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Old 03-29-2011, 06:07 AM   #21
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someone posted a thread a while ago asking for bittering substitutes and I flipped through my "homebrewer's garden" book and posted a list.



Alecost - used to bitter ales back in the 1600s. "the leaves are very bitter so they should not be used in combination with lots of hops. use anywhere from one sprig of leaves to 1oz

bee balm/bergamot - add at the end of boil for a bitter, minty flavoring and menthol aroma

Betony - "the bitter leaves were once used as a tea substitute. use one sprig to 1oz at start of boil for bittering

Blessed Thistle - "Historically the leaves of blessed thistle were used as a hop substitute to bitter ale in Europe. Use 2oz to 1lb (58-454g) of fresh, cleaned plants early in the boil for bittering."

Chamomile - "This traditional tea herb is said to be one of the secret ingredients in Celis White. Although mild when steeped, it becomes surprisingly bitter when boiled... Use 1/4-2oz (7-57g) at the end of boil for an apple-like flavoring and aroma or at the beginning of the boil for bitterness.

Dandelion - use between 2oz-1lb early in the boil for bittering

Gentian - Gentian roots have long been used in Sweden to bitter beer. Unlike many other brewing herbs, the flavor of gentian does not mellow over time. We recommend using a maximum of 1tsp (1/8oz or 3.5g) of dried root early in the boil for bittering.


Heather - Heather imparts a spicy, complex bitterness and a deep purple color to beer. Use 1-5cups of flowers late in the boil for flavoring and aroma, add 1cup of flowers dryhopped for a purple color and a strong heather flavor.

Horehound - This fresh herb is very bitter. It adds a warming, almost menthol finish to beer. 2oz of fresh leaves and flowers at start of boil for bittering, cut quantity to 1oz if dried horehound is used.

Milk Thistle - bitter flavoring used historically in many European beers to offset the sweetness of malt. 2oz of the seeds or fresh leaves and stems early in boil for bittering.

Nettle - Use 2oz of dried nettle leaves or up to 1/2 lb of fresh nettles at start of boil for bittering.

Yarrow - Yarrow leaves and blossoms were widely used to bitter beer before hops became popular. Use 1/2oz of fresh leaves or blossoms early in the boil for a mild, sagelike bittering to your beer.

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:17 PM   #22
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Thanks PolishStout! That is some good info. I know I can buy bulk Chamomile from almost any natural store but the rest are going to be very tricky...

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #23
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Default bitter

Coriander, orange peel, any citrus fruit peel (lemon, grapefruit, etc...).

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:38 AM   #24
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Ever since I've been adding hops to my beers, I've noticed they all taste waaayy better. Better mouthfeel, better balance, better reception. Without some hops, beer wouldn't be beer anyway I would try to add some of the ingredients from the above list though, seems like he did his (your) research!

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:11 PM   #25
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Your right, without hops its not considered 'beer' anymore, but a gruit. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I had read hops are important because they act as both a preservative and an antibacterial component of beer. Personally I have never made a gruit before but it is on my to-do list, though I still have some concern about shelf-life and potential infections without the hops.

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #26
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Lemon Balm, heather, and Coriander are 3 I have found I enjoy. (in conjunction with hops).

Homebrewer's Garden is a great resource.

Have you considered doing a mead?

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrfish View Post
Lemon Balm, heather, and Coriander are 3 I have found I enjoy. (in conjunction with hops).

Homebrewer's Garden is a great resource.

Have you considered doing a mead?
That actually brings up a good point. I have made several meads and a dozen ciders and not once had an infection or worried about shelf life. Though they are different creatures all together, using honey or fruit to get your fermentables rather then grain. To hell with it, I am going to make a gruit next week.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:24 PM   #28
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I have a hopless olde (gruit) ale using mug wort, yarrow, heather, and juniper berries aging for a long time in a secondary with a intentional brett infection going. Should be ready to bottle now. should be interesting to say the least. Plan on carbing with champagne yeast as at last check it was over 12%. last tasting the juniper was very present.

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:51 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrfish View Post
I have a hopless olde (gruit) ale using mug wort, yarrow, heather, and juniper berries aging for a long time in a secondary with a intentional brett infection going. Should be ready to bottle now. should be interesting to say the least. Plan on carbing with champagne yeast as at last check it was over 12%. last tasting the juniper was very present.
Recipe please
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:54 AM   #30
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I didn't think you could eat bread of any kind if you were allergic to yeast... Any truth to that myth?

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