Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Planning to make a gruit
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
RealFloopyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default Planning to make a gruit

I am going to make a gruit. I plan to just order an extract kit from Northern brewer for a Scottish ale and just replace the hops. I was reading around and they sound pretty interesting. This is the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Grain bill

13 pounds / 6 Kg english pale malt
4 pounds / 2 Kg crystal malt
3 pounds / 1.3 Kg German pilsner malt (roasted at 350°F / 175°C for 20min)
2 pounds / 1 Kg German Munich malt

Extra

¾ cups corn sugar for priming
1 tbs. irish moss

Herbs

2 onces / 50-60g of Yarrow
2 onces / 50-60g of Wild rosemary
2 onces / 50-60g of Bog myrtle

Yeast

Wyeast 1028 London Ale

30 minute boil for all 3 herbs, 1 ounce each.
Then dryhopping while fermenting with 1 ounce each.

It was taken from gruitale.com


I have found sources for all the different ingredients.

A lb of some of the ingredients is a lot cheaper per ounce, if anyone else is interested then let me know, maybe we can do a group buy or something?

Anyone have anything to add to the recipe or suggestions if they have made it before, thanks.




Also, here is an article I found and enjoyed reading.


The Fall of Gruit and the Rise of Brewer's Droop
By Stephen Harrod Buhner

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Harrod Buhner

It would have been inconceivable to our ancestors that gruit could ever be forgotten. But ask anyone today what it is and a blank stare or a bad joke aboutgardening will be all you will get - unless for some reason you happen to ask a beer historian. But for most of European history gruit (or sometimes grut) was what beer was. If you went into a pub in the middle ages in most of continental Europe you would have been served gruit. Hopped beers came much later, gaining dominance about 1750 A.D. - though gruit ale continued to be brewed in small, out-of-the-way places until World War 2. Many people think hops became an additive to beer for its bittering and preservative qualities but the truth is quite different. Gruit was primarily a combination of three herbs: sweet gale (Myrica gale),
yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and marsh rosemary (Ledum palustre) though each commercial gruit ale varied somewhat. Different brewers added other herbs (such as juniper berries, ginger, caraway seed, aniseed, nutmeg, and cinnamon (1)) to produce unique tastes, flavors, and effects in their ale. The exact formula for competing gruit ales was, like that for Coca Cola, proprietary - a closely guarded secret. Each
of the three primary gruit herbs was also used alone in brewing simple beers in cottage practice. And references to one particular quality of those herbs abound in the literature of the times; they were extremely inebriating when fermented. The brewing historian Odd Nordland comments that among rural Norwegian brewers "It was said locally that when one drank much of [sweet gale], it was strongly intoxicating, with unpleasant after effects." (2) The English herbalist Maude Grieve notes in her seminal Modern Herbal that "The leaves [of marsh rosemary] are reputed to be more powerful than those of Ledum latifolium [Labrador Tea], and to have in addition some narcotic properties, being used in Germany to make beer more intoxicating." (3) But among them all yarrow, the innocuous garden herb, was best known as an inebriant. Odd Nordland explains:
According to Linneaus, it was used by the people of Lima in Dalecarnia,
instead of hops, when they brewed for weddings: '. . . so that the guests
become crazy.' Linneaus called the plant galentara, 'causing madness',
and this plant 'which the people of Lima sometimes use in their ale stirs
up the blood and makes one lose one's balance.'. . . Yarrow is in no way
innocent when mixed with ale. It has a strong odour and flavour, and well
deserves the name Linnaeus gave it, to indicate the frenzy that was said
to result from it. (4)

Modern scientific research has born out the fact these herbs do contain substances that are mildly narcotic, psychotropic, or inebriating. In fact, indigenous cultures throughout the world used these herbs for at least 60,000 years, not only for their medicinal actions but also as mild inebriants and sexual stimulants.
To understand why hops replaced gruit it is important keep in mind the properties of gruit ale: it is highly intoxicating and aphrodisiacal when consumed in sufficient quantity. Gruit ale stimulates the mind, creates euphoria and enhances sexual drive. Hopped ale is quite different. Contemporary scientific research has conclusively demonstrated that hops contains large quantities of estrogenic and soporific compounds. In fact hops has been used for many thousands of years in traditional medical practice as a natural estrogen replacement therapy and to help insomniacs sleep. The high level of plant estrogens in hops makes hopped beer an extremely good drink for women in menopause but also makes it a very bad drink for men. Consumption by men of large levels of estrogenic compounds can lead to erection problems later in life. In fact, there is a well-known condition in England called Brewer's Droop which is regularly contracted by bartenders and brewers after years of exposure to hopped beers and ales.
Hops, when it began to be suggested for use as a primary additive to beer, was bitterly resisted - it was thought to be decidedly unhealthy as a primary ingredient in brewing. And hops' introduction was fought through the legislatures, proclamations of the royalty, writings of the day's medical practitioners, and through church edict.

