Author Topic: Brewing with Lavender  (Read 11159 times)

Offline djhelix

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Brewing with Lavender
« on: February 04, 2010, 03:05:06 PM »
Hello,

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?

Thanks,
Chris

Offline enso

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 03:23:50 PM »
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.
Dave Brush

Offline redbeerman

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 06:15:45 AM »
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.
CH3CH2OH - Without it, life itself would be impossible.

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Jim

Offline beerocd

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 07:53:53 AM »
Are all lavenders edible?
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline slfaf

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 09:44:52 AM »
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?

Offline sfbeerguy

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2010, 10:25:15 AM »
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.

I have brewed with spices a few times in my experiences and only once with lavender.  I have found that the easiest and most efficient way to get the flavor and aroma of an herb in a beer is by making a tincture.  When I made my lavender pale ale I put a bunch (around 8oz, can't remember exactly) of lavender into an Erlenmeyer flask with a pint of cheap, charcoal-filtered vodka.  Let this sit for about 6 days or so and then it is ready to pour into your secondary fermenter.  

I add herbs into the secondary as the process of active fermentation can alter the flavor profile of your tincture.  The most important thing to remember is that with lavender, a little goes a LONG way.  You can easily end up with a beer that smells like soap and tastes like bitter dirt.  I would pour a bit in and taste the beer, and then continue to add to taste.  Be careful!

Cheers and good luck!
Brad
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 12:12:47 PM by sfbeerguy »

Offline akr71

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 12:44:08 PM »
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?

I downloaded a speadsheet (from BYO I think) that listed brewing spices, max amounts for a 5 gallon batch and how best to use it.  For dried lavender flowers, it say 1 ounce (again this is a MAXIMUM) in the last 15 minutes of the boil - use less for fresh flowers.  I'd start with about a half ounce and see if you like it.  Also, typically, the later in the boil, the more flavor is going to end up in your brew, so maybe a tablespoon at 0 is a good starting point.

Andy

Amherst, NS - Canada

Offline KingBrianI

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 09:54:39 AM »

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.

Would you mind posting the recipes and experiences you have with non-hopped herbal ales (possibly in a new thread)?  I would really like to start experimenting with gruits but there is so little info available on how much of what herbs to use at what times.  If you could post your experiences it wouldn't be like starting from scratch.

Offline dean

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2010, 01:11:00 PM »

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.

Would you mind posting the recipes and experiences you have with non-hopped herbal ales (possibly in a new thread)?  I would really like to start experimenting with gruits but there is so little info available on how much of what herbs to use at what times.  If you could post your experiences it wouldn't be like starting from scratch.


+1   I'd be interested in seeing some Gruit recipes too.  People have said Gruit is nasty but I would suppose people thought hops were nasty too when they made brewers switch to hops instead of herbs.  ;)

Offline KingBrianI

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 12:37:11 PM »
Kinda quiet around here... :P

Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 05:13:34 PM »
I used Lavender from my plants in the backyard, last summer.  I might a great Lavender wit.  I used a little less than .15 oz of the flowers, and probably .1 oz of leaves.  I soaked them in grain alcohol for 1 week and added them to the secondary.  I also used lemon zest, and the lemon stood out more than the lavender.  I wouldn't boil the lavender, (boiling brings some crazy stuff out of herbs), but I might steep .25 oz after the boil and and .25 oz to the secondary.  If you're doing an IPA I wouldn't go crazy on the hops, they will easily overpower the lavender.
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Offline micsager

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Re: Brewing with Lavender
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2010, 07:23:36 PM »
I live in Sequim, Wa.  And we have a lavender festival here every year as much is grown in this area.  I have been brewing lavender for quite some time.  I use a Saison recipe, and replace the spices with the lavender.   Kind of.

I add two ounces of CULINARY lavender to the boil when I pitch my starter.  10 gallon batch.  As I ferment in two five gallon buckets, I leave the lavender and yeast added to the wort in the boil pot for about an hour, stir, and transfer to the buckets.   (I learned the technique from Justin on The Brewing Network)

Make sure and get culinary and not aromatic lavender.  the later has camphor, just like vicks vapor rub.  not good in beer.