From the HBD Archive
From: (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: dandelion wine
Date: 1992-04-28 04:28:00 GMT

To: Homebrew Digest
Fm: Jack Schmidling

>From: (Micheal Yandrasits)

>Has anyone out ther made dandelion wine?

Great minds travel the same roads. My wife and I were poring over my
collection of winemaking books trying to integrate all the recipes and
procedure into one that makes sense. Talk about contradictions and

Steep one day... steep seven days.
Remove all the green calixes.. don't bother.
Steep in boiling water... never boil.
Don't steep at all, just ferment the whole mess.

My wife spotted a vacant factory with about an acre of yellow but you just
know the day we go to pick, the lawn mowers will be pulling away.

I am pure culturing Red Star champaign yeast for this project so I can't
start till the yeast is ready and we are shooting for this weekend.

>I'm up scaling the following 1 gallon recipie:

4 pints dandelion flowers (as little "green" as possible)
18 oz chopped sultanas (white raisins)

Thank you.... we were wondering what sultanas were... My wife suggested
sultans' wives.

1 1/2 lbs corn sugar
3 teaspoons citric acid
2 camden tablets

Here is what we came up with:

4 gallons dandelions
4 gallons water
8 lemmons
4 lb raisins
10 lb sugar

Bring water to boil. Dump in the stuff and pitch when cool.

>The recipie calls for making a "dandelion tea" by steeping the flowers in
a warm water for 24 hours. I've done this part and the "tea" is a yellow-
brown color with a very grassy smell and taste. Is this what is supposed to
happen? I've tasted and smelled the flowers very carefully and quite frankly
they don't taste like much at all. Will some "magic" happen durring fementation
and aging (not at all uncommon in this type of endevor)?

I think the whole thing is a conspiracy. It seems like dandelion wine is to
wine what Bud is to beer. I made some years ago but have no recollection of
how or what it tasted like but like you, I was itching to give it a whirl.

Keep us posted.

>From: (Richard Foulk)

> * Is the main purpose of kilning, for light malts, simply to add color
and a slightly different flavor to the brew? Or does it play some
other important role? I've heard it said that it stops the malting
process, but drying seems to do that quite well.

All of those sound pretty important to me. One you missed is that it would
rot during the 4 to six week curing period if the water content was not
reduced to very low levels.

The most obvious and important probably is the taste. It just does not taste
like malt if just dried. The kilining brings out the sweet malty flavor.

> * Is there something that I can safely mix with the steep water that
will retard bacteria growth (keep the grain from going sour)
without adversely affecting the malt? (I currently do a lot of
rinsing after the steep, every few hours or so, but this seems to
speed up the sprouting process more than is preferrable.)

Rinsing three or four times a day should keep the bacteria to undetectable
levels and is just good hygene. Anything you mix with the grain will be
absorbed and get into the beer. Stick with water.

> * Is there an easy way to remove the roots from the grain? Is it really
necessary to bother?

By the time it is ready to kiln, they sort of take care or themselves. I
just reverse the drying fan and they just blow away.

>Some have said that feedstore barley has the wrong protein content for
making beer. I don't buy this. It may be inappropriate for some
styles of beer, or for making light beers.

The only problem I have had with feedstore barley is a 50% viability which
means that 50% of my malt is rotting barley. As I had no other source, I
gave up.

BTW, congratualtions on taking home brewing one step further. No one will
accuse you of being a cake mix brewer.


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