Thursday, November 29, 2012
Making Herbal Beer
Brewing beer at home is one of those hobbies that is both fun, and rewarding. For thousands of years, people have been making various types of home made beers and brews.
Steeped in traditons that have been passed down from generation to generation, these beers have been an integral part of the evolution of civilization as we know it. From ancient religious ceremonies to modern day backyard gatherings, it would appear that home made beer is here to stay.
Usually, homebrewers use hops as a way of attaining a certain amount of bitterness so as to offset the sweetness of the other ingredients. ..this site is dedicated to the use of herbs instead of hops (May the Lord Bless Charlie Mopps).
The use of herbs in homemade beer, changes the whole ballgame.
Herbalists have been making tinctures by soaking herbs in various types of hard alchohol for a long time, as a way of concentrating the effective compounds of the herbs they wish to use, and then putting the liquid into capsules, or simply as drops in a glass of water.
By infusing your homemade beers with herbs, you not only get to enjoy your homebrew, but you also get the medicinal benefits of the herbs you use in the beer. You'll want to explore the herb section of this website so that you will be able to choose which herbs will best serve your homebrewing needs.
Please know, and understand that some of the herbs listed should be used with caution. Some even have mild hallucinogenic properties when fermented.
Some of the herbs will create a strong, uplifting buzz, and others will put you to sleep on the couch. Either way, depending on your desired outcome, you will enjoy the benefits of the herbs you use in your homemade beer, and hopefully, the drink as well. Have fun, experiment, and keep on brewing.
The steps that you would take for brewing any other kind of beer are pretty much the same for brewing beer that you plan on using herbs with. Really, all you are doing is replacing the hops with whatever kind of herb you decide to use.
Recommendations for some tried and true herbs to use, are as follows:
The recipes on the recipe page will give some specific information as to how these different herbs should be used to create a drink worth drinking.
Ginger Beer used to be more popular than hopped beer, or even Cider. This recipe is one that you enjoy tremendously.
2 oz. ginger
3 lbs. malt extract
6 cups white sugar
1/4 cup rice (to increase the foam on the beer)
5 gal. water
and, of course, yeast
(try using a champaign yeast for added crispness)
Crush the ginger, and biol it for an hour with the rice. Strain it out, add the malt and sugar, mixing it well until it dissolves. Let it cool, and then put it into your fermenter, along with your yeast. Wait fir the fermentation to finish, and then transfer to bottles with 1/2 tsp. of additional sugar, and cap. Wait for about 3 weeks, and enjoy!
4 lbs. brown sugar
24 oz. molasses
4 gal. water
2 oz. dried mugwort
Boil everything together for half an hour, strain it into a fermenter, and add yeast. Allow to ferment until done, siphon into bottles with 1/2 tsp. sugar, and cap 'em up.
Wait for about 2 weeks, and pop a top...see what you think...Mugwort Beer will give you a pretty good buzz, so drink in the safety of your own home.
4 lbs brown sugar
4 gla. water
1/2 lb. dried lemon balm
follow same proceedure as above.
Lemon Balm is a pretty sweet herb, and you might consider adding a little bit of hops to the wort to contrast some of the sweetness. Those who don't generally care for regular beer tend to find this rather enjoyable because of the sweet lemony flavor.
1 oz hops
2 lbs honey
5 lbs light malt extract
5 gal water
1/4 oz wormwood during the last 15 minutes of the boil
follow same proceedure as above.
Warning!... wormwood has some psycotropic qualities to it. that's why you should only use a small amount. If larger quantities are used, skip the hops because the beer will come out extremely bitter. It will only take 2 or 3 beers to become inebriated. Stay home, stay safe.
5 lbs malted barley
6 oz of dried yarrow
5 gallons water
Follow same proceedure as above, except boil for a full hour. You could add some hops, or other herb during the last 15 minutes of the boil to get it a little more bitter, and offset some of the sweetness.
To get a stronger flavor of the yarrow, you can use half of the yarrow in the boil, and then put the other half in a muslin bag, and allow it to remain in the fermenter until fermentation is complete.(you can use the same method with any of these recipes)
Any herbs could be used to create your own particular beer. Just check out the herb description page, and decide for yourself which herbs you are interested in trying.
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