hist-brewing: Traditional Aromatics

Joe Knapp jmk at copperas.com
Sat Oct 14 09:27:48 PDT 2000

How about using dried heather flowers rather than fresh? The former are
readily available through herb stores (Calluna vulgaris, Heather flowers,
whole). It makes a pretty good tea. I'm fermenting a 5-gal ale right now
with about 7 grams of the dried flowers present in the boil (as well as 4
grams of yarrow). Should be pretty subtle, but it's an experiment.

BTW, here's a heather ale recipe from Bruce Williams, quoted in Buhner's
"Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers":

6 lb U.S. 2-row barley
10-1/2 oz. amber malt
12-2/3 cups lightly pressed flowering heather tops
3/10 ounce Irish moss
5 gallons water
yeast and nutrient

Mash the malt at 153 degrees F for 90 minutes. Sparge to collect 5 gallons.
Add about one half gallon of lightly pressed heather tips and boil
vigorously for 90 minutes.

Run hot wort through a sieve filled with two cups of heather tips into the
fermenting vessel. Allow to cool and ferment at 61 degrees F for 7 to 10
days. When the gravity reaches 1.015, usually the fifth day, remove 1/2
gallon of ale, add two cups of heather flowers and warm to 158 degrees F.
Cover and steep for 15 minutes, then strain and return to fermenter. When
fermentation is complete, prime bottles, fill and cap.

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