Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Postby dartedplus » Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:41 pm

Has anyone here ever made gruit before???? For those who dont know what that is...its beer that uses certain psychotropic herbs for bittering instead of using hops. It therefore gives a slightly different "buzz" than just the beer alone. Anyhow, if someone has made it what was youe experience with it and what recipe pointers could you give

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Does Wit beer count?

Postby Freon12 » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:26 pm

No hops, what about it?
I have only read about it, but it follows that they stopped making it as soon as hops were availible so it might not be too good.

Happy holidays,
Strong Ale
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I have heard of it

Postby bigdosgood » Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:37 am

I also saw a book, I believe it may have been two at of all places! I was looking up a reference book of some sort and that came up.
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Watch out

Postby fitz » Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:08 am

Some of these hopless beers, or gruit contained herbs that had psycodelic or poisonous properties. I am all for a good time, but I prefer to kill my brain cells the old fashioned way sllooowwwllly.
I have also heard of using heather, sage, and other bittering herbs, but as far as the other buzz herbs I would think that these are very oily, which would give you no head retention, and probably illegal to use for consumption. I remember hearing of a drink made with worwood, that is illegal, and possibly quite deadly. Do yourself a favor and just make a good belgian triple, or barley wine. they'll get you seen double just fine
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I hear ya!

Postby bigdosgood » Mon Dec 01, 2003 8:45 am

I'm not into anything "exotic either, I just saw the books at Amazon and forwarded the info. I don't think I would try anything like this, I don't hve any extra braincells to spare!
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Postby BryansBrew » Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:28 pm

Ah yes, Gruits...

I've made a wormwood beer before and even the little amounts I used made the beer harshly astringent almost to the point of being undrinkable. I didn't come close to getting anything but the usual beer buzz.

more info:

Here is something I wrote on another forum:

Some brewing herbs include marsh rosemary, yarrow, wormwood, meadowsweet, licorice root, mugwort, chamomile, sweet gale, and MANY others...

Amounts- that's tricky because in each brewer's historical gruit recipe, they kept the herbs and amounts a guarded secret.

The only (homebrew) recipe I found was:
no hops / 75min boil for all-grain (extract can do 60m)
1oz Dried mugwort @60m
1oz Dried yarrow @60m
2g Dried sweet gale @10
.2oz Dried marsh rosemary @10

Some Traditional Scottish Brews:
Gruzet - gooseberry, bog myrtle, hops, meadowsweet

Alba - spruce & pine

Fraoch - heather, sweet gale

Ebulum - elderberry, oats, wheat.
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Try this book

Postby jayhawk » Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:43 pm

"Sacred and herbal healing beers : the secrets of ancient fermentation" by Stephen Harrod Buhner is a good one for this sort of info. The author of this book has a bias against hops, and really opens up a new door to brewing. I have never tried any of the recipes, but there is a lot of interesting info and it gives a great historical perspective on fermentation.

It is important to note that hops, as good as they are, have only been around for a very small part of human fermentation history. It is also important to note that fermentation, and the resulting alcohol, are great at dissolving the "trippy" compounds from various herbs into solution. You want to be careful about boiling too much of the herb because you may over bitter the wort and you may lose the precious "medicinal" properties of the herb. If you want to capture the physcoactive essence of the herb, it is probably best to steep it in the wort after the boil and/or in the secondary (similar to dry hopping). One day I am going to experiment with herbs, beer, and mead too. My problem is that I just can't seem to stop brewing (and drinking) all my favourit, more conventional, recipes.
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Sources for herbs

Postby dozi » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:08 pm

Hey all;

looking for some sources for wild rosemary and other hard to fine herbs for gruit making. Anyone know of any sources?
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Grow yer own

Postby jayhawk » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:54 pm

Now is a good of year to plant, or at least plan, a herb garden. The obvious drawback to this idea is the time and effort of maintaining a garden.
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