Chamomile Ale (Beer) Recipe---Create Your Own Herbal Home Brew! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)

Ales (beer) have been around for literally thousands of years, and most of these ancient recipes called for using herbs. In this manner, they became "healing" in nature. Since they are also a fermented drink, they are good for you in terms of gut health too.

My Chamomile Ale was inspired by a recipe from the book by Harold Buhner's book, Sacred Herbal Healing Beers. This recipe is several hundred years old and involves using Chamomile. Chamomile is a relaxant, is great for helping with anxiety and soothing nerves.

It also helps solve sleep issues and is calming in the evening. It's a delicious little herb, too, with a honey-like sweetness. Here's how to make Chamomile Ale!

FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article, and if you click through one and make any type of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

**See below for lots of pictures! I love pictures---they really help out sometimes!

What You'll Need to Brew Your Own Beer

1) A carboy (jug). (This link is for a carboy that includes the airlock and stopper too.)I used a gallon for this recipe, since I've never made it before!

2) An airlock and a bung (stopper) that fits securely on the opening of the carboy

3) A siphon for bottling your brew

4) A funnel and strainer for pouring the wort (sugared tea) into the carboy and making sure the herbs are strained out of the liquid.

5) Bottles.

I prefer the Grolsch swing top types. They are a little more expensive than the bottles you have to cap by hand, but I find they are well worth it, since you can easily reuse them. If you don't want to purchase swing top bottles, you can just purchase regular bottles. If you use regular bottles, you'll also need to purchase caps and a capper.

Chamomile Beer Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 or 3 ounces of Chamomile. Chamomile is quite light, so this is more than you think! (The link provided is to Starwest Botanicals, which is where I purchase my herbs.)

Juice of 2 Lemons

1 pound of cane sugar. I use organic.

1 tablespoon of molasses (optional)

Yeast

A Bit About the Yeast:

I'm learning all about yeasts right now. You need yeast to eat up the sugars and cause the fermentation action to happen. Up to this point, I've used regular bread yeast with decent results. I know this is probably heresy in the beer brewing world, but it DOES work just fine.

Other recommendations I got from our local home brew store are to use Wine or Champagne yeast because these tolerate the alcohol content better and give a better taste (supposedly). So, I'm trying different variations of yeast in my brewing efforts these days. I'll have more information on that later!

Steps for Making Your Chamomile Beer:

Step 1) Brew your tea.

I poured about 3 quarts of water into a soup pot and brought it to a low boil. Then I stirred my Chamomile into the water and allowed to steep, covered, with the burner off, for about 30 minutes. It gave me quite a strong and dark tea.

Step 2) Pour your wort (tea)into your carboy (jug).

Place a strainer into your funnel, and place the funnel into the carboy (jug). You can strain and pour your Chamomile tea directly into your carboy this way. I ended up with about a half a jug of tea this way.

Step 3) Sugar it up!

Now pour your sugar and molasses if using into your carboy, while the tea is still hot. Put a lid on the carboy and gently shake/stir it until the sugar is dissolved into the hot liquid.

Step 4) Squeeze in your lemon juice.

Step 5) Fill up your carboy

Pour distilled water (I actually just use our tap water, which comes from a well) into the carboy. I pour up to the point where the jug begins to curve. You can pour your liquid higher than that, but I like to be sure to leave room for the bubbles and gases during the fermentation process.

Step 6) Lock it up!

Attach your bung and airlock to the top of the carboy. This allows the fermentation process to happen without worry about mold while allowing the gases to escape.

Step 7) Let it sit and ferment away!

Allow to ferment for about two weeks, or a day or two after the liquid has completely stopped bubbling---even little bubbles. It should be still.

Step 8) Bottle up your brew

Now it's time to bottle and store your brew!

Note: Prime your bottles first.

**Prime bottles by adding about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the bottles. This will create the carbonation everyone loves because your brew will ferment even more after you bottle it up!

**Using your siphon, fill your bottles to the curve. (Again, I'm conservative here. I like to leave plenty of room for the gases---because they WILL build up!)

Cap your bottles and store away for at least another week and up to a year in a cool, dark place.

Enjoy!

**A note about safety: Bottles of fermenting beer or ale can potentially explode! Be sure you are using bottles meant for holding beer or ale. Keep them stored in a cool, dark place, and just be aware that they could possibly be holding a lot of pressure inside them. I haven't had any problems with any of our brews (knock on wood), but I have heard of people who have actually gotten hurt.

Some say that Chamomile Ale is much stronger in effect on your senses than regular ale or beer, due to the Chamomile herb's relaxing properties. Enjoy this delicious beer, but beware! A little may go a longer way than most ales!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and recipe on Chamomile Ale. I'd love to know if you give it a try or have experiences making herbal ales!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read:

How to Make Your Own Herbal Beer Part One and

How to Make Your Own Herbal Beer Part Two.

And if you'd like our Mountain Man Beer Recipe that uses herbs from our local desert, it's right here for you!

Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance!

Heidi

P.S. I hope you'll sign up for the Newsletter!When you do, you'll get free access to the password protected Resource Library, which contains awesomeness like this eBook on How to Relax Using Herbs. Enjoy!

