Recipe: Nettle Beer

This recipe shows you how to brew a delicious and thrifty nettle beer unlike anything you’ll find in shops or down the pub!

nettle beer

Here in the UK, nettles are easy to come by, so why not turn your hand to brewing an inexpensive yet unique and tasty nettle beer? This recipe shows you how to brew a delicious and thrifty beer from a common weed, unlike anything you’ll find in shops or down the pub!

 Picking nettles

 It is important to pick good quality nettles to use in this recipe. While many common weeds have a number of uses to us, it is important to be aware of what they may have been exposed to out in the wild, as well as making sure your picking doesn’t damage the local area.

Wearing gloves to avoid being stung, pick the top 6 or so leaves from the plant, these being the freshest and best for the recipe. Avoid withered, unhealthy looking plants, or ones which have flowered or seeded. Nettle patches are a vital habitat for wildlife, so only pick from large areas of nettles to minimise your impact on the area, and keep the plant’s roots in tact so they can continue to grow.

 You will need:

1kg fresh nettles

2 lemons

500g demerara sugar

25g cream of tartar

1tsp brewer’s yeast

Large pan

Jug

1 gallon demijohn

Funnel

Muslin cloth

Glass bottles

 Method

 Remove the roots and thicker stalks from the nettles and rinse to remove dirt, debris or insects. Place in the pan with approx. 4.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove from heat and strain the liquid into a jug, squeezing well to make sure all the liquid is used. Add the juice and rind of the 2 lemons, sugar and cream of tartar. Stir, adding water if necessary to make sure the liquid remains 4.5 litres in volume.

Transfer the liquid to a glass demijohn and allow to cool. Once cool, add the brewer’s yeast.

Wait 3-4 days for fermentation to take place. Carefully strain the beer using a muslin cloth and transfer into sterilized bottles.

Nettle beer can take some experimentation to get right, but with the main ingredient so readily available, it’s easy to try this recipe and make your own variations until you get your beer how you like it. For added flavour, try brewing sliced ginger root with the nettles, or adding a few handfuls of elderflower.

Image sourced: David Bailey

post your comment

Comments

comments

feature

One of the most effective ways to encourage wildlife into your garden is by introducing a pond. This guide will show you how to build a pond which your local wildlife will thank you for!

how to build a pond
feature

Here's just a few useful and fun ways you can use the shells of pistachios and other nuts instead of throwing them away

pistachio shells
feature

Find out how to keep your sugar intake low and avoid health problems such as joint inflammation and heart disease

sugar
editorial

Patagonia's unique approach to revealing information on their manufacturing process is something all aspiring green businesses could take a tip from.

patagonia