Scratch Brewing's Dead Leaves and Carrots Beer Recipe

Take advantage of those fallen leaves and fresh carrots to try your hand at brewing a beer with foraged ingredients.

Scratch Brewing Nov 1, 2016 - 3 min read

Scratch Brewing's Dead Leaves and Carrots Beer Recipe Primary Image

This is one of Scratch Brewing (Ava, Illinois) customers’ all-time favorites. It’s a lightly bready English bitter with a touch of smoke and a dry, crisp finish. It was inspired by the crisp crunch of fall leaves and that dry, almost toasted paper aroma. The oak leaves add extra bitterness and tannins, and the carrots add extra body and a little spice.


OG (est): 1.049
FG (est): 1.013
IBUs: 23
ABV: 4.7%


  • 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) Maris Otter
  • 1 lb (454 g) Munich
  • 0.6 lb (272 g) Caramel 40
  • 2.8 oz (79 g) German Rauchmalt


  • Carrot water and juice (see below) at 60 minutes
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) Columbus hops (15.6% AA) at 60 minutes
  • 2 lb (907 g) roasted carrots at 20 minutes
  • 2 qt (1.89 l) dead or dried oak leaves at 20 minutes


Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Chop the carrots into chunks and roast with about a cup (237 ml) of water until the carrots are soft and starting to caramelize. Remove from oven. Add the water with carrot juice to the boil kettle at the beginning of the boil. Put the carrots in one fine mesh bag and the dried leaves in another fine mesh bag before adding them to the boil.


Mash at 154°F (68°C) for 60 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes following the schedule for hops and additions. Pitch the yeast at 64°F (18°C).


Safale English Ale (S-04)


If you don’t live near oak trees, maple and hickory will also work well. When gathering the leaves, try to find the driest, crispest leaves. Damp leaves may already be starting to mold.

Recipe is built to yield a batch size of 5 gallons (19 liters) and assumes 72 percent efficiency.

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