Easy Dandelion Wine

I wanted to put this recipe out before you start seeing them.  I love country wines and this is as country as they come.  In my opinion nothing says homemade wine quite like Dandelion Wine.  This is a recipe that I have used in the past and it works out pretty well.

 Dandelion Wine. 

When it comes to this wine, you want to make sure that you only have the pedals.  The green bottom to it gives it a weird after flavor to the wine.  This wine can be seem a little tedious considering you have to take off all of the green bottom but honestly, it sounds pretty clutch when you tell people, “I make dandelion wine”.  So here is the recipe.  Hope you enjoy and leave your comments and questions in the space provided below.

1 Gallon Batch


4 cups of dandelion petals

2 pounds granulated sugar

1 pound of light raisins

1 tablespoon acid blend

1 package Lavin d47 yeast

1 teaspoon yeast nutrient

1 ½ cups of room temp orange juice

Directions

  • Take the petals, sugar and raisins mix in a bowl.
  • Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil then rinse over raisins, sugar and petals.
  • Mix all ingredients together minus the yeast including add acid, tannin and yeast nutrient
  • Put in 1 gallon glass jug
  • (If you add campden tablet let it sit for 24 hours with top and air lock)
  • Pitch yeast and let it ferment for 2 weeks.
  • Rack into secondary fermentation (glass jug)
  • Let it sit for 4 – 6 months
  • Add campden tablet, and stabilizer (pot.sorbate) wait until air lock has shown no more fermentation
  • Add 6 ounces of sugar boiled in water
  • Then bottle

Keep for a year before you drink.

 

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101 In Wine Making & First Recipe

Oh how I love to make wine.  I find myself making wine when I get bored making beer.  If I end up getting in a stump on what recipe I should make next, usually I’ll turn my attention to making a batch of country wine.

Making wine in general is pretty easy.  In a lot of ways I think it’s at easy or easier then making beer.  I do have to make this one note though, I make country wine.  I don’t make wine from kits generally.  I’ll either buy the ingredients from the store or pick them from my own garden, because of this the wine recipes are generally small (1 gallon – 3 gallons).  I do this for a few reasons: 1) It’s pretty old school 2) It’s what I learned from the time I was “mini home brewer Derek” 3) I feel you have a high level of control doing this versus buying a kit.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind for making your first batch of wine.

There are a few guide lines when making wine from scratch though, as well as a few pit falls.  

  • Use the correct yeast, not beer yeast or old yeast.
  • Make sure you keep it clean and sanitary.
  • Use good fruits and vegetables – fresh matters.
  • Make sure that secondary fermentation doesn’t get oxidized.
  • Don’t let wine sit to long on excess sedimentation.
  • Know time is your friend, unless it’s vinegar just let it chill out – it will change in flavor.

A Few Pieces Of Equipment That You Will Want

  • 1 gallon glass jug
  • 1 2.5 gallon primary bucket
  • Mini siphon
  • Hose (5/16th”)
  • Air lock
  • #6 Rubber Stopper
  • Nylon Straining Bag
  • Wine Bottles (I prefer 375ml bottles)
  • Bottle Washer
  • Hydrometer
  • Thermometer
  • Scales
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons

Chemicals Which You Will Want In Your Pantry 

Acid Blend – Gives wine a bite, helps keep the colors from fading out.  It will also help preserve your wine.

Tannin – Gives dryness to the mouth-feel to wine.  It will also help clear and stabilize the wine.

Pectic Enzyme – This eats pectin up, and prevent haze.

Yeast Nutrient – Yeast food so you don’t get stressed out yeast

Stabilizer – Potassium Sorbate will prevent the yeast from growing again after you get the FG that you want

Campden Tablets – Potassium Metasulphite, you can use this as a sanitizer or also to kill the yeast.

Calcium Carbonate – This will help the wine become less acidic.

Now that we got that out the way time to get the fun part YOUR FIRST RECIPE!

