Herbal Brews

A few tried and tested herbal beer and champagne recipes.

Apart from making a fairly regular Elderflower champagne, I haven’t delved much into herbal brewing. Although I did make a rather delicious Dandelion wine once in my early 20’s when I was entering the world of herbalism. It wasn’t until last year at the beginning of running a herbal alchemy that I was directed by the Mugwort deva to make Mugwort beer as an offering. That’s one of the beautiful things about listening to plants and the art of shamanic herbalism – you never know what the plants will ask or the direction they’ll get you to expand into!
Now I’ve gathered the goods (an airlock is very cheap, and i discovered that the big ceramic vessel that sat unused in the living room is actually a demijohn so that was easier to find than expected), I’m finding it quite fascinating exploring the art of herbal brewing.

Below I’ll share recipes for

1. Rosemary beer

2. Mugwort beer;

3. Elderflower champagne

Enjoy your brewing!


Rosemary Beer

Ingredients:
– 335g organic rice (malt) syrup
– 225g organic rapadura/panela brown sugar
– 60g fresh rosemary leaves
– 3.75 litres water
– 1g yeast (proper beer/wine yeast)

To make the wort:
Boil the water, add the herbs, sugar and syrup, stirring to dissolve.
Simmer for half an hour.
Let cool to room temperature. Once it is cool, add yeast.
Strain into a demijohn.
Fit airlock and leave somewhere warm.

When fermentation has slowed down, prepare your glass bottles. If your demijohn is clear, you can see the fermentation slowing down. If your demijohn is opaque, the water in the airlock will start to come back to its starting point when it’s ready and be very slow to bubble.

Glass bottles with swing tops are best. Add half a teaspoon of sugar to each bottle (750ml) for the final fermentation. Then using a tube and a large funnel (mine is too small and I always get covered in beer!), siphon the beer from the demijohn into the bottles. This is a two person job!!! I have learned to do it outside!

Let this final fermentation sit for 2 weeks.

Beer is ready to drink!


Mugwort Beer

This is the same recipe as for Rosemary beer, except I used molasses instead of malt syrup to get a dark beer. I warn you though, it makes the flavour very minerally and strong. If I make again, I’d probably use part rice syrup and part molasses rather than molasses on its own.


Elderflower Champagne

This is a non alcoholic champagne, delicious and incredibly bubbly!
Be careful on opening, it’s just like real champagne!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large flower heads of Elderflower
  • 680g organic sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • 4.54 litres spring water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Gently pull the flowers off the stems – they come off quite easily when you discover the knack. If you’re present it is quite easy, if you’re in a rush, you’ll end up with the stalks, which is said to taint the flavour.
Add lemon juice, sugar, vinegar and cold water and stir to dissolve sugar.
Let sit for 2 days.
Then strain into glass bottles and leave to sit for 2 weeks.
Then she’s ready to drink!


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