Beer: The Food of the Gods

Here on this very page will be the beer recipes that I use most often. To tantalize your taste buds, here is a sample:

Derw’s Beltane Brew

Beltane is the Celtic celebration of the beginning of summer. In the modern calendar, it corresponds to May Day (the nature celebration version, not the international Labor Day version.) The traditional drink for May Day was a May wine, usually a lighter bodied wine that had sweet woodruff soaked in it to give it a sweet, springlike flavor. I came up with this recipe to create a beer with the same character. It has become one of my favorite beers and one that I make year after year. I grow a lovely patch of sweet woodruff in the back yard just for this beer.

  • 4 lb Alexander’s Pale Extract
  • 3 lb clover honey
  • 1 packet Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast
  • 3 1/2 oz Willamette plugs
  • 1 1/4 oz dried sweet woodruff

Boil water (I do full boil, so I start with 4 1/2 gallons of water), add pale extract. Add 1 1/2 oz Willamette for 45 minutes, 1 1/2 oz Willamette for 15 minutes, 1 1/4 oz sweet woodruff for 15 minutes, then finish with 1/2 oz Willamette for 5 minutes.

After fermentation, prime with 3 oz Corn Sugar if kegging, 4.5 oz Corn Sugar if bottling.

OG 1.044
FG 1.014
4.3% ABV

Expect a slight apple flavor from the Woodruff, along with the normal flavor that honey brings to the mix. This is a very light beer and should come out crystal clear if you use a secondary fermentation.

I have substituted Munton & Fison Extra Light Liquid Malt Extract for the Alexander’s in some batches. This yields a somewhat darker and heavier (OG 1.052) wort but seems to ferment better (FG 1.004, ABV 5.25%).