Dandelion Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

“Dandelion wine is fermented sunshine.” Jack Keller

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has long been cultivated for food, herbs and tea, but most Americans consider them weeds and collectively spend an enormous amount of time and money to eradicate them. Thought by some to have been brought to America from Europe, at least two sources report that several North American Indian tribes have traditionally used the dandelion for food and medicine. Thus, it seems likely that the dandelion inhabited both the old world and the new. For those who do not yet know, the wine is made from the flower petals only. Pick the flowerheads mid- to late-morning and then wash your hands (they get sticky while picking the flowers), sit in the shade and pull the petals off the flowers. Some people have told me they use the flower heads (as allowed in the second recipe) without excessive bitterness, but I always depetal the flowers. The recipes below call for 2-3 quarts of dandelion petals per gallon of wine. I know of many recipes calling for less. I just don’t use them. If you want another way of measuring your dandelion harvest, Layk Thomas of Angola, Indiana reports that one quart of loosely packed dandelion petals weighs 80 grams, while one quart of tightly packed petals weighs 100 grams. Whole blossoms weigh 110-120 grams per quart. Of the recipes below, I have never used the first recipe as printed, but have used it with less dandelions. I have used the second recipe many times and started using the third recipe last year. I have never made a bad batch of dandelion wine but I know people who have. Invariably, they either left too much green material on the flowers or did not peel the citrus fruit thinly enough. The white pith in all citrus skins will ruin any wine. Peeling thinly means just that. Dandelion wine is typically a light wine lacking body. One of the recipes above used raisins as a body-builder and another uses white grape concentrate , but you could use dates, figs, apricots, or rhubarb instead. Whatever you use will affect the color, so golden raisins, golden figs or dried (unsulfited) apricots are usually used with dandelions (all are usually available in bulk at Sun Harvest, Giant Foods, or many other stores). Two of the recipes call for 3 lbs granulated sugar per gallon of wine. If you like dry wine, use 1/2 lb less sugar. If you like sweet wine, these recipes should serve. Dandelion must is a milky yellow color. The milkiness comes from the pigments, pollen and other extracts of the flowers and the dense population of yeast (as many as 10 million yeast cells per drop of must). After several weeks, the wine will “fall clear.” When this happens, it will be over quickly and you will probably miss seeing it happen. In all the batches of dandelion wine I’ve made, I’ve only caught it happening once. It will start at the neck of the jug or carboy. The wine will suddenly begin to clear as the pigments and yeast “fall.” Within 15-30 minutes, the whole batch will “fall clear” and a thick layer of very fine lees will settle across the bottom of the secondary. Do not rack the wine until it falls clear as described or you could seriously damage the wine by making it difficult to clear at all. In winemaking, patience is the highest virtue. Dandelion wine will clear very well all by itself, but even more so if racked at least three times. If fined with Sparkolloid or Isinglass, the wine will rack brilliant. I have never had to filter dandelion wine. If you omit the body-building ingredient, dandelion wine is light and invigorating and suited perfectly for tossed salad and baked fish (especially trout). If you ferment with a body-enhancer but shave the sugar, the wine will serve well with pastas, heavier salads, fish, or fowl. Sweetened, it goes well before or after dinner. In any form, when chilled to near iciness it is one of the most refreshing drinks I know of on a very hot summer afternoon. Nothing else tastes like it. Finally, dandelion wine is well-suited to make into a sparkling wine and may even do splendid if kept semi-dry to semi-sweet. In that case I’d use no more than 3/4 lb of raisins per gallon if you use that recipe — you don’t want too much body weighing it down.
