Monday, April 28, 2008
Finally got around to brewing a gruit yesterday. It was definitely strange to brew without hops, it just didn't feel right. I brewed a small 2 gallon batch just to see if I am even into hopless beer. Before starting the boil, I steeped some dingeman's biscuit malt in the water for about 30 minutes to impart an earthiness to the gruit (A gruit seems like it should be earthy to me). Duirng the boil I added a variety of herbs and spices: sweet gale, spruce tips, paradise seeds, and coriander. I also threw in some crushed juniper berries after the boil ended. Most of the ingredients were purchased with the exception being the spruce tips.
I took a morning jog on Sunday and I passed some spruce trees showing signs of spring growth along the W&OD trail. I picked off a handful of spruce tips and finished out the jog. I was laughing at myself the whole way home, because it must of been funny to see me running with a handful of green vegetation.
This morning the gruit was bubbling away and it looked like a healthy fermentation. Because of the small batch size I got a chance to break out my old brew pot, it was nice to be to get a boil started in under an hour. There might be some more small batches in my future.
Have a good week,