Summer Herb Beer (no hops)

20 litres; OG = 1.031; FG = 1.008; ABV = 3% (calculated, actual values may vary.)

This recipe makes a light, fresh-tasting beer, refreshing and pleasant on a summer evening.


  • 1.5kg dry malt extract
  • 1.1kg demarara sugar (alternatively you can use muscovado sugar, which will give a deeper flavour)
  • 20 litres water
  • 1 packet of Fermentis Safale US-05 yeast
  • Spices &/or Herbs:
    • 200g dried meadowsweet herb
    • 200g dried dandelion root, toasted
    • 200g dried agrimony herb
    • 75g dried lavender flowers

Brewing instructions:

  • To toast dandelion root, place in a cast iron pan or non-stick frying pan, turn stove to medium heat and dry toast (stirring or swirling pan constantly) until granules darken and fill the air with aroma. Take care not to burn them.
  • Boil the dry malt extract, sugar, water and herbs together for half an hour. (Or put the herbs into a Fabric steeping bag so they can be easily removed later.)
  • Allow to cool with the lid on the pot, then strain out the herbs using a sterilised strainer or remove the steeping bag with the herbs. Add the yeast when cooled to about 20°C.
  • Transfer to fermenter and ferment until complete (7-10 days).
  • Pour into primed bottles and leave for 10-14 days.

(Source:, based on an original recipe from Mrs. Grieves, 1931. Recipe adapted to Imperial measurements as well as for availability of ingredients in South Africa.)