hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #593

JazzboBob at aol.com JazzboBob at aol.com
Fri May 12 20:33:01 PDT 2000

I made a Yarrow ale last year based upon a Buhner recipe.  I used 3# malt 
extract, 1# brown sugar, and 2 1/2 ounces dry yarrow in 4 gallons water (No 
Hops).  OG was 1.036 and FG was 1.010.  It remained extremely bitter and 
astringent even after aging one year.  I had it in a small keg and sampled it 
many times hoping that it would improve with time.  There were no signs of 
oxidation and the ale was brilliantly clear.
It had a powerful floral/yarrow aroma.  It was interesting to taste 
occasionally but not nearly as fun as my lemon balm ale and 18th and 19th 
century sage ales were. The best use I found for the yarrow ale was as a 
throat gargle when I was sick in the winter.  It seemed to help my cough. I 
didn't drink enough of it to develop any side effects.  Alas, the last two 
gallons went down the drain a few weeks ago to keg a 1.130 barley wine.
I'd suggest using a small amount of yarrow experimentally in your recipe to 
make sure that it doesn't overwhelm your beer.  This year I am growing four 
varieties of my own so I may have different results.
Bob Grossman
 My information on Yarrow says:
 "May cause a sensitivity in sunlight and artificial light, in which the skin
 breaks out and swells. The FDA data bank, PAFA, has not yet done a toxicology
 literature search on this food additive."
 (A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, 1994 edition; Ruth Winters)

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