hist-brewing: Nettle beer

Caller Web Bill bill at bracewel.demon.co.uk
Sat Jun 9 15:45:19 PDT 2001

Here you are for Deborah & Neophyte etc.

My mother's recipe: 

large bunch of nettles -Boil for 1/2 hour 

Have ready in a bowl 2lbs of sugar, 2 oz cream of tartar 2 oz bruised
ginger (root).  Rind (zest?) & juice of 2 lemons.  Pour on the boiling
nettles & add enough water to make up 2 gallons.  When nearly cold add
1oz yeast & ferment for a few hours then strain & bottle. 

I remember, as a kid, tales of exploding bottles from this. 

The Readers Digest book of Country Cooking has a recipe practically
identical (2 lb. of tender nettle shoots to 1 gallon) but advises
fermenting for a more reasonable 3 days before bottling.  

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in "A Cook on the Wild Side" says a carrier
bag of nettle shoots to 2.5 gallons & omits the ginger.  This is ready
for use in 2 days after a 3 day initial fermentation but OK up to a
month if you have the patience.

I found one recipe which uses  malt, hops & sugar:

2 gallons of nettle tops, 2 gallons of water, a race(?) of ginger, 4 lb.
of malt, 2 oz of hops.  Boil 1/4 hour & strain onto 1lb of sugar.  Beat
some yeast to a froth with a little of the liquor & add to the beer.

from "Country wines" by Mary Aylett

Caller Web Bill

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