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UPDATED: Finishing the Dandelion Wine - Pics

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:

Cleaning up after a racking

5 Gallons to bottle, and some for early enjoyment:

Cold Stabilizing the wine before bottling

Album of Full Process:

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how AWESOME! me wants Smell-o-Vision, stat! .cD

coinkydink: just watched this yesterday; for any of y'all in Colorado Springs, CO, check'em out!

We go to Fermentations to make our own Wine

Hot Brass and Bullets
Published on Oct 9, 2014

Tim & Brenda of Fermentations in Colorado Springs take Lacy threw the 5 steps of making professional quality wine.

Plus it's always a good idea to have a gal who can rip off a full can worth of belt-fed FN Minimi, free-standing, to bottle wine for ya! cD

Can I take my gun to heaven

Hot Brass and Bullets
Published on Sep 21, 2014

Lacy Shoots 200 rounds threw the M249 S.A.W or mini me . With one trigger pull.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Wine Recipes

From Mary's Recipe book for wine making. From Apple wine to wild cherry wine. A good book for beginners. For the first time novice. I would start with a low cost wine kit. Bought at a wine/beer making outfit. You can buy all the equipment needed in a kit. Like the song from Ozark Mountain Daredevils.When your high on that homemade wine.Every woman will sure look fine. Wine making is like fishing, you can get hooked on it.

Money talks and dogs bark

Nice color

Looks like a good batch of wine. Good wine takes time. Plus drinking homemade wine will warm your mind.

Money talks and dogs bark

Ill be fermenting tonight

Dandelion wine that is

bigmikedude's picture

What recipe are you using?

Your own or one off the web?

I have decided I will definitely be altering the one I used. I'm just not overly enthused with it. I keep trying it and trying it, hoping for something that just isn't there.

It isn't bad, and once sweetened a bit it might improve it some, but I'm now of the opinion that the oranges and lemons when you enlarge a smaller recipe, should not just be doubled, tripled etc., according to quantity, but left in a much smaller quantity. To me they completely overpower any dandelion flavor with an overbearing citrusy mask that I personally don't like. Of course it might just be the current dryness before sweetening that is messing with me. I am not particularly fond of dry wine but unfortunately it seems to be an unavoidable stage in wine production. Unless maybe it's possible to compensate with higher sugar levels to start and then deliberately shutting down fermentation early, producing the same alcohol content while leaving some residual sweetness. But that would mean some seriously tedious and annoying constant monitoring which only increases the risk of a batch going bad by contamination from constantly opening it and fooling with it.

I may run a smaller test batch next spring without any citrus at all to see how it comes out.

That and in case this is your first try at dandelion wine, definitely do not top off your carboy with water when you rack as I read to do. Rack it into a smaller carboy or two if you are concerned about too much airspace. Such a little bit of water that I added to top off the carboy really weakened what dandelion flavor, and any robust-ness, there was.


I think the only time I enjoyed fermented Citrus was when it was meant to be Citrus, lol. Growing up a friend's Uncle was a commercial scale Beekeeper and would make Orange Mead. It was always a good balance of "Sweet and Sour", Maybe because it was made with Honey rather than sugar? It was very good but of course it was meant to be a "Citrus drink" in the first place so the flavor was already anticipated.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Easy recipe apples (wild

Easy recipe apples (wild yeast right from the apple skin).


You got me to thinkin'...

I remember my mother telling me that my grandmother would pick dandelion greens and steam them with salt pork.

Since I prefer to not be under any organic influence, but in full awareness and control of my mind, I think I will go pick some and use bacon grease and salt.

Tea from dried petals also sounds good.

To each his own.

Thanks for the reminder!

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

party in the lighthouse!

Looks great, Mike! Awesome job.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

bigmikedude's picture

Ok, now that it has chilled, and after rifling down a coffee mug

of it, I definitely will rack it into smaller carboys next time versus topping it off with any water whatsoever. Even the small amount of water I added to leave less airspace in the carboy, (per some wine web site recommendations), was enough to water down the robust flavor it had previously a little, enough to notice. I definitely won't do that again.

It's still good, but would have been better without adding water to top off the carboy. That method might be okay on a red wine, but dandelion wine is frail and mild from the start, so 'top-off' water and dandelion wine are now officially an 'absolutely-not' in my book.

topping off carboys.

You can't have to many different size carboys. You can top off with last years wine. Something to remember next year if didn't already know it.

bigmikedude's picture

I've got a few sizes now.

No doubt, you can never have too many. Unfortunately I read water would suffice if you didn't have any similar wine (as in my case) and figured such a little bit of water shouldn't hurt 6 gallons.

But just a third of a gallon into six was enough to make a noticeable difference.

Might work for heavy reds and such, but not for frail wines like dandelion.

