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Old 11-10-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
Mar 2006
Salem, OR
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With the hop shortage and crazy hop prices I got to thinking why not an absenthe beer? Absenthe is bitter. Why not make a beer using similar herbs. Get some star anise too. Anyone used grand wormwood to bitter before? I hear it's crazy bitter. Wonder how much would make what IBU rating.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:41 PM   #2
Ó Flannagáin
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Jan 2007
Wichita Falls, Tx
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Is the plant illegal (Absinth Wormwood)? If not, do you really think the liquor tastes much like the plant? Just questions, not trying to provike either side of the argument.

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Old 11-10-2007, 11:59 PM   #3
Jun 2007
Posts: 737
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IIRC, wormwood is a plant, containing a psychotropic drug, but is entirely legal to sell. My LHBS has some along with the stocks of orange peel, coriander, etc. Absinthe is the drink formed from steeping said herb like in a tea, which, yes, is illegal (still IIRC here). I suppose that it's kinda like distilling, in that it's legal to sell the ingredients, equipment, and how-to books, but no legal to actually make the product...

Anywho, I haven't tasted the stuff myself, so I'm afraid I can't give a good opinion on it.

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Old 11-11-2007, 03:17 AM   #4
landhoney's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Palm, FL
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Evan!, hate to drag you into this if youre not interested - but doesn't your "Old Slug" have wormwood in it. I know they sell it at homebrew shops, not sure if its the 'real thing' or not. The 'Old Slug' is the last of your beers I've yet to try, I think you said to give it some time to smooth out. Looking forward to it, if it does have wormwood in it, I'll post here how it tastes/etc.

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Old 11-11-2007, 03:38 PM   #5
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
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I can't even stand the smell of black jellybeans. and absinthe/anise, to my nose and taste buds...are the same.

ditto for licorice. nasty stuff.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:39 PM   #6
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I haven't tried it, but wormwood has been used in ales for hundreds of years. You might try steeping a little in a blond for starters. Or, you could jump right in!

Wormwood Gruit Braggot Ale
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:44 AM   #7
Sep 2006
Auckland, New Zealand
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Originally Posted by malkore
I can't even stand the smell of black jellybeans. and absinthe/anise, to my nose and taste buds...are the same.

ditto for licorice. nasty stuff.
I'm the same here mate, ugg just a wee little bit of licorice will make me gag and feel sick - although I had some black sambuca one night, and happened to have a slightly upset stomach and it seemed to feel better afterwards, but that's not really on the point is it .

I think I've read another site that had a gruit with wormwood in it, but that was before the reformat, and I so can't be bothered looking for it, lol.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:32 PM   #8
CBBaron's Avatar
Feb 2007
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Can't find the reference now but I have read that wormwood is very bitter when boiled but the psychedelic drug does not dissolve well in water. However it does dissolve in alcohol. So if you want bitterness it is best to boil. If you want psychedelic dry hop.
I have seen it at homebrew shops so it is most likely legal to buy. i believe abstineth is legal in the US as long as the wormwood drug is below some threshold. This makes it an uninteresting drink given its rather bitter and for most people unpleasant flavor.


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Old 12-11-2007, 10:50 PM   #9
Dec 2007
Media, PA
Posts: 72

I heard there is a different type of wormwood used...apparently the Southern Wormwood is the one used in most domestic absinthe here in the U.S. But there is a new birth of old time use going on now. I could be mistaken.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:48 AM   #10
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
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Hops provide a pleasant, smooth bitterness coupled with a sweet fragrance and pleasant taste.

Wormwood provides a medicinal, tannic bitterness that is intentionally masked by anise and other strong flavorings in absinthe. It's not a flavor I'd particularly want in my beer.

That said, wormwood has been used as a flavoring in other drinks and liquors, including Vermouth, so the idea isn't without merit. It might be a good idea to make a mild wormwood tea to see how the flavor sits with you. Just make sure it's well diluted - strong teas made with wormwood are actually used as herbal pesticides, and they can be toxic to humans!
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