Enjoy the beer that you deserve.
What it does :
Remember that, for many of the centuries people have been brewing beer, the exclusive use of hops to balance beer's malty base is relatively recent. Brewers have long added special flavorings like herbs to make unique brews, and that tradition continues today. The craft brewing and homebrewing movements provide daily examples of this inventiveness. If you are reading this, you are likely looking to broaden your beer and brewing palate. You can make use of camomile to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Camomile is commonly used as part of an infusion with hot water, e.g. an herbal tea, to cause sleepiness or aid with an upset stomach. You can also try using camomile as part of a specialty, herbal flavored beer.
When designing a beer recipe that will include camomile you must carefully consider the malt, hops, and yeast base that will best complement this specialty ingredient. When brewing with herbs, many brewers choose a strong malt base, with bittering hops only. By avoiding the addition of aroma hops, this allows the added herbs to complement, and not conflict with the beer's other ingredients.
What it is:
Camomile, also spelled chamomile, is the name for a group of small, daisy-like flowers. It grows in the wild in parts of Europe and also Asia. Some of the best camomile comes from a small arable part of Eqypt. The yellow pollen of the camomile flower imparts a delicate apple-like flavor.
The amount of camomile needed for brewing can vary depending on the source and your desired flavor. For a 5 gallon batch, try 1-2 ounces of chopped camomile. Remove any unwanted parts of the plant. Wash and rinse in cold water, strain, then add to the secondary fermenter. By adding during secondary fermentation well after the wort boil, you ensure that the delicate camomile aromas will survive to be detectable in your finished beer. The concept is similar to dry-hopping. Finding the right amount of camomile to use will depend on your particular recipe and your vision for your beer. As always, keep good records of each beer that you make, be willing to experiment, and you will converge on the ingredient mix that yields the flavor and aroma result that you like best.
Use fresh camomile to ensure best effect on your beer. Just as cooking with fresh herbs makes your culinary dishes taste superior, so will using the same quality of ingredients to your beer. So, for that extra impact on your finished brew, reach for fresh camomile. You should be able to obtain it in your local specialty grocery store or shop.
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