More on dandelions from another page on Jack’s site (link source: https://web.archive.org/web/20010616162915/http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelion.asp) Dandelion wine is one of my favorite white wines, bar none. Dandelion is from the Old French dens leonis, or lion’s tooth (from the sharply indented leaves) and Middle English dent de lion. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t recognize the bright yellow, many rayed flowers of Taraxacum officinale at first glance. Most think of it as a weed, but others look upon them differently. My wife actually planted dandelions in one of our flower beds, and the result was quite stunning when they bloomed en mass. Others look upon their leaves as salad or greens, and indeed they are quite edible raw or steamed until the flower appears, at which time its greenery becomes bitter. But for the winemaker, the dandelion simply makes the best flower wine there is. Thought by some to have been brought to America from Europe, at least two sources report that several North American Indian tribes have traditionally used the dandelion for food and medicine. Thus, it seems likely that the dandelion inhabited both the old world and the new before Columbus ever sailed. The approach to making dandelion wine differs enormously, as the collection of recipes below will demonstrate. Some us the whole flower heads trimmed only of the stalks. Still others use the flowerheads trimmed of all greenery. Others will use only the petals. Personally, I use the petals only, but have made several batches where the calyx (the green cuplike sepals enclosing the lower portion of the flower) is left on some of the flowers. My own recipes are the last three on this page and they are the only recipes presented here that I will vouch for. Pick the flower heads mid- to late-morning and then wash your hands (they get sticky while picking the flowers), sit in the shade and pull the petals off the flowers. However, in truth it is the stalks that are bitter and a little greenery from the calyx (“calyces” is the plural) actually adds a little je ne sais pas to the wine if not overdone. This little something is actually engineered into the wine in recipe 30, below, and wines made this way will keep for many, many years. The recipes below call for as little as a half-pint to two gallons of flowers per gallon of wine. I personally think ½ pint is way too few while 2 gallons is overkill by two orders of magnitude. If you want another way of measuring your dandelion harvest, Layk Thomas of Angola, Indiana reports that one quart of loosely packed dandelion petals weighs 80 grams, while one quart of tightly packed petals weighs 100 grams. Whole blossoms weigh 110-120 grams per quart. Dandelion wine is typically a light wine lacking body. Thus many recipes use raisins, sultanas or white grape juice (or concentrate) as body-builders, but you could use dates or figs or rhubarb instead. Whatever you use will affect the color, so white or golden raisins or sultanas, or golden figs, are usually used with dandelions (some of these are usually available in bulk at Sun Harvest, Giant Foods, or many other stores). Many of these recipes call for 3 lbs granulated sugar per gallon of wine — some even call for 4. Personally, this is too much for me. Whether this much sugar will produce a dry, semi-sweet or sweet wine will depend on whether you attempt to stabilize the wine and on the yeast you use, as those which are tolerant of higher concentrations of alcohol will still result in drier wine unless even more sugar is added. People should make what they like. If you like dry wine with a reasonable (12% alcohol level), use only enough sugar to achieve a starting specific gravity of 1.088. If you like sweet wine, many of the recipes below will produce it providing you don’t use a high-alcohol tolerant yeast. Personally, I prefer my dandelion wines dry to semi-sec, with a finished specific gravity of 1.002 to 1.006. If you omit the body-building ingredient, dandelion wine is light and invigorating and suited perfectly for tossed salad and baked fish (especially trout). If you ferment with a body-enhancer but shave the sugar, the wine will serve well with white-sauced pastas, heavier salads, fish, or fowl. Sweetened, it goes well before or after dinner.  

