Burdock Beer



  • 3 good-sized burdock roots
  • 450 g (1 lb) sugar
  • 2 heaped tablespoons molasses or black treacle
  • 1 lemon
  • yeast
  • 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water


Burdock roots should be collected just as the plants begin to make their leaves. Scrub the roots absolutely clean and then chop them up into small pieces. Boil them for 20 minutes in half the water. Put the yeast to start. Add the sugar and molasses to the hot water to dissolve, then add the juice of the lemon, strain out the solids and make the liquid up to the full amount. When cool, add the yeast. Leave to ferment in the bucket for 4 days and then bottle it off in screw-topped bottles. Test daily to see it does not get too fizzy. It can be drunk after one week. If you prefer a flavour more like Guinness you can increase the amount of molasses and decrease the amount of sugar to taste.