My goal was to develop a good porter that did not use hops. With it’s liver-supporting properties and wealth of vitamins and minerals, Dandelion seemed like the perfect substitute. In the original version of this recipe, I used a combination of fresh and dried dandelion tops for bittering, which yielded a well-balanced, lightly bittered porter, and fresh and dried sage and calendula to achieve a hop-like aroma. At first, the aroma wasn’t right, but after letting the brew age for three weeks the scent had mellowed considerably to one quite reminiscent of the Tetnanger hops I might otherwise have used.

I have assumed you know how to brew beer using all-grain techniques and have included in this procedure only those steps and notations that deviate from the standard all-grain brewing procedures outlined in Charles Papazian’s The Joy of Home Brewing.

Ingredients

  • 9.5 lbs. English two-row malt
  • 1 lb. dark crystal malt
  • 0.75 lb. black patent malt
  • 1 lb. flaked oats
  • 2 oz. dried dandelion tops or 4 oz. fresh dandelion tops for bittering
  • 0.5 oz. each of dried or fresh sage or calendula or 0.5 oz. Tetnanger hops for aroma
  • 0.25 oz. Irish Moss (for clearing)
  • Water to make up 5 gallons of finished brew

Procedure

Follow standard all-grain brewing procedures to brew 5 gallons of beer.

If you use sage and calendula for aroma hops, let the beer age for about three weeks after it’s been bottled or kegged to let the scents blend and mellow.

For more information on dandelion, buy The Practical Herbalist’s Herbal Folio: Dandelion: Herbal Medicine Rooted in Your Front Yard.