Dandelion Wine (3)

June 6, 2022
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 11.5 oz can of Welch’s 100% White Grape frozen concentrate
  • 6-3/4 pts water
  • 2-1/2 lbs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Champagne wine yeast

Pick and remove petals from the flowers ahead of time and freeze petals until you have enough. Put the petals in a nylon straining bag, tie closed, and bring the water to a boil in large pot. When water boils, place nylon bag in water, reduce to a simmer, and cover pot with lid. Simmer for 20 minutes and remove from heat. When cool, drain petals (squeeze lightly) and return water to a low boil. Add the sugar and the peels (peel thinly and avoid any of the white pith) of the lemons and orange. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour, then pour into a crock or plastic pail. Add the juice and pulp of the lemons and orange and the white grape concentrate. Allow to stand until cool (70-75 degrees F.). Add yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and put in a warm place for three days. Strain and pour into a secondary fermentation vessel (bottle or jug) and fit airlock. When wine clears, rack into clean secondary, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 60 days as long as even a fine dusting of lees form. When wine stops throwing sediment for 60 days, rack into bottles and age six months before tasting. It will improve remarkably if allowed to age a full year.

Dandelion Wine

March 7, 2012

Dandelion wine is one of my favorite white wines, bar none, and the flowers are already appearing here in Texas. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t recognize the bright yellow, many-rayed flowers of Taraxacum officinale at first glance. Most think of them as a weed but others look upon them differently. My wife actually planted dandelions in one of our flower beds, and the result was quite stunning when they bloomed en mass. Others look upon their leaves as salad or greens, and indeed they are quite edible raw or steamed until the flower appears, at which time its greenery becomes bitter. But for the winemaker, the dandelion simply makes the best flower wine there is.

I actually don’t know how many dandelion wine recipes I have, but I would guess between 200-300. I have only published 30. Even so, I have my favorites. Among them is the following.

  • 9 cups dandelion petals
  • 1 11-oz can Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice frozen concentrate
  • 1 lb 10 ozs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons (juice and zest)
  • 2 oranges (juice and zest)
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp tannin
  • 6 1/4 pts water
  • Côtes-du-Rhône or Hock wine yeast

Prepare flower petals beforehand. Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, prepare zest from citrus and set aside. Combine flowers and zest in nylon straining bag and tie closed. Put bag in primary and pour boiling water over it. Cover primary and squeeze bag several times a day for 3 days. Drain and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Pour liquid into primary and stir in sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients except yeast, cover and set aside 10-12 hours. Add activated yeast and cover. Stir twice daily for 5 days. Transfer to secondary and fit airlock. Rack after wine falls clear, adding crushed Campden tablet and topping up and reattaching airlock. Rack again every 2 months for 6 months, adding another crushed Campden tablet during middle racking and stabilizing at last racking. Wait another month and rack into bottles. Cellar 6 months and enjoy a bottle. Cellar another 6 months and enjoy it all. [Jack Keller’s own recipe]

Dandelion Wine (4)

June 16, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers
  • 2 lbs 6 ozs granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Champagne wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim away all greenery. Best wine uses only the petals. Put flowers, juice and zest of lemon in primary and add boiling water. Stir and cover primary and set aside for 7 days. Slowly pour contents through nylon straining bag and squeeze to extract all liquid. Combine one quart of the liquid and the sugar in pot and stir while bringing to a boil. Add half of this back to strained liquid, stir in yeast nutrient and pour into secondary to cool. Store remaining half of sugar liquid in capped bottle in refrigerator. When liquid in secondary is at room temperature, add activated yeast and fit airlock. After seven days, rack and add reserved sugar liquid and stir. Refit airlock and ferment to dryness. Rack, top up and refit airlock. Repeat every 60 days until no further sediment is deposited during 60 day period. Stabilize, wait two weeks and rack into bottles. Set aside 6 months before tasting.

[Adapted recipe from George Leonard Herter’s How to Make the Finest Wines at Home]

Dandelion Wine (17)

May 31, 2001
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all stems and slice lemon and orange thinly. Combine flower heads and sliced citrus in primary and pour boiling water over them. Cover and leave for 10 days. Strain off all solids and add sugar, stirring well to completely dissolve. Add activated yeast and cover primary. After 3 days rack to secondary and fit airlock. Rack and stabilize after 2 months. Wait 2 weeks and rack into bottles. Improves with age.

[Adapted recipe from Mrs. Gennery-Taylor’s Easy to Make Wine]

Dandelion Wine (19)

May 14, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 lb white raisins, finely chopped
  • 2½ lbs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons (juice only)
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all stems and greenery. Combine flowers and raisins in primary. Dissolve sugar in boiling water and add lemon juice and yeast nutrient. Pour over dandelions and raisins. When cooled to room temperature, add activated yeast and cover primary. Stir daily for 3 days. Strain through jelly bag, pour into secondary and fit airlock. Rack after 1 month, top up and reattach airlock. Rack and stabilize after 3 months. Wait another month and rack into bottles. Age 6 months.

