YEAST: a yellowish surface froth or sediment that occurs especially in saccharine liquids in which it promotes alcoholic fermentation, consists largely of cells of a fungus, and is used especially in the making of alcoholic liquors and as a leaven in baking

Bread and wine.  I like them both.  In fact, I’ve made them both – bread with more success than wine.

I like to make our bread.  Some weeks I slack and buy it at the store, but I prefer to make my own.  Homemade bread is one of those things that seems more impressive than it is.  It’s actually the perfect mommy activity.  It takes hours from start to finish, but the amount of time you need to pay attention to it is relatively small.  There are small burst of hands-on activity – generally one to five minutes worth – separated by hours of time where the yeast is doing the work for you.  And, the result is a delicious loaf that makes the house smell incredible.  I understand bread.  I’ve had relatively good success with it.

Wine is another story.  I tried making my own wine once.  In fact, I had Son help me.  I’m not sure where teaching a 3-year-old to cork wine ranks on the “bad mommy” scale:


I read about dandelion wine in one of my urban homesteading books and thought it sounded interesting.  I found an abandoned house and collected a gallon of dandelion blossoms from the yard.  For the record, it takes a long time to pick a gallon of dandelion blossoms. 

I followed the directions, but the results were terrible.  The wine turned out chewably sweet.  I think the recipe may have overcompensated for the bitterness of the blossoms.  We gave a few bottles to friends and family with an “it’s the thought that counts” disclaimer.  I keep a few bottles on our pantry shelf to remind me of the failed experiment. 

Can you see them mocking me from the second shelf on the right?

Sometimes I get cocky about my canning skills.  Those bottles of dandelion wine remind me that I still have lots to learn.  For now, I’ll make my bread and buy my wine.  But someday, I hope to master both.


7 thoughts on “Yeast

  1. It could be that the yeast you put in the wine died before it finished fermenting. The sugar is supposed to be in there for the yeast to convert into alcohol, not to sweeten the wine. If there was an excess of sugar, either the yeast died or you stopped the process early.

  2. Even though I have been sober for forty years; I can still remember enough to make a drinkable wine. Grape is too hard and even “Night Train” will be better than yours or mine. Go with fruit wine! Blackberry or Elderberry OR that Marion Berry that you have up there in “Cascadia”. Marion Berry would be my choice. Quick and dirty is thus. Squeeze the juice out of the berries and taste it. If it needs a touch of sugar go easy. Then add 12% sugar by VOLUME. Pour the sugar in and stir until it is dissolved and the level of the “juice & sugar” reaches the 12% mark that you put on the jug with a sharpie. Use wine yeast if you can get it, but bread yeast works too. You could research natural sources of yeast as it is everywhere; if you really want to step over the line of prudent behavior. Warm water (distilled) and mix the yeast; stir into the juice. Use a “lock” on the top of the jug or whatever you are using. There are stores that sell all the supplies and the wine yeasts. You don’t have to carry this out as a “Primitive”. Put the container of juice and yeast in a warm, dark place and wait for the bubbles to STOP. Strain the “wine” through a Melitta coffee filter. Let it sit for a couple of weeks and then drink it.

    Phillip AKA eggsuckingpup

    PS I don’t miss hangovers.

  3. Re-pro your Dandelion wine with a high alcohol wine yeast. You might be able to get enough sugar to convert to alcohol to make it drinkable. Worth a try.

  4. Showed pic of your son helping bottle wine to my husband. He has also earned a “bad parent” score for having our son help him with home brewing and bottling beer. But he was happy to see he has company in this arena!

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