Having tried Dandelion wine for the first time this year, I decided to try making it! As the dandelions started to come out in full force I read up on how to make it and found a densely covered field to pick from. You need about an equal amount of petals to water to make wine so depending on how much you are making harvest can be the most time consuming part.
There were two of us picking. I think we spent about eight man-hours picking. We collected about 22 litres worth of petals (you have to pull them off the green part). To ferment you need to pour boiling water into the petals, add various ingredients from lemon juice, rind, raisins, berries (if using no yeast to attract wild yeasts) and sugar. We decided to use champagne yeast for the first time even though I like the idea of attracting wild yeast from the air better. Next year if I do it again I will try wild yeasts.
We mixed up our concoction, let it cool down and then mixed the yeast in. After four days of fermentation exposed to the air we then strained the petals out and put our wine in pseudo carboys: big water jugs. We also made an “airlock” with plastic wrap tightened over the mouth and a hole poked in it. I don’t like the idea of our wine sitting in plastic for a few months, so I am in the process of looking for real glass carboys, but we made do with what we had available to us at the time.
Now only time will tell if our wine will be good or not! It will sit in the carboys for at least three months until we bottle it. Then it should sit for three more months and ideally up to a year before it will be fully developed.