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Old 03-09-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
davidkrau
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Default Root Beer

Hi,

I've brewed a number of beers from extracts. partial extracts and grain and even using all grains all without incident. When I tried to make root beer it was a diaster. I had bottle bombs going off in the middle of the night. When I tried to defuse ie take off the caps of the ones that didn't explode there was so much pressure that I had root beer dripping from the ceiling. I think I followed the direction on the bolttle of root beer exrtract correctly. What it boils down to is you have a lot os sugar plus yeast in a bottled system.
Yeat + sugar = CO2 + alcohol. I know that soft drink companies do not carboate their drinks by natural fermentation but artifically corbonate with CO2 gas therefore no alcohol. My question are how can you control the carbonation when you have a load of sugar in the bottles and why don't children get drunk on homemade root beer?

David

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
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What's supposed to control fermentation is using very small amounts of yeast--my HBS suggested dried champagne yeast at a rate of something like .5 to 1 tsp per gallon. Then condition for 4-5 days and refridgerate to retard yeast activity.

However, I have to say that I have tried 2 different 1 gallon batches (using two different packets of yeast), and neither successfully carbonated at all. (In the first batch, I left the bottles to condition at room temp for weeks (fearing bottle bombs) and nothing happened.

Theoretically, this method would produce bottle-conditioned root beer with something like .5% ABV or less. But damn if I can get to work.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:50 PM   #3
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Same here.

I tried RB about 12 years ago and most of them were bottle grenades.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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we did a gallon batch of ginger ale... it carbonated fine, no explosions, just tasted like the bottom of my foot...

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:07 PM   #5
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I've been considering making root beer, but have not figured out a good way to do it. The only things I could come up with would be to use artificial sweetener or some non-fermentable sugar to actually sweeten the beverage, and then use a small amount of corn sugar to prime it, pitch the yeast and botle it pretty quickly.

If I had the means to make such a thing, I would like to see little candy-like pellets similar to primetabs, but have them be multi-layered. The first layer could have dehydrated yeast and corn sugar in it, and the inside would contain campden.

Make your root beer, put it in a bottle, drop in a tab.

As the tab dissolves, it would first release the sugar and yeast and (hopefully) get a good carbonation level built up in the rootbeer before the campden in the tablet is released to kill the yeast and stop fermentation.


Hmmmmm.............. what about using teeny pieces of dry ice and not involve yeast at all? It would probably be hard to get things consistant and it might be a dangerous experiment to find out how MUCH you need, but if you dropped a little piece of dry ice into the bottle with the rootbeer and capped it, the dry ice should dissolve and carbonate the beer.

hmmmmmmmmmmmm....

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Old 03-09-2006, 03:10 PM   #6
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Dry ice in a glass bottle is not a great idea.

When I was young and foolish, I stumbled upon a large crate of dry ice. I procured it, and proceeded to make all sorts of bottle bombs. Mostly .5L pepsi bottles, 2L pepsi bottles etc. Tried glass, but no luck. Couldn't get a positive seal on the cap. The plastic bottles exploded with an incredible force. We had plans to make a cannon (sewer pipe) but the ice turned to gas before we had a chance.

Point of my story - dry ice is kinda scary, and I'd hate to see what it does in a sealed glass container.

Your mileage may vary.

Kevin

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Old 03-09-2006, 03:33 PM   #7
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Please do not do this! Dry ice in a sealed plastic or glass bottle is Very Dangerous, I know someone who lost an arm, among other injuries to this very thing.

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Old 03-09-2006, 03:36 PM   #8
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yeah, I did say it would be dangerous.

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Old 03-09-2006, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Please do not do this! Dry ice in a sealed plastic or glass bottle is Very Dangerous, I know someone who lost an arm, among other injuries to this very thing.
AWWWWWW MAN!! Why you have to go and post that, now I HAVE to try it at the firehouse just to see for myself . . . maybe use some dye in water so we can really get a good look at it . . . red sounds nice.

I'll let ya know what happens

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Old 03-09-2006, 03:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treekiller
Please do not do this! Dry ice in a sealed plastic or glass bottle is Very Dangerous, I know someone who lost an arm, among other injuries to this very thing.
Yeah, that's a bad idea.

My LHBS guy said that dry ice works fine in a punchbowl or something like for a brithday party.

I might try that some time, since I don't think I'd ever serve bottle-conditioned soda pop (if I can ever get it to work) to kids other than my own. I know the trace amount of alchohol is trivial, but some parents might freak about it.
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