#21  Gruit Ale
8.5 lbs Mild Malt
.75 lb Flaked Barley
.5 lb Smoked Malt
.5 lb Special-B Malt
1 lb Crystal 60L Malt
1 packet US-56 dry ale yeast
2 oz Gruit Mix
- Bag 2 oz of Gruit Mix, place in 1/2 gallon water.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat,
and allow to steep 1 hour.  Remove gruit and reserve liquid.
- Crush grains, mash for 30 minutes at 155F.  Sparge with 170F water to 6 gallons.
- Bring wort to rolling boil.  Boil approx. 1 hour, or until reduced to 5 gallons.
- Remove from heat, add gruit tea.  Force chill.
- Brewed 11 March 2006.  OG: 1.048
May be a bit shy of 5 gallons, due to spillage when cooling.  
Gruit tea was surprisingly dark.  Aroma mostly of
peppermint.  OG would have been higher with a longer mash.
- Notes, 13 March.  Strong fermentation; the aroma changes
just about every time I sniff at the airlock.  Interesting...
- Racked 16 March.  Refractometer reads 7.2' Brix.  Flavor
is unusual.  Will probably decrease the Peppermint in the
next Gruit mix.  We'll see...
- Kegged 27 March, with 1/3 cup corn sugar.  SG: 1.008.  
Aroma and flavor are both coming around.  This will be
interesting.
- Tapped 22 April.  Somewhat light in body, but clear and
flavorful.  Not bad.  Next time, add some Melanoidin; maybe
use the gruit as a "dry hop"?
- 24 April:  Much improved with a pinch of salt in a glassful.
- 4 May:  Stop the presses.  The above notes (22 and 24
April) apply to the
Munich Amber.  That's what I get for not
labeling the kegs this time around...
-  Tapped (for real!) 4 May 2006.  1st glass cloudy, as
usual--a murky brown.  Odor is slightly off initially, but not
bad.  Eventually, the herbal mix makes itself known.  First
taste:  
Zing! Tart.  Enough to make me wonder about a
possible lacto infection.  (I'll have to rig the tap for cleansing,
instead of going straight to the next brew...)  Still, good for
summertime on-the-patio grilling after mowing the lawn, I
should think.  Next time, drink this younger.
Notes:
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- Pitch yeast.  Ferment 1 week in primary, 2-3 weeks in secondary.
- After 30 minute total boil, remove from heat, and top to 5.5 gallons with cold water.
Gruit Mix:
2 oz Lemon Balm
1 oz Stick Cinnamon
1 oz Pepperment
3 oz Yarrow Flower
4 oz Elderflower
4 oz Fennel Seed
2 oz Rosemary
1 oz Sweet Orange Peel
1/4 oz Juniper Berries
1/4 oz Coriander Seed
1 oz Cloves