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Golden Goblet Gruit Ale

Gruit ales are an ancient brew, that were and are made without hops, instead they would use herbs. Gruits were brewed all over the European continent between 700 and 1700 AD. The typical Gruit herbs, the three most used were, Yarrow (flowers and stems), Marsh or Wild Rosemary, and Myrica or Sweet Gale. The main reason that the Gruit Herbs were replaced by hops in brewing was that hops were a better antiseptic, meaning that they retarded the growth of bacteria and preserved the ale longer then the herbs did. Remember that there was no refrigeration in those days and a batch of brew would last only so long with just alcohol and the herbs or even the hops to prevent spoilage. The other very significant difference between hops and Gruit herbs is that the hops have a sedative value to them (they make you sleepy) and the Gruit herbs have psychoactive properties that wake you up. That is why we always heard the tales that during the renaissance they would have great bawdy parties for days on end (wait, that’s what the Falcons do, never mind). This Gruit won the Gold medal at the 2011 Doug King Memorial Competition as well as coming in 1st runners up to Best of Show in that Comp. I think this was the best Gruit that I have ever brewed and I have brewed 21 of them.
Brewed By: 
Steve Cook, Cookie Kaplan, Nicolai Abramson
Brew Date: 
Brew Type: 
Beer Styles: 
Classic Style: 
Gruit Ale
Batch Size: 
6.5 gallons
Boil Time: 
90 minutes
Original Gravity: 
1.074 O.G.
Final Gravity: 
1.005 F.G.
9.2% ABV
0.0 IBUs
5.7 SRM

16 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 91.43 %

8.0 oz Belgian Caramel-Pils (8.0 SRM) Grain 2.86 %

1 lbs Turbinado (10.0 SRM) Sugar 5.71 %

Mashing Instructions: 

90 min Saccharification Rest

Mash -in with 21.95 qt of water at 159.0 f

Mash, Temp 148.0 f for 90 min

Mash Out, Heat to 168.0 f hold for 20 mins


No Hops, "Herbs"

Extra Ingredients: 

15.00 gal Burbank RO Water

1.00 gm Gale, Sweet (Mash 90.0 min) Misc

1.00 oz Marsh Rosemary (Mash 90.0 min) Misc

1.00 oz Yarrow (Mash 90.0 min) Misc

1.00 gm Gale, Sweet (Boil 60.0 min) Misc

1.00 oz Marsh Rosemary (Boil 60.0 min) Misc

1.00 oz Yarrow (Boil 60.0 min) Misc

1.50 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 20.0 min) Misc

3.50 tsp Super SuperFood (Boil 20.0 min) Misc

0.50 tsp Coriander Seed (Boil 15.0 min) Misc

14.00 gm Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc

1.00 tsp Lemon Peel (Boil 15.0 min) Misc

14.00 gm Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc




1 Pkgs Belgian Strong Ale (Wyeast Labs #1388) Yeast-Ale,

Make a 2L Starter .

Special Instructions / Notes: 

Half the herbs go in the mash and half in the boil at the times specified.  Ferment at 68 f for the first 3 or 4 days and then slowly raise the temp to 80 f  to 85 f over a few days, and let ferment out to about 1.005 - 1.008.

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