Homebrew Recipe: Alehoofer Gruit

Key points for key pints

Ferment fast, drink fresh. One unquestionable benefit hops brought to beer was extended shelf life; gruit won’t benefit from extended aging.

Alehoof alternates. If you don’t want to forage, or can’t find an herbicide-free source of ground ivy, feel free to substitute an ounce or two of your own custom blend of dried botanicals from your LHBS, grocery store, or spice cabinet.

To the homebrewery

Note: these steps are general guidelines and assume you’re already familiar with the all-grain brewing process. Refer to the instructions for your brew system and adjust as needed based on experience with your own particular equipment.


1. On brew day, collect strike water and heat to approximately 165°F.

2. Mill the grains, or have it done for you at the shop.

Mash & sparge

1. Add all grains to strike water and mix to achieve a uniform temperature of 151–153°F. Rest the mash at this temperature for 60–90 minutes. While the mash rests, collect and heat sparge water.

2. When the mash rest is complete, heat it to 170°F for mashout.

3. Sparge and collect the wort in the boil kettle.


1. Bring the wort to a boil and party like it’s 1066. Add roughly two-thirds of the ground ivy (or your own mixture) when the wort begins to boil, and boil for 60 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ground ivy at the end of the boil.

3. Cool it!

Fermentation & beyond

1. Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermenter, aerate well, and pitch yeast.

2. Depending on the yeast strain being used, aim for a maximum fermentation temp in the low- to mid-60s°F. When fermentation activity subsides and gravity is stable, allow a few more days of settling then proceed with packaging.

3. Our alehoof gruit will is best enjoyed fresh and a bit green, just like Minnesota spring.

Until next time: Drink it like you brewed it.

Like this recipe? You can find it and 63 other witty and detailed homebrew recipes in Michael Dawson’s book, “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home.” In each recipe, Dawson includes suggestions on how to modify and customize each beer, along with all-new essays on Malt, Hops, Yeast, and Water, giving readers critical insight into the building blocks of every successful brew. On sale now for $24.95 at mashmakerbook.com.

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