Friday, 4 May 2012

ITTP Prague TEFL: Weekly Recipe

(Click to enlarge)
This week's recipe is a little different because it is a drinks recipe for Nettle Beer. At this time of the year nettles are growing practically in all green spaces and while the local brew is world class those coming to Prague from countries such as the USA and UK might miss their alternative brews (such as bitter, ale, etc.). This recipe is a delightful alternative to the Plsner which is endemic in Prague's supermarkets and the good news is that it is a very low cost brew which can be very easily made up. I made this brew up at the family cottage - lots of Czechs have them. If you don't have access to a cottage then you can just as easily make this in your apartment in Prague. Why not throw a nettle beer party and impress your fellow teachers with something they can't buy in the shops! This method follows a traditional English recipe:


900grams (2lb) young nettle tops (approx 2 full plastic shopping bags full)
3.8 liters (1 gallon) of water

230 grams (8oz) of sugar (demarrara sugar works best)
7.5 grams (0.25oz) of fresh yeast
 (drozdi - can be found in most supermarkets in the fridge sections)
Small piece of toast

7.5 grams (0.25oz) of ground ginger


Boil the nettle tops in the water for half an hour (you will need a very large pot).
Keeping the mixture, strain and add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the ginger.
Pour the mixture into a sterile container.
Spread the yeast onto the toast and float on the surface of the nettle liquid. Cover and leave for about 3 days at room temperature, do not allow the temperature to fluctuate too much as this will ruin the fermentation process.
Strain again and put into clean, strong screw top beer bottles, or sealable wine bottles.
After 2 days the nettle beer can be drunk.

Nettle liquid in demijohn (Click to enlarge)

Cooking tip:

For the sterile container I used a demijohn which I found in a storage cupboard and I just boiled up some water and cleaned the inside and top for sterilization. I sealed the demijohn with a cloth and elastic band. The two sealable wine bottles which you can see in the photo were purchased years ago from the Czech wine shop in the Andel shopping center (they still have them there). Again, I just boiled up some water and sterilized the bottles before adding the liquid.

Pimp it up:

Might sound weird but fried grasshopper would go perfectly with a glass of this beverage. If any of you readers have been to Thailand then I think you'll know what I mean.

Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)