The book Against All Hops: Techniques and Philosophy for Creating Extraordinary Botanical Beers (Page Street Publishing, 2017) by Butch Heilshorn gives you a unique look at the numerous opportunities and taste beer can offer. Not only will you delight your pallet with simple ingredients, but you'll start your own journey towards imaginative and earthy beer recipes!
Brewer’s Note: Cloudy gold with thin head. Earthy, spicy fruit, moss and medicinal berries. Grassy, floral notes linger. Toasted grain body on the light side of medium. As it warms up the elderflower comes out. Floral, dry finish. Yeast character balances the floral quality. Light mouthfeel, effervescent. Low herb bitterness.
- 2 lb (0.9 kg) 24% 6-row pale malt
- 2 lb (0.9 kg) 24% 2-row pilsner malt
- 2 lb (0.9 kg) 24% Vienna malt
- 2 lb (0.9 kg) 24% white wheat malt
- 3.7 oz (105 g) 3% acidulated malt Total Grain Bill: 8.2 lb (3.7 kg)
- Mash Water: 2.57 gallons (9.73 L)
- Sparge Water: 4.91 gallons (18.59 L)
- Mash Temperature: 151°F (66°C)
- Sparge Water Temperature: 168°F (76°C) Boil Time: 1 hour
- 0.25 oz (7 g) @ 10 minutes dried wormwood
- 1 oz (28 g) @ flame-out (f/o) fresh elder flowers
- 1 oz (28 g) @ flame-out (f/o) fresh dandelion flowers
- 1 oz (28 g) @ flame-out (f/o) fresh sage flowers
- 1 oz (28 g) @ flame-out (f/o) fresh black locust flowers
Wyeast Belgian Wheat #3942
- Target OG: 1.039
- Target FG: 1.007
- ABV: 4.2%
- Add the wormwood at ten minutes remaining to balance the malt’s sweetness. If fresh, use 0.5 ounces (14 g), cut up stems and leaf, bag and bruise before adding. Also, 0.20 ounces (6 g) of horehound could do this job
- Add the bagged and bruised flowers at flame-out. Keep immersed through ten-plus-minute whirlpool and ten-plus-minute settle for at least twenty minutes of total contact time.
- More flowers can be added after the initial fermentation is complete, plus or minus four days, to further enhance flavor. Keep in mind that immediately freezing is the only way to store flowers if you can’t use them within a day or two of harvesting. This will also kill off any yeast or bacteria on them.
- Freezing also breaks down cell walls, which can improve flavor yield. After a couple weeks in the freezer, however, flavors will start to wane. If there are still fresh flowers available, you could take a gamble on what microbes are living on the flowers.
- Any effects should be minimal since your beer is already mostly fermented. Having the bags float on the surface won’t have much of an effect so if you decide to do this, put a sterilized weight, like a tri-clamp, in the bag to ensure maximum contact with the wort.
- Don’t forget to take it out when you toss or compost the bag!
After you have brewed this and feel like you have a sense of the basic beer, do tweak this recipe. Other friendly flowers include yarrow, chamomile and nasturtium—any edible bloom is worth considering.
More Recipes from "Against All Hops": Gallows Harvest Beer Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Against All Hops: Techniques and Philosophy for Creating Extraordinary Botanical Beers by Butch Heilshorn, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017.