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Thread: Dandelion mead

  1. #1

    Default Dandelion mead

    I'm trying to get fresh and free ingredients from what the different seasons in nature have to offer. So I wanted to try to make and gain some knowledge about dandelion wine/mead.

    I have never tasted dandelion wine/mead before and are curious about it. Is it even worth making a dandelion mead if compared to something good like a raspberry mead? If so I got a few quetions :

    -Anybody got some experience and/or recipe making a "normal intensity" dry(?)/sweet(?) dandelion mead? Should I boil a tea, add flowers to primary, add floweres to secondary etc?
    -Its only the yellow flowers and none of the green stuff that should be used?
    -The dandelion flowers are rich in sugar and flavour arent they? If so is there any way to conserve some dandelion for later use in the form of extract/syrups/just froozen flowers(?) ? How would I go about making a extract/syrup?

  2. #2
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    Did you try this?

    I'm thinking of using Dandelion in my next braggot. Apparently Dandelion was used as bittering hops for beer before hops were used.

    I'll keep you informed. Let us all know how the Dandelion Mead goes.

  3. #3

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    I like dandelions in mead. I made a Cyser with them and it was great. Most folks will probably tell you to make a tea with them and add the tea, but my method is to "sanitize" them with distilled white vinegar and then give them a good rinse. Oh, and I only use the flowers with as much of the greens pared off.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robusto View Post
    ...my method is to "sanitize" them with distilled white vinegar and then give them a good rinse. Oh, and I only use the flowers with as much of the greens pared off.
    Robusto, how do you "sanitize" them with distilled white vinegar without affecting the taste?

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for answars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogaloo View Post
    Did you try this?...
    No I have not. The dandelions will probably pop up in a couple of weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogaloo View Post
    I'm thinking of using Dandelion in my next braggot. Apparently Dandelion was used as bittering hops for beer before hops were used...
    I think its the roots and greens that are the stuff used for bittering and the flower are sweet(?) as an offering for pollinators(and mead/wine makers). If you use the root you got yourself a "liver cleanser" to go with the liver poison!

    I will post the results if I decide to try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robusto View Post
    I like dandelions in mead. I made a Cyser with them and it was great. Most folks will probably tell you to make a tea with them and add the tea, but my method is to "sanitize" them with distilled white vinegar and then give them a good rinse...
    Do you just add them whole uncooked to primary after you sanitized and rinsed them?
    Do you usually use them in mix with other ingredients?
    Can you give an example recipe on how to use them alone or in an cyser?

    Jens

  6. #6
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    The petals themselves are not sweet. The nectar is in the center part of the flower. [science aside: petals are there to guide the pollinators in to the flower. like the guy at the airport with the orange sticks.]

    Avoid the greens and just use the petals.

    I haven't tried this yet, but all reports of dandelion wine I've seen have been good. Go for it!
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  7. #7

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    I got a lot of freezer space at the moment. Is flowers petals in general like dandelion,chamomile etc suitable to be stored in deep freeze for later usage?

  8. #8

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    Yes you can freeze the pedals. Beer made with spices in place of hops is called gruit. You can find a lot of good ideas for metheglin looking at gruit recipes. Freezing will also help kill any baddies on them.
    Mead fermentation is what made patience a virtue!

    Flamethrower or flower pedals, all feedback is "good" feedback

  9. #9

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    Five-
    I just soak them for 10-15 minutes and the rinse well with cold water. There is almost never any vinegar smell or taste.

  10. #10

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    After walking past a field full of dandelions the other day, this is now on my list of things to do.

    I don't think freezing them will kill off bacteria, as most can survive temperatures much lower than a normal freezer can do.

    You could also try sanitising them in a neutral spirit (like vodka), which would also help to extract some of the flavour.

  11. #11
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    I just can't imagine picking enough flowers to more than a couple of gallons.

    I salute you.
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  12. #12
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    I have had dandelion wine, and it tasted very much like a mead, so I'm presuming adding honey would make it even more floral.

    Quote Originally Posted by machalel View Post
    After walking past a field full of dandelions the other day, this is now on my list of things to do.
    I was gonna say, "I hate you!" then realized where you are... I don't think I'll be seeing dandelions for at least another month, it's still below freezing at night...