[Adapted recipe from Annabelle McIlnay’s Making Wine at Home]

Dandelion Wine (18)

May 14, 2001
  • 1 gallon dandelion flowers
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all stems. Put flower heads in primary and pour boiling water over them. Cover and leave for 5 days. Strain off all solids and add sugar, stirring well to completely dissolve. Add activated yeast and cover primary. After 14 days rack to secondary and fit airlock. Rack and stabilize after 2 months. Wait 2 weeks and rack into bottles.

[Adapted recipe from H.E. Bravery’s Home Wine Making Without Failures]

Dandelion Wine (16)

May 14, 2001
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 qts unsulfited white grape juice
  • 2¼ lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 oranges
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 5 pts water
  • wine yeast

Put 1 quart water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all stems and greenery. Place flower heads in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Pour boiling water over bag and cover. Meanwhile, put another quart of water on to boil and dissolve sugar in it. Add it, remaining pint of water and juice of oranges to primary. Stir in yeast nutrient and tannin, recover and set aside to cool. Add activated yeast. Squeeze bag 2-3 times daily for 3 days, then remove bad, squeeze to extract liquid, and recover primary. After wine has settled overnight, rack into secondary (do not top up) and attach airlock. After 2 weeks, top up and reattach airlock. After additional 2 weeks, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack every 2 months for 6 months. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Age one year before drinking.

[Adapted recipe from Brian Leverett’s Winemaking Month by Month]

Dandelion Wine (15)

May 14, 2001
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1½ lbs sultanas, chopped or minced
  • 2½ lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 oranges
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 3 qts water
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all stems. Combine flower heads, sultanas, sugar, and juice from oranges in primary and cover with boiling water. Stir well to dissolve sugar, then cover and wait until cooled to room temperature. Add tannin and yeast nutrient and stir well, then add activated yeast. After 7 days, strain and squeeze pulp before discarding. Transfer to secondary (do not top up) and attach airlock. After 2 weeks, top up and reattach airlock. After additional 2 weeks, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack every 2 months for 6 months. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Hide this wine a year before drinking.

[Adapted recipe from Brian Leverett’s Winemaking Month by Month]

Dandelion Wine (14)

May 14, 2001
  • 6-8 cups dandelion flowers, trimmed
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 3 tsps acid blend
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Champagne or Montrachet wine yeast

Wash flowers and trim off all greenery, using petals only. Put petals in 1½-quart pan and cover with 1 quart water. Bring to simmer for 10 minutes, then put lid on pan and turn off heat. Let steep for 1-6 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Meanwhile, boil remaining water and dissolve sugar, acid blend, yeast nutrient, and tannin. Strain dandelion petals through nylon straining bag and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Combine dandelion-water and remaining ingredients (except yeast) in primary and cover. When cooled to room temperature, add activated yeast. Ferment 3-5 days (until specific gravity is 1.020), then rack to secondary and attach airlock. After 30 additional days, rack, top up and reattach airlock. Set aside 3 months, then rack, top up and reattach airlock. Repeat after additional 3 months and add stabilizer. Wait 30 days and bottle. Cellar this wine for a year before drinking. Best served chilled.

[Adapted recipe from Terry Garey’s The Joy of Home Winemaking]

Dandelion Wine (13)

May 14, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers, trimmed
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 oranges, peeled
  • ½ pectic enzyme
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim off all greenery. Put petals in primary and pour boiling water over petals. Cover and stir twice daily for two days. Pour into pot, add half the sugar and bring to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Strain back into primary and recover. When cooled to room temperature, add activated yeast. Recover primary and stir daily for 5 days. Stir in remaining half of sugar and stir well to completely dissolve. Let settle overnight, rack into secondary, and attach airlock. When wine clears, rack every two months through three rackings. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and bottle. Age 6-12 months before tasting.

