How To Make Gruit Ale
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Gruit ale is ale that is flavored with herbs and/or spices rather than hops. It is usually kept "raw", or unpasteurized. Hops act as a preservative, as does pasteurization, so that gruit ale is not an ale that will keep well, and is best consumed shortly after it has reached the amount of alcohol and degree of carbonation desired.

Ingredients:

     1 pint of yeast starter *
   
  1 pound of malt extract
    
1 1/2 pounds sugar
    
8 quarts of water **
    
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    
1/2 cup malt flour mixture
    
1 cup of gruit (herbal tea)
    
3 Tablespoons sugar syrup

(This will yield about 2 gallons of ale, with about a quart left over to serve as starter for the next batch)

*Use of a starter is best practice. It is best obtained from the sediment from your previous batch. If this is your first brew, you can use a tablespoon of dry yeast instead, but understand that fermentation may take longer and there is a greater risk of contamination, although contamination is not a big problem with ale that is drunk shortly after it is made. Use the sediment from this ale as the starter for the next batch. You can choose whether you want to make the starter first, which is basically a small batch of ale, anyway, or make the ale first and then take the next starter from that. See Harvesting Wild Yeast if you would like to start with an airborne yeast or for other sources of yeast.

**As long as you live in an area where the water is safe to drink and pleasant tasting, you can use water from the tap.

(see Home Brewing box below for sources for ordering supplies online)
Instructions:

1.)
Mix a pound of malt extract
with 1 quart of water until dissolved (heating in a non-metallic saucepan stirring with a wooden spoon will make it easier) and pour into a 3-gallon container.




(See
below to order malt extract (barley malt syrup) online.)



2.) Make a sugar syrup by putting a quart of water in 1 1/2 pounds of sugar in  a non-metallic saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, until sugar is dissolved. Continue to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add to the malt liquid mixture and stir in



3.)
Put 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a quart of cool water and stir until dissolved. Add to mix.

4.) Mix
1/2 cup of  flour, some of which should be malt flour (a commercial bread flour mix with malt flour in it is OK) with another quart of water and add to mixture.


ground ivy in flower
5.)  Make and add a gruit. A gruit is a cup of herbal tea, with or without the plant material in it. It will add flavoring and sometimes frothiness to the ale. There are dozens of different herbs that can be used, based on what you like and have available.
Ground ivy is a classic ale flavoring also known as "alehoof". It is widespread in Europe and North America, where it is commonly found as a lawn weed. Any herbal teas you like can be used.


Put your chosen herbs and whole spices, or herbal tea, into a ceramic teapot. There are no fixed amounts, but around 3 tablespoons of spice or tea, or 1 cup of green plant material, should suffice. Pour a cup of boiling water over it and cover the pot. When it has steeped for several hours or overnight, add it to the brew. Optionally, you can just add the spice when your drink or serve  the beverage after it is made.



6.) As long as the liquid has cooled to tepid or lukewarm, add the starter The image “http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/bottle1.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


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7.) Cover the 3-gallon container with an airlock. This is something that will keep bugs out but lets gas escape. A piece of plastic secured with a sturdy rubber band, or any other form of elastic, will do.




8.) Put in a warm place, maintaining a temperature of 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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9.) When liquid begins to show sign of fermentation, add the remaining 4 quarts of warm water and replace airlock.






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10.) When fermentation is nearly finished
, pour through a fine sieve or loose-woven cloth to filter into secondary containers.  (
The sooner you stop brewing, the less alcoholic (and more sweet) your ale will be. If you wait until all fermentation has ceased, up to 7 days, then you will have as much alcohol as the ingredients can provide See Adjusting Alcohol. )




11.) When the liquid has cleared (some brews will stay cloudy) and there is a sediment on the bottom, "prime" it by mixing 3 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water until dissolved, or use a sugar syrup, and add it to the brew.

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12.) Pour or siphon into plastic soda pop bottles with screw-on tops
. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of air space in each bottle.





13.) Screw caps on tightly. http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/ale_captight.jpg

You can brew in glass, but I carbonate everything in plastic soda pop bottles. The advantages to this are that plastic doesn't risk accidentally exploding, sending long pieces of sharp, pointy glass into your flesh, and it's easier to check on carbonation by squeezing a plastic bottle. If you intend to bottle in glass, pack them in sand to reduce the risk of explosion.

14.) Squeeze bottle(s) to check if ale is carbonated. When plastic feels firm and cannot be squeezed, ale is carbonated.
This bottle is not ready.This bottle is not ready to drink yet.

Drink within 2 or 3 days for optimal nutritional value. (Real ale is a good source of C and B vitamins, complete protein and digestive enzymes). May be refrigerated.

Wheat and barley are the commonest ingredients used to make ale in Western cultures, but you can make ale out of anything with sugar or starch in it. Poor Richard's Ale and Raw Corn Beer are examples of ale made with corn, and Roots Beer is an ale made with potatoes, carrots and beetroots.

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Wild Fermentation
by Sandor Katz. 
Truly Cultured Rejuvenating Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Harr Buhner

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http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/rose_inpink.gifhttp://windintheroses.googlepages.com/rose_inpink_reverse.gifReal Ale Is Brewed Raw And Is Good Food
How To Brew Your Own Soda Pop
Make Root Beer With Roots: Potatoes, Carrots and Beetroot
Poor Richard's Ale -- Tribute Beer To Ben Franklin's Ale

Brew By The Bottle To Try Out A Real Ale Recipe
Make Your Own Hard Tea or  Fermented Iced Tea
Brew In The Sun -- Fermented Sun Tea
How To Harvest Wild Yeast
How To Make A Yeast Starter


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