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Old 09-24-2013, 03:42 AM   #1
scobysurfer
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Default First hard root attempt, feedback?

This is an offshoot of Crazy8's recipe and making some modifications in order to brew out a hard root while avoiding the use of sassafras:

8 Qts. Water
1/4 cp. Sarsaparilla
1/4 cp. Wintergreen
25 1/2 cp. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean (chopped)
1/4 cp. Chopped Raisins (dark and white mix)
1/4 Nutmeg
1/4 Cinnamon
English Ale Cider Yeast

After 24 hrs, I found the brew to be relatively weak in bite and have an overall raisin-like taste. Any insights on what may be causing this?

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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Well this doesn't look bad to me. So in essence you're starting the makings of a Sarsaparilla drink. I have eliminated vanilla bean in my root bear in place of vanilla flavoring. If you're looking to get more vanilla flavor, that's by far the way to go.

The wintergreen you could try to add at the last 10-15 minutes of your boil. I have been told to try this but have not had yet. This could decrease any bitterness you may be getting.

Dark and white raisins...never thought of that does one have a stronger more raisiny flavor than the other? Might be something to try.

25 1/2 cp. Brown Sugar...that isn't 25 and a 1/2 cups of brown sugar is it?

The English ale cider yeast Im not sure about. Again I have never used it so I cant comment to much on it. I can say that I use the champagne yeast because its very clean, no yeast flavor at all as far as I can tell, gives me those fine bubbles that we like so much. I'm still working on more bite but the champagne yeast is a very good start.

Hopefully these tips will help you. Not trying to change your recipe, just trying to give some tips and guidance based on my experience and usage. Happy brewing.

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Old 09-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #3
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What you need to do for brewing it is bring to a boil then shut off the stove and let it simmer for an hour/hour and a half dont add the winter green until it isn't boiling maybe put 1/2 cup of sarsaparilla in to strengthen it another thing to try is using sassafras extract with the safrole removed i am assuming the reason for not using sassafras is safety let me know if you find a recipe that works well i am also trying to find a sassafras free version of Crazy8 recipe because i hear excellent things about it i would use the original but sassafras is expensive and my mom is paranoid about safrole personally i don't think safrole is a big deal candles, pepper, and basil things that i constantly eat or am around all have similar carcinogens

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
Well this doesn't look bad to me. So in essence you're starting the makings of a Sarsaparilla drink. I have eliminated vanilla bean in my root bear in place of vanilla flavoring. If you're looking to get more vanilla flavor, that's by far the way to go.

The wintergreen you could try to add at the last 10-15 minutes of your boil. I have been told to try this but have not had yet. This could decrease any bitterness you may be getting.

Dark and white raisins...never thought of that does one have a stronger more raisiny flavor than the other? Might be something to try.

25 1/2 cp. Brown Sugar...that isn't 25 and a 1/2 cups of brown sugar is it?

The English ale cider yeast Im not sure about. Again I have never used it so I cant comment to much on it. I can say that I use the champagne yeast because its very clean, no yeast flavor at all as far as I can tell, gives me those fine bubbles that we like so much. I'm still working on more bite but the champagne yeast is a very good start.
I'll use vanilla flavoring next time, is this the same as vanilla extract?

Maybe its the light raisins that are really showing through...I intend to cut them out completely next time to see how it tastes.

It sure is 25 1/2 cups of Light Brown Sugar, I did this to compensate for the lack of honey.

The English Ale Cider yeast is the only yeast my friend had around, I'll have to try with Champagne next time. I'll be looking out for any yeast flavor with this one. Do you brew until dry? Whats the resulting ABV? We're looking at 6% with this one, once dry.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scobysurfer View Post
I'll use vanilla flavoring next time, is this the same as vanilla extract?

Maybe its the light raisins that are really showing through...I intend to cut them out completely next time to see how it tastes.

It sure is 25 1/2 cups of Light Brown Sugar, I did this to compensate for the lack of honey.

The English Ale Cider yeast is the only yeast my friend had around, I'll have to try with Champagne next time. I'll be looking out for any yeast flavor with this one. Do you brew until dry? Whats the resulting ABV? We're looking at 6% with this one, once dry.
Vanilla extract, like most, is using alcohol to extract the flavors from a particular source. Vanilla flavoring is different. I would even say that it has more vanilla flavor than extract which is why I went with flavoring. I have tried vanilla beans, vanilla extract and then vanilla flavoring and with the flavor I got and how cheap it was, it was win win.

As far as brewing until dry or what the ABV is, I'm not sure. Not only do I not know what those are, I don't think I really need to since I'm brewing root beer and not any alcoholic beverages of any kind. I know that may not help you much, but those could be areas for you to play with then. Hopefully something in this message will help you.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scobysurfer

I'll use vanilla flavoring next time, is this the same as vanilla extract?

Maybe its the light raisins that are really showing through...I intend to cut them out completely next time to see how it tastes.

It sure is 25 1/2 cups of Light Brown Sugar, I did this to compensate for the lack of honey.

The English Ale Cider yeast is the only yeast my friend had around, I'll have to try with Champagne next time. I'll be looking out for any yeast flavor with this one. Do you brew until dry? Whats the resulting ABV? We're looking at 6% with this one, once dry.
Don't worry about alchol levels they are so minute it doesn't matter just seal off the brew while fermenting and it will run out of oxygen so it will carbonate without alchol
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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Yeah, I let mine ferment for about 2-3 days depending on when my test 2 liter bottle is telling me its done. Then I transfer all the carboys and bottles into the fridge for another 2-3 days. A third step that I will be including in my process is to start pasteurizing my batch. I did this once with great success and I love having root beer on hand and not having to race to drink it all.

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Old 09-27-2013, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8
Yeah, I let mine ferment for about 2-3 days depending on when my test 2 liter bottle is telling me its done. Then I transfer all the carboys and bottles into the fridge for another 2-3 days. A third step that I will be including in my process is to start pasteurizing my batch. I did this once with great success and I love having root beer on hand and not having to race to drink it all.
What does pasteurizing do to the root beer
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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Well since I do it after 4-6 days of total fermentation it leaves me a nicely carbed beverage and it kills the yeast so that they dont stay active and eventually make bottle bombs...lol The result is carbed beverage on hand whenever I want.

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