[Adapted recipe from Dorothy Alatorre’s Home Wines of North America]

Dandelion Wine (12)

May 14, 2001
  • 6 qts dandelion petals
  • 1 lb white raisins (chopped)
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 gallon water
  • Montrachet wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers trim off all greenery, leaving petals only. Put 4 quarts of petals in primary and thinly slice lemons and oranges onto petals. Pour in boiling water and cover. Stir daily for 10 days, then strain off pulp and squeeze to extract all liquid. Bring this liquid to boil and add 2½ pounds sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return to primary, add chopped raisins and cover. When cooled to room temperature, add wine yeast and recover. When fermentation is vigorous, add remaining two quarts of petals and recover primary. Ferment 7-10 days, stirring daily, and then strain wine into secondary and fit airlock without topping up. After two weeks, add ¼ cup of sugar-water (remaining ½ pound sugar dissolved in 1 cup water) every other day until secondary is full. Then ferment to completion. Rack and age 3 months, then again in additional 3 months. Stabilize, wait 2-3 weeks, and rack into bottles. Age another 6 months minimum. If bulk aged in oak cask for 6 months before bottling, this wine will improve for over 20 years with outstanding results.

[Adapted recipe from Steven A. Krause’s Wines from the Wilds]

Dandelion Wine (11)

May 14, 2001
  • 7 cups dandelion petals
  • 1 lb white raisins (chopped)
  • 2 lbs granulated sugar
  • 3 level tsp acid blends
  • ½ tsp yeast energizer
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • 1 Campden tablet, crushed
  • 1 gallon hot water
  • wine yeast

Wash flowers and use petals only. Put petals and chopped raisins into nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Pour hot water over petals, stir in sugar until completely dissolved, and add all remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover primary and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast and stir twice daily until specific gravity drops to 1.040 (about 5-6 days). Strain and siphon wine off sediments into secondary and fit airlock. Rack when wine clears, top up and refit airlock. Rack again every 2 months until no more sediments appear. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and rack into bottles. Age 6-12 months before tasting.

[Adapted recipe from Robert Massaccesi’s Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook]

Dandelion Wine (10)

May 14, 2001
  • 4 cups dandelion petals
  • ¾ lb white or golden raisins (chopped)
  • 5-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 level tsp acid blends
  • 2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 Campden tablet, crushed
  • water to make 1 gallon
  • Rhine wine yeast

Put flower petals and all ingredients except yeast into primary and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover primary and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast and stir twice daily until specific gravity drops to 1.030 (about 7 days). Strain into secondary and fit airlock. Rack when wine clears, top up and refit airlock. Rack again every 2 months until no more sediments appear. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and rack into bottles. Age 6-12 months before tasting.

[Adapted recipe from Robert and Eileen Frishman’s Enjoy Home Winemaking]

Dandelion Wine (9)

May 14, 2001
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 23 oz Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice Frozen Concentrate
  • sugar to starting S.G. of 1.090
  • 6½ pts water
  • wine yeast

In primary, mix grape concentrate and water and use a hydrometer to determine how much sugar to add. Stir well to dissolve sugar and then add yeast. Cover and allow to proceed through violent, initial fermentation. When fermentation settles down, wash and trim flowers of all stalks. Leave calyces (the green cup-like outer covering of the flower) on ¼ to ½ the flowers. Put flowers in nylon straining bag with a dozen sterilized glass marbles and tie closed. Immerse bag in fermenting primary and cover. Squeeze bag twice daily for 5 days and then remove bag and squeeze lightly. Discard flowers and transfer wine to secondary and fit airlock. Rack after 4 weeks, being careful not to splash wine, and top up and refit airlock. Rack again when wine clears and again 3 months later. Stabilize wine, wait 30 days and rack into bottles. Age at least on year before tasting. If kept for 3-4 years, the wine takes on a remarkable whiskey flavor.

[Adapted recipe from W.H.T. Tayleur’s The Penguin Book of Home Brewing & Wine-Making]

Dandelion Wine (8)

May 14, 2001
  • 6 cups dandelion petals
  • 1 lb white or golden raisins (chopped)
  • 2 lbs granulated sugar
  • 3 level tsp acid blends
  • ½ tsp yeast energizer
  • 1 gallon water
  • ¼ tsp tannin
  • wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Put flower petals and all ingredients except yeast into primary and add boiling water. Stir well to dissolve sugar and cover primary with plastic sheet. When cooled to room temperature, add yeast. Stir daily for 3 days. Strain into secondary and fit airlock. Rack in 3 weeks, top up and refit airlock. Rack again in 3 months. When clear and stable, rack into bottles. Age 6 months before tasting.

