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Old 06-25-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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Default First Homebrew - Question

So I have been playing with the idea of homebrewing root beer for quite a while now. I have been collecting bottles when possible and stashing them away for when the time is right.

Anyway - Saturday I dropped my wife off at the airport Saturday and decided that it would be a fun project with the kids. I stopped by my local homebrew shop and obtained almost everything I needed for bottling and yeast (champaign yeast).

I picked up sanitizing tablets (chlorine based) from my local GFS.

I then went about looking for my ingredients. Locally I found everything but the Sarsaparilla and Sassafrass. Not to be deterred, I opted for extract as a "first run".

I sanitized my bottles and used a recipe I found on this forum which called for: (I'm at work so I will try to remember what I used - I believe this is it)

3 tbps extract
2-1/2 c sugar
1tbsp vanilla
1/2 c molassas
1/8 tsp yeast

The recipe would make (if I remember right - 2 gallons I could be wrong).


Cooked up my root beer with everything but the yeast. Let it cool to around 90-ish degrees and added my activated yeast. (activated by grabbing up about 4-5 tbsp of my root beer, heating it a small bit and adding my yeast. then I added it back in to the pot)

I sanitized my bottles and a large coleman water cooler.

I poured my big batch of rootbeer in and began to bottle. For the record, I am using some Abita Root Beer bottles and Mexican Coca-Cola bottles.

Left about 1.5 inch of free play at the top of the bottles, capped them and put them in a small cooler (bag) and placed them above the fridge.

Today at lunch, I went home and decided to check my bottles. It has been exactly 36 hours.

When I opened it, the cap popped off and the rootbeer spilled out...


Also, I gave it a sample...

A bit bitter (maybe too much molassas). I transferred them to the fridge. Will the flavor change any over the next few days or is that pretty much it?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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FatherVic is offline
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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I'd give it at least another week or 2.



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Old 06-26-2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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I am a homebrewer, and even though I am no expert I feel I know a good amount as of now. It is normal to get your root beer to fizz over in small bottles. I also use champaign yeast. There is no better yeast for root beer as far as I am concerned. Im also not a big fan of molassas in any root beer recipe. I use brown sugar to take place of white sugar and molassas.

Throwing the root beer in the fridge will make the yeast go dormant. Maybe not 100% but at the very least it will slow down their activity quite dramatically. I recently had success in carbonating 12 16oz bail top bottles. Lets just say that I measured the yeast using the tip of a sharp knife to scoop it out of the pouch. If I could put a numerical quantity on it, id say maybe 1/16tsp.

I dont know if it would help but I do have some videos on YouTube that may help in your "getting started". Just go to YouTube and search my name "KD0RVY". Thats a zero not an O. Its my ham call sign. Hope that helps you some.

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Old 06-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I opened a cold, refrigerated bottle last night and it did not spill out when opening. Good.

I nailed down the taste and it is the molasses. I don't hate it but I don't really care for it either. I will switch to brown sugar for my next batch.

Also, thanks for the vids; I'll check them out.

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