Zillahs Belgian Gruit Ale
|Full Recipe Name|
|Belgian Gruit Ale|
|Zillah al Sighira al Hurra|
I made an attempt to brew a gruit using a modern recipe, that has its basis in history. The recipe I used was from Ale Through the Ages – the anthropology and archeology of brewing. The recipe was found on the blog The Distant Mirror (https://distantmirror.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/ale-through-the-ages-belgian-gruit-ale/) I scaled down the recipe from a 5-6 gallon batch to a 1 gallon batch.
- 2 ½ pounds Belgian Pale Ale Malt
- 1 pound Briess Caramel Vienne Malt
- ½ pound Belgian Aromatic Malt
- .375 pound Belgian Special Malt
- 1/8 pound Weyermann Acidulated Malt
- 1 gallon water
- 2 grams Rosemary leaves (from yard)
- 2 grams juniper berries
- .11 ounces yarrow instead of .25 (as that was all I had from the bush in the yard)
- .25 ounces elderflowers
Process and Notes
Mash heated for 20 minutes at 125F –then took it off the heat, letting it cool for 20 minutes for a total of 40 minutes. The mash never went below 125F – or around 57-58C
Then I kept the mash at 57-58C for an hour, which was not hot enough to get sugars out. So I heated it to 70C for an hour. After sparging, I brought the wort to a boil. I then added the rosemary and juniper berries. 30 minutes later, I added elderflowers, yarrow flowers, and sweet gale. The wort was heated for a total of 45 minutes.
I then chilled the wort by sitting it on bags of ice in the bathtub. I started the chilling at 2:55pm and finished at 4:30.
I poured the gruit into a glass carboy for the primary fermentation stage. It was siphoned into a glass growler after 3 weeks.
Bottling: I used sugar in the raw for priming sugar. The priming sugar calculation was gotten from Homebrewing for Dummies p. 145. I used 1/8 cup for 1 gallon of gruit. I added the sugar to the gruit, stirred with a wooden spoon, and then siphoned the gruit out of the carboy into sanitized glass bottles.
Issues encountered: Temperature control. I am still working on controlling the temperature of the mash during the sugar extracting stage. I used a lobster pot on an electric stove. The finished gruit also had a much lower % ABV than I expected (3% versus 8%)
Origin and history of beer and brewing – John P Arnold 1911 Chicago Alumni Association of the Wahl-Henius Institute of fermentology
"grout, n.1." OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 24 August 2016.
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives Edited by Scott C. Martin SAGE Publications, Dec 16, 2014 https://books.google.com/books?id=R9i5BgAAQBAJ&lpg=PT195&ots=JRxdAvE_ms&dq=gruit%20encyclopedia&pg=PT195#v=onepage&q=gruit%20encyclopedia&f=false