experimental beers with a botanical twist

Yarrow Gruit Braggot Ale

beginning of the Miller's Tale - Ellesmere manuscript
Beginning of the Miller’s Tale

I brewed this braggot way back on July 24, 2002, when honey was cheap and when my technique involved a LOT of herbs, usually including roasted dandelion root. My tasting notes say “EXCELLENT tasting beer! Yarrowy but not astringent.”

I’m not big on authentic historical recreations, but it’s fun to imagine that this is the sort of thing that inspired Chaucer’s pen.

Hir mouth was sweete as bragot or the meeth,
Or hoord of apples leyd in hey or heeth.
Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Miller’s Tale”

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 0.0 IBUs 15.0 SRM 1.068 1.006 8.3 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale 2-Row - US 2 lbs 15.5
Caramel/Crystal 60 - US 1.5 lbs 11.63
Munich - 60L - US 1 lbs 7.75
Liquid Malt Extract - Light - US 4.4 lbs 34.11
Honey - US 4 lbs 31.01

Miscs

Name Amount min Type
dandelion roots, dried, roasted in 300F oven for 20 minutes 2.00 oz 0 min Boil Other
ginger root, fresh, sliced thin 2.00 oz 0 min Boil Other
yarrow tops, dried 2.00 oz 0 min Boil Other
calamus root, dried 1.00 oz 0 min Boil Other
lemonbalm, dried 1.00 oz 0 min Boil Other
juniper berries, crushed 0.50 oz 0 min Boil Other
licorice root, dried 0.50 oz 0 min Boil Other
sassafras root bark shavings, fresh 0.50 oz 0 min Boil Other
spikenard root, dried 0.50 oz 0 min Boil Other

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Fermentis Safale S-04 75% 64°F - 69°F

Notes

Braggot is half beer, half mead. I made this back in 2002, when the local wildflower honey was still extremely cheap (and before I switched to all-grain brewing). My technique at that time involved making a two-gallon tea with part of the herbs the day beforeラin this case, with the yarrowラand refrigerating it in sanitized jars to add to the wort at the end of the boil... a very long boil, as you can imagine. Alternatively, you could just add the yarrow leaf to the wort ten minutes before the end, with all the other herbs, and then steep in the hot wort with the lid on for an additional half hour or so before cooling it down.


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