This brew is highly nutritional and medicinal.
Brewing beer is an art. Thousands of years ago, people started to brew beer for a health purpose. Unlike our modern day beer, traditionally beer was prepared quite differently.
Many medicinal herbs were used to brew the beer that even children could drink. I stepped into the brewing and fermenting world when I first stumbled upon Kombucha, the ancient probiotic drink.
A few years back, I had a massive digestive issue and in order to fix my gut I started to ferment Kombucha drink. The results were amazing. Since then, I have become fascinated in the brewing alchemy and have been experimenting with lots of ingredients to ferment many delicious drinks and food.
In this blog, I am going to introduce my spruce beer (non-alcoholic) to you. This drink smells citrusy and tastes lemony. Its relatively easy to brew and you will need only a few ingredients and equipment.
Technically beer is an alcoholic drink brewed with malted grains and hops. This spruce beer is not made of malt and hops and therefore is not a real beer. Yet I call this beer because I have used beer yeast to produce this drink. You see in the brewing world, yeast plays a larger role in fermentation and also for creating a unique taste in the final product.
Without yeast you cannot brew a beer. This spruce "beer" taste so refreshing with wonderful spruce aroma. I can basically say, it taste like a lemony fruity drink. Since spruce is very high in vitamin C, you can take this drink as a vitamin C shot whenever you feel like getting ill. To know more about vitamin C and spruce, read here.
NOW LET'S JUMP INTO THE RECIPE:
30 g of young or matured spruce needles (can use together with the stems)
1 liter of non chlorinated water
4 tablespoon brown sugar
2 slices of rye bread (thoroughly toasted till dark brown)
1 tablespoon beer yeast
Mix the sugar and water and stir well. Arrange the spruce needles and the toasted bread inside a clean glass jar. Pour the sugared water into the jar like this.
Sprinkle on top the beer yeast and give a little stir.
Cover the jar with a piece of clean cloth, securing it with a rubber band so no insects will get in. Place this jar in a dark room or shelf and stir this mixture every day to make sure no mold or yeast is forming on top.
Since we brew in the presence of oxygen (allowing air to pass through the cloth covering) the end product will not contain alcohol. Brew for two weeks and you will notice bubbles starting to form and the bright green color of the spruce will turn dull and the liquid will be turning to yellow brownish hue.
After two weeks, sieve the drink to remove all solid pieces and pour the fermented liquid into a glass bottle. You can use swing-top type or screw cap bottle (picture above) to store your "beer". Remember this "beer" still contain lots of living yeast which will continue to breath, producing gas. So you need to burp (open the lid shortly) this drink at least twice a week to prevent any explosion.
You can place the bottle in the fridge to slow down the fermentation. Cooler temperature will make the yeast less active. Always make sure to leave some space in the bottle neck before closing the lid to allow the gas to have some space to expand till you release it by burping the glass.
Enjoy your tasty medicinal beer!
SOME QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK AND THE ANSWERS FOR YOU:
Can I ferment more than two weeks?
Yes, you can, but the taste will be more sourer as the mixture sits in too long. Spruce in general taste somewhat sour due to the high vitamin C content and therefore you should be expecting your final product to get a more sour taste.
Can I use any other yeast than beer yeast?
Yes, you can use wine yeast, champagne yeast or any other wild yeast. For example, you can combine elder flower into this recipe to introduce the wild yeast found in elder flower. Elder flower naturally contain wild yeast on their petals.
How to drink this "beer"?
You can drink this "beer" directly or by mixing into any mocktail or even in a fruit juice or smoothie. Whenever you feel that you need some immune boosting remedy, take this drink as a vitamin C shot.