How to Home Brew: Easy Dandelion Porter, Malt Extract Herbal Beer

This recipe for Dandelion Porter is based on the All-grain version. It’ll produce a lovely and rather easy porter and can be modified by adding steeping grains before you boil the Wort. The Dandelion tops in this recipe offer a good liver-supporting element that offsets the challenges alcohol offers the liver and supporting systems. You can substitute Dandelion Root for tops using the same quantities. Add Dandelion root straight away when the Wort begins to boil; you’ll be boiling the Wort with the Dandelion Root for 60 minutes instead to more fully extract the bittering properties of the root.
I have assumed you know how to brew beer using malt extract or that this at least not your first-ever malt extract brew. The procedure I’m including is fairly basic. If you have a process you like better, use that and add the Dandelion when you would normally add your bittering hops with a boil time of 30 minutes for Dandelion Tops and 60 minutes for Dandelion Root. Add the Sage and Calendula when you would normally add your aroma hops with a five-minute boiling time.


  • 7-8 lbs. (3.2-3.6 kg) amber malt extract
  • 1 lb. (.5 kg) black patent malt
  • 0.5 lbs (.25 kg) chocolate malt
  • 2 oz. (56 g) dried  dandelion tops or 4 oz.(112 g) fresh dandelion tops for bittering
  • 0.5 oz (15 g) each of dried or fresh sage or calendula or 0.5 oz. (15 g) Tetnanger hops for aroma
  • Water to make up 5 gallons (19 L)


Follow standard extract-brewing procedures to brew 5 gallons of beer:

  1. Measure water and Malt Extract.
  2. Mix Water and Malt Extract in brew pot then heat over medium heat, stirring until extract is fully dissolved and no clumps remain. This is the Wort.
  3. Bring the Wort to a boil and boil for 30 minutes, add the Dandelion tops for bittering then boil for another 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the Wort from the heat.
  5. Add the Sage and Calendula or Tetnanger hops to the Wort and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Cool the Wort to approximately 70 degrees F (21 degrees C).
  7. Transfer the Wort to your fermenter. Be sure to strain out all herbs as you transfer.
  8. Pitch the yeast as directed on the yeast package or using your usual method.
  9. Allow the Wort to ferment until the yeast activity has completed, usually about a week, then transfer to secondary fermentation.
  10. Allow to stand in secondary fermentation as long as makes sense. We usually give it about three weeks before bottling.
  11. Bottle or keg the finished beer using your usual method.

If you use sage and calendula for aroma hops, let the beer age for about three weeks after it’s been bottled or kegged to let the scents blend and mellow.

As always, sanitize all tools and equipment thoroughly to avoid off-flavors.

For a really simple and good process for brewing beer, see This Article.

For more information on dandelion, buy The Practical Herbalist’s Herbal Folio: Dandelion: Herbal Medicine Rooted in Your Front Yard.

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