Making Lilac Wine

Let’s make some Lilac Wine.  I am not completely done with the process, but it’s going well and I’m confident enough to share what I’ve done.  I roughly followed the instructions from here.  Start now by saving your lilacs.  You can store them in the freezer until you have enough, then give them a second life by making Lilac Wine.

Making Lilac Wine

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • 3-1/2 quarts lilac flowers, fresh or frozen
  • 2-1/2 lb granulated sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 7-1/2 pts water
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient (You can order it here)
  • Champagne yeast (You can order it here)

In terms of supplies, there are a few basic items you should have.  You can often find these on craigslist, and definitely at a brewing supply store.  But you can also order them easily from amazon.  I have put together a little gizmo to show you.

What to Do:

1. Make Lilac Tea.  Bring your water to a boil. Put your flowers in your (sterilized) fermentation bucket, pour the boiling water over them, and put the lid on.  Leave them to steep for 48 hours.
2.  Pour the tea into your fermenting bucket.  Use a strainer to remove the petals, and press on them to get the most flavor into your liquid.
3.  Add sugar, yeast nutrient, and lemon juice.  Stir these in until they are dissolved, then sprinkle the yeast on top.  Don’t stir the yeast in.  Cover tightly with the lid, and let it ferment for 7 days.
4.  Using a funnel, pour the liquid into your glass carboys and put the airlock on them.
5.  Ferment, rack, repeat.  After fermenting for one month, rack your wine.  This just means siphoning it into another sterilized demijohn.  I have done this at least twice, maybe three times now.  My wine is still cloudy, so I will keep waiting and racking.  One thing I will note about my own process is that I started with less sugar then recommended here, and when I tasted it, realized that it had quickly eaten all of the sugar and was getting too dry too quickly.  I have added sugar with each racking, but I think if I had started with these recommendations, I probably would not have had to.  And just a warning here– if you DO add sugar to this, it will foam up really fast because of the type of yeast.  I made a big mess!
6.  When your wine is pretty clear, it’s time to bottle it.  I’m at month 3 and not ready yet, but it tastes really good and promising!  Since we are using champagne yeast, you will want to make sure you’re using swing-top bottles to release some of the excess carbon dioxide, as needed.  Age for 3-6 months after bottling, and then enjoy!I will update this post when I bottle my wine, and I’ll tell you all about it.
Now, go get started with this lovely brew! You will be so  glad you did so this winter, when you need to taste the promise of springtime.Making Lilac Wine  And Here We Are...
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10 Responses to Making Lilac Wine

  1. albina N muro September 9, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    So Tai decided, as lilac season sprung into a frenzy, that we must make lilac wine. The only challenge was where to get enough flower heads. food and wine matching

  2. aaron June 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    How did your wine turn out? I’m super curious.

    • ariana August 11, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      It came out really dry and aromatic! I could have definitely used a bit more sugar, but good!

  3. latimerletters May 3, 2015 at 2:41 am #

    What do you think about lavender as a substitute? We live in Oregon, US and it is plentiful!

    • ariana May 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      You know, I think you’d get a very soapy flavor with lavender. Maybe do a quick search on lavender wine, and I am sure the process is similar, if it’s out there. Loads of lilacs in Oregon, too! Maybe you’ll have some friends who are willing to let you harvest in exchange for a bottle?

  4. Steve Besser May 22, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    Thank you for this…..I was just starting a batch of a dandelion wine, and was perusing the net to see how others were doing it and stumbled onto your page…..as of tonight, I now have dandelion AND lilac wine fermenting…..I had no idea as I smelled them in the neighborhood, that they make a good wine….we shall see. I have to say though, picking the individual flowers and avoiding the green stuff is more tedious and time consuming than I would have imagined…..

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