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How To Make Dandelion Wine

After mentioning Dandelion Wine in a recent post I received a few comments wanting to know more about it. So I asked my Dad to explain how he makes it and give a little background into how he came up with his recipe. This is what he sent me:

A while ago I went to a High School class reunion and a class mate had made some dandelion wine. He brought it in a few sauce bottles and poured a little into everyone’s glass for a taste. This was my first experience with any home made wine other than grape wine. It was delicious. I remarked so much about it he gave what was left in the bottle to take home. When I asked for the recipe, to my surprise, he said “NO”. Well being the kind of person I am I took it upon myself to produce an even better dandelion wine.

After some trial and error, and quite a of bit of reading I have come up with my own recipe and it goes like this.

Dandelion Wine Recipe
11 ounces Dandelion Flower (Petals Only)
1 Gallon and 2 cups of water
1 lb Golden Raisins
3 lbs Granulated Sugar
2 Lemons
2 Oranges
1 Banana
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
Champagne Wine Yeast

I have found that the best way to pick dandelion flowers is with my wife or with many friends. What you can do is pick as many flowers as you can and freeze them. When you are ready to start your brew take them out of the freezer and pluck the yellow petals from the green stalk. Be sure not to use any of the green. Put the petals in either a nylon bag or a hops sack which you can get at a wine and beer making supply store. While you’re there pick up the yeast nutrient, the Champagne yeast, a one gallon jug, a fermentation trap and a food grade plastic pail. I have used both nylon bag and hops sack and they both work well. Tie the bags closed. Chop the raisins and place them in a bag or a sack also. The lemons and oranges must be peeled well with no pith (the white part) remaining on the fruit or the peel. Put all the fruit in the bags or sacks. Put the peels in a different sack. Chop the banana and guess what…put it in a sack. Just incase you’re wondering the raisins add body to the wine and the banana is for smoothness.

Place the dandelion petals the banana and the peels from the lemons and oranges into the food grade plastic pail. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar in the water. Pour the boiling water into the pail and stir. Hold aside a half cup of the liquid. Cover the pail with plastic wrap and let sit until the temperature is 70 degrees. Add the lemons and oranges squeezing them and dropping them into the must. When the half cup of liquid is also cool add to it the yeast nutrient and the yeast according to the directions on the package. When this starts bubbling add it to the pail, recover and place in a warm place for four days.

After four days rack into the one gallon jug and fit with the fermentation trap. You noticed that all the liquid did not fit. Hold this aside in a similar jug or jar. When the wine clears, in approximately 40 to 60 days, rack it to another jug leaving the lees at the bottom of the first jug. You should never rack the wine that is not clear. Use the liquid that was left over to top off the jug. Try to keep the wine full to about an inch and a half from the top of the jug. You should rack two more times before putting the wine into bottles and capping. Be sure that fermentation has completely stopped before bottling.

You should let the wine age about five to six months before tasting. In a year it will taste even better if you can wait that long.

I can not emphasize enough that all the components used in this procedure must be sterilized. The food grade plastic pail, the one gallon jug and any other containers you use.

Good Luck and enjoy.


  1. Hanna said...
    Wow! You rock. Thanks for posting this. I am going to get the kids started on gathering dandelions right now. I will let you know how it turns out when I make some.
    Anthony said...
    Yes, don't you just love child labor? :) You may want to open a bottle of wine while you're removing the dandelion petals. Definitely not a fun job.
    Linda Lee said...
    Thanks for the recipe! Sounds like a lot of work, but worth it.

    I followed your link from problogger.net, and have enjoyed looking around here.

    MrBrownThumb said...
    Awesome entry. I'm going to book mark it and use it later. I've always been curious about the process since I read about it in the Ray Bradbury story as a kid.

    Hanna said...
    So, okay, I FINALLY got enough dandelions to make this. It is fermmenting now. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
    Anthony said...
    Good luck Hanna, be sure to tell me how it comes out. If you have any questions I can forward them to my Dad.

    He's the expert when it comes to making wine but I'm pretty good at drinking it. :)
    Anonymous said...
    just printed your directions along with others recipes i googled. looking forward to combining these for a, hopefully drinkable, taste of sunshine. thanks to dads, grannies, neighbours, etc... passing down their know how!
    Anonymous said...
    Anyone know what the alcohol content is?
    Anonymous said...
    alcohol content is usually around 15 percent try a secondary fermentation to get it higher maybe 25 percent but its a totally different kind of drunk id say its up there with vodka
    Garden Lily said...
    Sounds great! I am not good at anything which requires so much waiting... But if I found any for sale, I'd buy one for sure!
    angelkj said...
    Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to try it. Question... do you peel the banana before chopping or chop the whole banana, peel and all?
    Anthony said...
    Not sure about the Banana peels, I'll check with my Dad and get back to you. May take a day or two though.
    hippy said...
    thanks so much for this info ive wanted to learn how to make it for years because my family raves about it along with "other sorses of fule" (moon shine) thanks again
    Jude said...
    I've wanted to make dandelion wine for years - ever since I tasted some. It tastes like summer in a bottle!

    There's one worry I have though. You know how tiny fruit flies, if they get in any wine batch can ruin the taste & make it go really skunky. How would I deal with the tiny thrips I often find in dandelion blossoms? I've never figured out what to do about them & can't imagine the wine not being ruined with them in it. But I'd love to hear from someone who's made the wine & if they ever had thrips in their flowers.
    Anthony said...
    Hey Jude (ha-ha, I'm sure you're sick of that one)

    Here's what my Dad has to say on fruit flies:

    I've made a few batches of the wine which means picking many dandelion flowers and never had a problem with fruit flies. I would only pick the flowers without bugs on them.
    Because you need so many flowers (to make one gallon of wine you need 11 ounces of petals only) I freeze what I pick until I get the 11 ounces. There is only so long that my back will hold up. After I have accumulated enough to make one gallon of wine, I take them out of the freezer and pull the yellow petals from the green stem. This is time for a second inspection of the flowers. I use latex gloves while doing this as I want to keep everything I use as clean as possible. Using this method, I doubt if you would have a problem with fruit flies.
    NewiestHippie said...
    I have a question for all you pros. I have never made any wine before and want to start with Dandelion wine. I was wondering where i should start with equiptment. The cheeper the better. Also what is Chamangne Yeast. HELP!
    Bruce said...
    I followed your recipe except for one thing. I didn't remove the little bit of green below the dandelion pedals. My grandfather used to make Dandelion wine and used brown sugar to remedy the green problem. Used your exact recipe, just added an additional 2lbs. of brown sugar. It is 1 year old now, and it is W O N D E R F U L !! Some of the BEST wine I ever made. It ended up about
    14.5% ALC. And is it tastey and Mellow. Thanks for the recipe.
    And to all those who are going to make it, you won't have to go through the labor of removing all the pedals anymore. ENJOY !!

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