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Any decent recipies for nettle beer?

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by wanderingblade, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. wanderingblade

    wanderingblade Settler

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    Tried my hand at some nettle beer last week.

    Used nettles, ground ivy, honey and yeast.

    One week on and it seems I've mastered the art of distilling essence of tramp corpse in a cess pit.


    Has anyone got any decent recipies - I prefer to use honey rather than sugar if possible.

    On a more positive note, the cider has turned out very nicely and the ginger beer is bubbling away like crazy :cool:
     
  2. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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    Am i right in thinking the monks brought that into the country in the mediaeval period to use as a bittering agent for beer? If they did, unfortunately, it got loose in the wild ... it's the very devil to get out of a garden.


    Anyway, a friend of mine used to make nettle beer some years ago now. He used to put cartons of orange juice in: I suppose that's a cheap form of fermentable sugar but also adds some flavour. It was OK ... sort of.


    I've got an old book with historic recipes in that says English country people used to use some cream of tartar, ginger, and lemon juice. I guess the two last are do with flavouring it. I don't know what the cream of tartar would be there for. It's actually a by-product of winemaking, and in the kitchen usually turns up as an acidifying agent to activate baking soda. Maybe it's there to adjust the pH and make the conditions for fermentation more favourable or something.

    Looking around online, it seems many people are still doing something like that. Here's an example:

    http://www.farminmypocket.co.uk/growing/wild-food/nettle-beer

    You could replace the sugar with honey I guess, but you've probably got enough going on in terms of flavour already. And of course to the yeast it's all just sugar to be converted into alcohol, sucrose (which is a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose) if it's table sugar and (mostly) the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, if it's honey.
     
  3. wanderingblade

    wanderingblade Settler

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    Thanks for the info - link, I'll give it another crack next tiem I find some nice fresh nettles 9all a bit scraggy at the moment)
    still, the nettle soup was very nice and the cider is going down a treat!
     
  4. Bowlander

    Bowlander Full Member

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    I saw a post on a homebrew forum asking if nettle beer should smell like vomit. Instead of saying the batch is wrong or something, folk just replied saying it is an acquired taste!! I save my brewing for fruit wines and cordials.
     
  5. DaveBromley

    DaveBromley Full Member

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    I've made nettle beer and got the same result, i thought i'd done something wrong but on giving it to someone who has had it before he said that i'd done a good job. I couldnt drink it and gave the entire brew to this guy who happily guzzled the lot.

    Make ginger beer instead I've got a recipe for 24 hour ginger beer that finishes about 3% and can be drunk within 2 weeks

    Dave
     
  6. brancho

    brancho Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    It was rather sour when I made it rather like lambic beer I have been thinking of having another go with honey
    Look HERE and HERE
     
  7. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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    Spring is best, I think.

    The River Cottage people also have a recipe at the Grauniad. Should be easy enought o find online.

    That's similar but much more controlled and detailed process with plenty of sterilization. I guess that should give more reliable results -- although all the sulphites might give anyone who drinks it a headache.
     

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