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Chamomile in beer or mead or cider

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ex-detroiter

Post Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:17 pm

Chamomile in beer or mead or cider

Not sure if this the right forum. Perhaps the Mead Cider forum would be better. But, ...

Anyone ever use chamomile in a beer or mead or cider? What does it do for it?

I have read about using chamomile in the "Sacred Beers" book and in "The Homebrewer's Garden" book. But has anyone ever used it? Emesis Ale, perhaps?

I have thought about adding it to a hard cider, oddly enough, because I heard that it lends an 'apply' flavor. Is this true? I make the quick and easy hard cider (apple juice concentrate on top of a yeast cake), and I like it a lot. It comes out very dry. I wouldn't mind a more 'apply' flavor, and am curious if chamomile (or some sort of chamolmile or Celestial Seasonings tea) may help.

Thanks!
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hengist

Post Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:04 pm

I've never used it in a beer myself, but a local brewpub occasionally offers a chamomile brew. It was originally developed for the owner's wedding. It was a pretty pale ale, very lightly bittered, with a subtle floral aroma and a fruity (I suppose you could call it 'apple-y') flavor. It was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I think the flavor and aroma of chamomile would suit a mead or cider, but I couldn't tell you how much of it to use in a five-gallon batch.
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Sidney Porter

Post Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:50 pm

I used chamomile in a wit. 1oz @ 30min. Gives some aroma, and blended nicely with the orange peel and coriander.
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EmesisAle

Post Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:45 pm

I've used chamomile a little in combination with outher herbs. The only reason I haven't used chamomile much is that you need a lot. Sacred and Herbal calls for 4 ounces of whole plant per gallon. 20 ounces is a lot of herbs for a whole 5 gallon batch and chamomile flowers seem to get pretty bulky when rehydrated. I'm going to grow some in fall so I can get whole plant(which would be better for bitering an ale)because right now all I can buy is dried flowers. I think flowers would be great in a cider or mead. I am planning on using the flowers alone and in combination with lemon balm for a couple gallon batches. Me and my old lady also have an ubandance of pennyroyal growing in her garden and are planning on making a beer with it and chamomile. Chamomile is good by itself or in combination with other herbs. I find the tea relaxing but not sleepy in effect. It goes great with the mints. I think chamomile would be great in an herbal wit beer. I read Celis White used it in theirs. Chamomile has the phsycoactive compound thujone in it but not as much as the gruit herbs or wormwood does. I wouldn't describe the flavor as apple-like myself but most people do. It does go really good with apple juice so I'm sure it'd be good in a cider. Go for it! I recomend using a lot. At least 4 ounces per 5 gallon batch and up to 20 ounces if you use it without other herbs. It would make a good dry "hoppped" addition for aroma as well. For flavor I would just add the herbs at the end of the boil for a beer right as you take it off the heat. For cider I'd steep it in some boiled cider with a lid on the container and let sit till cool. Then just add the herb and cider tea in with your cider ingredients. You'll get more out of the herb if you leave it in the primary fermenter. Let us know how it turns out!
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ex-detroiter

Post Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:05 am

Thanks for the responses. My wife grows a lot of chamomile, and we have a ton of it. Well, a pound anyway. Fresh and dried.

My cider is more than ready to be bottled. I think I will make a chamomile tea and add the priming sugar to that.

Hmmm... now I'm thinking about a beer. Sauer malt, honeymalt, wheat extract, and saison yeast - "dryhopped" with chamomile. And maybe coriander.
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HotCha

Post Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:54 pm

i've used chamomile in mead with great results, i think it would work really well in cider.
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ex-detroiter

Post Tue Aug 05, 2003 7:52 pm

Maybe this should be moved to the cider forum...

I bottled my cider a month ago with chamomile tea for the liquid base of my priming solution. I used a cup of freshly dried (MN homegrown) chamomile flowers, and a quart of water, and a scant third cup of priming sugar for 2.5 gallons of cider. I don't know the weight of the chamomile, my wife took my digital brewing scale, I mean her kitchen scale, with her when she was cooking for a group event that day!

Anyways, I tried the first cider a week ago, and it was too heavy on the chamomile for me. If you are a big chamomile fan, you'd love it though. Tried another tonight, and it was very nice. Chamomile still heavily pronounced, but much more in union with the apple flavor. Or else I am just getting used to it?

I wish I had made more. I will continue the experiment of chamomile in the cider. I won't say it gives an apple flavor, but perhaps it draws the apple flavor out of a very dry cider. My cider seems less dry and more apply than I am used to, and the only difference with this batch is the chamomile at bottling.

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