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Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #31
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One of the guys at work used wormwood. I think he said it was super bitter. I'll have to ask how much he'd use in place of hops. I think 1 to 1 might be to strong.

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malc
Look for Gruit recipes. They are traditional beers made without hops.
+1 check out themadfermentationist.com he has an article about brewing Gruit and even provides the recipe they used.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #33
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Just got back from Portland. At "Hair of the Dog" brewery they had a wonderful beer made from squash and pilsner malt. No hops. I'm a hop guy but really enjoyed this fine drink. Very fresh and crisp. Call and explain your plight and they might crack loose with the recipe. Worth a try.
Pat

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #34
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Many recipes suggest doing a tea or tincture then adding that. Since you don't have actual measurements of the amount of flavor in herbs and spices you're somewhat shooting in the dark.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #35
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I brewed a gruit ale a couple years ago. I had read gruitale.com and Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing" to get some ideas. I threw the recipe together based on information from both of those sources. Despite a lengthy primary fermentation, it came out incredible. There were some herbal notes when it was young but they weren't overpowering at all. Now that it's been in the bottle for almost two years, it is pretty amazing. I submitted it to the NM Enchanted Brewing Challenge competition in May and it ended up taking BOS. It's very similar to a strong scotch ale in flavor.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f78/yule-gruit-213381/

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by gypster View Post
I have some rosemary growing outside and some wormwood in my cabinet I shall try both, in different batches. So do you think the sub for hops is 1:1 with these or should I try different amounts?
Talked to the homebrewer at work who used wormwood. He said 'the ratio of hops to wormwood for bitterness really depends on the AA of the hops and how they hops are used' Meaning if you use the hops for a 60 min boil instead of a 10 min. He also said that if you used 10 oz of high AA hops for a long boil then 1 oz of wormwood might be the right amount, or even less.
'10 or even 100 hops to 1 of wormwood for the bitterness'

He recommended a taste test - take some water and a known mass of hops and make a tea out of it to taste. Do the same with the wormwood (After the hops because it will kill your ablity to taste anything else for a while).

As for the rosemary, I've got no clue.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #37
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I have wormwood in my back yard. It is massively bitter; makes hops look like candy. Heather tips also work well, as does bog myrtle. maybe tayberry if you can get it. Old scot beers didn't use hops because they don't grow up in the far north frozen lands. So they got creative and used whatever they could find. Short answer, yeah...you can make hopless beer.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #38
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If you use wormwood right go very easy on it, man it will just overpower the brew otherwise. So far I've found yarrow to be a pretty powerful 'enhancer' in the brew. I've got some other batches going with the other gruit herbs but they aren't ready yet.

Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers is an interesting book; his basic claim about hops is that it wasn't traditionally used in beer at all, that gruit herbs were much more common, but they tended to make people, um, excitable apparently. So he thinks the church led the way to using hops which had a more sedative effect.

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Old 10-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcupine73
If you use wormwood right go very easy on it, man it will just overpower the brew otherwise. So far I've found yarrow to be a pretty powerful 'enhancer' in the brew. I've got some other batches going with the other gruit herbs but they aren't ready yet.

Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers is an interesting book; his basic claim about hops is that it wasn't traditionally used in beer at all, that gruit herbs were much more common, but they tended to make people, um, excitable apparently. So he thinks the church led the way to using hops which had a more sedative effect.
A friend in my HBC has that book and let me read it. Great source and tons of history for making gruit. Seriously though, most of these herbs or spices need to be used in very small quantities, like a gram or two. Most are extremely powerful and should be used very carefully.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:14 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrshotshot

If you're looking for confirmation google Mediator Release Test 120. It tests for food sensitivities including hops.
Ohh thank you and thanks to everyone else!!
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