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Thread: Heather beer page

  1. #1
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Heather beer

    Here's an article on this.

    They seem to mean not beer flavored with heather, but beer using heather instead of malted grain as the fermentable material.

    The Old Foodie: Heather Beer.

    Well, that'd be gluten-free.


    I've thought before that it's surprising that the gluten-free community hasn't revived spruce beer, used by the British Army in the 18th century and in colonial America:

    Spruce Beer, a Recipe for Brewing Ales

    The Russian Army apparently used to have a special recipe for spruce beer with ginger, mustard, horseradish, and spices in. It was used in other parts of the European continent, and the German black beer was frequently made from it.

    I guess cereals have become to go-to for almost everything in modern culture. Shame.

  2. #2
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    breadsauce is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, I've heard of Spruce beer - Jane Austen mentions it in "Emma" . Wonder what it is like?? And heather might be nice - it smells good, and bees make wonderful honey from it.

  3. #3
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Turns up in Last of the Mohicans, too:

    "Come, friend," said Hawkeye, drawing out a keg from beneath a cover of leaves, toward the close of the repast, and addressing the stranger who sat at his elbow, doing great justice to his culinary skill, "try a little spruce; 'twill wash away all thoughts of the colt, and quicken the life in your bosom. I drink to our better friendship, hoping that a little horse-flesh may leave no heart-burnings atween us. How do you name yourself?"
    The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper

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    Hmmm....isn't beer just fermented hops? So would it matter what the other ingredients were as long as there were hops and something sweet to ferment it?

    (I know nothing about beer so...)
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  5. #5
    matt3liv's Avatar
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    I'm a homebrewer. Malted Barley, along with other grains are used to extract fermentable sugars, which are converted to alcohol by yeast and sometimes bacteria. Unfermented malt is what gives the sweet flavor.

    Hops actually act as a preservative, and they give the bitter flavor.

    In some recipes young spruce tips are substituted for hops, or simply added to hops to develop the flavor. Spruce beer is excellent by the way. Especially if you are a hop-head like me.

    Now this is where I get a little out of my experience. Heather, which I thought was the same as English Gorse, can be use a preservative as well. I didn't think there was anything fermentable in it. I thought it was the tips that were used when it went to flower. As I understand it, it has a milder flavor, and does not preserve nearly as well as hops.

    I've given up looking for primal "beer", so I just rack it up to my 20%.

  6. #6
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    I should add, that ciders, cysers, and meads are fairly easy and can take the place of a beer for a spell. Not exactly wine, but not exactly beer either. A 6% cider will entertain me for a while.

  7. #7
    Kaylee99's Avatar
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    Wouldn't they mean the heather flowers? They are very sweet and loaded with nectar.

    Mead...we just finished the last bottle from our wedding. I would love to learn how...its on the list (right after kefir, sausage, bacon..LOL!)
    See what I'm up to: The Primal Gardener

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