hist-brewing: herbs for old ale
fabricus at hvi.net
Thu Nov 3 15:48:59 PST 2005
Sweet gale, bog myrtle, is a fine brewing herb. The seeds are very
resiny, reminiscent of freshly sawn douglas fir wood with an admixture
of nutmeg. The leaves are fruity aromaed with a tannic tea-like
character. I reccomend it highly for both beer and mead.
Yarrow I don't find appealing; fresh it has a nice smell, but boiled,
it tastes like boiled weeds.
Wormwood has a nice aroma (some plants noticeably better than others)
but it's astoundingly hitter. Unlike hops, the bitterness attacks early
in the taste and lasts long after the swallow. I have woken up with the
bitterness of the prior evening's wormwood beverage in my mouth. My next
attempt I will steam-distill wormwood to collect the volatile oils, in
hope of being able to separate the aroma from the bitterness. Although
I love the aroma, I can't recommend wormwood. Chinese wormwood has
similar aromatics and is less bitter; it might be a better prospect.
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