Dandelion Wine: Part 2

Two days after the previous steps, our Dandelion petal must was dark yellow and ready to be fermented. In the interim, we stopped at Valley Vintners & Brewer in Eugene. I described what I was doing, and they picked out what I needed for the next few steps (gallon jug, bung, air lock, funnel, yeast). I’ll definitely be going back.

Step 4: Bring the “Dandelion tea” back to a boil. While it’s heating, take 4 oranges (preferably organic) and thinly peel the skins. The objective is to get all the bright orange skin, and very little of the white pith (which will add bitterness). As gremlins stole our peeler, I had to do this with a pairing knife.

Step 5: Add the peelings from the 4 oranges and boil for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Strain the mixture through a few layers of cheese cloth to remove all the petals and peelings. I don’t have a large primary fermentation vessel (aka “food safe bucket”) so I had to juggle a few pots to make this work.

Step 7: Add 3 pounds of white sugar to a pot and combine with the strained liquid. This is the food supply for the yeast. Sugar level now determines alcohol level later (sort of).

Step 8: Add the juice from squeezing the 4 oranges .

Step 9: The recipe called for a “yeast nutrient”, so I added 1/4 cup of Earl Grey tea to provide other compounds for the yeast metabolism. I saw this suggested on the web somewhere. Perhaps this was a bad idea. Perhaps not.

Step 10: Re-hydrate your yeast following the manufacturer’s directions and add it to the mixture (assuming it has sufficiently cooled). The Lalvin yeast suggested by Valley Vintners seems to be intended for this sort of wine. I looked up their data sheet online.

Step 11: Pour into a 1 gallon jug. Fit the bung (rubber stopper) and airlock.

Update (05/13/2009): 24 hours after fitting the airlock I was observing one bubble every 5 seconds. Yay! I didn’t kill the yeast. Within 48 hours this had increased to one bubble every 3.5 seconds. Presently the rate is about one every 6 seconds, although the weather has been colder too and this might be affecting the yeast (our house is basically unheated right now).

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One Response to Dandelion Wine: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Dandelion wine: Part 3 » Farm Folly

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