Margowicz
anyone got a good recipe for a milk thistle beer and/or ale? 

If anyone also knows any good books for natural beers such as nettle, thistle etc then can you send the link/name of it.

Thanks in advance Gary
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Pesho77

 Brewing like a yeti might have some thing like that or the sacred and herbal healing beers book.

 Pesh
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Pinto
I remember trying a Nettle ale made by one Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a few years back.  It was not good lol
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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EspeciallyBitter
One of the Brew Your Own recipe collections lists milk thistle leaf as a boil addition up to 2 oz. in a 5 US gallon batch (equivalent to 3 g/l). Says to boil for 45 minutes. (See page 134 of this book.)

There is this random blog post that gives a recipe using amber malt extract to make a dandelion and milk thistle beer. Once you get past all the alternative medicine stuff to the actual recipe, the guy uses 18 grams ground milk thistle seed with 4 gallons water and 3 litres of malt extract. I guess that's 4.8 gallons in total, assuming these are US gallons, which is 18.2 litres. So his usage is about 1 g/l – maybe it's lower because this is seed rather than leaf. Or maybe that's simply enough bitterness for him, given that BYO says 3 g/l is the maximum limit. (Also bear in mind the dandelion in the Pis en Lis G’root’ recipe will add bitterness, so that might be why the milk thistle addition is not higher.)

Note also that the Pis en Lis G'root' author adds milk thistle to the fermenting vessel because the "active compounds" he's interested in are alcohol soluble and he seems to think it's desirable to get those for their "potent liver strengthening and detoxifying capabilities". 🙄 Well... whatever. If we are interested in milk thistle as an ingredient rather than a magical cure-all, then I'd follow the BYO recommendation and use it in the boil to extract bitterness. But you could try it as a "dry hop" and add it to the FV and see what that lends to the final beer. Perhaps look up how gruit was added and take that as a lead? You're obviously the experimental type if you're trying Sylibum in the first place! 🙂

I'm guessing some kind of dark ale or amber ale will work with milk thistle. Milk thistle was a bittering agent used before hops came to dominate in that role, which suggests traditionally the ales it was used in would not have been pale ales. But you can try. I really have no idea what kind of flavour milk thistle imparts or if it's just bitterness.
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Tigermoth
Margowicz wrote:
anyone got a good recipe for a milk thistle beer and/or ale? 

If anyone also knows any good books for natural beers such as nettle, thistle etc then can you send the link/name of it.

Thanks in advance Gary


The closest book I have got is "The Home Brewers Garden"  ISBN Number is 978-1-58017-010-9  it has recipes like dandelion bitter and spruce ale etc. but I couldn't see milk thistle but if you are looking for natural ale making there is nothing like hops for being natural especially if they are organic and you could have ago at growing your own too, try to find some wild ones growing if you can. BTW chickens love milk thistle if you ever get too much of it.
[wave]
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