Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home made wine

I just finished bottling my first attempt at home made wine. I've been making beer for a couple of years now (although I still buy most of what I drink at the store) but I never really bothered with wine. I'm no wine connoisseur so it wasn't a top priority. During the spring I decided to try a dandelion wine, though. I don't remember the exact recipe but it basically consisted of pouring a LOT of dandelion blossoms into some boiling water along with some raisins and orange peels. I spent all morning filling up a grocery bag full of dandelion blossoms and then that afternoon was spent picking the petals out of the stems. After all of that was finished I filtered the must into a 5 gallon carboy and let it cool overnight. The next morning I pitched the yeast and forgot about it for a while. I did rack it a few times hoping that it would clarify but after several months and transferring it into a clean carboy at least 3 times it still looked like opaque sludge. It smelled awesome, though, so it was off to the homebrew store I went to get some advice on salvaging it. I came home with a clarifier and after just a few days it was looking great. Unfortunately, I only got 4 bottles out of it. That's mostly because I kept racking it which uses 1/3-1/2 a gallon at a time.

I did pour myself a glass of what was left over and I must say that it's not bad. It's got a subtle sweetness to it and the alcohol taste is kind of strong. That should mellow out after a year or so on my wine rack. It's got a weird, sweet aftertaste that kinda tastes like dandelions with absolutely none of the bitterness. It tastes very different from any other wine that I've ever had. I've been told that dandelion wine is best after several years of aging so I probably won't even open the first bottle for a few years at the very least. I'm saving one of them for my nephew's 21st birthday. It'll be as old as he is.

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I've got 6 gallons of merlot brewing in the basement right now. That batch will yield more than 30 bottles. This spring I plan on trying a couple more wild wines but this time I'm going to go with something a little more simple. Learn how to make this stuff yourself and you'll suddenly realize how easy it is to make sure that you never have to go without no matter how hard things get. Whether you plan on drinking it yourself, using it for barter or both it's a useful skill to have. Some fruit juice and bread yeast left in a bucket for a week is enough to get you hammered but if you learn how to make it well then you can make something that anyone can appreciate. That just makes it all the more valuable.

7 comments:

Inquisitor Mors-Lupon said...

thats awesome, after reading Bradury's book of the same name I'v always wanted to try dandelion wine.

mmpaints said...

Excellent! It's something I've wanted to try but just never got around to.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I decided that if I didn't make it and try it then it would end up being one of those things that I always wanted to try but never did, too ;).

Anonymous said...

I have made wine from various things & have picked up a short cut to good tasting wine. Keep tasting the near finished product & when it tastes good to you add enough vodka to it to kill off the fermentation.

Larry SE Ohio

The Urban Survivalist said...

That's definitely a good idea. I used potassium metabisulfite to stop fermentation on my merlot. I'll have to try vodka next time. How much do you use per gallon?

Anonymous said...

Stopping fermentation by adding alcohol. I have a hydrometer which measures % alcohol, I got it years ago from Herter's , which will date me, bring it up to about 15%. I like Mad Dog Also. :)

Larry SE Ohio

booze party said...

hey this is a weird coincidence