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Old 09-05-2009, 01:13 AM   #1
LarryC
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Default root beer recipe question

I want to "brew" a batch of rootbeer with my son (19) so he can have some fun with brewing like Dad. My wife stopped by our LHBS the other day to get me some supplies and picked up a bottle of extract & a packet of yeast that they selected for her. Unfortunately she didn't grab the recipe instructions so today she stopped by to get that. when she did, they asked her a couple questions & sold her another packet of yeast.

So here's my questions, the recipe page has two recipes on it one for SF40 made with Extract #1 and the other says SF50 made with Extract #2. Per the label on the bottle we have Extract #1 (the yummier one). Under the Extract #1 title it says SF50. Would that be a yeast call out or am I confusing things?

the recipe says "The rootbeer extracts, SF40-SF50, to make 5 gallons of rootbeer. Mix with 3 lbs of honey, 2 lbs of sugar and champagne yeast." There's a few more lines of flavoring you can add but that's about it.

Is the SF just part of the mix name? The first time my wife went the yeast they sold her was Coopers brewing yeast. This time they sold her Red Star champagne yeast. I assume I should be using the champagne yeast. What do you think?

The 3lbs of honey & 2lbs of sugar should both go in the mix? (not just one or the other?)

Last but not least, in a phone conversation I asked about boiling and was told to just mix it and bottle it in 2 liter soda bottles. Would you all agree? How long do you think it takes to carb?

I like my LHBS but they aren't the most together crowd

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

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Old 09-05-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
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The first time my wife went the yeast they sold her was Coopers brewing yeast. This time they sold her Red Star champagne yeast. I assume I should be using the champagne yeast. What do you think?
The Cooper's will probably work, but Root Beer usually calls for champagne yeast. I used Red Star champagne last time I made root beer.

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Last but not least, in a phone conversation I asked about boiling and was told to just mix it and bottle it in 2 liter soda bottles. Would you all agree? How long do you think it takes to carb?
The extract I've used doesn't call for boiling, just water warm enough to dissolve sugar. Make sure you sanitize your bottles, just like with beer.

You want to let it carb until the 2 liter bottles firm up (3-4 days). I have also read about a trick with a raisin.

After the bottles have firmed up you want to get them into the refrigerator. This will stop the fermentation. If you leave them out too long, you will make root beer vinegar and your bottles may be compromised.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:42 AM   #3
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I use HopTech's root beer extracts. I mix in the sugar and the extract as the water is coming to a boil and as soon as it boils I take it off the heat and start cooling it to a realistic pitching temperature. Since the yeast is primarily being used to carb the product I haven't worried too much about it. I've been using Coopers yeast with great success and they do usually carb in 3-4 days. I bottle in 2 liter plastic soda bottles and once they are firm I put them in the fridge. I'm a big fan of the Hoptech #1 and #3 extracts. My wife loves the #2. I find that the #2 tends to let a bit of the yeast flavor come through for some reason, but it is also a very good extract.

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