give directions for making several gallons of beer or ale in a batch, but you
can make a bottle in any plastic soda pop bottle or glass jar. This
might also be of particular interest if you are making a brewed
decoction with herbs or spices that are intended as a medicine or
remedy for something and you only have a small bunch of the herbs you
wish to brew with.
The principle, as with all brewing for
quantities large and small is the same. If you have any herbs or
flavorings you want to use, start by putting them in water, usually
around a handful of plant material to a pint to a quart of water and
let it steep overnight or for a day. You can start by boiling water,
pouring it on the plant material and then putting that in a covered pot
or jar to steep overnight, or you can put the plant material in a slow
cooker, add the water, cover and let it slow cook overnight.
you have your water steeped and flavored, add sugar and yeast or a
yeast starter, cover with an airlock and keep in a warm place. After
signs of fermentation begins, let it ferment from 3 - 7 days. If you
want it to be as carbonated as commercial beer or soda pop, transfer it
to plastic soda pop bottles and screw the cap on tightly. When the
bottle is firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed, put it in the
fridge and drink when it is cooled.
You can make
a single bottle of ale whenever you have a little leftover tea, rice
milk, fruit juice etc. or you can use the single bottle to try
out a recipe, flavoring or
idea for making a larger batch batch.
This recipe uses
sugar syrup and malt extract but you can substitute other sugars
depending upon the type of brew you want.
pint of tea,
herbal tea or other flavored liquid.
1 teaspoon of malt
extract or 2 teaspoons of dry malt extract
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of yeast
starter (usually from a previous batch)
or a pinch of brewing yeast.
Mix the tea with the sugars and
pour into a plastic
soda pop bottle.
with an airlock and keep in a
warm or room temperature place.
(An airlock can be a piece of
plastic cut from a grocery bag secured on top of the bottle with a
sturdy rubber band.)
a note of the time when signs of fermentation first appear (bubbles
liquid, froth forming on top) and then let it ferment for 3-6
days. See Adjusting
Alcohol to decide how long to let it brew for the
amount of alcohol desired.
it has fermented for the number of days you want based on how strong
you want it to be, if you left it to ferment for the full 6 days, or if
it has gone flat and is no longer actively fermenting, add a teaspoon
of sugar to the bottle. Replace the airlock with a
twist-on plastic cap and screw on tightly.
Check the bottle by squeezing
it. When the bottle is firm and cannot be squeezed, the brew is
carbonated. This bottle can still be
squeezed and is not ready to drink yet.
and drink within a few days.
Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
Truly Cultured Rejuvenating
Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Harr