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Whats the most interesting HERB you have ever used/tasted in a beer?

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kaj030201

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I am looking for some ideas for herbs to add to the secondary...
 

shafferpilot

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I've got an idea for an "herb" to dry hop with, but I won't mention it by name for legal reasons......:mug:
 

Mutilated1

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I think Evan! makes a beer with basil in it, never tried it but personally I don't think it sounds very good.

I hear some people put pepper's in the beer, I had a cajun beer once that had shrimp boil or something added to it - nastiest thing you can imagine.
 

CBBaron

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Havn't tried it yet but I am intending on making a couple of gruits in the near future. I am going to split a 6gal batch into 2 beers. One with heather and sweet gale similar to Fraoch and the other using mugwort, sweet gale and perhaps elderflowers.
If these are moderately successful I will probably attempt to use wormwood though I shied away from it for my first attempts due to the reports of the extreme bitterness wormwood adds.
Craig
 

TexLaw

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Basil is good in beer. Sage also can work fairly well. I've also had jasmine, lavender, and a whole host of other hops alternatives. I don't know what the most interesting was, but I've had good and bad examples of many. If you want to play around with other herbs and spices, I highly recommend doing some research on it and benefitting from others' mistakes. It's hard to know where to start to get a good balance, otherwise.

I think I may have had a little something along what Shaffer may have been getting at, too, but I can't say I recall the event all that well. Certainly, though, I didn't inhale the beer!


TL
 

Evan!

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Basil, hands down. As Mutilated sayeth, I brew basilbrau. My first brew evar was a basil pale ale, and was quite good. From there, I made a second batch that used more thai basil. It was really strong, but still great. I then went off the deep end---I had a bunch of lime-basil in my garden, which tasted more like lime than basil. I also had some lemon verbena growing. So I brewed a pale ale with lots of lime basil and lemon verbena. Whew---it was odd. I still liked it, but it was weird.

My latest batch is a hoppier version---actually an IPA with lots of cinnamon-basil (no actual cinnamon, just a strain of basil that has a subtle hint of cinnamon). It's the best one yet, IMO. Recipe's here.
 

david_42

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Chamomile. I use it in my ginger beer. Although the most interesting one I've tasted was Spruce beer. Really nasty initially, but after 6 months it was great.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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I've made a Spruce beer, years ago.
Instead of hops, you use pine needles.

This was supposed to be a traditional New England style beer, brewing during the early colonies before they had a reliable supply of hops.

Tasted AWEFUL. Reminded me of gin, which I don't care for.

ALso have tried Ginger. Spicy, kinda like hops.

nick
 

TexLaw

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david_42 said:
Chamomile. I use it in my ginger beer.
Now, that's interesting. I've had chamomile meads that were very good, as well as some very good ginger beers, but I've never seen the two combined. Do you have a recipe or some tips you are willing to share?


TL
 

HarvInSTL

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I've had a Thyme & Curranco beer before. Not what I was expecting, but that is a good thing considering I was expecting it to be horrible.

I'm working on a recipe now for a Golden Strong that uses ginger and chamomile and the recipe that I have for a Wit calls for a small amount of chamomile as well.
 
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kaj030201

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some interesting answers so far. thanks! basil seems to be an herb that might just work in beer. i was also considering using yerba mate:

The flavor of brewed yerba mate is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Many consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water (as with coffee), so it is made using hot but not boiling water. Unlike most teas, it does not become bitter and astringent when steeped for extended periods, and the leaves may be infused several times. Additionally, one can purchase flavored mate in many varieties.
 

wshymas

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I live in southwest wyoming and I put sage brush in to one of the beers I make.
 

Spyk'd

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CBBaron said:
Havn't tried it yet but I am intending on making a couple of gruits in the near future. I am going to split a 6gal batch into 2 beers. One with heather and sweet gale similar to Fraoch and the other using mugwort, sweet gale and perhaps elderflowers.
If these are moderately successful I will probably attempt to use wormwood though I shied away from it for my first attempts due to the reports of the extreme bitterness wormwood adds.
Craig

I brewed a Gruit in October and used Mugwort, Marsh Rosemary, Yarrow, and Sweet Gale and it's the most interesting combination or herbs. It feels like you're drinking some ole time 'elixer' or something good for you. One thing I didn't expect was a slight mint flavor. I sampled it a couple of weeks ago and it's not bad, but it definitely needs more time...

...I'm letting it go for at least six months and it may end up being served next Christmas.

:)
 

explosivebeer

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TexLaw said:
I think I may have had a little something along what Shaffer may have been getting at, too, but I can't say I recall the event all that well. Certainly, though, I didn't inhale the beer!

TL
I don't know much about using these kind of "herbs" but I have some friends that enjoy it quite regularly. How would one go about making a beer with this? And do you know what kind of beer they'd go well with?
 

TexLaw

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explosivebeer said:
I don't know much about using these kind of "herbs" but I have some friends that enjoy it quite regularly. How would one go about making a beer with this? And do you know what kind of beer they'd go well with?
Well, I can't say I know anything from experience, but if I did . . . .

I'd brew a dark beer, dry hop with them, bottle the stuff in Coca-Cola bottles, and take them to the park.

I'm just sayin' . . . . :fro:


TL
 
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Seeds of Paradise/Grains of Paradise (same thing) really work well in a light-bodied, refreshing beer.

I can't speak for spruce yet - my only attempt so far still needs A LOT of aging.
 

