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Old 01-19-2011, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Gruit ales-- Good, Bad or a New Frontier?

Hey Guys,

New to the site but been homebrewing for roughly 10 years, I've seen references to gruit herbs but have never had the time to experiment. However, I do now. Anybody else dabble in the realm of the un-hopped ale? I'd be interested in any and all comments. Cheers. and relax, enjoy, have a homebrew...

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:27 AM   #2
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New frontier? I think its a few hundred years old frontier!

Good luck to you. Let us know how it turns out but I like my hops!

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:30 AM   #3
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Last week I had a gruit that a fellow local homebrewer made that was one of the best homebrews I've ever had. He had made it a couple of years ago and couldn't remember what herbs he put in there other than juniper berries, but it was fantastic.

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:35 AM   #4
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LOL to DocRobert... I guess I am a couple of years late to the party. I'll keep ya posted. I do read that the secret is in the aging. I'm thinking of a nice Scottish Red base and going from there. Maybe cask condition in an oak barrel and tap it around our annual Antique Tractor Plow Day in 2012.

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:51 AM   #5
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Gruit ales are fun, I've found that most of the herbs used are significantly stronger than hops, and aging does improve them tremendously. Here's a site with some info and recipes if you haven't seen it yet: http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:25 AM   #6
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I've been looking at that site this evening... I think I'll give it a whirl for ****s & giggles...

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:26 AM   #7
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I tried making a few gruit ales. All were small batches, one gallon, but they all got dumped. One was merely ok tasting, but the others were terrible. The worst was one made with yarrow. Terrible crap, tasted like dirty hippie and bathroom air freshener.

Not to discourage you... tho aging probably would have helped.

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:42 AM   #8
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I think gruit ales fell out of favor because people preferred hops. Not saying the old can't be improved on though. It is all cooking.

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Old 01-19-2011, 04:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
I think gruit ales fell out of favor because people preferred hops. .
Well that could be some of it, I believe there were numerous reasons for the transition, those being economic, religious and political, not the least of which was reinhietzgebot.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Well that could be some of it, I believe there were numerous reasons for the transition, those being economic, religious and political, not the least of which was reinhietzgebot.
The book I was reading was about English brewing so I doubt reinhietzgebot applied. I got the impression that the beers were sweeter on the whole. The one quote that I 'kinda' remember is someone writing that he doesn't think those 'bitter hop beirs' would ever catch on.
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