This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
One peck green nettles, one handful dandelion, one ounce ginger, one ounce yeast, one handful colts-food, two pounds brown sugar, one ounce cream tartar, three gallons boiling water; infuse the herbs in the boiling water, and when cold strain the liquor. In it dissolve the cream of tartar and the sugar, adding the yeast and bruised ginger. Let the whole work about twelve hours, skim the liquor carefully, and bottle in champagne bottles. Close tightly with good corks softened in boiling water, and tie the corks down. After a few days the beer is ready for use.