Final Update: Dandelion Wine - It's all over but the DP toast, the sippin', and the occasional hangover. (Pics)Submitted by bigmikedude on Sun, 10/26/2014 - 17:22
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, and then bottling.
Final Pic Update: 10/26/14
All bottled up, and after 2 weeks of cold stabilization, it's definitely good. Absolutely worth the work and the wait. There isn't any need to sweeten it. It's good as it is. It just keeps getting better as time passes. I look forward to many days of toasts, enjoyment, hangovers, and maybe even a few off guard morning pukes. (Recommend avoiding DP trolling mischief on these mornings. Lol.)
And without further ado - A toast to DP, and everyone here - May your journeys in life and liberty be fruitful.
After sterilizing the bottles, equipment, and bottling:
23 bottles of Dandelion Wine 'couch ouch' days:
Here's to y'all:
Album of Full Process: