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Gruit Ale

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evildrakey

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I thought I'd might share this recipe I did on the weekend...

I did a 5 gallon batch... Fermentation now underway. Wort had a lovely, almost perfumed aroma with a clean and mild bitterness... Will be interested to know how it develops. SG either 1070 or 1090 (I'm at work, it's written on the fermenter at home - I think it's 1090)...


Pre-beer days, folks would use mixtures of sweet and bitter herbs (often supplied by the church) to preserve and flavour the Ale. Then along came hops and ruined it all... :p We only have a couple of examples of gruit ales, so this is my take on it. I've selected herbs that I've either seen used in Gruit mixtures or was used in medieval times as being used in Ale... So, here is my take on gruit ale...

5 Gallons Batch done in a single decoction mash, batch sparged.




Grain Bill:


6Kg Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter malt.


1Kg Weyermanns Smoked Malt (a lot of medieval malt would have be dried over fire - so would have had a light smoke flavour),


900g Oatmeal,


500g Green Peas (Ale receipts often included Malt, Oats, and Peas),

Yeast and Water:

Wyeast 3763PC - Roeselare Ale Yeast.


Water - From Mt Crosby transformed into Burton on Trent water.





Spices (all dried) in a 90mil boil:

10g Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium),

5g Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria),

5g Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla alpina),

5g Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica),

5g Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis),

10g Yarrow (Achillea millefolium),

5g Sticky Willy (Galium aparine),

5g Rue (Ruta graveolens),

5g Rosehips (Rosa gallica),

20g Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria),

10g Vervain (Verbena officinalis),

5g Monk's Pepper (Vitex agnus-castus),

6g Elecampane (Inula helenium),

23g Fresh Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis),

5g Dried Elderberries (Sambucus nigra),

10g Dried Juniper Berries (Juniperus communis),

20g Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria recutita),

10g Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum),

12 Saffron Threads (Crocus sativus),

12 Drops Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus Sinensis),

5g Mace (Myristica fragrans),

5g Sage (Salvia officinalis),

5g Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta).



The spices used in the mix (a couple of ring-ins tho)...

I had to add extra sparge water - the last couple of medieval ales I've done have had oats and peas in them and they really soak up the liquid...
 

super_simian

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That's a hell of a spice bill! Just a query; are what they referred to as "peas" in medieval times actually green peas?
 

Goldenchild

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Thats a lot of different spice! Are you not worried with that many some will clash?
I'm intrigued can't wait to hear the results.
Assuming your bottling. How long would you mature something like this?
 

Bongchitis

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+1 on the spice list. Looks like you wrote the name of every herb associated with a beverage since the dawn of man :lol:

Do you plan on tweaking and re-brewing? If so how the **** are you gunna know what to increase/decrease?

I hope it works for you though, the idea of a Gruit is one I have been thinking about for a while but an Ethno Gruit or an Aussie native Gruit.

Let us know how it goes.


btw I have 1kg of Sticky Willy if anyone wants some :ph34r:
 

stux

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That's a hell of a spice bill! Just a query; are what they referred to as "peas" in medieval times actually green peas?
I know in the Caribbean when they say peas, the actually mean beans...

refer "Rice & Peas"
 

evildrakey

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That's a hell of a spice bill! Just a query; are what they referred to as "peas" in medieval times actually green peas?
Yes, Pisum sativum... Very common and very cheap to buy throughout the year. Thus they were often added to a grain bill to bulk out the carbohydrate.
What I'm finding is that adding them is stuffing up my sparging rates and I have to add more liquid than you normally would for straight barley.


Thats a lot of different spice! Are you not worried with that many some will clash?
I'm intrigued can't wait to hear the results.
Assuming your bottling. How long would you mature something like this?
Not really. I haven't really had a clash, but there are some less assertive herbs in there. I'm hoping that as it brews, the maltiness of it will back off and allow more herb flavour / aroma to sing through. This Gruit Ale's an experiment to see how a more complex Gruit Herb load will work.


+1 on the spice list. Looks like you wrote the name of every herb associated with a beverage since the dawn of man laugh.gif

Do you plan on tweaking and re-brewing? If so how the **** are you gunna know what to increase/decrease?

I hope it works for you though, the idea of a Gruit is one I have been thinking about for a while but an Ethno Gruit or an Aussie native Gruit.

Let us know how it goes.
"Looks like you wrote the name of every herb associated with a beverage since the dawn of man" - not even close... I've got amount 8 medieval herbal books - so I have a decent range to chose from.

Based on the current aromas that are really coming through strong and nice right now, the next batch of Gruit is likely to be:
Elecampane, Grains of Paradise, Wormwood, Meadowsweet, Rosemary, Yarrow, and Sweet Orange.


I know in the Caribbean when they say peas, the actually mean beans...

refer "Rice & Peas" .
Possibly... There are quite a few different beans and peas known to Medieval Europe. I've no evidence to the contrary that 'peas' means anything other than dried Pisum sativum, which was very commonly used in Medieval Britain.

I'll let everybody know how it's progressing and will unleash it in a few months on the unsuspecting members of BABBS.
 

evildrakey

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Update...

The original SG was 1070. It's now 1018 and has stopped bubbling... The mash was for a medium body and it's got plenty of that... Now the taste... It's super weird...

I used Wyeast 3763PC - Roeselare Ale... So yeah, she's got lactic acid and brett in there (I'm gonna have burn the carboy afterwards!!!)... No sign of brett yet but what it tastes like is... Well, Alcoholic grapefruit juice...

It's not unpleasent, in fact, even with the trub in the glass, it was very sour and tart... A beer this is not, but damn, it's very refreshing with a back bitterness and some very intriguing flavours and aromas...

I wish forums came with smell-o-vision and taste-o-vision because this isn't your run of the mill drink but It's rather refreshing and filtered and cold, I think I'm on a winner....
 

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