Just complete the form below:

If you're interested in learning more about fermenting beers, kefir, kombucha, or veggies/fruits using herbs, you need to check out the course from the Herbal Academy of New England: The Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course!

Chamomile Ale (Beer) Recipe---Create Your Own Herbal Home Brew! — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)

FAQs

Why did hops replace gruit? ›

The main factor for the replacement of spices by hops is that hops were cheaper (especially in the gruit area, where the price of beer flavouring spices was artificially kept high) and were better at rendering the beer more stable.

How to make ale from scratch? ›

To make ale, you make a wort (lushly flavoured malty water) and ferment it with yeast. In this recipe, the wort is simply the liquid produced by boiling up the malt, barley, hops and sugar as required. The yeast is added later. Basic proportions (for five gallons) are as below...

What is gruit made of? ›

I am Gruit

According to Stephen Harrod Buhners' book “Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers,” the traditional gruit employed three herbs: Myrica gale (also known as bog myrtle, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and wild rosemary, though many believe that the gale and rosemary were used interchangeably.

How do you add herbs to beer? ›

These herbs may be added early or late in boil (depending on whether you're looking for more bitterness, flavor, or aroma) or to the secondary fermenter, just like with dry hopping. One thing to keep in mind when brewing beer with herbs is that the herbs tend to be more delicate than hops.

Why did hops go out of business? ›

The restaurant was reportedly forced to close because a lease agreement could not be reached.

What does gruit beer taste like? ›

The function of botanicals in gruits is not to mimic the taste of hops but to add new flavors. The Local Honey is herbaceous and almost resiny, with floral aromas and just enough honeyed sweetness to balance a slight, verdant bitterness. The Morpho tastes tart with hibiscus, leaning more tropical.

How long does homemade ale last? ›

Homebrew keeps well for about a year, and its flavor often continues evolving. The flavor tends to keep improving for a month or two after bottling, stays steady for several months, and then starts to deteriorate and turn stale after about 12 months.

What makes ale different than beer? ›

Ales, typically called “bitter,” are differentiated from beers by possessing a hop flavour that is more intense than that of beers due to the increased amount of hops used in the brewing process of ales. This is because the amount of hops used in the brewing process of ales is greater than that of beers.

How to make homebrew ale? ›

Here are the three stages of brewing your own beer:
  1. Boil water, hops and malt extract. Firstly, you'll need to fill up a big pan with 12 pints of water and bring it to a boil. ...
  2. Add ale yeast and leave to ferment. ...
  3. Siphon the beer into clean bottles.
Apr 18, 2024

What is a beer without hops called? ›

Gruit is a drink from olden times, a drink much like beer, but made without the use of hops.

What botanicals are used in beer? ›

The most common herbs and botanicals used in herbal beer and herbal spirits include mint, chamomile, lavender, thyme, rosemary, coriander, anise, ginger, cinnamon, etc. The choice of botanicals depends on the desired flavor profile.

What beer is rice? ›

Many popular Japanese beers like Sapporo, Kirin, and Asahi are rice-based, and even Budweiser uses rice along with barley in its brewing process. However, those brews alone shouldn't inform your opinion of rice beers, which can be creamy, refreshing, and pleasantly sweet.

What herbs are good in beer? ›

Examples of herbs used are elder flowers (Sambucus nigra L.) to flavor spring or summer beers (Denmark), mint (Mentha spp.) to flavor stout (Italy), and heather to recreate a traditional ale style (Scotland). Though herbs can help bring a range of fascinating flavors, they should be used in beer with caution.

What adds bitterness to beer? ›

As you probably know, bitterness is pretty much all about hops. Hops are the flowers, or cones, of a plant called humulus lupulus. Hops help to keep beer fresher, longer; help beer retain its head of foam—a key component of a beer's aroma and flavor; and, of course, add “hoppy” aroma, flavor, and bitterness.

What herbs are used to make beer? ›

Regional micro-breweries are using rosemary, chipotle chiles, juniper berries, chamomile, basil, and candied ginger among other herbs and spices to create wildly delicious new beer flavors. Some may even taste of raspberries, depending on where you are in the country.

Why did they start putting hops in beer? ›

Hops are also used in brewing for their antibacterial effect over less desirable microorganisms and for purported benefits including balancing the sweetness of the malt with bitterness and a variety of flavours and aromas.

What happened to hop House Lager? ›

We have today been notified by Diageo that following a review of their beer portfolio, a decision has been taken to prioritise the main Guinness trademark in the UK and to delist Hop House 13 Lager.

Why were hops originally added to beer? ›

In those early days, the sole reason for using hops was to preserve the beer in good condition: the bittering effect was reluctantly accepted by Englishmen.

What happened to hop House beer? ›

Guinness spin-off discontinued in Britain after sales nosedived during pandemic. Guinness has said it has no plans to stop selling Hop House 13 in Ireland after the brand was last week discontinued in Britain. Hop House 13 was developed as part of a bid to cash in on the growing demand for craft beer.

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