How to make your own herbal Yarrow beer
Yarrow is so bitter that chewing the root has long been a popular method of relieving pain. Yarrow has a strong tarragon-like flavor when it is in bloom. These flavors combine to form an acidic tart wheat flavor.
Yarrow Beer Recipe:
1 gallon water (use bottled spring water)
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup organic unsulphured molasses
1 oz. dried Yarrow flowers (enough to pack two muslin tea bags)
1 quart strong Sage infusion
1 packet brewer’s yeast
- Bring the water to a boil. Add brown sugar, molasses, and one of the muslin bags of Yarrow. Boil for a half hour. Remove the herb from the”wort,” and allow the liquid to cool to 70 degrees (about room temperature — this will take a couple of hours).
- Prepare your fermenter, which can be any glass container larger than one gallon, with a wide mouth. Wash it with soap and water, and then rinse, first with boiling water and then with a strong infusion of Sage to discourage unwanted bacteria.
- Pour the cooled wort into the fermenting jar. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Add the yeasted water to the jar, and place the second muslin bag of Yarrow on top in the wort.
- Cover the jar loosely with plastic wrap or a loose top so the developing gas can escape.
The most typical ingredients in brewing are the dried leaves and flowers. The flowering heads give off a light flowery scent, while the leaves add a harsh, astringent taste. Other herbs used in the beer are said to have stronger therapeutic and physiological properties when combined with yarrow. The leaves can be used in a similar way as bittering hops due to their bitterness, albeit the bitterness will leave the brew more rapidly with leaves than with hops. The flowering heads can be steeped after the boil, added late in the boil, or dry-herbed in the fermentor to provide flowery aromatics.
This yarrow beer recipe needs to foam up for a week to ten days.
When the foam is gone, wash and sterilize your beer bottles as above (recycled beer bottles with built in stopper lids work well – generally found on imported German beers – or you can buy bottles and a capper at a homebrewing store or online).
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to each bottle.
- Pour the ale into the primed bottles and cap or cork, label and date.
- Set the bottles in a cool, dark spot for a couple of weeks to carbonate.
- Refrigerate when complete and enjoy.
P.S. This yarrow beer recipe allows for all of the healing qualities of the herb.