First and foremost – Happy Herb Day!
Part 3 of making Dandelion Wine nearly completes my series. The last installation won’t take place for months out – that is when we will enjoy the fruits (or flowers?) of our labor.
After nearly 3 weeks the wine finally stopped bubbling and fermenting. The first two weeks were none stop bubbles and my airlock was constantly jostling around inside its container. At the 2 and half week mark there was a significant decrease in the bubble action and for a couple of days it nearly fooled us into thinking it was done.
The importance of it being completely done fermenting lies in the fact that if we bottle it while still under pressure we could risk exploding the bottles. This tid bit does actually come from direct experience. My husband and I were playing around with making Nettle Soda (blog post to come about that!) and in order to not make it so alcoholic we only let it ferment for a day or so then put it in the fridge to stop the process. For whatever reason 3 or 4 exploded outside and inside of the fridge. Glass shrapnel is kind of a safety hazard.
Luckily we waited until we saw no more bubbles for an entire day before making the decision to bottle.
We didn’t have any wine bottles and I was too lazy to get some. Instead we used some of our beer bottles with either disposable caps or with a latch.
Wash and sterilize the bottles in the dishwasher using the hottest setting if possible. Remove the airlock from the wine jug and using a funnel, gently pour the liquid into the clean bottle.
There is a lot of sediment at the bottom of the jug so be sure not to swish it around as we don’t want that in our finished product. Cap all the bottles (or cork if you are using wine bottles) and label. Be sure to add the date as well since these will not be drunk for quite some time.
I am going to wait until at least the winter solstice before opening one of them. Dandelion Wine ages very well and becomes more complex and flavorful over time. Right now mine smells pretty yeasty and I hope that will work itself out in time. I also think it is going to be quite alcoholic – but we will see. Here is a very interesting blog from a winery whose family has been making Dandelion Wine for many years – Bellview’s Blog.