experimental beers with a botanical twist

elderflower

The flowering tops of either the Old World elder tree (Sambucus niger) or the New World black elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). Dry the flowerheads on newspaper for at least three days—long enough for them to get past the stage when they smell like cat piss. Add shortly before the end of the boil—too long and you’ll boil off the aromatics. It’s all about the timing.

The terroir of London homebrewing

The terroir of London homebrewing

A summer in London gave unparalleled opportunities to exploit terroir through local or regional malts, hops, herbs, fruit, and water.

Elderflower Wheat Beer

Elderflower Wheat Beer

A Belgian-style wheat beer with elderflowers from the back garden tree in London.

Digging for beer

Digging for beer

Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis), a close relative of sweet cicely (O. claytonia), would represent a new brewing ingredient for me, and I can’t find any mention of its use as a brewing herb online or in print.