​Rosemary and bay Beer

FB_IMG_1493750865085This one is based on Andy Hamilton’s recipe, found in the book ‘Booze for free’. It goes down really well and is one of my most popular home brewed beers.

Before hops were common in beer brewing, herbs such as rosemary and nettles would have been used, so this is a nice throwback to our ancestors brewing techniques.

This beer usually comes out at 4.5 %




  • 5 rosemary sprigs
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 500g amber malt extract
  • 375g sugar
  • 12 pints of water
  • Beer yeast (or Young’s super wine yeast extract)



Put the rosemary and bay leaves into a large pan and cove_20170502_193250r with 6 pints of water, boil for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile put your sugar and malt extract into a fermentation bin. Strain the rosemary and bay water through a muslin cloth into the fermentation bin.

Stir well to dissolve all the sugar and malt extract.

Pour in 6 pints of cold water and stir. Make a note of the gravity, it should be around 1040.

Add your yeast and leave to ferment for 3 weeks. Whilst a lot of recipes state much shorter times I find the beer benefits from this extended time.

Don’t forget to check your final gravity, if you FB_IMG_1493750173247haven’t already and want to know the percentage of alcohol in your brew.

Add a level teaspoon of sugar to each beer bottle and siphon the beer into the bottles. Cap the bottles (or use swing tops) and place somewhere warm for 2 days before moving to somewhere cool.

The beer should be ready to drink in 2 weeks, 3 is better.


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