Old School Root Beer
I'm really excited about this one.
For 6 Gallons;
6.6 pounds Light Dry Extract
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked
3.0 oz Roasted Barley
1oz Hallertau Hops (½ bittering, ½ finishing)
At beginning of boil -
4 oz Burdock Root
4 oz Roasted Dandelion Root
½ oz hops
At 30 minutes -
8oz Sarsaparilla Root
2 Sticks Cinnamon
2oz Licorice Root
At 40 minutes -
8oz Sassafras Root bark
4oz Cherry Tree Bark
End of Boil
1 tsp. Nutmeg
½ oz hops
2 Vanilla Beans
Got it all ordered, now I just wait....
In the meantime, any thoughts?
Where did you find the ingredients? I really think I want to give this a try. I have always wanted an adult root beer as it is my favorite pop.
I used two sources:
They both have extensive catalogs of high quality plant products.
I'll be brewing sometime next week - October 7th or 8th, and I'll keep updating as I proceed. I should mention that this beer is highly experimental. You can see what I'm shooting for, but I'm pretty much flying blind here in terms of the proportions of the ingredients and the boil times and everything. In other words, you might want to let me see if this works before you go out sassafras shopping.
LOL I have a few brews before this one would be up. I am sure this will end up being something great even if some tweaking needs to be done. I mean people are able to make good beer with pumpkin pie spice I am sure this will turn out at least as good as that.
I would love to hear what you think of the finished product
Well, I brewed it up today, almost exactly like the recipe. It's was an amazing array of aromas, and a lively boil, with hot breaks every time I added more herbs. I filtered the wort through a colander, and then a funnel filter, and it's still really cloudy.
The hydrometer sample tasted impossibly bitter. I'm afraid I blew it. Maybe next time I'll use like 1/2 the herbs. Or boil them for less time.
In the meantime, I'm holding out hope that the magic of fermentation (along with a late addition of vanilla bourbon) will smooth out any rough edges. I'll keep you posted.
I still have the things around and brew myself up a cup of "witch's liver tea" every few weeks with varying amounts of: sarsparilla, burdock root, yellow dock root, peppermint (or spearmint), wild cherry bark, hops (lol, who knows what these are, exactly), licorice root, and cinnamon. Took many batches before I was able to down a whole liter of this stuff. I left half a cup out for a few days on accident once, came back, and it looked and smelled just like before. Not even wild yeasties or bacteria want in on that action. :P
Anyway, I'm sure it'll be at least drinkable, since it at least has the beer background as a base. Report back when you bite into one!
Next day, and I've got about an inch and a half of krausen, and a happily bubbling airlock. The aroma floating out of the airlock is amazing. If it doesn't taste good, at least it'll smell great!
Transfered into a 5 gallon today, and had the opportunity to taste. I'm quite pleased and surprised. The awful bitterness has mostly subsided, leaving a pleasant tannic bite. There is a wonderful complexity, with a distinctive "rooty" flavor. The licorice and cinnamon are showing more than I expected them to, but not in an unpleasant way. I look forward to trying it cold and bubbly.
The plan is three weeks in the secondary, then pre-bottling addition of vanilla bean infused bourbon. I'll let you know!
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