Drying nettles

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Brewtrog
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Drying nettles

Post: #286678 Brewtrog
Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:24 pm

It's coming to a point where my store of dried nettles has been run down (after 2 years), with needing to replenish that and with the plan of brewing some nettle beer and wine, I'll be needing to dry a fair amount of nettles. Can anyone suggest any decent way to dry them? Tying them into bundles to hang is begging to be stung and when I dried them between newspaper last time a few layers got damp (admittedly they ended up sagging onto the floor), so does anyone have any idiot proof drying methods for this idiot?

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286681 Flo
Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:35 pm

Could you dehydrate them?

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286682 Brewtrog
Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:41 pm

I sadly don't have a dehydrator

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286685 Green Aura
Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:59 pm

I've dried herbs on a net curtain stretched over a wooden frame, placed somewhere that is either warm or gets the sun. It takes longer than a dehydrator but works OK.

Or on a baking sheet in a low oven.
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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286686 Brewtrog
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:02 pm

Always terrified of using the oven, far too easy to burn a few hours worth of forage

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286687 Brewtrog
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:11 pm

To be fair, looking at the price of a dehydrator, they're not that bad, although against buying one, I could just pick some dock at the same time, grit my teeth and just hang them off my bed as I do with any other herb

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286696 Green Aura
Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:12 am

You can just use the oven light - or pilot light if gas - it will take longer but will still do the job, as long as you don't forget them and turn the oven on. :pale:
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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286706 doofaloofa
Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:21 pm

How many are you talking trog?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286719 Brewtrog
Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:19 pm

Not too sure doofa, can't remember if the wine and beer ask for fresh or dry. The last time I foraged them there was enough (dry and crushed)to fill, very full, a large Marmite tub. That's probably half an hour's worth of picking.

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286720 doofaloofa
Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:07 am

So a bin bag full fresh?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286722 Brewtrog
Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:16 am

There or there about, I'm probably looking at filling my 30L pack, depending how long I'm out for and how many nettles are up when I go harvesting.

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286739 doofaloofa
Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:03 pm

This is what I'd do

Harvest on a sunny day, after the dew had dried, but before the sun had evaporated any volatile oils

Once home spread out on news paper, in a warm, dry shaded room, well ventilated

Dry this way for a day

The take a stalk and roll in news paper, then, once the stalk was completely covered by the paper, take another, roll it in, repeat till i had several stalks held inside a tube of paper

If I had any saved sachets of silica gel desiccant, left over from packaging, include one with each roll

Stack these rolls of herb in the airing cupboard/hot press

After a fortnight in the airing cupboard they should be nice and dry, with temperamental ingredients preserved, ready for crushing
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286762 Brewtrog
Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:48 pm

Sadly don't have a spare room to lay them out in, but the rolling the stems in newspaper idea is definitely on the think on, thanks for the idea

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Re: Drying nettles

Post: #286763 doofaloofa
Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:04 pm

high five!
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln


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