chamomile

Mugwort Chamomile Oatmeal Stout

Brewed on 7 April, 2007.

Grains

  • pale 2-row malt (Briess organic), 8 1/2 lbs.
  • Breiss caramel 120L malt, 3/4 lb.
  • Breiss chocolate malt, 1/2 lb.
  • Weyermann Carafa II malt, 3/4 lb.
  • Breiss roasted barley, 1/2 lb.
  • Weyermann pale wheat malt, 1/2 lb.
  • oat flakes, 1 lb.

Herbs

  • dried mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), 1 1/2 oz.
  • dried Spanish licorice root, 1/2 oz.
  • Celestial Seasonings¬†Honey Vanilla Chamomile Herbal Tea, 6 bags
  • dried Indian sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) root, 1 tablespoon

Extra sugars

  • wildflower honey, 2 lbs.
  • blackstrap molasses, 1 c. (bottling)

Yeast

  • Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale

Procedure

Make 1 1/2 gallons of tea with licorice root and tea bags, cool, put into sealed and sanitized containers and refrigerate. Use step-infusion mash: heat 3 gallons of water to 140F, which when combined with grains should result in temperature of ~125F. Soak covered for 15 minutes. Heat 1 3/4 gals. water to 200F and add to mash to bring temperature up to ~150F. Cover and soak until starch conversion is complete — 45 min. to an hour. Sparge with 3 gals. at 170F as slowly as possible. Add honey and bring to a boil. Add 1 oz. of the mugwort at beginning of the boil and the rest about 20 minutes before the end. Reduce to approx. 3 1/2 gals. Add tea at beginning of cooling process. Pitch yeast at 80F. Add Indian sarsaparilla at bottling time: steep it in the 1 pint–1 quart of water in which molasses has been boiled.

Results

My tasting notes say only “very tasty and strong,” but the fact that I still remember how good it was five years later ought to tell you something. I use mugwort a lot — it’s my favorite brewing herb (which is lucky, because there’s a huge patch of it growing wild out behind the shed), a reliable bittering and antiseptic agent and plenty aromatic, too.

For a version of this that doesn’t use Celestial Seasonings tea bags, but instead deploys chamomile flowers, vanilla extract, sweet orange peel, lemon grass and chicory root, see my recipe for Anti-Imperial Mugwort Stout at gruitale.com.