Nettle beer

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Don't sneer until you've TRIED nettle beer.
We've embarked on a journey of home brewing, foraging and generally making the best of what the countryside has to offer on a seasonal basis. Nettle beer was one of the beverages on our agenda.
I know what you're thinking - that sounds disgusting/ what kind of desperado would want to make and drink that.
Well, let me tell you this, nettle beer is the best drink you've never tasted.
Forget the word beer - it throws a tangy fust that doesn't represent this product. Think more of a lemonade based beverage. Maybe a citrus based elderflower-esque light and refreshing drink with a little alcohol and that's a closer picture.


Here's vaguely what we do (though I recommend you find a proper recipe):

Gathering nettles is a doddle, the swines grow everywhere. Just pick clean ones which are growing juicily and nip the heads off - I take around 6 inches off. Wear gloves and use snips. Get a bucketful or carrier bag full.

Big pan, boil water 15 litres ish and add nettles for around 20 minutes, strain through muslin into sterilised brewing bucket add more water to round it up to 20 litres. Add your 100g cream of tartar (don't hold me to this - I need to double check) and 2kg sugar but slowly, stirring to ensure it doesn't just sink to a lump at the bottom.
The next day when it's warm but not hot add the yeast.

Our brewing bucket has a lid and you fit one of those airlocks to allow the gases out but not in. It plops away for days fermenting.

One day it'll be ready and can be pumped into sterilised bottles with carbonation drops. The bottles must be fine for pressure or you will have a mess. Some of ours have been a little over excitable should we say.

Best served chilled.

I defy you not to love this refreshing summer drink.

Have you ever tried it?

Take care,
Sophie




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2 comments

  1. It sounds nice! We had nettles at the Paglesham show last week- this amazing Vegetarian cook Leon Lewis cooked them with Lentils- delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't tried it but it does sounds good. It's nice to know that an irritating sting isn't the only thing nettles are good for.
    xx

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