Archive for May, 2009

Beltane came and went a week ago.  The weather was warm and I spent the day outside absorbing the sun and heat.  I layed on the grass and exposed my growing belly to the sun and watched the chickens and ducks peck at the ground, and happily gazed at my bewildered cats as they roamed amongst the birds that are too big for them to eat.  Even Magdalene, the skittish leghorn relaxed in the sun.

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As if on cue the dandelions in my yard really burst  on beltane.  I had been waiting for the many plants to bloom in numbers before harvesting the flowering tops to make wine out of them.  The yard was awash in yellow and in the warmth of the midday sun I wandered the outside picking basketfuls of yellow miracles for wine and unopened buds to pickle.

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I have never made dandelion wine before so, truly, this is an experiement and I hope  that a year of maturing the brew will pay off.

The recipe I used is as follows

  • 2 qts dandelion flowers
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 gallon water
  • yeast and nutrient


Pick the flowers and bring into the kitchen. Set one gallon of water to boil. While it heats up to a boil, remove as much of the green material from the flower heads leaving only petals. Pour the boiling water over the flowers, cover with cloth, and leave to steep for two days. Do not exceed two days. Pour the mixture back into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the peelings from the four oranges ( no white pith) and boil for ten minutes. Strain through a muslin cloth or bag onto a crock or plastic pail containing the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When cool, add the juice of the oranges, the yeast and yeast nutrient. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit fermentation trap, and allow to ferment completely. Rack and bottle when wine clears and again when no more lees form for 60 days. Allow it to age six months in the bottle before tasting, but a year will improve it vastly.

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I only added a bit of Cuvee yeast I had on hand and not the nutrient.  And for fermentaion bottles I poured the liquid into two seperate gallon milk type jugs and fit a ballon over the top that I had poked holes in with a needle for my fermentation trap.  The  wine is sitting in a dark place marked and dated.  I’ll wait a couple of monthes before bottling and come next mayday I will celebrate with a bottle of dandelion wine and another day in the sun surrounded by yellow flowers.

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