Experimental brewing

Learn from my trial and errors, and kick-start your own experiments. Remember, no brew is truly bad – even if it is less enjoyable as a beverage, it can always be used for something…


Lots of left-over lees? Make more brews, or bread!

Bad yeasty beer? Make bread, make pancakes…

“A hen or a cock shall get fat quickly / if they drink beer instead of water / or that one makes their feed with beer.”

Flat beer? Beer stewed mussels. Beer soap (really, beer soap is great for the skin).

Sour beer? Make beer vinegar! Or add fruit syrup, and make Kriek.

“Beer vinegar which is strong is made thus. Take of the first and foremost must / and make it warm so that one can barely keep a hand in it. After that put in moere [mother] which is some liquid of old beer / the mother should make the aforesaid must go seethe [ferment] and turn into vinegar. And if it is not strong enough / add therein white willow wood / that will surely sour it.”

“Vinegar made of beer is less strong than wine vinegar / and also not as sharp / nor as thin of parts as the same wine-vinegar.”

Weird mead? Make mead vinegar!

“To make vinegar of mead. Take mead and let it sour in the sun / the same as one uses wine or beer / and as soon as a skin forms one shall tap it / and put the mead in another barrel / until it is sour enough.”

Funky apple cider? Make apple cider vinegar… the healthiest of them all!

And spent grains? Use in bread. Find a neighbor or friend with chickens, goats, rabbits &c. and the livestock will make short measure of the protein rich left-overs.

“Spent grains / or malt of which beer is cooked / serves to feed the cows in winter and to fatten pigs / when they are stabled.”

In true frugal medieval fashion: there will be No Brew Left Behind!



  • Beer as feed: Cruydt-Boeck by Rembertus Dodonaeus, 1644.
  • Beer vinegar (1): T bouck va wondre, anonymous, 1513.
  • Beer vinegar (2): Cruydt-Boeck by Rembertus Dodonaeus, 1644.
  • Mead vinegar: Van de Byen by Theodorus Clutius, 1597
  • Spent grains: Cruydt-Boeck by Rembertus Dodonaeus, 1644.