A Recipe for Yarrow Ale

Garden varieties of yellow yarrow are super as a hop substitute in beer. Photo
by Charlie Papazian

Written by Charlie Papazian for Examiner.com

Here’s a recipe for champagne-like, floral beer brewed with yarrow.  Excerpted from The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. 

Yarrow Ale

Yarrow Ale is a traditional ale brewed by brewers throughout Europe before hops were popularized.  Read Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Buhner and learn about the properties of yarrow.  Use fresh flowers and greens for best results.  And no there isn’t a mistake in this recipe – there are no hops. 

Ingredients for 3 gallons (11.5 l)

  • 3 lbs. (1.4 kg) extra light dried malt extract
  • 5 oz. (140 gm) fresh yarrow flowers and leaves
  • 0.8 gm sweet gale (myrica) (available at homebrew shops)
  • American ale type yeast
  • 1/2 c. (140 ml) corn sugar (for bottling)

Add the malt extract, sweet gale and 3 oz. (85 gm) of yarrow to 1 1/2 gallons of water and boil for 60 minutes.  Add 2 oz. (56 gm) yarrow during the final 5 minutes of boiling. Sparge immediately into your fermenter and 1 gallon (4 l) cold water.  Add water to make 3 gallons (11.5 l). Pitch the yeast when cool. Bottle when fermentation is complete.

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