Friday, 17 May 2013

Nettle Beer

 We have done a good bit of brewing this week. We bottled the 5 gallons of stout a couple of nights ago and started a demi-john of nettle beer today. We haven't made nettle beer before so it will be trial and error. A good way to learn!

As it is spring / summer !?! the nettles are starting to grow well but are still tender enough to make beer out of them. Later in the year they may be too bitter.
The recipe that we followed was the following:

1kg of nettle tops
500g of sugar
1tsp cream of tartar
juice of 2 lemons

Using gloves of course! I went out and filled a bag with nettle tops, there was no shortage of them.
I put them into a large saucepan with water and brought it to the boil and let it simmer for a bit.

I poured the hot strained nettle juice into a clean demi-john, and then added the other ingredient except for the yeast as it would be too hot yet.

 I topped it up with cool water and then scoped out a cup of wort sediment (yeast) which was at the bottom of the stout brewed and used it to start this brew.

I will freeze the remaining wort in an ice cube tray to use again for other brews.
It is bubbling away so it must have worked ;-)

Only four chicks hatched out from 20 eggs! My experiment with low humidity didn't work! All were fertile but the humidity stayed about 35 so next I time might try to keep it to 50's and see how that works.

The bees were flying well today but the weather has been very difficult for them as all the rain is preventing them from flying most days! I have ordered more hives and brood boxes so it will be a busy weekend of beekeeping and I will give them a mite treatment while numbers are low as we don't expect to use any supers this year for honey.

The young fruit trees are coming into blossom now. Lets hope the bees get the chance to visit them.

Note: This turned out to be a great beer and we were so disappointed that we didn't make more. Next spring I will brew at least six gallons of it.
If I brew more now it will be bitter. The nettle plants turn bitter as the season progresses.

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