5 Easy to Grow Brewing Herbs

Home brewing beer and homesteading go together like peanut butter and jelly, fish and water, Tom and Jerry…. you get the idea. People who want to smoke their own bacon, age their own cheese and butcher their own chickens also like to brew their own beer. It just makes sense. The further along you get in your home brewing journey, the more experimenting you want to do. Sooner or later, you want to start growing some of your own ingredients. In this article we are going to look at 5 easy to grow brewing herbs that you can grow yourself and use in the your next batch of beer.

What is a “brewing herb” ?

That’s a good question! According to the book The Homebrewer’s Garden, a brewing herb is “any plant besides hops that is used for bittering, flavoring, or aroma in beer”. So the term “brewing herb” includes some trees and fruit as well as what we normally think of as an herb.

Brewing Herbs You Can Grow

OK folks, here is a list of 5 plants you can grow on your homestead and their common uses in the brew pot…

Anise Hyssop

Anise HyssopBest used in darker beers like stouts or porters. 1 once of fresh leaves or flowers added late in the boil will add a licorice flavor and aroma.
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Yarrow

achillea-millefolium-1340686_640Yarrow leaves and blossoms were traditionally used to bitter beer before hops became popular. Adding 1/2 ounce of fresh leaves or blossoms early in the boil creates a mild bittering effect.
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Bee Balm

bee-balm-1043110_6401 once of leaves at the end of boil will produce a bitter mint like flavor and menthol aromas.
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Dandelion

dandelion-111012_640Dandelion greens have been used to bitter beer for many years. You can use anywhere from 2 ounces to 1 pound early in the boil. Larger, older greens harvested in the summer will have more bittering qualities than young, tender greens harvested in early spring.
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Heather

heather-1659200_640Heather flowers were traditionally used by ancient Scottish brewers to flavor beers. It creates a spicy and complex bitterness and a deep purple color. Use 1-5 cups late in the boil for flavor and aroma. Adding another cup of flowers dry hopped during the fermenting process to create the purple color and a stronger heather flavor.
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There are many more plants that considered “brewing herbs” and can learn about more of them in the book The Homebrewer’s Garden.

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5 Easy To Grow Brewing Herbs

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