Fermentation: Dandelion Wine Part #2

Although my research says I’m still a good year (if not two) away from enjoying a glass of my Dandelion wine I’ve made it through the next stage and thus one step closer!

If you’re following along from Fermentation: Dandelion Wine Part #1 we left off with what seemed to be a bubbling bucket of compost and grass clippings. I let the must bubble away for 4 days in the kitchen, stirring often (the carbonation pushed all the solid contents to the top) and covering with a cloth to keep flies away.

After four days.

Purchased my first carboys from craigslist – these were pretty clean and so not as much of a pain but you can get a special brush for such things.

This part was a bit awkward – setting up a process to strain out all the petals and be able to squeeze out every last drop of must. My system was successful but not very efficient – having two people for this helps

I did a quick reference check from ‘my boyfriend’ Sandor Katz in his book The Art of Fermentation, more on him later…

Standard sized carboy (5gallons).

All the chunky pulp – I saved for extra squeezing.

It was about this time I was really wishing a second set of hands was around.

The strained must looked a lot like weak orange juice – there really isn’t a part of the fermentation process where you’re not able to taste test, this was an exciting moment!

I picked up an airlock from Fermentations on the Danforth, under $5

The airlock contains two chambers connected by one tube, with the addition of water you can safely continue fermentation where excess carbon dioxide can be released but the exposure of oxygen is nearly eliminated. 

A few good lessons from this process for next time:

  • Enlist a partner in crime to assist with awkward processes
  • Pre-plan where your carboy is going to live for the next month or so, as once it’s full of must it’s heavy!
  • Make more wine than will fit the carboy – they’re designed specifically with the narrow neck so that when it’s filled the surface area exposed to oxygen is lessened and there are many debates on the the risks of not filling the carboy all the way (mine wasn’t quite there but I’m keeping an eye on it)

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