Maybe tomorrow I says "Ow."
Cleaning up after the last racking:
5 Gallons to bottle, and some for early enjoyment:
Album of Full Process: