This recipe for an extract IPA is as easy to make as a kit beer and will be infinitely more rewarding. The hops and additions can be altered to your taste, as can the yeast. I’d recommend using a yeast that has a good dry finish and so American strains should be favoured.
- 3.5kg/7lb 11oz Light malt extract (89.7%)
- 400g/14oz Crystal Malt (10.3%)
- 50g Aurora (9% AA) @60mins
- 10g Dried Mugwort @5mins
- 1g Dried Wormwood @5mins
- 20g NZ Kohatu (6.8%) @5mins
1 hour boil. Pitch 2 packet of safe Ale 05 yeast at 21°c/70°f. Leave for 10-14 days to ferment before moving to the secondary to condition for a further 2-3 weeks. Bottle or keg once fermentation has completed.
It is thought that this use as a bittering agent in beer is what led to the name “mug” wort, mug of course being the cup that held a beer. It is a striking plant and those who keep their foraging eyes open whilst driving would have seen it growing alongside motorways the M25 being what seems like a spiritual home. I tend to forage for mugwort away from places that are quite so polluted and have often found it growing in waste ground at the edge of woodlands and along riverbanks.
The best time of year to go looking for it here in my corner of South West Britain is from mid summer onwards this is when the plant is flowering. Forage any earlier and you’ll often find last years plants, dried and looking rather dusty looking as a marker. This can be useful as the leaves will grow rather close to the ground before the plant, “takes off” later in the year. These leaves can be used to make Ssuk or Mugwort soup, a springtime delicacy in parts of Asia.
There are various versions out there, often serving the soup with seaweed (usually kelp), clams or even some anchovies. However, making it with simple ingredients works too and will give you an idea of the taste of the soup.
Mugwort soup Ingredients
- One small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Oil/butter for frying
- 100g Mugwort tops
- 1 tablespoon of Sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon of Miso paste
Thoroughly wash your mugwort leaves and lightly fry your onion and garlic in the bottom of a pot. Top up with water and bring to the boil stirring in the rest of the ingredients save the sesame seeds.
Toast the sesame seeds by frying them until they turn colour in a dry frying pan.