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Old 12-12-2011, 12:01 AM   #1
MedicMang
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I'm a very cheezy home brewing boyfriend of a very tolerant and beer loving girlfriend named Heather. I am wanting to brew a 5 gallon batch of beer for her using only heather tips instead of hops. I am still kinda new at this (3 extract batches down), so my recipe creating experience is quite limited. She is a fan of most styles of beer (Lucked out with that), so any recipe is welcome. This will have to be an extract recipe for now, but looking to go all-grain soon, so literally all recipes welcome. I plan to brew this somewhat often, if we enjoy it. Also, what does Heather tips taste like? any personal experience out there? Thank you in advance.

 
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:31 AM   #2
pantsmachine
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Dec 2008
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Track down Fraoch Ale by Williams Brothers and give it a go. You need to pick the heather flowers at the correct time of Year and plenty of them at that.

Williams Brothers Brewery

P.S It tastes a bit flowery but TBH its nothing outstanding. I have one now and then but rarely go for a second.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
ploppythesausage
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I made a heather ale a while back using a coopers lager kit as the base. I was out hill walking and basically pulled about half a heather bush out from the ground. I cut off the dirty roots from the bottom and washed them. Then I steeped the heather (it smells delicious). I've heard of recipes where you would steep half of it and strain through the rest into the fermenter - we didn't do this. We steeped all of it, added toasted scottish oats and some thistle tea bags. We strained all of the heather and oats out of it and used the heather 'tea' for our partial extract boil. We used the coopers kit, 1kg dextrose, and about a pound of honey. A very simple beer for sure (it was our third ever batch) but i have to say it is magnificent, one of our best yet. Though it is hazy and doesn't have very good head retention. Very aromatic though.
We had a side by side tasting of this and Fraoch and ours came out on top (and we're very biased since the Williams Bros are friends of the family).

 
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
R2-D2
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Are dried Heather Tips available? I'd do a simple recipe and use the Heather in combination with some very light hops. Actually, I have a Rose Hips Blonde Ale coming up on the schedule and it's just a simple Blonde recipe with 1.0 oz of Willamette for bittering and 1 oz Rose Hips the last fifteen for color and aroma.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:23 AM   #5
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From what i have seen, you can buy dry heather tips at most popular brewing websites (northern brewer, midwest, so on). I'm excited to see how all of this turns out. I'm actually going all-grain sooner than i thought, like a week. Thanks for all the input so far. Anyone have any suggestion on other styles using heather tips?

 
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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So I went all grain and am looking to brew this soon. If anyone has ideas of a fun beer to brew with heather tips, please post one.

 
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
ploppythesausage
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This: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/heather...och-22/160207/

Not sure of a recipe- a light coloured barley wine or even a Belgian Strong (I find belgian and decent scottish ales to be very similar) recipe should do the trick.

Lightly hop and add heather branches at start of boil, heather tips in at the end, then filter through heather branches into fermenting vessel. Throw in some whisky-soaked oak to age for a month or so.

This beer is pretty sweet so I'd mash high and/or scorch the wort to caramelize.

 
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
chuckstout
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I cant recall the name, but Elysian brewery made a base old style ale and crushed the heather tips to a fine powder and added at whirlpool/flameout, it was amazingly good, they used an american yeast strain i dont recall if they used finishing hops. I beleive they did because the flavor was almost a starfruit or floral/citrus blend or Hop/Heather blend

So if I were to brew a Heather ale again i would use something anlong this line, mine ended up a little damp/musty. My dried heather tips were a year old so i imagine that was also part of the problem

 
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
nathanthn
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Nov 2011
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I use a Scottish 80- recipe as a base with no hops and add heather at 60min, 5min, and in the secondary. I like the heather flavor and aroma so I tend to use a lot of it, about 8oz dried spaced throughout. If you can get fresh heather you'll get more of a earthy flavor in from the boil, which I like. This is a sweet beer that has a unique flavor, if you want more bite use hops for bittering only.

 
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I think i might just do a gallon of a SMaSH with 2-row and heather tips to see what that even tastes like. (to see if she will even like 5 gallons of it) Thanks for the ideas. If we like it, I will definitely check back for ideas.

 
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