Dandelion Beer Recipe

Here’s a recipe from my new book The Forager’s Feast. It uses both dandelion leaves and roots. Roasting the roots first gives the brew an almost red ale-like richness.

Note that if you use the leaves of dandelion plants that are already flowering rather than from plants that haven’t flowered yet, you will end up with a more bitter beer (not necessarily a bad thing).

Dandy beer sm

Dandelion Beer

Makes about twelve 12-ounce/355 ml bottles of beer

 

Ingredients:

5 quarts/4.75 liters water

1/2 pound/225 grams dandelion leaves, washed and chopped

1/2 ounce/15 grams roasted dandelion root (to roast fresh dandelion roots, clean them, chop into small pieces, and roast at 300F/150C until dark brown but not burnt)

1/2 ounce/15 grams fresh ginger, grated (no need to peel)

1/4 cup/60 ml warm water

1 tablespoon beer yeast (or you can get away with using granulated bread yeast)

1 pound/450 grams raw or Demerara sugar

1 ounce/30 cream of tartar

 

  1. Put the dandelion and ginger into a large pot with the five quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let it cook at a lively simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. While the dandelion is brewing, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water in a small cup or bowl and set aside.
  3. Put the sugar and cream of tartar into a clean fermentation vessel (you can use a food-safe bucket or even a large stainless steel stock pot (don’t use aluminum).
  4. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth or butter muslin. Put the colander over the sugar and cream of tartar in the fermentation vessel and pour the dandelion-ginger brew through it. Remove the colander. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Let the brew cool to room temperature before stirring in the yeast. Cover the vessel with a dishtowel and set in a warm but not hot place (warmish room temperature is good). Leave for three days, stirring vigorously at least once a day.
  6. Siphon the beer into sterilized beer bottles and cap. Be careful to leave the lees (the yeasty guck at the bottom of the fermentation vessel) behind while you’re siphoning.
  7. Store the bottles on their sides in a cool place (your fridge or a cool garage will work) for at least seven days before drinking. It will be even better if you wait three weeks.

Note: If you’re new to home brewing and aren’t sure how to go about things like siphoning, sterilizing, and capping bottles, there is information here.

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13 responses to “Dandelion Beer Recipe”

  1. Jane Metzger says:

    Do you strip off the leaves from the stem and just use those?

    • Leda says:

      No stems with dandelion: the leaves grow in a circular rosette, all attaching to the root at a central point. Since this recipe uses both the leaves and the roots, you can dig up the whole plant (and no worries about sustainability – dandelions are not remotely endangered and even a small chunk of root left in the ground will generate a new plant 🙂

  2. G says:

    Sorry.. I’m confused and give up on trying to figure it out- do we use the dandelion in its entirety or pop the beautiful yellow head off and use only the roots and the leaves?
    Thanks!!

    • Leda says:

      Hi G, as in the ingredients list and instructions, for this you use the leaves and roasted dandelion roots. To roast the roots, clean them and chop them into small pieces. Bake in a 300F oven until they are dark brown. Hope that clarifies it for you 🙂

  3. G says:

    By the way, awesome recipe.. Thanks for sharing 😀

  4. George Jodoin says:

    Roughly what would be the strength of the alcohol in it? Thanks.i got this on face book I used to make wine but gave it up.

  5. zac says:

    can you use an air lock on a carboy during fermentation, or do you have to let it sit with a towel over it?

    • Leda says:

      You could use an airlock initially, but you want the final product to be bubbly. So as you would with other homemade beer, bottle it before it has fermented out to the still stage.

  6. Debbie holt says:

    Hi, I was wondering if this is enough fermentation time before putting right in the bottles. Have you had any problems with explosions.thank you

    • Leda says:

      Haven’t had any problems with explosions, but do use either repurposed plastic soda bottles or thick glass champagne bottles: wine bottles, etc. could burst.

  7. Debbie holt says:

    Thank you very much for replying so fast.

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