Can You Bottle Beer With Mason Jars?

Question

Do Mason jars have the sealing properties to hold beer? Also, I had a old reference to using wormwood(a bitter tonic herb) in beer making, has anyone tried this? We grow the annual bush on the edge of our garden and often munch on little bundles of it: anything bitter seems to be a great aid to digestion, perhaps like hops.

Answer

It might depend on what variety of Wormwood you have. Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium)is outstandingly bitter, and I have read a few posts on other sites where people have experimented and made a beer far too bitter to drink. You would need to be measuring in Grams rather than Ounces. When used to flavour spirits this Wormwood is added prior to distilation, so the aroma rather than the bitterness comes through in the final product.

Roman Wormwood is sometimes used as a finishing herb in bitter spirits, so I assume it adds less bitterness by weight: however there are a few herbs nicknamed Roman Wormwood and I’m not sure which one is consumable as a herb, or whether they all are.

Common Wormwood/Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is one I’ve actually used in a beer before (a Grut/Herb beer) You can use about an ounce to flavour a 5 gal brew. However its aroma characteristics are nothing like hops, and it gives a bizare mouth feel kind of like licking velvet. My beer has been in the bottle for almost a year now and the flavours are only just starting to balance out (I used a few other herbs as well.)

My suggestion would be to make a cup of tea out of the dried herbs to find out how bitter it is and whether you think the flavour will go well in the style of beer you intend to make.

Regarding the use of mason jars for bottling I’d be concerned about them exploding.

I don’t know if they could withstand the pressure associated with carbonation.

Also since mason jars are clear, any beer stored in them would be subject to becoming light struck so you would need to take extra care to store them in a dark place.

At any rate, I don’t believe mason jars are really suited for this purpose so I would probably avoid using them for bottling your beer.