Hi! I'm Heidi.

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

 

Wife. Grandma. Gardener. Student of Plant Medicine and Herbs. Whole30 Fan. Poultry Farmer. Trying to be Courageously DIY. Essential Oil Enthusiast. Beginning Horsewoman. New Homesteader in Mid-Life.

Do you want to feel empowered by being able to be as self-sufficient as possible in this uncertain world?  Me too!  Join me in this learning journey!

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

How to Make Your Own Herbal Beer (Part Two)

How to Make Your Own Herbal Beer (Part Two)

Making your own herbal beer is an art and a science!  It's just a great feeling to create your own herbal beer, know that it's health benefits are working for you, AND it tastes delicious! My husband has told me we need to have a constant supply going now! lol  If you want the recipe for this particular beer, and directions and pictures for the first part of beer making, you might want to read How to Make Your Own Herbal Beer (Part One).  I was inspired to create this particular recipe because I'm currently taking the Herbal Fermentation Course at the Herbal Academy of New England and loving every second of it!  Now, in this second article on how to make your own home brewed herbal beer, we'll take a look at how to prime your bottles, what kind of bottles to use, and bottling....and finally, what we've all been waiting for: the taste test! 

Here's Part Two of my series on how to make herbal beer (ale) at home!  You'll definitely want to check out these pictures--this beer turned out GREAT!  For part one, visit this article.  

Here's Part Two of my series on how to make herbal beer (ale) at home!  You'll definitely want to check out these pictures--this beer turned out GREAT!  For part one, visit this article.  

Affiliate Disclosure:  This article contains affiliate links. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I will receive a very small commission at no cost to you! Every little bit helps! Thank you for supporting my blogging efforts! Heidi

What Tools Will I Need for the Bottling Stage?

Bottles for the beer (my favorite are Grolsch bottles, also known as swing-top bottles)

A funnel

Sugar (about 1/2 tsp per 12 ounce bottle)

Capper and caps (unless you are using Grolsch/swing top bottles)

Bottle Brush

What Kind of Bottles Should I Use?

The absolute best bottles for brewing beer, in my opinion, are swing-top, or Grolsch bottles.  One of the reasons I prefer Grolsch bottles is that they have a tight-fitting, safe lid attached to the bottle.  Just plug the opening of the bottle with the lid, and flip the metal swing down.  Another reason I prefer Grolsch bottles is they are safer than your average bottle.  There is a very thick layer of glass around the neck, generally, and the lid clamps down instead of being twisted or pushed on.  My final reason for loving Grolsch bottles for our home brew is that they are attractive!  You can find them with designs or just plain--but I think they look very cool. You can purchase them in different sizes, clear or amber, or reuse some you already have!

Other options are previously used or even new beer bottles (but not the ones with screw on caps). You'll need to purchase caps and a capper for new regular beer bottles. If you plan to use regular beer bottles, be sure to have enough caps on hand.  You won't be able to reuse these caps either, as the edges will be crimped down by the capper.  

 I actually have Grolsch bottles being used for other beers in storage right now, so I only had two to use for this project.  Since I had a half gallon of beer left to pour after using the two Grolsch bottles, I also reused a lemon juice bottle (yes, with a screw on lid--which I felt obliged to "burp" twice during the wait time because the potential build up of carbonation made me nervous) and I also used a quart Mason jar, which I burped about four times during the week-long wait time because I could see the pressure building up the lid.  You don't have to burp the Grolsch bottles---another plus. 

SAFETY NOTE:  The reason I decided to "burp" the lemon bottle and the Mason jar is because bottled beer can explode! If you see your air space increasing, that's a sign that you might just have an accident, and exploding bottles are dangerous!  

