The gruit thing is growing on me. The 7% ABV and odd herbal taste makes it so I don't want to drink too much, but I can now see why people brewed with gruit herbs before hops was widely used. It's not really beer though. My "recipe" would not hold in a competition, but it was more pleasant than I expected. Next gruit is still going to be that Anti-imperial stout, but I have a mild ale to do first.
I picked up 10 lbs of pale malt and am going to try and mash the malt my self. Always time for a first :) If it doesn't work out I piced up some light malt extract syrup and dry malt extract.
My goal with the mild ale is to make a "low alcohol" brown ale and see how well it turns out. I have some Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeast (Stout yeast) and some Safale-04 in the fridge. I'm leaning toward Safale-04 because it has higher attenuation, higher flocculation, and leaves less of the diacetyl and estery (buttery and fruity) tastes in the beer than the Irish Ale yeast. I may save the Irish ale for my stout. I plan on steeping in 6 oz of Brown malt, 6 oz Crystal 60L, 2 oz Chocolate malt, 1 oz of Black malt, and 1 oz of roasted barley. I'm going to do 3 editions of .5 oz Kent Goldings hops.
Guess I let you know how it turns out. I may ALSO start a stout today, but not the anti-imperial one. I don't think I have enough mugwort and would need to find Licorice Root, Vanilla Bean, chicory, etc.
Also, try and give me some idea for a beer to brew. Someday I may share. Not next weekend though. I will most likely have to work, so no LL/USSM event for me :(