From the HBD Archive
From: "Allen J. Hainer" <>
Subject: Interesting Ingredients
Date: 1989-07-14 20:02:24 GMT

A few weeks ago I asked for accounts from people who have used "different
ingredients" in their beers. My own experiences have been with molassis
(~1 cup/5 gallons) in both a stout and a pale ale with execellent results and
with ginger (~2 oz/5 gallons) in a pale ale. I had good results with that
but wish now that I had added more ginger.

Before I tried more liberal experiments, I wanted to hear what others had
tried. I would like to thank everyone who responded. There were a lot of
interesting ideas I would never had thought of myself.

The following is a summary of what I received. These are all ingredients
that the various correspondants had made, tried or heard about:

-al (


From: (Florian Bell)

Coffee, Chocolate, Licorice, Molasses, Brown sugar
Result: "the Kahlua of beers"

From: (Doug Freyburger)

Woodruff is used in mead, white wine, pilsners

Raspberry sauce in wheat-beer
Result: yuck!

From: ames!pacbell!pbmoss!mal@mailrus (Martin)

Hoeparden White, of Belgium, is flavored with coriander and demi-sec.
Result: It had a very spicy, citrus tast which I enjoyed, but thought it might
be a bit much in quantities greater than about 8 ounces.

Chopp (available in cans, in Europe) a mixture of beer and lemonade.
Result: It's better than it sounds (marginally). The English "Shandy".

From: uunet!tc.fluke.COM!inc@watmath (Gary Benson)

Instant coffee in a porter.
Result: It did what I imagined to the flavor, but may have affected the yeast

A banana
Result: Exellent, supposedly gives the yeast important neutrients.

Gary also asks how Guinness gets its "creaminess". Does anyone know how
to duplicate this home?

From: Dr. T. Andrews <tanner@ki4pv>

A pound or two of honey in a beer made from pale malt.
Result: A really incredibly beautiful beer.

From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH@adc1.RAY.COM>

Frozen raspberries or blueberries mead. (~3# berries/5 gallons)
Result: Good, but cloudy for 9 months or so.

Blackberry extract - added to an all-grain pilsener at bottling. (1 tsp/bottle)
Result: Just bottled.

Corriander, cardomon, oatmeal, unmalted wheat - all in the same batch!
The all-grain mash contained Quaker Oatmeal and unmalted wheat (labelled by the
health food store as 'Organic Red Winter Wheat'(cooked for 1 hour before
adding to the mash). I don't remember the details, but I think I used
around 2 pounds of unmalted wheat and 1/2 pound of oatmeal for a three
gallon batch. Corriander and cardomon were added to the beginning of the
wort boil at a rate of around 2 tsp and 1 tsp repectively (three gallon
Result: Together, these two spices added a nice fruity, spicey aroma to
my Christmas Ale. If I had to to this again, I would cut back a bit on the
corriander and cardomon, and add a little orange peel.

Sprite extract beer
Result: It didn't ferment due to perservatives in Sprite.

Real banana beer (real bananas!)
Result: Tasted like it sounds, and was very cloudy as well.

Potato beer, with potatoes comprising 30% of the mash (real mashed potatoes!)
Result: A surprisingly good potato beer

Maple-flavored continental dark (a few pounds of maple syrup per 5 gallons)

Ground white peppercorns instead of corriander - the package was mis-labelled.
Result: bad idea

Mike also makes some other interesting comments:

Determination of the proper amounts of 'wierd ingredients' is always
difficult. For ingredients which add flavor (no fermentables), I
experiment with commercial beers. I mix measured abounts of the spice
or fruit extract to a pitcher of beer, and taste the result. I keep adding
ingredients until it tastes 'right'. I then use this concentration for the
homebrewed product.


The following is a list of brewing herbs, mostly from Zymurgy back issues
When dosages are provided, the author Gary Carlin has tried them. I
believe all these are safe, but suggest trying the low end dose at first.

All dosages are for 5 gallons

Field Hops (yarrow) Carolus Linnaeus indicated it increased the
intoxicating effects of brew.
Red variety is the easiest to grow. Cut when in full
bloom, dry leaves and stems @ 100 deg. F.
2 oz. for 0.5 hour boil

Agrimony 1.0 - 2.0 oz

Balm (fresh only) 2.0 - 4.0 oz

Betony (not fresh) 0.5 - 1.0 oz

Bogbean 0.5 oz

Sweet Gale - used in English Gale Beer

Cardamon seed 5-8 seeds, crushed 0.5 hour boil

Chamomile 1 oz dry or 3 fresh

Clary - (its oil is used in muscatel)

Alecost - to replace hops

Dandylion 1 gallon loosely packed leaf and taproot

Elecampare fresh root, 1.0 - 2.0 oz. 30 - 40 min. boil

Garden Sage (sage ale) Dry hop 0.5 - 1.0 oz

Gentian Root (super bitter!!) 1/8th to 1/4th oz

Ginger 0.5 - 2.0 oz fresh grated for 20 min

Alehoof (ground ivy) leaves and stems (used as with hops)

Hyssop leaves and young shoots (used with or as with hops)

Indian Borage (used as with hops) used in India as hops and in wine

Licorice small piece of root boiled for 20 min, sweet flavor

Meadowsweet (meadwort) wintergreen nose, has aspirin, dry hop 0.5 oz

Mugwort bittersweet (use as with hops)

Southernwood lemon flavor

Spruce (norway, red, black species only) 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons

Valerian bitter, 0.25 - 0.5 root boiled 25 min

Majoram 0.5 oz dry hop

Wintergreen - Gaultheria procumbens leaves, 1-2 oz, pour 0.5 gal. boiling
water on them, cover allow to ferment 3 days, add to wort

Szechwan chili peppers 2 - 10 crushed, Charlie suggests boiling liquor
(water) and gradually adding peppers to tast.
Then you add your malt, ect START SMALL!!


Thanks again to all who responded -al

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