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Nettle Beer Is Ready: The results from my Summer Solstice weed walk

11:49 AM

The Summer Solstice was a busy day around here! And the beer that resulted from my nettle harvest is ready (in just under 2 weeks).  It's carbonated, zingy with a large dose of citrus, and has the bitterness of mature nettle that is reminiscent of Cascade hops.

*side-note*    Mature stinging nettle, in our area, is bitter. Not completely unpalatable...but my kids and husband did not appreciate it in the soup that I made.  If you're using your nettle in a food recipe that you do not want to be mildly bitter, use young nettle early in the season.  I'll be trying this again next May, since I now know where there's a large patch of it.

And now, on to the beer!

Summer Solstice Nettle Beer
24 oz nettle tops (approximately 2 Wegmans Club Pack Salad Mix containers)
 1 gallon water 
1 lb. white sugar
Juice of two lemons
 Beer yeast

 ** Safety note:  ALWAYS wear gloves when handling raw nettles!  They sting like crazy!  Once the nettles have been boiled for a few minutes, their sting is deactivated, and they are safe to handle.**

Boil the nettles for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a colander or sieve into a sterilised foodgrade plastic bucket.  There'll be a little leftover in your pot. 

Stir in the sugar  until dissolved. Leave to cool to room temperature. Pour cooled mixture into a 1 gallon carboy (there will be come leftover) and add the lemon juice and the yeast. Cap with an airlock.

Let it ferment for about 10 days, or until it stops bubbling.  

Ready to drink at this point, or you can siphon it off into bottles and chill it in the refridgerator. 

 The leftover nettle "tea" is great plant food before you add the sugar and other ingredients.  My girls watered the flowers with our leftovers.

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