Dandelion wine easy recipe

With lots of dandelions flowering from Spring right through to late Summer, why not try a light but easy to make white wine? The recipe is shown below... no chemicals used, just natural ingredients other than Milton baby liquid to sterilise equipment. Why not try out some of the other Allotment Heaven easy recipes?

I make this wine for several reasons. Dandelions get a bad press... yes, they're technically a weed, but they act as a beneficial companion plant, bringing up nutrients with their long tap root to benefit shallower rooted plants, they attract pollinating insects and help surrounding fruit ripen by releasing ethylene. They're one of the earliest flowering plants and freely available in abundance. A good Spring wine to make.

Another reason is the difficulty of finding wine in shops without the 'contains sulphites' message hidden away on the back label. Sulphites can cause allergies and headaches. Hence no chemicals are used in this recipe.

The instructions below make one UK imperial gallon of wine, which means about six bottles. It's much easier if you make a few gallons at once... the demijohns are cheaper if you buy several off eBay and it's easier to bottle without disturbing the sediment. Just multiply the ingredients according to how many gallons.

The cost of equipment is pretty low... under £20 if you acquire the wine bottles by saving from bought white wine. Thereafter your only cost is for sugar, oranges, some wine yeast and a little Milton liquid... so having made the initial investment in equipment, typically you're enjoying rather nice wine with no sulphite content for well under 50p a bottle! Why wouldn't you want to do it?

Equipment needed

Ingredients needed
  • 2 quarts dandelion petals (pick much more flowers to give you enough petals, best to pick on a sunny day when the flowers are fully opened and avoid areas frequented by dogs)
  • 3 lbs granulated sugar
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 gallon water
  • Yeast and nutrient

  1. Sterilise the fermentation barrel and lid using the milton liquid.
  2. Pluck the dandelion petals from the flowers and place in fermentation barrel.
  3. Add 4 pints of boiling water and mix.
  4. Place lid on barrel and leave for two days.
  5. Add a further 4 pints of boiling water to bring up to one gallon.
  6. Add the orange zest and juice, avoid getting any of the white pith included.
  7. Add the sugar and mix well until all the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Once cool add the yeast and nutrient.
  9. Put the lid on the barrel and leave in a warm place to ferment
  10. After a few hours you'll notice something starting to happen... there'll be froth on the surface as the yeast starts to ferment, turning the sugar into alcohol. Stir the contents twice a day.
  11. It will take a couple of weeks or so for the fermentation to finish. Don't worry if it takes longer... it's a natural process and not a science. Once completed transfer the liquid to the demijohn using the plastic tubing and funnel. Make sure all the equipment has been sterilised with Milton liquid.
  12. Avoiding disturbing any sediment, place the fermentation barrel at a higher level than the demijohn (e.g. put the barrel on a table and the demijohn on the floor), put one end of the plastic tubing in the barrel, and having placed the funnel in the neck of the demijohn give the other end of the tubing a strong suck to pull some of the wine up and over the edge of the barrel. Quickly remove your mouth and put the tube end into the funnel. The wine should start to drain.
  13. Avoid transferring any sediment if you can. Once all the clear liquid is in the demijohn top up with water to bring to a gallon (if you're only making one gallon). Seal with the rubber bung and airlock, having put a small amount of diluted Milton liquid in the airlock.
  14. You can now store the wine somewhere cool and frost free. At first the fermentation may start up again and you'll see bubbles going through the airlock. Gradually the wine will clear.
  15. Once fully clear repeat the draining process, this time from demijohn to sterilised wine bottle. Put a stopper in each bottle and store.
  16. The wine will be ready to drink after being bottle for six months, but much improves with age after twelve months.
Note: If you do decide to make several gallons at once, filling the demijohns can be a bit tricky since, once the first is full, you have to put your thumb over the tube end and use the other fingers of that same hand to transfer the funnel to the next demijohn, then removing your thumb to let the flow continue into the second demijohn. Where's your other hand? Holding the other end of the tube in the fermentation barrel without disturbing the sediment of course! It's a good idea to position the demijohns close up against each other.


