Dandelion Wine-Fermentation Process

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,341
    Wine Expert Phil Tonks discusses the fermentation process for dandelion wine.

    Phil Tonks: Hi! I am Phil Tonks, owner and wine maker at the Grandview Winery in East Calais, Vermont. We're going to actually put together our Dandelion wine now. Now the first step what we need to do is extract the flavor out of the Dandelion. To do that, were going to pour boiling hot water over the petals. Now if you recall from a previous segment, we picked all the petals and kept as much of the green off as we can. So the hot water will actually extract it from the petals. So I've got a portion here of what we picked and I've got some very, very hot water here and all I am going to do is just pour that water over all of the petals. Give it a little stir here. In a sense we are making a tea out of it. Now I've already done other batches. It is, we want to, eventually were going to make a gallon out this. So were looking at a gallon of liquid being added to the eight cups of petals. So if I am only going to have two cups of petals, then I need a quarter of water added to it. So I end up with the same gallon. So as you can see this already starting to steep and were getting some color out of it. So the next thing I will do is add it into our bucket of the other material. Now I am going to let that sit for two days. At the end of the two days, I am then going to take the bucket, I am going to run it through some kind of cheese cloth or sieve of some portion to take all these little pieces out of it that are left over. Then well be ready to do the next step. Now if you all remember, your chemistry, Sugar = Alcohol + Carbon Dioxide. So we need to add the yeast to get the sugar to be able to ferment. Doesn't matter what kind of sugar you use, I am using basic old store cane sugar. It takes about 2 - 3 cups, measuring cup here.

    I am measuring out two cups of sugar, that's one pound. That goes into the bucket. So were going to put three of these in here, each of them about two cups. There are two, that's three. Now that's enough for one gallon, this is what I am making here as one gallon. Now the other ingredient is you want to be able to have some acidity to it. So I am going to cut up some oranges and lemons here and I am going to squeeze that right into this batch. Without acidity, the wine just doesn't have any character to it. So we squeeze all this lemon juice into the bucket.

    As I said, were also going to add, it's one lemon and three oranges. So the same thing with the oranges, cut them up, add them to the batch. Now there are things in the air that can actually make the wine go bad. So I am going to put in a Campden tablet, which you can also get from a beer or wine supply. It's actually, the chemical potassium metabisulphite.

    In order to do this, comes looking like kind of like a pill. Oops! Like an aspirin. All I am going to do is with a spoon just crush it. So it crushes up. I am going to actually add that right to the batch, stir it up, next thing is to add the yeast. These packets come premeasured for five gallons. So if youre only doing one gallon, you only want to use a fifth of the packet. This packet is five grams, so it would be gram. This is very similar to hydrating yeast for making bread. So all were going to do, is open the package, well add about a half a cup of water, at about 100 degrees, no hotter than 105 degrees. Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, at which point it will bubble up and be hydrated. Then we add it into the bucket. Now weve added everything to the wine that needs to be added, that's the sugar, that's the yeast, that's the lemons, the oranges and the Campden tablet. Given it a good stir, it's gotten started and it's done a little fermenting. Now we want to get it off some extra sediment. So the next thing that were going to do is do some racking. Were going to transfer it into the glass container where it will sit for several months.