Mugwort Gruit

Alright, it’s late in the springtime, my yard is bursting with an amazing variety of plants, and I seem to have the gruit bug.

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Here’s the grain bill for a one gallon batch of gruit ale. Here’s the herb pack that’ll go in:

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Bottom to top, this is Calendula, Cleavers, an ornamental Artemisia, and then three handfuls of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).

But wait! There’s more!

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This is honeycomb – but notice that it’s open. Ripe honey is stored in these cells underneath an airtight wax cap. When the cells are open like this, it indicates that flower nectar – not yet ripened into honey – is in the cells. You can also see stored pollen in varying colors.

Like an old school brewer, I put it all in – wax, pollen, nectar and all.

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I love being a beekeeper. And for an ultimate low-tech milling solution, I use my grandmother’s meat grinder.

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I mashed the grains for 90 minutes in a grain bag, with water starting around 155 degrees. It was still around 140 when I started the boil. Did a 60 minute boil, adding calendula, cleavers, and artemisia at 60 min (start), 45 min, and 30 min, then mugwort at 20 min, 10 min, and flameout.

Ended up with a little less volume than I was hoping for, but it should keep the airlock on. I think this is going to be the sort of drink you have six ounces of before bed, then have crazy dreams. This is, by the way, actual kitchen witchery.

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