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Brewing with Lavender

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I'd like to brew a lavender IPA. Any recommendations on where to buy lavender and are there any specific lavender buds I should be using?


Some specialty herb companies will have lavender blossoms.  I know I have gotten some from Penzey's spices.  You might try a well stocked natural food store/ coop or an herbal shop.  Depending on where you are that mey or may not be available.  Look online as well.

I can't make any recommendations on specific lavender varieties to use.  I can say that if you really want the best quality you should consider using fresh and growing your own lavender.  That also will depend on where you live as lavender will not grow well too far north.  I know, I have tried!

Useage.  If you are wanting an IPA you can easily overwhelm the lavender.  It is a fairly delicate flavor/aroma.  Heavy hops may mask it.  Especially citrus type American.  I would think a nice English style IPA with herbal English variety hops such as EKG or fuggles would work best.  Still watch the ibu's and flavor additions though.

I have made quite a few herbal beers, though sans hops.  I make a really nice yarrow ale and another heather ale.  Neither one has hops so I don't know how to advise the hop to herb ratio.  I can say though that from experience, fresh is infinitely better than dried.

I have had only one herbal commerical beer that includes hops and herbs.  It was Rock Art breweries jasmine pale ale.  It was really quite excellent when I had it at the brewery.  So, it is a possibility.

I think it would be best fresh from the plant.  They grow pretty fast and in all but the hottest climates.  And they are evergreen IIRC.  I'll have to check the one in my backyard.  I use it to blend fresh herbs de provence along with fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano.  Awesome in rotisserie chicken, but I digress.

Are all lavenders edible?

I'm looking to put some lavender in a saison.  What are your reccommendations on how much I should use in a 5 gallon batch and when it should be added; my initial thoughts are 1 T dried at 0min.

Also any thoughts on amounts of cracked black pepper?


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