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Ye Olde Gruit Ale

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LexusChris

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
WLP028 Edinburgh Ale
Yeast Starter
1800ml
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.50
Original Gravity
1.090
Final Gravity
1.021
Boiling Time (Minutes)
90
IBU
70
Color
15.0
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
21 days @ 67-F
Tasting Notes
Great Britain inspired gruit \'old ale\' with yarrow, wormwood & bog myrtle.
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Ye Olde Gruit Ale
Brewer: LexusChris
Asst Brewer:
Style: Old Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (0.0) Amber with light head which dies quickly, although good carbonation is present. Spring-like forest aroma with hints of pines & wildflowers. Floral & pine bark bitternes leads to medium malt then a floral drying finish.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.20 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 15.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
13.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 71.23 %
2.00 lb Golden Promise Pale Malt (2.5 SRM) Grain 10.96 %
0.50 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2.74 %
0.50 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 2.74 %
0.25 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 1.37 %
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
0.40 gm Sweet Gale (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
0.70 gm Sweet Gale (Primary 21.0 days) Misc
1.00 oz Yarrow Flowers (Boil 30.0 min) Misc
1.00 oz Yarrow Flowers (Primary 21.0 days) Misc
2.00 gm Wormwood (Greater) (Primary 21.0 days) Misc
7.00 gm Wormwood (Greater) (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1.00 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5.48 %
1.00 lb Sugar, Muscavado (25.0 SRM) Sugar 5.48 %
9.25 gal Irvine, CA Tap Water Water
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) [StarteYeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 16.25 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 5.04 gal of water at 166.0 F 154.0 F
I was inspired by old english days of yore, where locals would use various herbs from the countryside to bitter their beer. Using yarrow flowers, wormwood & bog myrtle (sweet gale) this creates a woodsy bitter brew with plenty of yarrow floral notes & a good malty backbone. Enjoy!
--LexusChris
 

Bradinator

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I am very interested in brewing a few gruits in the next couple months. I can get almost all of these herbs, minus the sweet gale locally. Do you think I could substitute another herb such are Labrador Tea (similar to marsh rosemary)?

Also I am curious how this turned out for you?
 

Grinch

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I too would like to hear how this turned out. I have just recently been investigating Gruit and getting pretty worked up about it.... Do tell!
 

Bradinator

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Well tomorrow I am making one of these, but its going to be a much lighter version. I guess it would be the equivalent of a weak medieval ale. I am shooting to make something similar to what we think the peasants would have consumed during the day instead of water. I will be using modern brewing practices, but following LexusChrist's timing on his herbs. For the life of me I could not find sweetgale here, though I did manage to get my hands on a few other herbs listed and substituted a few I read about in the Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers book.

I am planning to use wormwood, yarrow and hyssop for this brew. I will let you know how it turns out!
 

Bradinator

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Tried my first bottle last night. Its different to say the least. I definitely used too much Wormwood (0.5oz for 5G) and it is intensely bitter. Next time I would cut it down the Wormwood to 0.25oz for 5G, and only boil for maybe 20 minutes.

Outside of it being overly bitter its actually quite refreshing and light.
 
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LexusChris

LexusChris

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My first try at a gruit was also insanely bitter. I ended up drinking that batch by mixing it 50/50 with a wee-heavy that I had just brewed. That was much better! In my later attempts, I started cutting my wormwood additions in half, and created a heavier (sweeter) base recipe to support the herbs.

This batch I posted above is my best griut to date. Its still a strong beer, with a definite herbal flavor, but the bitterness is no longer over the top. It has reached a nicer balance, but the wormwood flavor (damp pine forest is the best descriptor I have) is still primary. I think you could probably half it again and let the base beer shine through more..

How did you like the hyssop? What kind of flavor did it lend?
:mug:
--LexusChris
 

Bradinator

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After the third bottle I can see why you would want a sweeter base. I made another gruit using LME, molasses, juniper, mugwort and a tiny amount of wormwood. I will let you know how that one turns out.

The Hyssop is supposed to give a minty flavour, but the bitterness from the wormwood and sourness (I am assuming) coming from the yarrow is drowning it out. Lemon and citrus sour flavours, bitter grasses and herbal flavours, with just a subtle touch of honey sweetness in the background.

I think had I used half the amount of wormwood I did this would have been fantastic. Still its not bad and not so bitter it ruins the other flavours.
 

kjjohns5

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I'm thinking of brewing a gruit and I had a quick question. Do you have to add all of that to primary? I was readin on gruitale.com that Yarrow does well as a dry hop, but it says of Sweet Gale that "Because the resins dissolve more readily in alcohol, some of the fresh herb should be added to the fermenter to work with the alcohol that the yeast produce during fermentation." If it dissolves with alcohol, couldn't I just dry hop it as well. A cold alcohol extraction is usually my favorite method of flavoring, and I've had lots of success with many other treatments, including juniper berries, that way.
 

Bradinator

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I can't say for Sweetgale as I have never used it but for the yarrow I placed it in the primary for the duration of the fermentation.

I have to say that the wormwood has mellowed out greatly after only a couple week. It does not taste like beer though. It tastes like gruit, and I like it.
 
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LexusChris

LexusChris

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I used a bit of each herb in the boil, and then also in the Primary after the 1st week of fermentation was done... sort of like dry-hoping.. with the sweet gale & yarrow, I definitely wanted to preserve the aromatics.

--LexusChris
 

AleDave

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I brewed one small batch using Yarrow, sweet gale, mugwort, and a little Damania. Turned out sweet, slightly tart and tasted pretty much like carbonated grapefruit juice. I liked it but wanted a more complex flavor profile.
 

nathanthn

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I'm going to try a gruit this weekend using your herb recipie with a slightly different base, it is very helpful to have a starting off point for the herbs, thanks! I'm probably going to cut back on the wormwood since my OG will be a bit lower. Do you find this recipe benefits from extended conditioning or is it better fresh?
 
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LexusChris

LexusChris

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I'm going to try a gruit this weekend using your herb recipie with a slightly different base, it is very helpful to have a starting off point for the herbs, thanks! I'm probably going to cut back on the wormwood since my OG will be a bit lower. Do you find this recipe benefits from extended conditioning or is it better fresh?
Whenever I use strong spices in a brew (holiday ales, gruit, etc.), I find the spices are strong & a bit 'sharp' initially. I usually wait 6 months to let them mellow out. I even go over a year with my gruit... but it tasted great at 6 months.

Good luck!
--LexusChris
 

porcupine73

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Great thanks for the recipe, I'm working on a batch this evening. My gruit herbs arrived a few days ago from wildweeds.com and smell very fresh.
 

Lavender_Pepper

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Tried my first bottle last night. Its different to say the least. I definitely used too much Wormwood (0.5oz for 5G) and it is intensely bitter. Next time I would cut it down the Wormwood to 0.25oz for 5G, and only boil for maybe 20 minutes.

Outside of it being overly bitter its actually quite refreshing and light.
Let it sit another month. The wormwood will get uber awesome. I made a wormwood gruit a few months back and thought the same thing.

:mug:
 
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