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April 8, 2014

Dandelion Wine

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 read elsewhere that a process like this could be used to make dandelion moonshine, but we've never seen a commercial example, and gathering the flowers needed to make this recipe at scale would probably be impractical.

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.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of dandelion flowers
  • 2 gallons of water
  • 1 quart of honey
  • 1 small packet of bread yeast

Process:

  • 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.
picking flowers for dandelion wine
    • 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.
    Adding dandelions to pot for dandelion tea
      • Step 3: Pour the dandelion tea through a a wire mesh colander or cheesecloth and filter out all plant material.
      straining dandelions
        • Step 4: Heat the tea to a boil. Once boiling, cut heat and add a quart of wildflower honey.
        add honey to dandelion wine
          • 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.
          bread yeast for distilling
            • 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.
            transfer dandelion wine tea to carboy
              • Step 7: Siphon (not pour) into bottles.
              siphon dandelion wine into still

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