Brewers in England complained to the Mayor of London about hops and noted that there was "a deceivable and unholesome fete in bruying of ale within the said citee nowe of late [that] is founde in puttyng of hoppes and other things in the said ale, contrary to the good and holesome manner of bruynge of Ale of old tyme used. . . . Pleas it therfore your saide good lordshyppe to forbid the putting into ale of any hops, herbs, or other like thing, but only licour, malte, and yeste." (5)
In Germany, as beer historian John Arnold comments:

"Hopped beers, not alone their manufacture but also their importation into the domains of the Archbishop of Cologne, were strictly prohibited in various edicts, and infractions threatened with severe penalties. The reason for this was two-fold. First, the manufacture of gruit was a privilege, exploited or granted by the archbishop and bishops, hence a source of large revenue for them, a veritable ecclesiastical monopoly. Second, "gruit" contained herbs and spices, meeting the taste of that time (and of succeeding centuries), its composition being a mystery for the common people, and in any event a trade secret for the privileged manufacturer. This privilege was now threatened in the highest degree by the hops and hopped beers which began to appear from different localities." (6) . . . "How determinedly the archbishops for the reasons mentioned opposed the introduction of hopped beers [can be seen] from a decree issued, April 17, 1381, by Archbishop Frederick of Cologne, in behalf of the maintenance of the gruit monopoly, according to which not only the brewers, but also the clergy, the military and the civilians, in fact, anybody who wanted to brew beer were commanded to buy their gruit in the episcopal bruit-houses; furthermore, the importation of 'hopped beer' from Westphalia was prohibited, and so was the brewing of such beers in Cologne itself, under pain of the severest penalties which the Church could inflict." (7)

Hops, until this time, was merely one of the plants used all along in the production of beer - the earliest mention of its use probably being in Hildegard of Bingen's (1098-1179) Physica Sacra. It finally gained herbal dominance in Germany (the first place its use was legally required) nearly the same time that Martin Luther was excommunicated by the Catholic church in 1520. This, I think, is not mere coincidence.
One of the arguments of the Protestants against the Catholic clergy (and indeed of Catholicism) was Catholic self-indulgence: in food, drink, and lavish life style. And it was this Protestant outrage that was the genesis of the temperance movement. (It would not stop, of course, with the assault on gruit ales but would continue on to include ale itself and any kind of psychotropic or inebriating plants and drinks by the twentieth century.) The Protestant reformists were joined by merchants and competing royals desiring to break the brewing monopoly of the church. The result was, ultimately, the end of a many-thousand-year tradition of herbal beer making in Europe and the narrowing of beer and ale into one limited expression of beer production, that of hopped ales or what we today call beer. The majority of historical beer writers insist that this was only because (after some 10,000 years) our ancestors accidentally discovered that hops was antiseptic enough to preserve beer. Our ancestors were neither that blind nor narrow in their empiricism. Hops kept the beer from spoiling, yes, however a number of other herbs possess strong antibacterial properties and can help beer "keep." Many of those herbs were commonly used in ale, for instance wormwood and juniper. But hops possesses two characteristics notably different than the herbs it replaced - it causes the drinker to become drowsy and it diminishes sexual desire. Protestant literature of the time, denoting the "problems" associated with the gruit herbs, contradict contemporary beer historians and are in actuality some of the first drug control manifestos on record. The laws that eventually passed in the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries restricting the number of herbal additives used in brewing are actually the first drug control laws ever passed. As Nordland reveals:

"At the time the decree of 1667 ordered an increase of cultivation of hops in Norway, the authorities in continental Europe were generally trying to abolish the use of grut and bog myrtle in brewing. The provincial laws of Bavaria, of 1533 and 1616, imposed severe penalties on anyone brewing ale with herbs and seeds not normally used for ale. Similar laws were passed in, for instance, Holstein in 1623, and [in Norway bog myrtle] was expressly forbidden together with other 'unhealthy material'. As late as 1723, the laws of Brunswick-Luneburg made it a punishable offence for a brewer to have the dangerous Post [bog myrtle], or other herbs imparting a dangerous potency to the ale, in his house. It is stated that, in spite of earlier warnings, this practice had continued to the peril of the lives and health of His Majesty's subjects.' (8)

The historical record is clear that hops' supplantation of other herbs was primarily a reflection of Protestant irritation about "drugs" and the Catholic church in concert with competing merchants trying to break a monopoly and so increase their profits. The motivations were religious and mercantile. Reasons not so different than the ones used to illegalize marijuana in the United States in the twentieth century. That this occurred is regrettable. Though gruit herbs do possess mild inebriating activities they are actually quite healthy for people when used in moderation. Though
it might seem from the descriptions of the ancient writers that gruit herbs are in the same category as what we call "drugs" today they are in fact more similar in their effects to tequila than marijuana. The writers who described the dangerous effects of gruit were in fact those who wanted to outlaw their use and stop the indiscriminate use of excitants (as well as make money by being able to brew a competing product). But once hops supplanted gruit the vast majority of men throughout the western world were still being drugged by their beer only now they were being drugged into a dull, flaccid sleepiness.

