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Old 01-06-2005, 11:57 AM   #1
arachnyd
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Default Sage Ale

Ever try subsituting other herbs for the hops in a batch of beer? After reading Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Buhner, I thought I would give it a try. Since he reports claims that culinary sage makes a more inebriating beer, and because I had it in my garden, I tried a one-gallon batch using 23 grams of sage and no hops. It made a very interesting, very drinkable beverage - though in no way mistakable for any traditional beer I have tasted - more like the gruit beer I tasted at Wynkoop's during the last GABF than anything else I have tasted.


Is there anyone else here who has tried this kind of experiment? Please let us know about it - what you did and what the results were like.

my recipe is available here: David's Sage Ale

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Old 01-07-2005, 12:33 AM   #2
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Will be brewing my first batch of pale ale Sunday. I like the idea of trying new things. I plan to experiment with all kinds of different ingredients, but I have to get a couple regular beers under my belt first. I'm thinking of a cilantro brew, not in place of hops, but in addition. Might be horrible, but cilantro in food is excellent, so...

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Old 01-07-2005, 02:58 PM   #3
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Default let us know

Let us know how that works out when you get to it -
as long as you are making it texmex maybe you want to drop some chipotles into the brew, too

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Old 02-22-2006, 04:31 AM   #4
Tomico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arachnyd
Ever try subsituting other herbs for the hops in a batch of beer? After reading Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Buhner, I thought I would give it a try. Since he reports claims that culinary sage makes a more inebriating beer, and because I had it in my garden, I tried a one-gallon batch using 23 grams of sage and no hops. It made a very interesting, very drinkable beverage - though in no way mistakable for any traditional beer I have tasted - more like the gruit beer I tasted at Wynkoop's during the last GABF than anything else I have tasted.


Is there anyone else here who has tried this kind of experiment? Please let us know about it - what you did and what the results were like.

my recipe is available here: David's Sage Ale
It is so ironic that you say it doesn't taste like a "traditional" beer. it was used before any hops recipe in Europe. We are planning to make some gruit. I too just bought and read "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers." I first have to order the different herbs before we can start a batch. It takes 4 months to brew! Well I figured we could enter into the "Arts and Sciences" contest at Pennsic if it turns out well. Sorry not to have much info on how it turned out but I'll let you know. Meanwhile, maybe we could try some other weird out of vogue recipe.
Tomico
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:27 PM   #5
Zymolagnia
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I am very fond of spruce ale, but I have found sage ale to be its equal. It's great as it is, but you may want to tinker with the fermentables and experiment with additional herbs to suit your preferences. I let mine stay in the primary until the fermenting completes, then transfer it to a secondary for another week to finish and clarify. It's good to drink a week or two after bottling, but fantastic after a month.

Sage Ale

5 lbs pale lme
2.5 lbs. brown sugar
5 ounces fresh culinary or clary sage leaves
2.5 ounces licorice root
1 Packet Safale S-04 Yeast

OG 1.058\FG 1.012/ABV 5.43

1. Prepare your sage leaves by rinsing them and bruising them. I run the leaves through my auger juicer to accomplish this.
2. Bring the water to a boil, and turn down the heat just enough to a simmer, say 190F.
3. Add 2.5 oz. bruised sage and all the licorice root to the kettle and simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for 60 min. I use a grain bag.
4. After the hour is up, remove the herb bag and cool the water to 160F. Add the lme and brown sugar.
5. Add Irish moss and/or yeast nutrient if you desire.
6. Chill the wort to 68F, transfer to fermenter, dry hop 2.5 oz. of bruised sage, and pitch the yeast.
7. Fermentation could complete in as little as a week, but I let my ales sit a full two weeks in the primary and another week in the secondary before bottling.

Note: Dry hopping in a narrow-orificed carboy can be a pain, so I recommend a wide mouth variety or a fermenting bucket. My first batch of sage ale was murky in the primary because I didn't use a bag, but the fines did settle out in the secondary in about a week.

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Old 08-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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I've never tried brewing with it, but I once tried a Swiss beer that had sage in it. I'm not sure, but I think the sage may have been in addition to hops.

I liked it quite a lot. Since then I often lightly crush a fresh sage leaf (I have the stuff growing in my garden) and drop it into a bottle of beer that I'm about to drink (any reasonably light beer...it seems to especially go well in a weizen). It feels very refreshing and summery to me.

Cheers,

Eric

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