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Old 06-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
Priemus
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Default Gruit ale

I have been reading about Gruit ale, basically unhopped beer (using hop substitutes), which infact predates populiar use of hops in beer.

The site I have been reading is:

http://www.gruitale.com

And it has a lot of recipes there:

http://www.gruitale.com/recipes_en.htm

I have a friend trying the first one, the Norwegian "Skull splitter", maybe he will let me upload his pictures, but has anyone else tried making beer like this before? any Gruit Ales you might recommend?

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Old 06-03-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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Me too. I've been reading Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers and there are a ton of great hop-alternative recipes.

I'm having trouble finding bog myrtle/mugwort and sweet gale/myrica gale though. Any sources?

-Joe

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Old 06-03-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Default Search is your friend...

Pretty good discussion here of no hop beer. But search for Gruit and many threads will come up.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ever-made-beer-out-hops-101647/

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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I find gruit ale a fascinating topic. I've been meaning to try making some for a while. I've got mugwort, juniper and yarrow in my garden. I wish I could get a hold of some marsh rosemary and sweet gale.

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effigyoffaith View Post
I find gruit ale a fascinating topic. I've been meaning to try making some for a while. I've got mugwort, juniper and yarrow in my garden. I wish I could get a hold of some marsh rosemary and sweet gale.
As a follow on to the previous reference thread someone made a bit of some historical recipe that the poster Bob had suggested. I failed to find that thread. But it was very interesting.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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Sweet gale can be bought at Midwest Supplies.

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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http://img180.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=30150101501885167202147.jpg

Hows that for county style norwegian home brewing?
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:40 AM   #8
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Default Gruit ales

Priemus, those photos of your friends brew session? What is the plant he is cutting to make the filterbed in his mash?

I too was inspired from gruitale.com to make my own gruit ale. I've done 2 iterations on my recipe now, with a 3rd planned for this summer. Last year's came out well, and I enjoyed it very much. I want to get this 3rd try under my belt before posting the recipe, as I feel adding some yarrow flowers to the fermenter will really make this a great brew!

Basically, I decided to start with a scotish old ale recipe, because I wanted something with a malty profile as a base. I skipped the hops, and put some greater wormwood in the boil for bittering, with a touch of sweet gale. Then, I put more sweet gale and touch of wormwood in the primary after fermentation stopped (like a dry hop).

Be careful of the wormwood. That is one BITTER herb! It will completely kill your tastebuds, so a very little goes a LONG way.

Sweet gale is a delightful herb. Very pleasant and aromatic.

I recently used some yarrow flowers in a mead, and it was also a wonderful aromatic addition. I plan to 'dry hop' with yarrow in my next batch.

It will also take a few months of aging to allow the gruit herbs to mellow out in the brew. Young tastings can be very bitter and harsh. I think it really comes out best after at least 6 months.

Starwest Botanicals provided excellent quality herbs ... I would recommend taking a look there.

Good luck!
--LexusChris

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Old 06-22-2010, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostalgia View Post
Me too. I've been reading Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers and there are a ton of great hop-alternative recipes.

I'm having trouble finding bog myrtle/mugwort and sweet gale/myrica gale though. Any sources?

-Joe
While I appreciate the book for what it is, the author obviously hasn't tried to make most of the recipes, and doesn't even seem to know all that much about brewing in the first place. There are too many recipes based on 100% simple sugar as the fermentable for me to take the recipes very seriously. But it is interesting to read and to get a little background and use practices for many herbs.

By the way, though I haven't used them, I've heard wildweeds.com is a good source for hard to find gruit herbs.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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He said it was juniper bush, I tried the beer last week he made btw, was fantastic kinda tasted like Scandinavian Christmas beer, but uncarbonated. Took a few bottles and carbed em up, went from fantastic to unreal.

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