Monday, 10 May 2010

Beer Bomb.

I think I've mentioned previously that we've had our first harvest from the Allotment. Sadly not a crop we've grown but a large bagful of nettles I picked before the rough ground got zizzed by a helpful lawnmower. As free alcohol always piques my interest I decided to try my hand at Nettle Beer.

I used the River Cottage recipe which was really easy. I fancied a fizzy drink so I consulted the oracle of all things home brew aka my husband who once made some fizzy lager back when the Conservatives were last in power. He advised putting a couple of teaspoons of sugar in each bottle as I was bottling it.

Technically then, the mess in my larder is his fault. I opened the larder door on Saturday morning to make breakfast and a bottle top rolled out.....

Then I spied a funny sticky patch on the floor.

Then the splash marks.

Then the wreckage of a 2litre plastic bottle.

So no, husband dearest, that mysterious bang you heard at midnight wasn't someone trying to break in as you first thought and neither was it the fault of the neighbours as you later thought. It was, in fact, our nettle beer exploding and taking out the hand held mini vac in the process.

Luckily we only lost one bottle, but the others were alarmingly mis-shapen and blown and they fizzed and farted for what felt like an age as we let the excess gas out.

The first tasting was last night. It bears no resemblance to beer as I'd recognise it but it's very close to elderflower champagne. Perhaps not quite so sophisticated with it's strangely swampy sweetness but very pleasant and summery nonetheless and, most importantly, it's free!


  1. Powerful stuff.

  2. Whaaat??? You can make beer from nettles? Why hasn't anyone told me this. I demand to know why?

  3. I published 2 comments! Thanks to the Lord of all things Blogger.

  4. Hi there - glad you're enjoying the nettle beer.. but you're right it doesn't really taste like beer does it - nice and refreshing though. We made some too recently but the one thing I've never worked out is quite how alcoholic it is!

  5. My best guess is 'very' judging by my husband's stumble after the 1st pint! Smaller glasses in future I think ....

  6. shame you had exploding bottles, but seems like a good result from the experiment :) I shall be looking up the recipe anything free from garden is good, especially if the only work involved is picking it. Lovely blog x

  7. well I don't know if I want to try making this after the mishaps you have had but you have given me a great laugh...I'm sure my nephews would love to give it a try underage as they are!!!! so maybe in future i will give it a go....if the kids collect the nettles that is!

  8. Thank you Tamsyn : )

    Tanya - if they pick nettles, give them marigolds (the gloves, not the blooms) I discovered that stings go right through gardening gloves!

    Am currently quaffing nettle beer with mint, ice and strawberries. V nice, v summery. Just need the summer now