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Nettle "Beer".. an experiment in progress

Got a recipe for a nice black cherry burgundy? Got an opinion on a yeast that you just have to share? This is the place for you.

Postby mightymikeD » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:32 pm

OK, so, being a cheapskate I've always enjoyed making brews from whatever is around (mostly wines like Elderberry wine)..and god knows, one thing we have plenty of is stinging nettles. I did a bit of looking around online and saw lots of different recipes, some malted, some not.
Apparently nettles make for a bubbly, giddy beverage (I've had Badger's Stinger and liked it, but that's more an infusion of the weed) so I'm going to start out with the unmalted variety, get a feel for the taste and ingredients and see where we go from there.
Right now the nettles in the fields around us (avoiding car& dog-walking territory!) are pretty small, so gathering 1kg of tops (you only want the youngest leaves) was a bit of a chore. A good rule of thumb is one stuffed plastic bag=1 Kilo. An even better rule for your thumbs (and fingers) is to wear strong gloves while picking your crop.

According to the recipes, it's a kilo per gallon, so I've made a test batch as follows:

1kg fresh nettle tops (leave the stalks on)
200g Brown sugar
100ml concentrated lemon juice
Water (obviously)

I rinsed the nettle tops in batches in a colander to remove any guests then chucked them into a pot with 4.5L of cold water. Brought the water up to a boil for a couple of minutes then reduced heat and simmered for about 20 mins.
End result was (after straining) a nice amber-coloured tea. I added the sugar in solution and the lemon juice, gave it a stir and added 10g of bread yeast (I know, I know!)

It's in a small bucket,looking lonely and starting to ferment. A demijohn would have been a better idea but I've heard that this stuff blows tops fairly easily.

We'll see how it goes..
Fermenting: 'Happy Town' Red Ale
Conditioning:'I Will Dare' IPA, 'Left Of The Dial' Oatmeal Stout , 'Treatment Bound' Honey Ale
Drinking:'Repeater' Oatmeal Stout
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mightymikeD
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Location: Co. Cork

Postby TheBeerNut » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:36 am

Good luck! I hope it turns out better than this.
Beoir Chair

Fermenting: Cider
Running: Pale ale, IPA, Dry cider
Stock: Mead, Kit Barolo, Imperial stout, IPA, Quadrupel
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TheBeerNut
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Postby mightymikeD » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:26 pm

Heh.. jinxed it

I think something got tainted.. the smell was, shall we say "not good" after a few days. Down the drain with it!

Back to the drawing board (the nettles are much bigger now!)
Fermenting: 'Happy Town' Red Ale
Conditioning:'I Will Dare' IPA, 'Left Of The Dial' Oatmeal Stout , 'Treatment Bound' Honey Ale
Drinking:'Repeater' Oatmeal Stout
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mightymikeD
Beoir Member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:23 pm
Location: Co. Cork


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