hist-brewing: Ground Ivy

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Fri Jul 7 18:08:56 PDT 2000


    Alehoof  is nice bittering and preservative agent and when it is
freshly dried
it has a pleasant aromatic quality that can add  character to most ales.
Personally, i favor it almost as much as Wood Sage and Bog Bean.    In
Cornwall
they used to use the dried leaves in both the boil and in the mash,
although i am
unsure as to the reasons for the latter.  The Welsh used the ivy as well
as the
leaves during the boil but i have had best luck using it as a tea.
    Off hand i'd say that how much one uses depends upon the gravity of
the Ale or
Braggot in question.  For drinks under say 1.050 or so i reason that  14
to 21
grams is the way to go.  If perchance your making something in the 1.060
to say,
1.080 or so range you'll do better with 21 - 32 grams.  For serious
stuff between
1.080 and 1.100 35 to 50 grams would be needed.
    Although allot of good folks place the stuff right into the boil i
think using
a tea made with half a pint of water per 14 grams of  the spice boiled
for 30
minutes or so is best.  Also, i have never gotten the bittering or
anti-septic
agent content right during the boil alone so add some of the tea, just a
tad,
during the first fermentation.  You ought to sample your brew as it
conditions
every couple of weeks to see if the bitterness is on target.  If not,
add add a
spoonful of  the tea and wait a couple more weeks before sampling
again.  Oh, go
with the lower estimates if you don't plan on having the ale sit about
for over 4
months.  If you think you'll have it around longer tend towards the
higher side.
Don't store anything other then high gravity stuff using ground ivy as a
preservative for over a year.
    In my experience, it typically takes 4-6 weeks for the harsh twang
like
quality inherent with the spice to go away.  Keep in mind that it is not
a
particularly good aromatic or flavoring component so i would think in
terms of
coriander, cardamom, cloves, vanilla, anise, licorice, Linden, carduus
and fruits
to compliment it.  Don't forget that all gruits that i have familiarity
with work
better with high mash temperatures.
    One last point,  make sure the spice is dried & cut before using
it.  You can
dry it in any clean well aired place although you'll get best results if
it's
hanging.

PBLoomis at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 7/6/00 10:07:41 PM Central Daylight Time,
> euphonic at flash.net writes:
>
> >  Ground ivy is also known as Alehoof, creeping jenny or Glechoma Hederacea.
> >  It was quite popular throughout the 1500's in Wales particularly and Gerard
> >  claims "that strengthens and cleanses ale and drinker" if your looking for
> > those qualities in your gruit you know what to do.
> >
>     Great!  Jazzbo Bob had overflow production on his alehoof, and is
> shipping me some.  Since I'm new to gruits, what would you recommend
> I do with it?  Do I boil it like hops?  What other gruit herbs/roots work
> well with it?  How much of each for a 5-gallon batch?
>     My great ignorance is exceeded only by my desire to learn.
>     Scotti
>
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