experimental beers with a botanical twist

Wild Ginger and Lemon Verbena Wheat Beer

Aloysia citriodora
Aloysia citriodora is a native of South America
Brewed 20 October 2015 in Plummer’s Hollow.

This beer was a tribute to my friend L., who supplied both the lemon verbena (from a huge plant she has in a pot) and the wild ginger (from a bed in her garden that needed thinning).

She’s also the inspiration for my occasional use of gentian in homebrewing, due to her enthusiasm for the soft drink Moxie, which includes gentian. I don’t know whether gentian has any anti-microbial properties, but this beer did not go off. That might actually be due to the lemon verbena, a medicinal plant which “contains a substance that might kill mites and bacteria.”

I found out subsequently that Asarum species such as wild ginger might be toxic in higher doses, so I’d really recommend using the similar tasting but unrelated ginger root that you buy in a supermarket, Zingiber officinale.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 0.0 IBUs 6.6 SRM 1.045 1.011 4.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
White Wheat - US 4 lbs 48.78
Pale 2-Row - US 2.5 lbs 30.49
Belgian Aromatic - BE 1 lbs 12.2
Red Wheat - US 11.2 oz 8.54

Miscs

Name Amount min Type
wild ginger (Asarum canadense) rhizomes, fresh, chopped 3.50 oz 0 min Boil Other
lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) leaves, dried 0.50 oz 0 min Boil Other
gentian root, dried 0.17 oz 0 min Boil Other

Yeast

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

Notes

I added the wild ginger 20 minutes before the end of the boil and the lemon verbena right at the end, letting it steep in the hot wort for ten minutes before cooling. The gentian root goes in at the beginning of the boil, and yes, one teaspoon is plenty bitter!


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