Blueberry Wine

Ingredients

3.25 quarts of water

2.5 lbs sugar or 3 lbs honey

3 lbs fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tsp acid blend

1/8 tsp tannin

1 tsp yeast nutrient

1 Campden Tablet

1/2 tsp pectic enzyme

1 packet Montrachet Yeast

Directions:

  1. Put water and sugar or honey in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Wash berries in cool water and drain
  3. Put berries in nylon bag and place in primary fermenter
  4. Squish berries with clean hands or potato masher
  5. Pour hot sugar water over the crushed berries
  6. Add acid, tanning and yeast nutrient
  7. (If you add campden tablet let it sit for 24 hours with top and air lock)
  8. Add pectic enzyme and yeast then add top and air lock
  9. Let ferment for 2 weeks then remove the nylon bag
  10. Rack into secondary fermentation (glass jug)
  11. Let it sit for 4 – 6 months
  12. Add campden tablet, and stabilizer (1/2 tsp per gallon) wait until air lock  has shown no more fermentation
  13. Add 6 ounces of sugar boiled in water
  14. Then bottle
  15. Keep for a year before you drink

This is one of my personal favorites.  Let me know if you guys have any killer wine recipes in the comments below!

 

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5 Lalvin Yeast And How To Use Them

Making beer is one of my biggest passions, but I like to mess around with other brewing projects when I get bored with beer though. The nice thing with brewing is a lot of the equipment is the same from beer to wine so you really don’t have to invest in a whole heck of a lot to switch between the two.

A lot of times about once a month I’ll end up making mini batches of wine or mead.  Over time you get quite a few wine bottles, especially because I use 375ml bottles to bottle in.  When making these smaller batches of wine or mead one of the things that I use is Lalvin yeast, which is a dry wine yeast.  Unlike white labs yeast where they have so many yeast types, Lalvin has 5.

When in doubt though I always figure use a a chart, that’s why I added one below.  It’s a pretty good reference guide.  I elaborated on it though with my own personal experience as well as the ABV that you can get from the yeast.

RC 212

This wine yeast is really great for Red’s.  This strain helps with enhancing fruit flavors. The darker the red, the better this yeast preforms.

Alcohol 12%-14%

D-47

Is great for whites.  I’ve used this one with meads as well. This strain of yeast really does need appropriate nitrogen levels in order to turn out well, so make sure to add nutrient as well as energizer to it.

Alcohol 12%-14%

71B-1122

What’s kinda cool about this yeast is that it can metabolize malic acid turning it into ethenol.  Now in engish, it will make acidic wines or meads, melomels (fruit meads) into more well rounded ones with out such a bite if you start off with lots of acid in it.

Alcohol 14%

K1V-1116

I typically use this one for ciders and natural fruit that are light. It works really great with stuck fermentations as well.  The reason why I prefer this one with ciders and a lot of light country wines is that it is an extremely competitive yeast strain. It needs a high level of nitrogen though, so act appropreityly.  Another thing about this yeast is that it keeps the fruity flavor longer then other strains.

Alcohol 16%-18%

EC-1118

This is a champagne style of yeast.  It can take a wide range of fermentation temps as well (50 degrees up to 95 degrees).  This is a great yeast to help restart stuck fermentations as well get a high alcohol if that’s what your going for.

Alcohol 18%

So if your interested in making little batches of wine what I recommend you get assuming that you already have everything else because of your beer equiptment is:

A glass jug – 1 gallon

A box of 375ml bottles

A bag of corks – size #8 or #9

A #6 rubber stopper that is drilled (fits into the glass jug)

And a corker – either a handheld which are cheaper or a floor which is easier but of course more expensive. 

Either way that’s what your really need to get going with making your own mini batches of wine or mead.  Pretty soon we’ll be posting up so cool recipes for wine and how to do them as well.

But  I’ll end this by asking you, do you have any have any  country wine recipes or any mead recipes that you would like to share?

Lalvin’s website where the chart can be found: http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp

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