[Adapted recipe from Stanley F. Anderson and Raymond Hull’s The Art of Making Wine]

Dandelion Wine (7)

May 14, 2001
  • 4 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • all-purpose wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim away all stalk. Put flowers in primary and add boiling water. Stir and cover primary and set aside 7 days, stirring twice daily. Slowly pour contents through nylon straining bag into clean primary and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Add the sugar, lemons and oranges cut into ¼-inch slices (peel and all) and raisins. Stir well to dissolve sugar and add yeast. Stir daily for 10 days, then strain into secondary. Fit airlock and set aside until wine clears. Rack and set aside another two months. rack again and set aside to age 4 months. Rack into bottles and cellar 6 months before drinking.

[Adapted recipe from Mettja C. Roate’s How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen]

Dandelion Wine (6)

May 14, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) white grape concentrate
  • 2 lbs 7 ozs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • all-purpose wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim away all stalk. Put flowers in primary and add boiling water. Stir and cover primary and set aside for no more than 3 days, stirring daily. Slowly pour contents through nylon straining bag into 1-gallon boiler and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Add the sugar and zest of citrus and bring to low boil, holding for one hour. Return to primary, add citrus juice and recover. When cooled to room temperature, stir in yeast nutrient and add yeast. Recover and ferment 3 days. Strain into secondary, add white grape concentrate and fit airlock. After wine clears, rack, top up and refit airlock. This wine should be racked and bottled after 6-8 months and cellared another 6 months before drinking.

[Adapted recipe from C.J.J. Berry’s 130 New Winemaking Recipes]

Dandelion Wine (5)

May 14, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 lb golden raisins
  • 2 lbs 7 ozs granulated sugar
  • 2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • all-purpose wine yeast

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash flowers and trim away all stalk. Put flowers in primary and add boiling water. Stir and cover primary and set aside for no more than 3 days, stirring daily. Slowly pour contents through nylon straining bag into 1-gallon boiler and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Add the sugar and zest of citrus and bring to low boil, holding for one hour. Return to primary, add citrus juice and recover. When cooled to room temperature, stir in yeast nutrient and add yeast. Recover and ferment 3 days. Strain into secondary, add raisins and fit airlock. After wine clears, rack, top up and refit airlock. This wine should be racked and bottled after 6-8 months and cellared another 6 months before drinking.

[Adapted recipe from C.J.J. Berry’s 130 New Winemaking Recipes]

Dandelion And Black Raspberry Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 2 quarts dandelions blossoms
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen black raspberries
  • 5 cups honey
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 5-1/2 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1/4 tsp tannin
  • wine yeast

Pick the dandelion flowers and then remove and save only the petals, discarding the remainder. Put water on to boil. While water is heating, thinly peel the lemon and orange. Remove and discard pith from the lemon and orange and slice their fruit thinly. Put lemon and orange slices, peeling, flower petals, cinnamon stick, and raspberries in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Add honey to primary and pour boiling water over straining bag. Stir to mix honey and water and continue until honey is disolved. Cover primary and as water cools stir in tannin and yeast nutrient. When room temperature, sprinkle yeast over liquid and recover. Fermentation should start within hours. Squeeze bag daily to liberate flavors and then stir liquid. After 5th day, drip drain bag over primary, squeezing gently, and discard petals and fruit pulp. Dissolve crushed Campden tablet in 1/2 cup warm water and stir into primary. Recover and ferment to specific gravity of 1.010 (14-21 days). Rack into secondary and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days for 90 days. After racking, stabilize, allow to settle 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Allow to age at least one year. [Author’s own recipe]

Dandelion Mead (Metheglin)

April 5, 2001
  • 2 qts loosely packed dandelion petals
  • 3/4 lb chopped white raisins (or sultanas)
  • 2-1/2 lbs honey
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp powdered pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp acid blend
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • water to one gallon
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • white wine yeast

