Being a lover of FREE things, the idea of making beer out of a common weed sounded pretty cool, but the results have been much better than expected.
We have a long tradition of beer in this country, indeed, historically, beer was the only safe thing to drink.
I love beer, it is one of my favourite drinks so, producing something that I would enjoy was a real challenge.
Step 1: Get the Nettles
First you need to collect nettles.
You need a lot of them. You don't want to decimate an area, stinging nettles are an important plant for wildlife, so leave a good percentage alone.
The lower leaves are not so good, so only pick the top six leaves.
Don't pick any at "dog" height, near paths or alongside busy roads, because they will be "contaminated".
You want nice, fresh, clean nettle tops off young plants, if they have flowered or gone to seed, you are too late. Be careful to pick only stinging nettles, you can check they are stinging nettle by rubbing your hand on them, if they sting, then you probably have the right plant!
Spring is the best time, as they are bursting into growth all young and vigorous.
It takes a long time to pick enough nettles to make a batch of beer.
So after a nice walk in the country I had a cup of Tea and a Fig roll before unpacking the bag with a lot of very compressed nettles.