    Quote Originally Posted by machalel View Post
    You could also try sanitising them in a neutral spirit (like vodka), which would also help to extract some of the flavour.
    I used apple blossoms and violets in metheglyns and because I wasn't on the ball and didn't get the base traditional started early enough, I had to freeze the blossoms. It seems to have worked out fine. I rinsed the fresh blooms before freezing them, but didn't bother sanitizing anything, although I think if I were putting them in the primary I might consider a campden tablet. I'd worry that soaking them or too much rinsing etc would end up taking all the pollen and half the flavour and aromatics out.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    I just can't imagine picking enough flowers to more than a couple of gallons...
    Yeah ... I've seen some comments about it being very label intensive to harvest enough petals so it wont be any more than my one of the usual experimental 1 imperial gallon(1.2 us gallon) demijohn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I have had dandelion wine, and it tasted very much like a mead, so I'm presuming adding honey would make it even more floral.
    Is it all(or a lot) of this floral flowers other than dandelion that are suitable for wine/mead making? I just asking that because as I understand honey is pretty much a combination of nectar from all the flowers in the flora and most often the honey is not poisonous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I used apple blossoms and violets in metheglyns and because I wasn't on the ball and didn't get the base traditional started early enough ...
    -I got limited amouth of honey untill I can buy some bulk in end of july, but I've made a bit of all pupose flavorless "semi" traditional neutral mead(about 12% abv). Can I just rack that mead onto some rinsed "raw" dandelion petals and let the alcohol and limited yeast activity do the flavour extraction job?

    -How much(weight/volume) of the apple blossoms and violets do you have pr gallon of mead?

    jens

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jens183 View Post
    Is it all(or a lot) of this floral flowers other than dandelion that are suitable for wine/mead making? I just asking that because as I understand honey is pretty much a combination of nectar from all the flowers in the flora and most often the honey is not poisonous.
    I don't think any plant has poisonous nectar, but that doesn't necessarily reflect whether eating the flower itself is dangerous. A little searching on da interwebs should find you some lists of edible flowers. From memory (don't necessarily trust mine, I don't) roses and violets (including pansies, violas and johnny jump-ups) are edible, so are nasturtiums, I've seen lilacs presented both ways and with lavender you have to watch the variety. And I figured apple blossom would be safe because the rest of the tree is.


    Quote Originally Posted by jens183 View Post
    -I got limited amouth of honey untill I can buy some bulk in end of july, but I've made a bit of all pupose flavorless "semi" traditional neutral mead(about 12% abv). Can I just rack that mead onto some rinsed "raw" dandelion petals and let the alcohol and limited yeast activity do the flavour extraction job?

    -How much(weight/volume) of the apple blossoms and violets do you have pr gallon of mead?
    You definitely can rack a traditional onto some petals, pretty much how I did it. As for amounts, I used as much as I could pick and freeze, I don't think I ever weighed them... brewlog here...

    The book I go by for fruit wines (Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking) recommends 4 to 6 cups lightly packed herbs or flowers per gallon, her dandelion wine recipe (which mentions Ray Bradbury's book "Dandelion Wine", a fine read) recommends 6-8 cups of dandelion petals. She recommends gathering in the morning after the dew has dried, and removing all the green parts and processing without washing, to preserve the delicate fragrance. What I did was dump the petals I had into some boiling water to scald any nasties, waited for it to cool, then poured the water and petal glop either through a mesh bag for easier removal for the violets, or right into the must for the apple blossoms.

    Might want to check Ken's Compleat Meadmaker for a second opinion though, mine's upstairs at the moment and probably has some good suggetions tailored more to meadmaking.
    Last edited by Chevette Girl; 04-08-2012 at 03:49 PM.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  15. #15

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    vinegar scares the heck out of people in this forum it's can induce your wine to start the conversion as well so most people avoid it .

    I made a dandy lion honey wine which came out okay but I used too many raisins look for my recipe . I would do the same recipe again except use 25 reasons instead of 1 pound . the aromatics are great and I'm really looking forward to trying the recipe again it has great promise . overall it still needs a decent amount of time for the tastes to age and develop though so more to report later
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jens183 View Post
    -I got limited amount of honey until I can buy some bulk in end of July
    I hate waiting to buy Honey. I'm stuck with very little Honey, until I get extra cash in August but then I'll be buying 120 lbs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAKeyser View Post
    I hate waiting to buy Honey. I'm stuck with very little Honey, until I get extra cash in August but then I'll be buying 120 lbs.
    I don't think that I've had less than 120 lbs in the basement for the last couple of years.
    Of course it helps that I buried on bucket underneath a tarp for a year and completely
    forgot about it until I looking for something else.

    I'm surprised that the local wild bees haven't made a run on my stash yet.
    Bees stole my signature file!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    I don't think that I've had less than 120 lbs in the basement for the last couple of years.
    Well if you can spare about 9 pounds of OB, I know someone who could use it lol

  19. #19

    Default

    Thanks for all the answers. I'll come back to this later.

    jens

  20. #20

    Default

    vinegar scares the heck out of people in this forum it's can induce your wine to start the conversion as well so most people avoid it .
    Loadn-

    I know that vinegar scares people... But as with many things, it is just the lack of understanding that in the problem. You see, white vinegar, or distilled vinegar, is as the name suggests, distilled. And just like vodka or whiskey, the distilling separates out the desired product from everything else. In the case of whiskey, it is alcohol, that is then diluted to the desired strength with water. In the case of white vinegar, it is the acetic acid that is then diluted with water. So, unlike other vinegars, there is no chance of it "turning" your wine or mead. The high acidity will kill most of the nasties, an it is easily washed off with plain 'ol water.

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