Dandelion Beer Recipe
Here’s a recipe from my new book The Forager’s Feast. It uses both dandelion leaves and roots. Roasting the roots first gives the brew an almost red ale-like richness.
Note that if you use the leaves of dandelion plants that are already flowering rather than from plants that haven’t flowered yet, you will end up with a more bitter beer (not necessarily a bad thing).
Makes about twelve 12-ounce/355 ml bottles of beer
5 quarts/4.75 liters water
1/2 pound/225 grams dandelion leaves, washed and chopped
1/2 ounce/15 grams roasted dandelion root (to roast fresh dandelion roots, clean them, chop into small pieces, and roast at 300F/150C until dark brown but not burnt)
1/2 ounce/15 grams fresh ginger, grated (no need to peel)
1/4 cup/60 ml warm water
1 tablespoon beer yeast (or you can get away with using granulated bread yeast)
1 pound/450 grams raw or Demerara sugar
1 ounce/30 cream of tartar
- Put the dandelion and ginger into a large pot with the five quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let it cook at a lively simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the dandelion is brewing, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water in a small cup or bowl and set aside.
- Put the sugar and cream of tartar into a clean fermentation vessel (you can use a food-safe bucket or even a large stainless steel stock pot (don’t use aluminum).
- Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth or butter muslin. Put the colander over the sugar and cream of tartar in the fermentation vessel and pour the dandelion-ginger brew through it. Remove the colander. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Let the brew cool to room temperature before stirring in the yeast. Cover the vessel with a dishtowel and set in a warm but not hot place (warmish room temperature is good). Leave for three days, stirring vigorously at least once a day.
- Siphon the beer into sterilized beer bottles and cap. Be careful to leave the lees (the yeasty guck at the bottom of the fermentation vessel) behind while you’re siphoning.
- Store the bottles on their sides in a cool place (your fridge or a cool garage will work) for at least seven days before drinking. It will be even better if you wait three weeks.
Note: If you’re new to home brewing and aren’t sure how to go about things like siphoning, sterilizing, and capping bottles, there is information here.
The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles is here! Part field guide covering 50 plants, mushrooms, and seaweeds with a widespread distribution, part cookbook for turning these wild edibles into delectable dishes, the Kindle version was just released and the paperback is available for pre-order (or at one of my upcoming events above)!
“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer
“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos