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Old 12-14-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
Forrest
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Default Wormwood

I see that Austin Homebrew claims to have the REAL Wormwood. I was just contemplating getting some and using it in a beer. I understand though that wormwood is very bitter so I was thinking about using no Hops or very little Hops and make the wormwood be the major bittering component. My question though is, how much Wormwood? If you guys had to give Wormwood an IBU's rating, what would it be? I am asking this so I can of course plug the information into beersmith. Can anyone who has used Wormwood help out please.

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:29 AM   #2
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Some people were talking about it here. Personally, I don't think it's worth it with a very good substitute bittering agent in hops, but maybe you'll like it.

Besides, I think there are several varieties of wormwood, what the "real" variety is, I don't know.

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:12 AM   #3
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Well Bicardi 151 soaked in some wormwood and some other spices for a few weeks and then strained out makes a damn good homemade Absinthe

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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The wormwood in Absinthe is Artemisia absinthium. There are other varieties of Artemisia, but none have Thujone and they are also much less bitter. I've been contemplating brewing a beer with wormwood and some other spices to give an absinthe-like background spiciness, mostly for novelty. Not sure if I'll boil the wormwood and use it for bittering. I've heard it's pretty astringent that way. I may concoct a tincture and then distill it and add it in secondary so as to avoid the bitterness. Not sure yet what beer style to do this with, though.

Edit: Brewer's Best packages wormwood in 1 oz. packages. It's the "real" stuff.

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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It's face-puckeringly bitter, and not in a good way. Astringent like witch hazel. Very medicinal tasting too. Thujone amounts in wormwood also don't have the mind altering affects rumors lead us to believe, in case that's why you're looking into it. If you're still interested just make sure you get artemisia absinthium, and not the sweet annie variety.

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Old 05-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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Second to what Neo said. I grew a large plant and made my own absinth and while it has the flavor, I always got drunk and never saw any of the mind altering effect. One possible reason has been stated that it takes a while for the thujone to build up in the body. Not sure on the truth of that or not. In any event, it is a treat to be shared once or twice a year, certainly not an everyday drink. In beer, it would taste like ****. To put it simply. In fact absinth has to be flavored with fennel seed and anise just to mask some of the bitterness of the wormwood, and even then it is very bitter. You local nursery should sell the 4-5 various verities of it, it does make very pretty bush, I've had mine for over 10 years now. It does spread like hops.

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1911 View Post
Second to what Neo said. I grew a large plant and made my own absinth and while it has the flavor, I always got drunk and never saw any of the mind altering effect. One possible reason has been stated that it takes a while for the thujone to build up in the body. Not sure on the truth of that or not. In any event, it is a treat to be shared once or twice a year, certainly not an everyday drink. In beer, it would taste like ****. To put it simply. In fact absinth has to be flavored with fennel seed and anise just to mask some of the bitterness of the wormwood, and even then it is very bitter. You local nursery should sell the 4-5 various verities of it, it does make very pretty bush, I've had mine for over 10 years now. It does spread like hops.
I have a fairly large shrub growing myself. It's not that it takes a while to build up as much as it is the low quantity found in wormwood. Original absinthe recipes (mine dates back to mid-1700s) contained many various herbs such as calamus rhizomes, hyssop, star anise, et cetera to give simultaneous sedative and energizing affects. Wormwood beer is...a "special" kind of taste.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Default Wormwood

I know this is an old thread, but since it is hard to find info out there on amounts to use for various gruit herbs, I thought it useful to post how I have been using Greater Wormwood.

It is a very bitter herb. I use 7 grams in 5 gallons for the last 15 minutes of the boil. I like it combined with 0.5 grams of Sweet Gale. 1 oz of Yarrow flowers is also a good add at 30 mins left. I was using a 1.090 Old Ale recipe as a base.

I have also tried dry-herbing in the fermenter with these spices. It will definitely give you some more aromatics, although on the herbal/medicinal side of the spectrum.

Since Wormwood tends to dominate a flavor & bitterness profile, I would always recommend to go with less than you think you may want.

Happy gruit everyone!
--LexusChris

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