Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Burdock Beer Recipe

Forager Rachel Lambert holding a bottle of homemade burdock beer

A light, rooty homemade beer, with the distinct flavour of burdock roots. Made in just a week or two, some call it a slightly alcoholic, fizzy drink rather than a beer. I'll leave you to decide.

Alongside dandelion roots, burdock roots have been used to flavour drinks since at least the 1200s. I think it's a flavour worth rediscovering and helps bring this humble root back into the limelight.

You can also find out more about these edible roots in my posts Foraging for Burdock Roots and Three Simple Recipes with Burdock Roots.

Roots of our labour

Step-by-Step Burdock Beer Recipe

This wild flavoured beer is quick to make with little more than a bucket, yeast and time. You can choose whether to make a light version or slightly darker and richer.

Makes 2 – 2.5 litres

  • 400 g burdock roots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 ¼ litres water
  • 225 g dark brown sugar
  • 1-3 tbsp molasses
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 5 g yeast

In a large saucepan add the burdock roots with the water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and add the sugar and molasses to the hot liquid and stir to dissolve, then add the lemon juice. The more molasses you add, the deeper and darker the flavour.

Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and leave to become frothy. When the liquid is room temperature pour into a fermenting bucket and add the yeast. Cover and leave for a week before bottling. It may need a further few days to get to a good flavour and fizziness, though do check regularly and refrigerate to stop the fermenting if the bubbling looks like it may get out of hand!

Bottles of burdock beer made from wild foraged ingredients in Cornwall

This recipe is also in my book Wild and Sweet - forage and make 101 seasonal desserts, where I use it in 3 of the recipes in the Dandelion and burdock section.

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