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Old 11-08-2007, 02:53 AM   #1
Trodd
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Default Another type of Beer

I am looking for a recipe for Root Beer. No extract wanted. I've been drinking Virgil's for quite some time, and I figured that I would try my hand at it. Anyone out there have a good recipe???

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Old 11-08-2007, 03:09 AM   #2
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I've seen some recipes that looked really good, but I could never find a good source for all the roots and spices.

There's a good book I requested on interlibrary loan called "homemade root beer, soda, and pop" or something like that. Quite a few interesting sounding recipes.

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Old 11-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
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I love good root beer.

A couple days ago I made a 1/2 gal test batch with some sassafras roots I found in the woods. I'm waiting for it to carbonate now, but it already tastes awesome. I was amazed how much flavor the root had in them. From poking around the internet it seems like this is the right time of the year to harvest the roots where i live as the sap is just sinking from the leaves to the roots carrying all the goodness.

I used a synthesis of recipes that i found using what i could get my hands on.

I used about
six inches of sassafras root, grated
two inches of ginger, grated
the juice of three key limes (i'd have used lemon but I had the limes on hand)
1 cup sugar
1 cup caramelized sugar
1 tbsp molasses

I boiled the sassafras and ginger for about 1/2 an hour covered to save those tasty aromatics. Then I strained it out and added the other stuff pitched some dry ale yeast to carb and put it in plastic soda bottles to carb.

Soon I'm going to try a bigger batch, maybe with some more of the traditional flavorings like sasspirllia root, wild cherry bark, sweet birch bark/sap, licorice root, hops.

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Old 11-10-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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Where do you get the roots? Is there specialty stores?

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Old 11-15-2007, 02:01 AM   #5
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I read that sassafras root can be bought in specialty stores, but I don't know if I've seen it. If you're near a large city you may have better luck.

I dig up the roots from my yard. It's actually like a weed because it's in the grass. It is very common, if you have or know anyone who has it on their land.

The first time I brewed root beer I too was surprised at how bold the root extract (tea) tastes. I have made a more simple brew, just root tea, brown sugar to taste, and a little vanilla. To carbonate, I mix in a little bread yeast and ferment it in a stopper bottle with a leaky old seal. That way it carbonates but the excess gas is still released so the bottle won't explode.

I think I will try effigy's recipe -- it sounds great.

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Old 11-15-2007, 03:22 AM   #6
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I can't give you any recipe advice, but I will say they get better with age. I just found some(overcarbonated) bottles of mine in the walk-in cooler at work that were ~5-6 months old, and they were soooo much better than when they were only a few weeks old. I let the pressure out and re-topped them. I'm not sure if they age as well at ambient temperatures, but the were so much smoother and the yeast taste was almost non-existent, almost 100% better. They were still a little sweet, thus the overcarbing - I added too much sugar obviously, but no bottle bombs. I'm keeping them cold until drinking time though.

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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I don't understand this at all. You add yeast to root beer to carb it up. Why then don't you have 50 bottle bombs? any amount of sugar is going to feed them yeasties and soda pop is almost all sugar. That's a beer like banquet of sugar to eat. Wouldn't it be ideal to force carbonate rootbeer in a keg then fill some bottles up or is there a trick i don't know about to keep the yeast from eating all the sugar?

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimsawyer
I don't understand this at all. You add yeast to root beer to carb it up. Why then don't you have 50 bottle bombs? any amount of sugar is going to feed them yeasties and soda pop is almost all sugar. That's a beer like banquet of sugar to eat. Wouldn't it be ideal to force carbonate rootbeer in a keg then fill some bottles up or is there a trick i don't know about to keep the yeast from eating all the sugar?
No you're right, normally if you want yeast carbed root beer you just add a little sugar to carb, and the result is pleasant but not sweet. I added too much sugar and had to refridgerate them to prevent the yeast from continuing to work. If they were removed from the cooler, they would eventually explode.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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I think he was asking about the residual sweetness we all expect from soda. I'm wondering the same thing. If there is yeast in there, wouldn't it ferment all the way out, leaving a dry (unsweetened) sassafras or root beer concoction?

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Old 11-15-2007, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad
I think he was asking about the residual sweetness we all expect from soda. I'm wondering the same thing. If there is yeast in there, wouldn't it ferment all the way out, leaving a dry (unsweetened) sassafras or root beer concoction?

Chad
Yes it will leave a dry, that's why I said," the result is pleasant but not sweet " and before that " you just add a little sugar to carb".
If you want sweet, force carb or risk bottle bombs add more sugar and refridgerate( I did it this way).
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