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Old 03-23-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
binkman
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Default Root beer

Yes. Root beer. But literally beer. Is there already a thread on this? If so I haven't been able to find a way of googling for alcoholic root beer without just getting regular root beer.

This is just a rough idea. Please share if you know how to make this work.

7 lbs 2-row
3 lbs crystal 40L
1 lb chocolate malt
.5 lbs biscuit
.5 lbs flaked barley

So the idea is to get a kind of caramel/roasty flavor profile, then add the following ingredients. But when to add? The full boil? Partial? In the secondary?

2 oz licorice
2 oz sassafrass
1 oz star anise

Another possibility is just to make root beer syrup as per recipes for soft drink syrups and then add that directly to the wort. There seems to be debate on exactly what to add to root beer, though.

Also, what kind of hop profile would complement these flavors?

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Old 03-23-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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Wintergreen and vanilla are two of the standard additions to root beer. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar in a stout, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I would make teas with all of the spices and add them to taste to the finished beer. It is very easy to overdo spicing since a beer doesn't have the same balancing sweetness that a soda has (even with all that crystal you are adding).

Interested to hear how it turns out.

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Old 03-23-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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Thats a really nice idea. Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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If I were to try adding to the brew directly, should I boil the additions or dry hop them?

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkman View Post
If I were to try adding to the brew directly, should I boil the additions or dry hop them?
I bumped into the people who started Brooklyn Soda Works ( http://brooklynsodaworks.blogspot.com/ ) at a homebrew club meeting. Their root beer was the best I’ve tried, herbal and complex without being grating or heavy handed. They mentioned that they tried each of their ingredients steeped, boiled, hot/cold to figure out how each one worked best. That is the problem, for each of your spices the answer is different.

I know licorice is supposed to be boiled for 15-20 minutes to extract the flavor (I used a small amount to good effect in a Baltic Porter). I’ve had fine luck adding star-anise towards the end of the boil. Never used sassafras. If you go that route use half of your best guess, you can always add more, but it is impossible to take it out.
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