First, if I see a single comment with the statement, “I am Groot,” I’ll… I’ll… wave my fist in anger. Any sketches of a tree-like alien being will equally be… waved at.
Yesterday, I wrote a little about what beer is. Now, I’ll say something about what came before hops: gruit. Gruit, or gruut, is a term used in reference to un-hopped beers.
The term may refer to the drink itself, gruit ale in contrast to beer, or it may refer to the herbs used for bittering in the absence of hops.
So what might you use instead of hops, to both bitter and preserve a fermented malt beverage?
Heather was a common choice, exemplified by the Scotch heather ale.
Bog myrtle is another common option. There have been some suggestions that it might be carcinogenic, but nothing conclusive.
There are other herbs that can be used for bittering as well.
So, then, why have I presented these five?
I have it in my head to brew some gruits, and these are the bittering herbs I’m starting with.
Furthermore, it’s my plan to grow these herbs (and hops as well) starting this summer and into the future.
I bought some seeds and will be starting them next month for a summer harvest. You can expect some posts about the joys of growing things. I hope they do grow.
In the meantime, it is possible to find some of these herbs dried and ready to use for brewing, so look for some gruit-brewing posts in the future.