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Old 05-30-2011, 02:18 AM   #1
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Default Anyone used Lemon Balm

I'm toying with making a light pale ale for summer. Maybe some Goldings hops, grains of paradise and some lemon.

I have some Lemon Balm growing in my back yard. Can that be used to add some lemon flavor. How much would I use and when would I add it.

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Old 05-30-2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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Good question! I've been reading up on it a little bit, and it seems like it will add some lemon/citrus something to your beer, and it might give the impression of sweetness as well.

I wonder if boiling it might be a bad idea, either due to evaporating the citrusy essences or maybe making it overly bitter. Maybe you want to make a tea of it with hot water and add it to the wort a bit at a time?

(And actually, make a tea of it in the first place, just to sip, and verify you like the flavor/scent?)

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:20 AM   #3
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Current thoughts are to add at flame out and steep for 30 minutes. Quantity ...... ???????, maybe something like 4 ozs fresh leaves.

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Old 05-30-2011, 05:06 AM   #4
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I added some to a hefeweizen for good effect. I put in ~10 chopped up leaves of it in the last 10 minutes of boil and it was really only noticeable if pointed out. It imparted a slightly tangy, almost minty aroma as well. Think "Key Lime pie" but dialed down a few notches. I will probably add more in the future to see if that impression pans out.

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Old 05-30-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
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There are some recommendations in Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, a good portion of dried can be added at 60 minutes or there is a recipe given that uses fresh tips during the ferment.

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Old 05-30-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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I have been thinking of doing this too, I have a ton of this growing in my yard and some of the leaves are huge. I was thinking of soaking the leaves in iodafor or starsan to kill the bugs and then run through a sanitized food processor. Then add to secondary, maybe in a weiss or light pale ale. Sound good?

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBrewer View Post
I have been thinking of doing this too, I have a ton of this growing in my yard and some of the leaves are huge. I was thinking of soaking the leaves in iodafor or starsan to kill the bugs and then run through a sanitized food processor. Then add to secondary, maybe in a weiss or light pale ale. Sound good?
Be careful the starsan/Idophor could take all the goodness out of them. Better to soak them in some vodka for a couple of days and add both the leaves and vodka to the brew. Obviously of adding during boiling, no sanitation is required.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:21 AM   #8
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Oh that's an awesome idea! That's what I will do. I plucked some today and it smells terrific, I just know if I can get the essence extracted it will taste awesome.

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Old 06-01-2011, 07:03 AM   #9
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Heres my go at a recipe:

Sweet Melissa American Blonde

10 lbs American 2 row
1 lb Carapils
1.5 oz Mt Hood 60 mins
1.25 oz Mt Hood 15 mins
.25 oz Cascade at flameout

Mash at 154 for 60

WLP001 or S-05

Rack to secondary
Add 10-15 Lemon Balm leaves that have been soaked in vodka

Thoughts?

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Old 06-01-2011, 07:36 AM   #10
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Default tasty brew

sounds tasty!

Looking forward to hearing how this one turns out!
--LexusChris

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