How to make nettle beer

Spring has well and trully sprung, and so it is nettle season again.

This is a recipe for nettle beer – surprisingly nice – which I made a couple of times last springtime. I generally don’t like beers that much, but actually quite liked this one.

I think I stole the recipe off that River Cottage programme on the telly. Might have been from somewhere else.


6l water

About a big bag of salads worth of nettle tops, washed

Juice of 1 lemon, strained

Juice of 1 orange, strained

750g caster sugar

30g cream of tartar

5g yeast


1. First of all go collect the nettles. You want to wear gloves (naturally) and stay away from big roads (no pollution). Just pick the green nettle tops, otherwise it will go a bit bitter.

2.Bring the water to the boil in a large pan.

3.  Add nettles, stir, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for at least until it is at blood temperature (about 1 1/2 hours)

4. Strain the nettle liquid through a colander lined with a cloth into a large pan.

5. Add the sugar, stirring until its all dissolved, then add the cream of tartar, and lemon and orange juice.

6.  Finally, once the mixture is tepid, stir in the yeast. Cover and leave for 2-3 days in a warm place, until it’s obviously fermenting.

7. Remove any scum which has risen to the top and siphon the beer into clean pop bottles. Leave for a couple more days, and enjoy!

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    • Andy Church
    • March 27th, 2011

    cheers, gonna go and pick nettles today and try this later!

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