Boil two quarts water and stir honey into it. Continue boiling 20 minutes, skimming off any foam that may appear. Set aside covered to cool. Meanwhile, chop raisins and prepare zest of lemon and orange. Combine dandelion petals, chopped raisins and zests in fine mesh nylon straining bag. When honey-water cools, bring volume up to 1 gallon. Combine all ingredients except yeast in primary, stir, cover, and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast and cover primary. Stir daily until vigorous fermentation subsides (about 7-10 days). Drip-drain straining bag (do not squeeze). Pour liquid into secondary and attach airlock. Rack after 30 days, topping up with water, mead or dandelion wine. Refit airlock and set aside. Rack every 45-60 days until mead clears and no longer deposits sediment. Rack, stabilize and bulk age 6 months. Sweeten to taste and rack into bottles. Bottle age another 3-6 months before tasting. Improves with age. [Author’s own recipe]

Dandelion Wine (1)

April 5, 2001
  • 3 qts dandelion flowers
  • 1 lb raisins
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 lbs granulated sugar (earlier recipe called for 3 lbs sugar1)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • yeast and nutrient

Pick the flowers just before starting, so they’re fresh. You do not need to pick the petals off the flower heads, but the heads should be trimmed of any stalk. Put the flowers in a large bowl. Set aside 1 pint of water and bring the remainder to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the dandelion flowers and cover tightly with cloth or plastic wrap. Leave for two days, stirring twice daily. Do not exceed this time. Pour flowers and water in large pot and bring to a low boil. Add the sugar and the peels (peel thinly and avoid any of the white pith) of the lemons and orange. Boil for one hour, then pour into a crock or plastic pail. Add the juice and pulp of the lemons and orange. Allow to stand until cool (70-75 degrees F.). Add yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and put in a warm place for three days. Strain and pour into a secondary fermentation vessel (bottle or jug). Add the raisins and fit a fermentation trap to the vessel. Leave until fermentation ceases completely, then rack and top up with reserved pint of water and any additional required to reduce all but 1 inch of airspace. Set aside until wine clears, rack and bottle. This wine must age six months in the bottle before tasting, but will improve remarkably if allowed a year.

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20010420170549/http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelio.asp

Dandelion Wine (2)

April 5, 2001
  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 2 lbs granulated sugar (earlier recipe called for 3 lbs sugar1)
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 gallon water
  • yeast and nutrient

This is the traditional “Midday Dandelion Wine” of old, named because the flowers must be picked at midday when they are fully open. Pick the flowers and bring into the kitchen. Set one gallon of water to boil. While it heats up to a boil, remove as much of the green material from the flower heads as possible (the original recipe calls for two quarts of petals only, but this will work as long as you end up with two quarts of prepared flowers). Pour the boiling water over the flowers, cover with cloth, and leave to seep for two days. Do not exceed two days. Pour the mixture back into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the peelings from the four oranges (again, no white pith) and boil for ten minutes. Strain through a muslin cloth or bag onto acrock or plastic pail containing the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When cool, add the juice of the oranges, the yeast and yeast nutrient. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit fermentation trap, and allow to ferment completely. Rack and bottle when wine clears. Again, allow it to age six months in the bottle before tasting, but a year will improve it vastly. This wine has less body than the first recipe produces, but every bit as much flavor (some say more!).

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20010420170549/http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelio.asp

Dandelion And Blackberry Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 2 quarts dandelions petals
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 large orange
  • 5-1/2 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1/4 tsp tannin
  • wine yeast

Pick dandelion and remove and save only the petals, discarding the remainder. Put water on to boil. While water is heating, thinly peel the lemon and orange. Remove and discard pith from the lemon and orange and slice their fruit thinly. Put lemon and orange slices, peelings, flower petals, and blackberries in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Add sugar to primary and pour boiling water over straining bag. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve sugar. Cover primary and set aside to cool. When room temperature, stir in tannin, yeast nutrient and activated wine yeast. Recover primary. Squeeze bag daily to liberate flavors and then stir liquid. After 5th day, drip drain bag over primary, squeezing gently, and discard petals and fruit pulp. Dissolve crushed Campden tablet in 1/2 cup warm water and stir into primary. Recover and ferment to specific gravity of 1.010 (14-21 days). Rack into secondary and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days for 90 days. After racking, stabilize, allow to settle 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Allow to age at least one year. [Author’s own recipe]