hist-brewing: Marsh Rosemary?

Andrew Carey careya at ix.netcom.com
Sat Jun 14 22:36:19 PDT 1997


Dear Gentlefolk of the List,
    I hope I amn't being redundant, but I'm fairly sure I sent this 
question to the wrong address last night.  My apologies if I am wrong; 
it's some years since I've dealt with mailing lists.
    I'm new to historical brewing, and fairly new to brewing in general 
(the project I'm contemplating would be my first all-grain).  I'm 
thinking about making a small batch, perhaps a gallon or two, of the OG 
80 "Gruit Ale" whose recipe is given in Dr John Harrison's _Old British 
Beers and How to Make Them_.
    I'm not quite sure about one of the ingredients in the gruit.  My 
local homebrew shop has myrica gale, and I'm sure I can scare up yarrow 
somewhere, but "Ledum Palustre (Marsh Rosemary)" has me thoroughly 
confused.  What is this herb?  I can't seem to find any other reference 
to it.  Is it related to the rosemary in my spice cabinet?  The 
Linnaean name given doesn't seem to indicate any relationship to 
convetional rosemary (Rosemaris something-or-other, if I remember 
rightly).  Are the two remotely similar in flavor?  
    Also, is there anything I should know about these herbs, myrica 
gale, marsh rosemary, and yarrow?  I seem to remember yarrow as an 
abortifacient--might this or any other harmful effects carry through in 
the beer?
                        Thanks much for any help,
                        Andrew
                        <careya at ix.netcom.com>

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