Conquering Lavender – Beer and Soda Recipes
UPDATE: I have created a complete video course on soda-making on SkillShare. If you use this link you can get 3 months of classes for 99 cents http://skl.sh/2ivSEmT . The link entitles you to view all of SkillShar’s classes which are pretty cool. Enjoy!!
Here’s the big news, people… I have finally figured out how to make lavender beer and soda. My previous attempts usually ended up tasting like grandma’s perfume or the latest new age hand cream.
I owe much of this success to the release of Scratch Brewery’s new book, “The Homebrewer’s Almanac.” Scratch is a brewery and pub in southern Illinois. They’ve been brewing for years with foraged ingredients and plants from their garden. Their beers sound amazing. It’s on my bucket list of places to visit.
The book includes wonderful inspiration for adding herbs and plants to your brews including lavender. Rather than using the flowers, they use the stems and leaves directly in the mash. This makes it more drinkable, tasting less like cough syrup or some weird herbal tonic.
I have also been using a similar approach for making lavender sodas which turned out terrific. So you are getting 2 recipes today. One for lavender soda and one for a 1 gallon beer batch. As always I encourage you to use this for inspiration and start mixing and matching your own ingredients to come up with even more delicious combinations.
Lavender Soda – (Makes a little under 1/2 a gallon.)
1 inch or 2 of chopped fresh lavender stems and leaves.
Pinch of dried lavender flowers
Half a lemon and or a half inch slice of ginger (these are the options I used)
Half a gallon of water
1/4 cup plus a tablespoon to half a cup of sugar to taste. (Remember you need enough sugar to ferment the beverage but you can modify the amout to taste.
1/4 teaspoon or so of Champagne yeast.
You will also need a half gallon mason jar or larger jug, air lock and an air tight lid with a grommet for the mason jar.
- Boil about half a cup of water with the lavender and lemon and/or ginger slices.
- Add sugar and dissolve.
- Remove from heat and strain the hot liquid into the mason jar. Toss in a couple of lemon slices and lavender leaves.
- Add cold water to the shoulder of the mason jar.
- Cover and cool to 70-75 degrees. (I usually stick it in the fridge for an hour or so.)
- When cooled. Shake the jar to add oxygen (Makes yeast happy)
- Add yeast and cover with the grommeted lid and airlock with a little water added (to the airlock)
- Wrap with a cloth and set it in a dark, cool place until the airlock starts to show activity. (From 8 to 24 hours depending on the temperature.)
- Bottle the soda right away in flip top bottles and let them sit in a dark place for 24 hours. Don’t use regular bottles and caps. They might explode.
- Refrigerate immediately and enjoy when ready.
Safety tip: Always cover the bottles with a cloth and hold down the flip top while opening. Naturally carbonated soda can be volatile.
Lavender Beer – (Makes a little under 1 gallon.)
1 gallon plus 2 cups water
100 grams Victory Malt (Crushed)
60 grams Flaked Oats
1 lb. Pilsen Light Dry Mal Extract
3 inches chopped lavender leaves and stems
1 inch chopped lavender leaves and stems
1/8 teaspoon Yeast nutrient
Pinch of licorice root
Pinch of Irish Moss
4 grams Citra Hops
5 Grams Saaz Hops
3/4 teaspoon Belle Saison Yeast
- Boil water with licorice root, 3 inches of chopped lavender, and crushed grains and oats (in a brew bag.)
- Reduce heat to between 135 and 165 degrees and simmer there for about 15 minutes.
- Remove bag and and and DME and Citra hops. Bring to boil.
- Boil for 45 minutes.
- Add yeast nutrient and irish moss 10 minutes from end of boil.
- At flameout add 1 inch of chopped lavender and Sazz hops.
- Cool to 70-75 degrees.
- Strain into fermenter and oxygenate.
- Add yeast and ferment for 10-12 days.
- Bottle and condition in a dark cabinet for 2 weeks.
- Refrigerate and enjoy!
Tasting notes: This batch was very nice. It definitely smelled like lavender but the laveder taste was very subtle. I think I might punch it with a bit more lavender for my next batch. It’s a winner!