Homegrown Heather

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Airborneguy

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Has anyone ever grown their own heather, not washed it, and used it in beer?

My research tells me that heather beers are required to use washed flowers due to the ergot moss.

Is this moss something that grows on heather no matter where the heather grows? Or is it something endemic to Scotland?

Obviously I am going to an. interesting beer here....

And the perfect smilie: :fro:
 

SumnerH

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The most common interesting effects of ergot are decidedly unpleasant. Attempting to use it recreationally is dumber than drinking antifreeze. Most common is constriction of the blood vessels, causing gangrene in toes and fingers and resulting in multiple amputations.

Ergotism is the name for sometimes severe pathological syndromes affecting humans or animals that have ingested ergot alkaloid-containing plant material, such as ergot-contaminated grains. The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony (monks) specialized in treating ergotism victims with balms containing tranquilizing and circulation-stimulating plant extracts. The common name for ergotism is "St. Anthony's Fire", in reference to monks who cared for victims as well as symptoms, such as severe burning sensations in the limbs. These are caused by effects of ergot alkaloids on the vascular system due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels, sometimes leading to gangrene and loss of limbs due to severely restricted blood circulation.

The neurotropic activities of the ergot alkaloids may also cause hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death. Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, and unconsciousness.
 

alecoholic

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I've made heather beer from homegrown heather several times. I never washed it or even heard of washing it. There was no moss or any strange effects from the beer.
 

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