Nettle Beer recipe

I’m not a beer drinker but do like this one, chilled on a hot day or sitting round a bonfire at night, easy to make and ready in less than 2 weeks. Important to say you will need strong beer bottles or plastic bottles for the second fermentation. If you try this or have suggestions on how to vary I’d love to hear from you.

  • 4400Ingredients for 1kg nettles to give 12 liters of beer. 
  • 1 1/2 kg unrefined sugar,organic if possible.
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges, organic.
  • 1 teaspoon of tartaric acid or 2 teaspoons cream of tartar.
  • Piece of Dandelion root, about 100gm or root ginger.
  • 2 teaspoons of brewers yeast.(you can use bread yeast if no brewers yeast available)
  • 6 liters hot water,5 liters of cold water and a kettle full (1liter)

How to,

  1. Harvesting your nettles, Tip weigh you empty collecting container and make a note of the weight, that way you can weight the full container and easily work out weight of nettles gathered. I used a large 20 liter bucket and filled it was approximately 1kg ( if a bit more all the better) Pick just the tips of nettles leaving plenty of food for the many insects which love to feed on nettles.
  2. Put 6 liters of water to boil in a big saucepan or use two if needed. Meanwhile sort through your nettles releasing any hitch-hiking insects back to the great outdoors.
  3. Slice the root, Dandelion or ginger thinly and add to water along with the tartaric acid. Add the nettles and bring to the boil stirring once or twice, allow to boil 15 mins.
  4. Meantime put sugar, zest and juice into the fermenting bucket, boil the kettle and pour contents over sugar, stir to completely dissolve sugar.
  5. Activate the yeast by placing in a cup along with a pinch of sugar, pour on half cup warm water and leave aside.
  6. When the nettles have been boiling 15 mins remove from heat and pour into the fermenting bin, add the 5 liters of cold water and give it all a good stir.
  7. Allow to cool to blood heat and then add the activated yeast.
  8. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for 5 days.It’s best to maintain a constant temperature if possible, TIP I place the bucket on a doubled blanket and wrap the whole thing up to keep cosy. 
  9. While you are waiting for first ferment collect and clean your bottles, they can be sterilized in oven just before filling, (140 degrees cent for 20 mins) You can also use water bottles but they don’t look good and can be either too big or too small.Please do remember you need strong bottles, the swingtop kind used for many craft beers are ideal.
  10. Tip, if using clip top beer bottles, I sterilize the bottles in oven and tops including rubber seal in solution, before removing clips from bottle take a photo of them so it quick and easy to replace them correctly later.
  11. Day 5, strain beer through muslin and bottle, leave one week and it’s ready to enjoy.
  12. Share with friends.
  13. Repeat, adapt to your taste, more Dandelion? more nettle? herbs?

First Forages 2018

It might still look like winter out there but things are stirring in the hedges and woods. Superfoods springing up all around.

Saturday March 10th sees our first foray of the year, time to get up close to nature, Ecofarm Gort, book through website or contact me by email contact@wildfoodmary.com (no phone at moment as I’m off in Australia enjoying sub-tropical storms)

Sunday March 11th sees us back in Clareen Offaly, places available, as above book through website or contact me by email.

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