Made that same mistake myself.

Its hard to undo mistakes in wine making. I try to balance the dryness with acidity. If you top off with water it changes all that. My experience is with muscadine , blackberry and apple.

Nice! Looks like my first attempt at Coconut Cannabis Oil Lotion

But now I just use...
(warning- commercial)

Available at Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00CYKIXEY


will have to try this.

Have made wine for seven years. I prefer dry wine like red or white. Not sure if I could find that many dandelion flowers were I am at in Tenn. I own several acres. mostly white clover Good luck with the finished product. I will have to look up white clover wine.

Money talks and dogs bark

bigmikedude's picture

As long as you have some dandelions or access to some

you can pick some every day from the same area because they continue to keep re-blooming each day, process the ones you pick and freeze the petals until you have enough.

I did one almost-full gallon and a half bowl of flower heads each day for about a week or so because it takes two to three hours to pull the petals out of all of the flower heads from that size of a bowl's worth.

Each gallon and a half bowl almost full of flower heads seems to give you roughly two quarts of petals give or take. And most recipes seem to call for 2 to 3 quarts of petals per gallon.

They close up by about 4 PM, so you have to pick them between 9 AM and roughly 2 PM while they are fully open and at their prime or they will close up and dry up on you while you are processing them if you pick them much later than that and process them too late in the day.

bigmikedude's picture

Bump for latest update.

I added a text update with the latest news and one picture of it (at the end of the album) racked into new 3 gallon carboys. You can see by comparison how much clearer it has become.

bigmikedude's picture

Bump for pictures update 4/9/14


You are an inspiration

What a fantastic post.

What a great thing to be adventuresome, busy and useful. I have a neighbor like this, always doing something cool with his time; and generous with his knowledge. :)

I'm intrigued and will come back to this handy-dandy post (eww. .. that's pretty bad) if i ever get the gumption to actually try this myself! Looking forward to the updates - thanks so much for this.

time is wasted in minutes not hours

bigmikedude's picture

Thanks eslynn

Hope it is useful as a resource if you ever try it.

Slow Fermentation?

I just started a batch myself. I used a pack of EC-1118. Are you experiencing a slow fermentation? With some of my other wines, I've noticed heavy CO2 production, but with this one it seems less obvious, so I wanted to ask if you're seeing the same thing with your batch. I know it's working because when I stir it, it bubbles...


Just checked it this morning

and it's bubbling like I expect it to. Apparently it just took a day or two to get into the process. Thanks for the help.

I do have a hydrometer, but I prefer to test it at regular intervals and rely on observation to make sure it's going properly as it's less invasive, less risk of contamination of the must/wine.

My fruit wines have always gotten going faster and more aggressively, so I was a little concerned. Glad to see that it looks like it's going to be fine.

bigmikedude's picture

Yesterday it was slow being the first day that I added the yeast

but this morning it's going intensely. It sounds like Rice Krispies when you open the lid and it is actually putting off warmth when you hold a hand over it. I may have to move it somewhere cooler, it's at eighty degrees and Pasteur Champagne yeast has a temp range of 59-86. It's getting too close for comfort. I added a picture to the slideshow - the raisins are all puffed up and floating now too.

I had to open some kitchen doors to let some cool air in and some heat out. My stepson must not have known it was 50 degrees outside and stoked the wood burner this morning before he left which he usually does for us every morning through winter. But it seems he apparently didn't know he didn't have to this morning. I woke up to a 90+ degree kitchen. : /

EDIT: I just moved it to the basement for a while to cool down a few degrees.

Do you have a hydrometer?

The best way to tell if it is fermenting is to check the specific gravity daily. Hydrometers are cheap at any wine/beer making store, like 5-12 bucks. Just drop it right in the fermenter and read the number. For example when you first start if you are reading 1.08 the next day should be 1.07, then 1.06 and so on. Have Fun, and if you need help taste testing I'm in Milwaukee...

Death to all pandas



that's so awesome

You are my gastronomic hero.

If you have any left over, you should try making dandelion vodka.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Michael Nystrom's picture

Mike, that looks


You really know how to enjoy life.

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.
bigmikedude's picture

Lol... Thanks bud, I'll enjoy life a whole lot more

when I'm opening a bottle next year and chugging it ice cold on a 90 degree summer day instead of making them.

Stay ready, you and Sam might be in for one of those drunk social calls. Don't call 911 if I stop answering. It's just a pass out.

deacon's picture

patiently waiting

For all the cock eyed posts/comments
Imagine being in the same room,everyone asking
"you looking at me"? and no one knows

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

jrd3820's picture

How long does the fermentation process take?

I think that would be frustrating for me. All that work...and then you have to wait...I don't like waiting.