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Old 04-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
Unferth
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Default Subbing dandelions for bittering hops

I've seen a couple recipes that advocate this as a historic style, and it makes sense: dandilions are bitter, and you'd be boiling off the taste and aroma just as with Hops. IM probably going to try it regardless, but has anyone else done such a thing? Might be able to save some money on hops and weed the garden at the same time.

What style should I try this with? Informed opinions are just as welcome as experience.

EDIT: who am I kidding, this is HBT, uninformed opinion is often the most fun. Bring it on.

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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No experience with dandelions, but my grandfather used to make dandelion wine on the farm... it was moderately bitter if I recall (been more than 15 years since I tasted it). I think it would work just fine... I would be wary though if you have fertilized or chemically treated your lawn recently, and maybe steer clear of flowers near the road. Style wise I'm not sure, maybe shoot for an IPA and if it turns out low it would fall more inline of a pale ale. Shooting completely from the hip, I would shoot for 300-400g of freshly picked dandelion heads for a 5 gallon batch.

Good luck!

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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One of the guys in my club has done a few of these, and I think he prefers to use the cleaned roots over the heads, IIRC.

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Old 04-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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I found this too.

Looks like your guess of 400 to 500 grams seems about right. I'm thinking a lighter, session style cream ale might be good for an experiment.

If it works, though, I might do an IIPA... That would cut my hops bill by at least a third!!!!

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Old 04-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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like anything, Yes and No.
beer can be bittered without hops, but you cant just sub them in by wieght or volume.
unlike hops with there awesome "throwinability" a lot of herbs have to be separately processed to get a clean bitterness.

http://shebrewsgoodale.wordpress.com...th-dandelions/
http://www.gaianstudies.org/articles6.htm
http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm

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Old 04-06-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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Magic Hat makes beer with Dandelions called Pistil. Not sure if they use them in place of hops or just add them for flavor. It has very little bitterness.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
like anything, Yes and No.
beer can be bittered without hops, but you cant just sub them in by wieght or volume.
unlike hops with there awesome "throwinability" a lot of herbs have to be separately processed to get a clean bitterness.

http://shebrewsgoodale.wordpress.com...th-dandelions/
http://www.gaianstudies.org/articles6.htm
http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm
There's some interesting info here. Thanks for the links. I won't be adding mugwort to my beer, though.

I might try boiling some in just water to test for bitterness.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:12 AM   #8
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Fantome makes a dandelion beer called Pissenlit, which also means pee the bed in French.



I tried it and determined dandelion beers aren't for me.

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Old 04-08-2013, 03:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy_Bugger View Post
Fantome makes a dandelion beer called Pissenlit, which also means pee the bed in French.



I tried it and determined dandelion beers aren't for me.
I figure any beer that makes you pee the bed must be good. Haha.

Care to describe the taste? Like flowers?
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #10
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Grassy and earthy with a strange and not so pleasant bitterness. It was a little bit floral, but not really a pleasant floral. I think hops provide a more enjoyable floral character than the dandelions.

A lot of people like the beer and give it a great rating, so you might like a dandelion beer. However, Fantome could probably drop a deuce in a beer and people would still rate it a 5.

I think you should make a tea like you mentioned earlier to see if that is something you want to put in your beer. Maybe mix the tea with a light beer.

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