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Old 11-12-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Rosemary

I've been looking, but can't find much specific advice on putting rosemary in the boil. R. Mosher has some good techniques for making a vodka based elixer, but that takes more planning ahead than I've got right now.

So, here's my plan for a 5 gal batch: a pale ale (~30-35 IBU) w/ 1/4 oz of fresh rosemary leaves at flameout. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 11-12-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travler View Post
So, here's my plan for a 5 gal batch: a pale ale (~30-35 IBU) w/ 1/4 oz of fresh rosemary leaves at flameout. I'll let you know how it goes.
Looking forward to hearing about this. I have a huge rosemary bush in my front yard and have never thought about adding it to brew...
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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Rosemary is one of those intensely aromatic hardy herbs that benefits from a little heat to release the oils and flavors. A little bit goes a long way. So crush 1 sprig of rosemary with a mortar and pestle which will open the aroma. Be sure to remove the hard main stem and grinding only the leaves. Next, simmer for 5-7 minutes with 1 pint of wort until the desired flavor is reached.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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Just my 2 cents, but I don't recommend rosemary in most brews. I had a ballast point big eye that for whatever reason had rosemary flavors in it, and I couldn't even finish the glass. It is just such a dominant flavor that it becomes like drinking rosemary tea or something.

There has to be a combination where it works though - what are your other ingredients?

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
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I made a black IPA that was used 3.5oz dry hop, 2.5 @ FO, 2 @ 10min and 1 @ 20 min (a blend of simcoe, chinook, and columbus), and 3g of fresh rosemary at flameout. The rosemary was overpowering. If you were to use it in a standard pale ale, I'd say go with 1g fresh @ flame out and hope that it isn't overpowering.

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Old 11-17-2012, 12:35 AM   #6
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I opted to back off on the weight a bit. I went with 1/8 (2-3 grams) at flameout. I didn't bruise the leaves in a mortar. Just in the palm of my hand. It's still in primary, so I don't know how the flavor is, but it didn't seem very big on rosemary when I put it in the fermentor. I think it might have benefited from a more aggressive bruising.
The other ingredients for 5 gals; 10 #s pale malt, 1 # medium Crystal (30L), 1/2 # wheat malt, Cascade hops at 60m, 20m, & 5m for 35 IBUs, US-05 dry ale yeast.
I think if the flavor can be subtle it should go well. Key there being "subtle".
It's been in primary for 5 days now, so I should be going to secondary soon. After reading MrOH's post, I'm wondering if it will be difficult to control the flavor. If that's the case, I'm thinking that making an elixir, or tea, and adding to secondary might be the best way.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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I have a friend who made a rosemary stout.

I didn't know who made the beer, but when I judged in the competition, this beer tasted like lamb roast. The rosemary was PREVALENT.

He later told me he didn't use all that much, but he didn't say how much he used. Maybe in a year or two, it will be drinkable. But right now, it is not.

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Old 11-17-2012, 06:28 AM   #8
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I did a hop steep for about 30min after FO, so I'm sure that contributed to the rosemary flavor.

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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Just racked to secondary.

The rosemary is definitely there, and I'd say it's definitely drinkable. It's an interesting addition. Citrus is the note that came to my wife's mind. I'd have to agree. But, it's a heavier citrus than from citrusy hops, or even actual citrus. I think there is also a bitterness, that needs to be accounted for in your hop bill.

I'm very glad I went with the smaller amount. As with most spices, under-doing it is much preferable to over-doing it.

If I were to bruise the leaves more, I would use less. On the order of 1 gram at flameout for a pale ale.

With heavier beers, I would consider using a bit more. But, just a bit.

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Old 12-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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Just to wrap this up, since I've now tasted the conditioned product.

The rosemary is very subtle, just adding some nice side notes.

I'll definitely continue the experiment when I next brew a pale, or maybe a farmhouse. I might increase the amount by half the next time (3-5 grams @ flameout). I think every rosemary bush is probably different, and with all the different ways of getting it in the wort, experimenting with your own system will be required.
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