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Old 03-10-2008, 10:02 AM   #1
Aclay
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Default A "root" beer.

Ok so here is my idea for my next brew. A root beer. I know, I know you're thinking why would you want to use root beer extract to brew. I don't! I want to find the sassparilla and do a brown ale.

However, I know sasparillia is not the only flavoring in Root beer. What are the other spices/flavors/adjuncts/ect. that I could use to get it closer to the "root" beer flavor? This is one beer that I haven't found any recipes to.

I have to find a good brown ale recipe and tweak it, but that part won't be so hard. It'll be the spices that will be hard.

When should they be added? Anyone have any ideas as to what should be added to the secondary? Would brewing licorice be good? I think this will be a project that will take a few batches to perfect.

Thank you.

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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No one has any ideas on this?

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Old 03-11-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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man, i wish there were some ideas about this. My brewing partner and I have been thinking about this as well.

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Old 03-11-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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Go dig up some Sassafrass root . Root beer, yeah you are looking at Licorice, possibly a little orange peel would work, but the main thing will be that distinctive medicinal 'twang' which you'd have to get from the root. I have heard of substituting Birch bark in soda. I would Definitely go with a fairly malty Brown Ale recipe, keep the bittering low. Perhaps some noble hops flavor and aroma would fit. I'd use something labeled as 'earthy'. For adding the root part, I'd make a tea first and add it in just at flame out (add more in secondary). Careful though, that stuff has coagulative properties iirc. I swear that stuff induces strange dreams. The one thing you might encounter is haziness, and I am not sure how you mitigate that.

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Old 03-11-2008, 05:37 PM   #5
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Birch Bark would not be good, I think. The roots were once used as the source for wintergreen flavorings, and are similar to root beer, but with some differences, and more "kick", if you will.

Sasparilla might be interesting if you can find it. My grandmother used to make sasp. tea, but I have never looked for it. Used the roots.

I'd suggest making a strong tea with the roots of whatever, and then try and figure out how much to add to the wort once you realize the strength. You could lose some of the aroma/flavor if you boil it too long.

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Old 03-11-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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Try an outdoor farmer's market for the sasafras roots, I found some years ago at the big outdoor market in Downtown Detroit....or also try a healthfood/natural food store.

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Old 03-11-2008, 11:29 PM   #7
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here in SW Michigan we do have some sassafras trees, so finding the roots shouldn't be too hard. The licorice root they sell at my LHBS. As I said before I think this will take a few batches to figure out precisely. Any one else have any intresting ideas for this brew?

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Old 03-12-2008, 12:46 AM   #8
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I was looking at doing this awhile back and found the following info that you might want to consider. "Sassafras bark was banned by the FDA due to the carcinogenic properties of its constituent chemical safrole in 1960."

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Old 03-12-2008, 07:50 AM   #9
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I wouldn't be using the bark, I'd be using root. I could also use leaf, which is used to make sassafras tea, but that wouldn't have the "root" beer flavor. Thank you for the information though.

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Old 03-15-2008, 01:26 PM   #10
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found something about it, and because I care I'm going to share it with you. This is from Wikipedia.

"There are hundreds of root beer brands in the United States, produced in every U.S. state,[4] and there is no standardized recipe. The primary ingredient, sassafras, is complemented with other flavors, common ones being vanilla, wintergreen, cherry tree bark, licorice root, sarsaparilla root, nutmeg, anise, molasses, cinnamon and clove.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic root beers have a thick and foamy head when poured, often enhanced through the addition of yucca extract"

So, now it's just choosing what flavors to go with. What kind of project did I get myself into!

I'm thinking I'll go with Sassafras, licorice root, vanilla, molasses, and nutmeg for my first whack at it. We'll see how she turns out. Now I need a good American Brown Ale recipe to go with it.

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