__________________
RealFloopyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
climateboy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 460
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Hey there. I am planning a gruit as well, and I would be interested in going in on the ingredients.

What are your thoughts as to their safety, though? I have read different opinions on the advisability of using yarrow and wild rosemary. Mosher in Radical Brewing advises against it. Others say go ahead.

__________________

"Mas vale bolo famoso que alcoholico anonimo."

Join DC Homebrewers


"Fermentation Without Representation"
(C)

climateboy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
RealFloopyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I went ahead and ordered it because I found a brew shop that had it at comparable prices and had the shipping was only a couple dollars. The site was Brew Brothers, I ordered a couple ounces of the wild rosemary and sweet gale. I already have quite a bit of yarrow.

My thoughts as to their safety is this: There is a question about the safety of eating eggs. There are few things in the world that haven't been accused of horrendous health defects. I am familiar with the sweet gale and the yarrow. The history of usage on these herbs is very long.

Given that there are commercial examples that are sold around the world of gruits using these herbs, I think the risk is pretty minimal. I don't intend to drink 10 of these a day for the next year or anything, I will likely only make a gallon at first to try it out.

Overall, I would say Tylenol is probably worse for you than these herbs in the minor amounts present in this recipe.

__________________
RealFloopyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2014, 03:24 PM   #4
RealFloopyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I ended up making the gruit in November, and after it finished fermenting I dryhopped(teabagged? lol) it with more of the herbs. Then I forgot about it. It definitely has a lot of herbal character.

__________________
RealFloopyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2014, 05:18 PM   #5
sablesurfer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sablesurfer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 456
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 119

Default

Juged a yarrow gruit once and it was amazing, wish I'd be able to track the entry/recipe later that weekend.

Please post your tasting notes, I want to do guits as well soon.

__________________
sablesurfer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2014, 10:53 PM   #6
kingboomer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: commerce city, CO
Posts: 196
Liked 48 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 398

Default

Subbed.
that read in your first post is enough to make me want to give it a go.

__________________
kingboomer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2014, 05:06 AM   #7
dios_es_un_tortuga
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
Likes Given: 1

Default

I enjoy the taste of yarrow beers. It's safety concerns are specific to people with ragweed allergies, so if you don't have that you're fine. Bog myrtle has safety concerns for people who are pregnant, but so does alcohol, so no conflict there. Randy Mosher did scare me away from the wild rosemary, but I don't remember the specifics. Regular rosemary makes a great aroma hop substitute though. From what I understand these herbs weren't often used together, but rather were each the primary bittering herb for a gruit ale. You might could use one along with some other flavoring herbs and have a tasty gruit.

__________________
dios_es_un_tortuga is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-10-2014, 11:12 PM   #8
RealFloopyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Unfortunately, after I racked it and left it dry hopped it appeared to turn to vinegar or got infected. Either way it wasn't too flowery. It had a rather sharp bitter flavor to it.

I am going to blame the herbs not being sanitary. Maybe I should of soaked them in grain alcohol. Maybe I will just leave out the dry hopping part of it next batch.

I have enough for a couple more 1 gallon batches. It was rather flowery and interesting when I put it into secondary. Too sweet without the bitterness from hops. I don't think the malty taste lent itself well to the herbs, but that might of mellowed out in time if it hadn't turned to vinegar. I might be using entirely too much of the flavoring herbs too.

Next brew day, I will try it again.

__________________
RealFloopyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
sablesurfer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sablesurfer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 456
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 119

Default

Interesting.
We dry hop beer because there are different compounds in the hops that will come out under differing enviroments. I have have not actually heard the same for other herbs. We never 'dryhop' tea for instance (afaik).
If your guit was not high enough in alcohol it could easily have picked up some infection from dried herbs.
Wondering if that last bit is actually traditional or just cause we are used to doing it with hops.

__________________
sablesurfer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-12-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
RealFloopyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I always thought the purpose in dryhopping was to give it the uncooked flavor and smell. Kind of like the difference between eating a cooked and a raw carrot. I will probably just bypass it on the next gruit try.

__________________
RealFloopyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gruit ale Priemus Recipes/Ingredients 13 07-09-2014 07:02 PM
Gruit and IBU finley General Beer Discussion 2 12-08-2010 04:07 PM
gruit ale 400d General Beer Discussion 4 11-26-2010 05:27 PM
Gruit? Pelikan Recipes/Ingredients 9 02-02-2009 07:44 PM
Gruit Spyk'd Recipes/Ingredients 25 10-03-2008 04:50 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS