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Old 09-18-2012, 04:02 AM   #41
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Your welcome. It's an interesting challenge.

The first batch that went in the fermenter is clearing nicely, though a bit slowly. I just decanted that again, so more of the solids will drop out. The top 2/3 of the bottle were nice and clear.

SWMBO liked the latest mix with no cherry juice in it at all. She thought it tasted a little like cough medicine with the cherry juice.

I just ordered some kola nut powder. I'll make a flavor extract from that and give it a try. I could have just bought kola nut extract, but it's expensive for what you are getting. 1lb of kola nut powder was like 13 bucks. I can make around a gallon of extract from that and some everclear. The liquid extract was 4 bucks, or more, per ounce.

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Old 09-24-2012, 06:16 AM   #42
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I made the first kola nut flavor extract. Everclear on kola nut powder, let it sit for about a day. It wasn't really what I was looking for. The flavor was to spicy. The closest thing I can compare it to would be real cinnamon. A reasonable spiciness, and lots of earthy flavor. Raw kola nut powder also has a dry aftertaste.

With some spices, you can take the edge off of them by cooking them. Ginger being a prime example. So I cooked some kola nut powder in a pan in water. There must be starch in the kola nut powder, as it turned into kola nut gravy. I ended up having to add more water so it didn't completely gel. That did take the spiciness out. Almost completely removed it from the flavor. Still earthy and dry.

Mixed some of that with the liquid from the last attempted batch. The taste was closer, but still not nearly enough of a bite to it. I'm thinking the acid in the mix needs to go way up. Two, maybe three times as much lemon juice. The other problem was that the kola nut gravy left a lot of particulate in the glass. I don't really want that in my drink. So, I'm letting the gravy sit in a glass bottle with an equal volume of everclear.

I probably will not do another experimental batch until next week. I don't think the alcohol will have had enough time to do a good flavor extraction on the cooked kola nut by tomorrow.

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Old 09-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #43
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I made the first kola nut flavor extract. Everclear on kola nut powder, let it sit for about a day. It wasn't really what I was looking for. The flavor was to spicy. The closest thing I can compare it to would be real cinnamon. A reasonable spiciness, and lots of earthy flavor. Raw kola nut powder also has a dry aftertaste.

With some spices, you can take the edge off of them by cooking them. Ginger being a prime example. So I cooked some kola nut powder in a pan in water. There must be starch in the kola nut powder, as it turned into kola nut gravy. I ended up having to add more water so it didn't completely gel. That did take the spiciness out. Almost completely removed it from the flavor. Still earthy and dry.

Mixed some of that with the liquid from the last attempted batch. The taste was closer, but still not nearly enough of a bite to it. I'm thinking the acid in the mix needs to go way up. Two, maybe three times as much lemon juice. The other problem was that the kola nut gravy left a lot of particulate in the glass. I don't really want that in my drink. So, I'm letting the gravy sit in a glass bottle with an equal volume of everclear.

I probably will not do another experimental batch until next week. I don't think the alcohol will have had enough time to do a good flavor extraction on the cooked kola nut by tomorrow.
awesome, nice to see someone trying to get a good recipe
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #44
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I'm sorry everybody. My recipe just isn't a match. It tastes fairly good, but it's just not Dr. Pepper. It does remind me of Dr. Pepper, but that's about it. At this point, I'm at something of a loss. I'm still missing something from the recipe that I can't seem to nail down. The kola nut extract is similar, but not exactly right. Here's what will be the final version of the recipe for a while.

1/2 cup black cherry juice. Just Black Cherry, R.W. Knudsen Family brand.
2 quarts filtered water. My tap water tastes bad, hence the filtered.
1 cup granulated sugar.
2 tsp molasses. Grandma's original, unsulphured.
1/4 tsp rum flavoring. Kroger imitation rum extract.
1/2 cup lemon juice. ReaLemon 100% juice.
2 tsp vanilla extract. I used really cheap imitation vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp almond extract. Great Value Pure Almond Extract.
3 tbs cooked kola nut extract See above. Probably won't need as much as the extract ages.

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Old 10-07-2013, 10:50 PM   #45
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I tried a bit of sassafras tea concentrate in a glass with some tonic water and black cherry juice. I believe that is one of the missing ingredients. Or rather, I believe sassafras extract was in the recipe for some time and replaced with a synthetic flavoring when safrole oil was shown to cause cancer. Sassafras tea concentrates free of safrole have only been back on the market since 1994. It's still incomplete, even with the sassafras tea concentrate though. There is something in it that is altering the mouthfeel that I can't seem to pin down.

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #46
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Have you tried using gentian root? It's the flavoring component of angustora bitters and fits nicely in a cola recipe to get closer to a pepsi profile rather than a coke profile. It's also the flavoring component in Moxie.

Gentian is in the D Peppers Pepsin Bitters formula that surfaced a few years ago, and it seems like I had read somewhere else that it was an ingredient in Dr. Pepper.

A little goes a long way, so be careful with it. It's the most bitter thing I've ever tasted. I think it kind of replaces some of the phosphoric acid flavor that you're likely missing from the commercial version, though it's not really the same flavor as phosphoric.

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Old 10-10-2013, 02:31 AM   #47
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Have you tried using gentian root? It's the flavoring component of angustora bitters and fits nicely in a cola recipe to get closer to a pepsi profile rather than a coke profile. It's also the flavoring component in Moxie.

Gentian is in the D Peppers Pepsin Bitters formula that surfaced a few years ago, and it seems like I had read somewhere else that it was an ingredient in Dr. Pepper.

A little goes a long way, so be careful with it. It's the most bitter thing I've ever tasted. I think it kind of replaces some of the phosphoric acid flavor that you're likely missing from the commercial version, though it's not really the same flavor as phosphoric.
I have not. That sounds like a another ingredient of interest though.

There is an astringency to Dr. Pepper I haven't been able to match. I've actually been kicking around with the idea of trying some wine tannin too.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:39 AM   #48
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I should probably mention that I've now got a functional keezer, and a carbonator cap. So future recipe versions will be tested with full carbonation. That will at least remove the carbonic acid flavor variant.

I've got wine tannin shipping, but I haven't found a gentian root supplier I'm really happy with yet.

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Old 10-25-2013, 01:33 PM   #49
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For a 'quick and dirty' version of Dr. Pepper take some lager, and roughly the same amount of Coke, put in a large glass. Then take a shot of Amaretto (in the UK it's a brand called Dissarono) and drop it in as a depth-charge.

Freakishly similar.

FWIW almonds are typically used to mimic cherry flavour in the drinks world.

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Old 10-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #50
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Depth charge? Hahaha!

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