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Old 05-04-2009, 12:11 PM   #21
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Austin Homebrew has Heather Tips in 8oz bags. I bought some recently, and plan on making a scottish ale with them. I also go that book Herbal Healing beers there, which I have not read yet. I remember reading about a wild rosemary (not what we use in food) that was used and had some sort of narcotic quality as well. oh yeah, it's Ledum palustre, it may be hard to find....
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gruitale.com :: Brewing with Wild Rosemary (Ledum palustre)
I made a scottish ale last year with no hops. All bittering came from heather. SWMBO hates bitter beer (most beer in fact) didn't like it. it is different, and not necessarily in a good way. It was malty, not sweet, and had a chamomile tea like flavor. Inlaws loved it. Me.....meh. I took it to a brew club meeting and it was too different. "too malty" and "it needs some Cascade at the end of the boil" were some of the comments I got on it. Point being is it can be a different flavor for homebrewers to get past. Somedays I thought it was OK. Some days I thought it was the devils spawn. I still have some dried heather in the cooler that I may use again in a few years.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #22
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There's a pretty good reason all these bittering alternatives fell out of use when they discovered hops...

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Old 05-04-2009, 01:53 PM   #23
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someone mentioned smoking the heather was relaxing

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Old 05-04-2009, 03:23 PM   #24
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I'd try to find a style she does like. If she likes BMC stuff, then a Wit might not be a bad idea. It has low bittering, but plenty of flavors.

The Spruce tips idea might be fun to try, but it is still maybe a bit bitter.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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I'd try to find a style she does like. If she likes BMC stuff, then a Wit might not be a bad idea. It has low bittering, but plenty of flavors.

The Spruce tips idea might be fun to try, but it is still maybe a bit bitter.
thats basically what im doing i just want to try replacing that light hops with another bittering agent in the same proportion, more or less. i think im going to start with bartenders aromatic bitters, but i of course have to see what that is like (never tried it)
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Beer fairies help me out all the time.They sprinkle the magic stay awake till you pitch the yeast dust,and everything works out great.It's those damn THC gnomes that say NO! You must pass out and F up your beer!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #26
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I recall Midas Touch as another interesting recipe. It has hops in it as a divergence from historical accuracy just to make it more beerlike, but their profile is low enough that they might be skipped to let the grape, honey, and saffron balance the taste of malt. Alternatively, one could try some other spices.

Mind, this is just a thought experiment: it looks like an expensive brew to get too casually experimental with, though then again if you have some small fermenters trying three differently seasoned two-gallon batches might be fun. I want to try this some time either way.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:30 PM   #27
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I recall Midas Touch let the grape, honey, and saffron balance the taste of malt. Alternatively, one could try some other spices..
HEY GRAPESKINS!!! perfect bittering agent(grappa anyone?) now how to work that in (how much would i need for about 20 ibus?)
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Beer fairies help me out all the time.They sprinkle the magic stay awake till you pitch the yeast dust,and everything works out great.It's those damn THC gnomes that say NO! You must pass out and F up your beer!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:36 PM   #28
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Back in the days before hops and when beer was called ale (beer was an ale with hops). They used roasted grains etc to counteract the sweetness, Pretty much where the idea to roast the hell out of grain came from.

I can't remember which English King it was but he banned hops for a while when they first made it over to the Ilse.

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Old 05-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #29
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Gil: If she doesn't like bitter, why would an alternative bittering work?

Does she like coffee [straight, not milky frothy stuff]? Coffee is bitter. You could look at bittering with coffee [no clue how well that would work].

But, are you wanting to bitter it up with an alternative to hops? Or are you wanting to maintain the preservative nature of hops, while cutting down on the sweetness a bit? Witbeirs do that. Also, you can do interesting things with aged hops [past the point of cheesiness, see what they do with Lambics].

Let us know what you do.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:40 AM   #30
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hmm esspresso sweet stout? how much espresso would i need?

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Beer fairies help me out all the time.They sprinkle the magic stay awake till you pitch the yeast dust,and everything works out great.It's those damn THC gnomes that say NO! You must pass out and F up your beer!
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