The two bottles on the left are swing top (Grolsch) bottles, both clear.  The green bottle is a repurposed lemon juice bottle with a screw on lid (NOT recommended for making home brew), and finally, a Mason jar.  The difference in colors of the brew is due to the amount of sediment in each.  I tried to filter with a paper towel, but it didn't work that great.  Since my husband says the best beers have sediment---well, I just left it alone! :-)  

The two bottles on the left are swing top (Grolsch) bottles, both clear.  The green bottle is a repurposed lemon juice bottle with a screw on lid (NOT recommended for making home brew), and finally, a Mason jar.  The difference in colors of the brew is due to the amount of sediment in each.  I tried to filter with a paper towel, but it didn't work that great.  Since my husband says the best beers have sediment---well, I just left it alone! :-)  

 

Steps for Priming, Bottling, and Completing a Second Ferment of Your Home Brew

Note: Your brew should have completely finished its first ferment before you go into this next stage. See Part One here.   After about two weeks, you'll notice the brew is no longer bubbling.  I usually wait an additional day or two to be sure it's ready to go on to the bottling stage. For all the steps (and the recipe) in the first part of making your own beer, read Part One of this series! 

Step One:  Wash Your Bottles

Sanitation is extremely important in every step of the fermentation and brewing process.  The last thing you want to see is mold! Although some brewers are adamant about using a special sanitizer or even bleach, I just use extremely hot water and mild dish soap.  I've never had a problem.  You can also use a wormwood tea to rinse your bottle with, if you want something antiseptic but don't want to use chemicals!

You might want to use a bottle brush, and I recommend it if you are reusing your bottles!  They are wonderful! 

Step Two: Prime Your Bottles

Priming involves placing a bit of sugar (about 1/2 tsp for 12 ounces or so of beer) in each bottle before you pour in your fermented brew.  The sugar provides a little extra food for the yeast in the beer, which creates the carbonation in your beer! 

Step Three:  Fill Your Bottles

Now, grab that funnel and pour your fermented brew into your bottles.  I like to leave about an inch and a half to two inches of head space because you will definitely have gas build up, and you want to give it some room (especially if you are not using bottles made specifically for beer).  

Filling the bottles with the fermented herbal beer.  It's already a bit foamy!

Filling the bottles with the fermented herbal beer.  It's already a bit foamy!

Step Four: Cap and Store Your Brew 

Now it's time to let those bottles sit for awhile longer!  I KNOW!  You want it NOW!  I know just how you feel.  But, it's important to allow at least another week to go by so the yeast has a chance to consume the sugar, which will add more flavor and fizz to your bottles of beer! 

Yikes!  No, I didn't shake it! 

Yikes!  No, I didn't shake it! 

Ever want to learn more about herbs and making your own teas? Check out this eBook!

Ever want to learn more about herbs and making your own teas? Check out this eBook!

A great little snack after work.....

A great little snack after work.....

Step Five: Open, Taste, Enjoy! 

A week has finally gone by! You are now ready to open one of those bottles and taste your brew! Pay attention to the final tastes---can you taste any of the herbs you put in your brew? What is your top note? Is it citrusy and refreshing? Or is it bitter? Does it taste a little fruity? This is the fun part! Will all your brews turn out? Who knows?  Mine don't always come out as planned, but most usually they are wonderful! 

You should plan on using your herbal ale within a year, just to be sure the flavors don't turn.  BUT, I bet it won't last that long! 

I hope you enjoyed this article, and our adventures in learning to make our own beer at home!  I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, and experiences and appreciate comments!  

Hugs and Self-Reliance!

Heidi

P.S.  If you haven't signed up for our newsletter yet, please do! I'll never spam you, and you'll get updates about once every other week and never more than weekly.  Your privacy is safe too!  ALSO, when you sign up, I'd love to give you a copy of my eBook on How to Use Herbs to Relax!  

This article has been shared on these blog hops:  The Homestead Hop, The Homesteader Blog Hop, Grandma's DIY, Our Simple Blog Hop, and The Homestead Bloggers Network!  Stop on by for more great simple life, homesteading tips!

My husband, Joe, enjoying the first taste.  He says it's better than any beer he's ever tasted...he might just be buttering me up though.  But...I don't think so...He describes this herbal ale as flavorful and dry, with a little sweet-tartness, slight citrus taste (probably from the ginger), and very refreshing! Definitely making this recipe again! 

My husband, Joe, enjoying the first taste.  He says it's better than any beer he's ever tasted...he might just be buttering me up though.  But...I don't think so...He describes this herbal ale as flavorful and dry, with a little sweet-tartness, slight citrus taste (probably from the ginger), and very refreshing! Definitely making this recipe again! 

 

 

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