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The Incredible, Edible Dandelion
Is your yard overrun with dandelions? How about your neighbors? Maybe there is a park or a field nearby that could be mistaken for a commercial dandelion farm? If so, you're in luck. Although most folks consider them weeds, dandelions are actually incredibly useful plants and are actually 100% edible. In this article, we'll teach you how to make dandelion wine. We've never heard of anyone making "dandelion shine" but if somebody has, it probably went something like the process we've outlined below, with a few additional steps.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
You'll start by making a basic dandelion wine. We pulled our basic dandelion wine recipe from The Foxfire Book: Volume 2. Here's what it says: "Pour 1 gallon of boiling water over 1 gallon of dandelion flowers. Let stand until blossoms rise (which will take 24-48 hours). Strain into a jar and then add the juices of 4 lemons and 4 oranges, plus 4 pounds of sugar, plus yeast." We used the same processing method with slightly different ingredients.
- 1 gallon of dandelion flowers
- 2 gallons of water
- 1 quart of honey
- 1 small packet of bread yeast
- Step 1: Pick 1 gallon of dandelion flowers.
- Make sure to get the flowers only. The green flower casing is OK to pick and add to the mix, but remove all stems and leaves.
- Step 2: Add dandelion flowers to a large pot and make "dandelion tea" by adding one gallon of boiling water. Cover and leave it sit for 2 days.
- Step 3: Pour the dandelion tea through a a wire mesh colander or cheesecloth and filter out all plant material.
- Step 4: Heat the tea to a boil. Once boiling, cut heat and add a quart of wildflower honey.
- Step 5: After all of the honey has dissolved, add one additional gallon of room temperature water to the pot. Cool the tea to 70 degrees (ideally, using an immersion chiller). Once 70 degrees add a small packet of bread yeast.
- Step 6: Transfer to glass carboy or food safe plastic fermentation bucket. Cap with an airlock. Allow to ferment for 7-10 days at 70 -75 degrees F.
- Step 7: Siphon (not pour) into copper still. Leave lees (dead yeas and other sediment) behind in carboy. Be careful to not over fill the still. The vapor cone should not contain liquid.
- Step 8: Distill, making healthy heads and tails cuts.
- Step 9: Add a tiny bit of honey to hearts (to give it the slightest amount of sweetness). Age in Quart jar for 2 weeks using lightly toasted american oak chips.
- Step 10: Enjoy and share!