Gruit Ale (no hops)

20 litres; OG = 1.064; FG = 1.014; SRM = 45; ABV = 6.6% (calculated, actual values may vary.)


  • 3.8 kg pale malt (3 - 4 °L)
  • 450g flaked barley (1.5 °L) (or use crushed pearl barley)
  • 1.2kg dark Munich malt (20 °L)
  • 230g roasted barley (300 °L)
  • 450g dark wheat malt (6 - 8 °L)
  • 1 package ale yeast (English or German wheat beer, e.g. Fermentis Safale WB-06)
  • Spices &/or Herbs:
    • 15g dried lavender flowers
    • 60g dried sweet woodruff leaves
    • 15g dried juniper berries
    • 15g dried rosemary leaves

Brewing instructions:

  • Place the herbs into a pot.
  • Boil about two liters of water. Pour over the herbs and let steep for about one hour.
  • Meanwhile, single-infusion mash the grain at about 67°C. Let rest for about an hour.
  • Sparge, allowing the grain bed temperature to rise to about 75°C, but not above.
  • Boil for about half an hour to coagulate the proteins into trub.
  • Turn off the heat and strain herb tea through a sieve into the wort. Let the wort rest for about 30 minutes to precipitate the trub. If your gravity is slightly off at the end of the boil, do not worry: you are making gruitbier!
  • Chill the wort to the fermentation temperature of the selected yeast.
  • Rack the brew after about three weeks, prime and bottle. Condition at about 20°C.
  • The brew is ready to drink after about a week of conditioning (provided the conditioning temperature is about 20°C, otherwise carbonation will be minimal. Carbonation levels for traditional ales should be relatively low, but the beer should not be flat.)

(Source: Recipe adapted to Imperial measurements as well as for availability of ingredients in South Africa.)