  1. Anonymous2:27 pm

    What is meant by a quart ? how do you measure this. thanks

    1. 1 quart is about 2 UK pints, so the above recipe needs 4 UK pint glasses of dandelion petals to make a gallon of wine.

    2. Exactly 2 pints

  2. Anonymous1:02 pm

    My two questions are: Why avoid the pith of the citrus fruits? And what is gained/not lost by the two day phase with just the flowers and water, why not just add all ingredients and then once it cools enough, add the yeast?
    Best, T

    1. Thanks for the questions. Avoid the pith because it doesn't add to the taste and would be unnecessary material to remove when clearing the wine.

      The two days with just the flowers and water is to allow the taste of the flowers to seep into the liquid. If you bunged all the ingredients in together, the dandelion flowers would be competing with the other ingredients, all of which get absorbed into the water much more readily. As a result, you wouldn't get nearly as much of the dandelion taste.

      Hope that helps. Regards, John

  3. Anonymous10:24 am

    My wine has been in the demi-john 3 weeks now, it looks like the colour of dark set honey, there is sediment in the bottom of the jars, and hardly any bubbles going through the air lock. Is it ok ? If so how long will it take to clear? This is my first shot at wine making, not sure how clear is clear if you get my meaning.
    Tia Cheryll

    1. Hi... Because the recipe avoids using any chemicals to clear the wine, it may take as long as three months for it to clear naturally. Clear means absolutely clear, so you can easily see through the wine to the other side of the demijohn. If you bottle with too much sediment still suspended in the wine, when you come to drink it you may find it has too strong a yeasty taste.

      If you still have a few bubble going through the airlock, sounds like things are going just fine. Just takes patience to bear the six months or more before it's ready for drinking. In fact, if you can leave it for a year or two you'll find the taste improves significantly. Sounds impossible to be that patient, but if you make some every year you'll then have your own constant supply of inexpensive, strong and tasty wine.

      Would appreciate a comment letting me know how it goes. Thanks, John

  4. Anonymous11:24 pm

    Oh thankyou John,
    its still got the odd bubble going through,should that be happening for the next six months or so ? If it stops bubbleing is it still ok ?my only other problem is having nowhere to store it,its sat on the kitchen worktop and driving husand crazy.

    1. The odd bubble going through is fine. After a while this will stop and what you're then awaiting is for the wine to clear. That may take months. A kitchen worktop isn't ideal if it means the wine gets warm, particularly if it's in sunshine. Better to store it in a broom or coat cupboard, if you have one.

    2. PS... Hubby might be a bit more positive when he's sipping cheap, good quality home made wine!

    3. Anonymous11:23 pm

      Hi John,
      just to update you, ive checked the wine, its still not clear no air bubbles going through the airlock now, and a lot of sediment at the bottom of the demi-john, is it still ok ? Can you advise me ?
      Tia Cheryll

    4. Hi Tia... Sounds okay. How long has the wine been in the demijohn?

    5. Anonymous8:57 am

      Since i made it, was it may or june whenever it was that they were flowering, do i transfer it to another demi-john or bottle it ? Or is it still not ready ? Thanks Cheryll

    6. Hi Cheryll... If the wine has mostly cleared but still a little fuzzy, I'd go on to step 15. Try to ensure you don't disturb the sediment in the demijohn and transfer the clearer liquid into wine bottles. It will continue to clear in the bottles. The longer you leave the wine in the bottles, the better it will taste. I recommend at least a year from when you started.

      If the liquid in the demijohn is still opaque, you'll need to leave in there to clear further.

      Regards, John

  5. Hi John, have you ever made a rhubarb wine? We have so much of the stuff this year already we need to find more ways of using it. Would one of your wine recipes work much the same with rhubarb?

    1. That's one wine I haven't yet made. Must correct that! I understand it's very easy to make and tastes wonderful. Here's a link to a good, chemical-free recipe http://andhereweare.net/2014/04/make-rhubarb-wine.html/
      Regards, John


You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...