Nettle Beer

Beer made from stinging nettles might not sound the most palatable beverage but, try it, and you will be harvesting this handy plant every spring.

You need
100 nettles (young or nettle tips are best)
12 litres of water
1.5 kg sugar
50g cream of tartar
15 g yeast
Boil the nettles with 12 litres of water for 15 minutes (in batches if you don’t have a big enough pot). Strain and add the sugar and cream of tartar. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Wait until tepid and then add the yeast. Stir well, cover and leave for a few days, otherwise it can have too much fizz. Bottle and cork.
Like all home brewing nettle beer is a bit hit and miss. I have made some excellent supplies with a heady alcohol content and have also made some dud batches which were stinky enough to clear a cinema when opened surreptitiously during a Harry Potter film (the closest thing to a potion I had). Just be careful when you uncork, they can go off with quite a bang!

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