hist-brewing: Links on Bee Balm beer

Bill certainkindoffool at gmail.com
Sun Jul 6 09:16:23 PDT 2008

Here's what I've found about putting Bee Balm aka Bergamot into beer:

Article from the Boston Globe about the worldwide hops shortage.  At the end
of the article it talks about the brewmaster from Watch City Brewery using
bee balm as a hops substitute.  I am working on getting a hold of the

Contains an article about a gruit mead that talks about bee balm (apparently
was originally an email over this listserv).  The author is saying that you
don't want to steep it too long because the long-term steeping creates an
"unpleasant warming sensation" in the back of your throat.

This is a thread about lemon balm in beer.  One person says to avoid putting
bee balm directly in beer, but instead to tincture it.

Just talks about different herbs useful in brewing, catagorizing them into
bittering, flavoring, and aromatic.  Bee Balm is classified into both
flavoring and aromatic, although I'm pretty sure it could also serve as a
bittering agent.

"The Blackfeet Indians recognized the strong antiseptic action of these
plants, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor
wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat
infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee Balm is the natural
source of the antiseptic Thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern
commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a tea made from bee Balm
as a general stimulant. Bee Balm was also used as a carminative herb by
Native Americans to treat excessive flatulence.  Although somewhat bitter
due to the thymol content in the plants leaves and buds, the plant has a
very similar flavor to oregano, to which it is closely related."

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