Wormwood Ale

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Brewtrog
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Wormwood Ale

Post: #280656 Brewtrog
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:21 am

Out of interest has anyone ever brewed one? I've recently bought a wormwood (artemesia absinthium) and it's growing merrily in the herb garden. The main reason I bought it was to try herb ales, rather than just using hops. Then I realised I didn't have a clue where to begin.
On a tangent, any ideas for a wine out of wormwood?

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Zech
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Re: Wormwood Ale

Post: #280660 Zech
Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:24 am

No, but I've been considering something similar. I don't have wormwood, but I have its wild relative, mugwort, in great abundance. I was considering combining it with dandelion, for bitterness, but I think wormwood may be quite bitter enough on its own.

Have you made other herbal ales?
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Re: Wormwood Ale

Post: #280663 MKG
Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:29 am

The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

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Re: Wormwood Ale

Post: #280879 Zech
Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:03 pm

Here's my attempt at an extract-based mugwort ale. My method is a little unorthodox, but it works pretty well.

For two (UK) gallons:
2 x 370ml jars malt extract (the kind that's sold in health food shops)
350g sugar, about half and half white and muscovado
flowering tips of mugwort - not sure what weight, but about 1 pint volume when covered with water and pressed down a little.
4 each of dandelion leaves and rosemary sprigs, because I couldn't stop myself meddling.
1 sachet bread yeast (it's so much cheaper than brewing yeast)

1. Put the mugwort in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to steep for... well, I forgot about it, so about two hours.
2. Put malt extract and sugars in a bucket with some hot water.
3. Strain liquid from mugwort onto sugars.
4. Dump mugwort, dandelion and rosemary leaves into a saucepan. Cover with boiling water and boil. After 20 min I tasted some and it was extremely bitter, so I stopped it there.
5. Strain liquid into bucket.
6. Top up to about 2 gallons and sprinkle on yeast.
I plan to leave this until it's calmed down - four days to a week, I expect - then bottle it.

So far, the wort (is that what the mixture's called at this stage?) tastes promising, if perhaps a little too bitter for my preference. Mind you, that was true of some kit beers I've made, and they turned out pretty well. I'll let you know how it's doing in a few weeks. It occurs to me that I'm setting myself the challenge of describing flavours. Hmm. Oh well, I'll do my best.
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Re: Wormwood Ale

Post: #280884 Brewtrog
Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:33 pm

it is wort at that stage. You don't really get an accurate taste of the beer from the wort - lots of changes take place in fermentation.
I actually have a recipe for a mugwort porter (in booze for free) but wasn't too sure how much more bitter wormwood is for substitution.


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