Friday, April 16, 2010

Adventures in Wine Making

Only time will tell if I should have titled this post, "Misadventures in Wine Making". I think it was that featured this post about dandelion wine making. Messing up all over the place, I have undertaken this endeavor and documented it along the way.
Here we go...
To kick off this great experiment, we needed 2 liters of dandelion blossoms. About an hour and a half in the yard and I had probably twice as much as I needed, but had spent some good time outside in the glorious sunshine with the kiddos, which was good for all of us. After a long winter it's getting warm here in Iowa, and we've been cooped up inside for too long. Our time in the elements resulted in two pretty tired kids. Gus at lunch:

And Rhyl didn't make it off the couch after a PB&J:

As the first of many mistakes that my batch of wine may or may not survive, I had many things that needed my attention, and by the time I got back to my bucket 'o' dandies, they were wilted:

Let's hope that doesn't ruin things too badly.
Then I rinsed them:

And then, after I'd put them in the pot with the water, I stumbled upon a little more Dandewine wisdom that grieved me. NO GREEN??? You've GOT to be kidding me! Some directions say no green parts at all. Some say leave a little green, but absolutely NO stems. None are more lenient than that. This is the type of tedious, headache-inducing stipulation that, had I known before I started, would have kept me from doing this. BUT, I'd already spent an hour and a half picking dandelions and corralling the kids outside. I wasn't going to waste that. So I got to cutting:

And I got about a quart of blossoms cut off the base of the flower before I decided I was done. My 2 liters of flowers are mostly blossoms with the tiny green leaves that you'd need magic elfin fingers to pick off.

Into the pot with water and juices, onto the stove to boil, into a dark corner to steep for 24-48 hours. Except, I forgot to add the yeast before the steeping began, so after 48 hours, I added the yeast and waited 24 more. I'm really hoping that the recipe I found that read, "Absolutely NOT more than 48 hours" was written by a very finicky person with a very particular way of doing things.
After roughly 60 hours of steeping, the sugar, spices, and orange peel stirred in, I strained it out:

And jugged it:
I'm curious to see how long it's going to bubble. After 18 hours, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. It smells great, looks delish... Only time will tell.

More later on this! But, it'll be a LOT later. It's got to sit for a few months. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed! Because if it doesn't work out, that was a LOT of wasted time! And I hate that. Clearly, since I've been useless for a few weeks. :P

1 comment:

Andrea @ said...

I have so many memories of picking dandelions by the bucketful for my aunt so she could make wine! It was so fun! Of course, I have no idea what the wine tastes like because I was very little :)