B-Dub

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We made a mint brew with leftover beer once. Tossed a few hand fulls in a small fermenter and transfered to pale into it. A few days later we kegged it. Tooth paste...we made....tooth paste!!

I like hops.
 

shafferpilot

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TexLaw said:
Well, I can't say I know anything from experience, but if I did . . . .

I'd brew a dark beer, dry hop with them, bottle the stuff in Coca-Cola bottles, and take them to the park.

I'm just sayin' . . . . :fro:


TL
Sounds right to me. keep in mind it'll take quite a bit to be effective and that'll make for one REALLY expensive brew;)
 

anderj

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shafferpilot said:
Sounds right to me. keep in mind it'll take quite a bit to be effective and that'll make for one REALLY expensive brew;)
google along these lines and there is some good reading on the subject and they say that the beer turns out well and the "adjuncts" retain the desired effect. Apparently one will cure what ails you. Find some trim.

My guess would be an IPA, wait make it a double
 

kenche

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shafferpilot said:
Sounds right to me. keep in mind it'll take quite a bit to be effective and that'll make for one REALLY expensive brew;)
At a recent beer tasting at my LHBS, buddy brought a beer that had been dry-hopped with 2 ounces of B.C.'s best bud. (yes that is hundreds of dollars worth).

It tasted like SH!T, and although I got pretty messed up, I am not sure if it was from the green beer, the many homebrew samples, or the homemade whiskey that was pulled out a few hours into the tasting.

As a former chronic though, I have to say that I felt no THC effects. IMHO, the weed ruined a perfectly good beer.
 

scottthorn

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kaj030201 said:
some interesting answers so far. thanks! basil seems to be an herb that might just work in beer. i was also considering using yerba mate:

The flavor of brewed yerba mate is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Many consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water (as with coffee), so it is made using hot but not boiling water. Unlike most teas, it does not become bitter and astringent when steeped for extended periods, and the leaves may be infused several times. Additionally, one can purchase flavored mate in many varieties.

Currently sipping on some orange blossom yerba mate.... Tasty, although I added a ton of honey to soothe my cough-ravaged throat.

Maybe I'll plant some cinnamon basil in this years garden to give Evan's recipe a shot. Sounds good!
 

Evan!

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kenche said:
At a recent beer tasting at my LHBS, buddy brought a beer that had been dry-hopped with 2 ounces of B.C.'s best bud. (yes that is hundreds of dollars worth).

It tasted like SH!T, and although I got pretty messed up, I am not sure if it was from the green beer, the many homebrew samples, or the homemade whiskey that was pulled out a few hours into the tasting.

As a former chronic though, I have to say that I felt no THC effects. IMHO, the weed ruined a perfectly good beer.
And the beer ruined perfectly good weed...
 

beta pleated sheet

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I ADORE dark beer with ginger! Though I haven't personally experimented with them (yet) I'm also a fan of spruce, cloves, and orange zest.

Now, basil, there's something I've never tried, but it sounds like something I'd like. Now you've gone and inspired me too.
 

Hopleaf

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I made a chamonile wit that was good after a number of months. I want to make a rubbed sage wit, or perhaps crushed rosemary - just a pinch of either.
 

TheCrane

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A while back I made a porter with Cayenne and molasses. I can't remember the amount (few table spoons of dried/crushed at end of boil i think). The pepper flavor was very faint, even unnoticeable unless you were looking for it. However, after a few swallows there was a definite burn in the back of your throat, which of course made you drink more!! Turned out to be very popular at a mexican food party.
 

srm775

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Hopleaf said:
I made a chamonile wit that was good after a number of months. I want to make a rubbed sage wit, or perhaps crushed rosemary - just a pinch of either.
I usually steep some chamomile in my wits. Some people swear that's the secret ingrediant to making a hoegaarden clone.

My brother made a rosemary porter. Not bad, but definitely not something I'd want 5 gallons of though.
 

DeathBrewer

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i've been intending to make a ginger porter for a while now...i'll have to finish up that recipe and brew that sucker.

Randy Mosher has an awesome idea in his book. He says go on a two week camping trip and brew beer the first day.

Use berries and fruits from the area (buy a field guide so you don't poison yourself) and use the local water (camp near a lake) to boil and cool and maintain temps.

pitch an assload of yeast so they finish quickly. force carbonate and drink the last evening.

THAT sounds like a great camping trip. i'm going to have to try it sometime ;)
 

flowerysong

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kaj030201 said:
i would love to try this- has anyone had it?
I have.

Didn't particularly care for it.

Background: Pale ale flavoured with yerba mate.

Appearance: Pours an intriguing apricot colour with a slight haze and an enormous sudsy white head.

Smell: Sweet and fruity-some interesting herbal elements and a citrusy hop aroma.

Taste: Well, it's interesting. Medium-low sweetness balances a mild hop influence. The mate is definitely sticking itself in the mix, contributing some additional bitterness and an earthy herbalness. Unsurprisingly, it tastes like yerba mate mixed with a light pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: On the whole, I think I'd rather have either beer or mate, but not both. Still, it's drinkable, and certainly worth trying if you like mate.
 

ThaDutchMasta

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i think its the pomegranate wheat but it might have been the rocky mountain IPA at the fort collins brewery that tasted like it had been hopped with some colorado Kind if you know what i mean
 

SRFeldman79

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i had a belgian style beer that besides coriander and orange peel, had a few other ingredients, including a nice amount of anise in the flavor - this was made by the brewer at Brew N Grow in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
 

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