Mugwort and Lemon Beer

by Scott
Mugwort lemon beer boiling - ready to be siphoned

The below recipe for Mugwort and Lemon Beer has been taken from Grow Forage Cook Ferment. I have just changed it a little bit and put it here for prosperity. This recipe is from  The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar ad it’s well worth a look.

So, let’s begin …

The first step with any home brewing recipe is to make sure that everything is properly sanitised.  There are many sanitisers to choose from, but to save a bit of money you can use a Milton tablet for sterilising baby bottle tops etc. (honestly it’s A LOT cheaper) or you can use recommended brewing sterilising equipment etc.

A 5-litre brewing vessel is recommended for this recipe, as are screw top or swing top bottles.


  • 3.75 l (1 gallon) spring water or distilled water (I used tap water its fine where we live as its very soft and from the castle)
  •  8g dried mugwort leaves ( I used fresh with flower buds so doubled the amount to about 20g)
  • 577 g dark brown sugar
  • 3 large lemons
  • Yeast (beer or wine yeast) ( i used champagne yeast as that’s all we had).

Directions for making Mugwort and Lemon Beer

  1. Mix the water, mugwort, and brown sugar in a large pot. Cut and squeeze the lemons into the pot.  Bring the solution to a boil; let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Cool to room temp, then add the yeast. (cooling may take a while you can choose to wait or use a cold water bath or stick it in a cold water filled sink)
  3. Strain the brew into your fermenter.  Position the airlock or cover the fermenter with a paper towel or cheesecloth.  Let the brew ferment for 10 days.
  4. Syphon into beer bottles and prime the bottles with 1/2 tsp brown sugar for carbonation.  Close the bottles and store somewhere not too hot.  The beer will be ready to drink in 3 to 4 weeks.

As I’ve just started this ferment on the date the post was published so I’ll let you know results below once it’s finished fermenting and it’s ready. I hope it might be a good brew to drink on quarter day occasions we’ll see. We will also see how long it keeps and shelf life etc and any more notes needed for those who want to try it. Until then Slàinte Mhath!

Edit and update: Ok ten days later the ferment had almost stopped so it was time to rack off into bottles. The primary ferment filled 6 x 500 ml bottles with swing tops. Initial taste and first impressions it is tasty but soon builds in bitterness, which i like, but it might be a little bitter for most who don’t use bitters daily. It’s a fresh ferment, they usually taste different to the final product. Hopefully, the sugar has also offset some of the bitterness but we will have to wait and see. I hope I didn’t add too much mugwort in. I’ll be back to check them out in 4 weeks. Fingers crossed.

Edit: Ok it was absolutely amazing and a huge hit with friends and family alike. slightly bitter, a bit tannic and a bit citrusy. More ale like than lager but amazing! If you do drink too much you might consider this hangover cure.


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Corey Burt 21st February 2017 - 1:35 am

Any updates on the taste?

I’ve brewed an irish red ale using mugwort in place of hops (one of the plants used as a beer preservative before hops was introduced) but have yet to try it as I left it to brew in my parents basement.

Cailleachs son 21st February 2017 - 12:43 pm

Hi Corey. Thanks for asking! Sorry i forgot to update. Yes i found it delicious, as did some of my more herbally minded guinea pigs, sorry friends. It has a bit of a bitter kick but also citrusy top notes but it all balances out well!

Hops have the same bitter principle so it should all work out fine in your brew but the effects from drinking it will probably be different. I find Mugwort more soporific and hops more relaxing. Funny how a lot of these relaxing/mind altering herbs have a bitter principle :)


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