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Aeniph 02-18-2011 01:59 AM

Brewing with my son
So I've been doing some searches through here on recipes and methods an I have a few questions. Last week my son asked if we could brew something he could drink. He's 8. So I've been looking into root beer and Ginger ale and cream soda. Ive made root beer from extract many times and carbonated using dry ice. I have four cornys and wouldn't mind using one for this endeavor. So the question is. Using champagne yeast with fermentables wont it create alcohol? Am I lost here somehow. I want to make a basically non alcoholic sassafras root beer. Would I just force carbonate instead? I like the yeast as carbonator idea and think it will make an excellent drink all around. Just wondering

gicts 02-18-2011 02:13 AM

I made my first soda today. I made a cream from the Rainbow extract and I noticed on the instructions that adding yeast would not create alcohol. I scuffed at the thought that yeast metabolizing sugar to create CO2 could not produce alcohol.

I have a feeling they put that on there to market it to over protective parents and the company is balancing on a fine line. I view it as how non-alcoholic beer is marketed. There is a minuet amount of alcohol, but not enough to notice. I would be more accepting if the instructions actually presented this and didn't lie.

Aeniph 02-18-2011 02:22 AM

That was my thought. That traditionally root beer had between .5 and 2% abv. Which is something I'm not concerned about (the .5 not the 2) but I'm worried that using a champagne might cause the percentage to balloon. I like sweet root beer

KevinM 02-18-2011 03:09 AM

Any yeast will wind up doing the same thing, be it champagne, wine, beer, or bread yeast. It will eat sugar.. and what was the rest revvy says. Pee alcohol and fart co2?

If you use yeast, you're pretty much aiming to halt the yeast once you acheive the desired amount of carbonation, usually by chilling it, pasturizing it, or drinking it as fast as possible. This would thereby limit the actual amount of alcohol produced. (Lets say a full 10 ounces of sugar turning into co2 and alcohol, and divide that small amount of alcohol by 5 gallons of water, it should be negligible but will have a "grown up taste".)

If you let the yeast keep going, then it can, and will, continue to consume sugar and produce alcohol and more co2. That's when you get to the danger point of it being alcoholic beverages.

I prefer force carbing cause I'm a lazy so-n-so, and I like shaking a 2 liter bottle for a minute when I want something fizzy to drink, and then add the soda syrup.

Aeniph 02-18-2011 03:32 AM

So the best way to use yeast and control it is let it carb for a day or two and cold crash it halting the yeast growth. Interesting. Makes me wonder about making a root "beer" for the adults who love sassafras in the house. Just add more adjuncts and leave for a while I'm guessing? Time to research....

Jugger 02-18-2011 10:18 AM


I remember making root beer with my Dad when I was a kid. We used red star champagne yeast and it did have alcohol in it, but not much. In those days giving a kid a 3.2% beer while working in the yard was no big deal. We would bottle it in pepsi bottles then store it in a root cellar to age a few weeks. It always came out over carbed, but sure was fun popping the caps off.

On your recipe, do you think you could mix your own extract syrup then mix with water and force carb or use soda water just like real pop? Nothing taste like a good frosty homemade root beer on a hot summer day.

Dad always knew how to have fun.


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