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-   -   High ABV root beer (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/high-abv-root-beer-301750/)

Dstreetbrew 02-06-2012 08:51 PM

High ABV root beer
 
O I have been going crazy with making root beer lately. I am only using real herbs, no extract... I am using an Ale yeast to ferments. I tests out the second batch I made today and compared the two. Out of curiosity I took out my hydrometer and tested each brew. Much to my surprise it read that both batches had 5% ABV with a gravity of 1.040. Not that I a. Complaining, but how can this be. I was expecting maybe 0.03% but not 5%

sheeshomatic 02-06-2012 08:59 PM

It's my understanding that you don't ferment root beer- well, not all the way. Your final gravity should be fairly close to your OG. All the yeast is doing is converting a small amount of the sugar into CO2. Once your sealed bottles are gassed up, they get cold crashed, or pasteurized to stop the yeast from fermenting the rest of the sugar. If you let it, the yeast will certainly convert all that sugar to alcohol in which case, you do not have a soft drink, you have hard root beer.

Haputanlas 02-06-2012 09:09 PM

You only mentioned one gravity reading. What are the two readings you came up with?

sheeshomatic 02-06-2012 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haputanlas (Post 3750223)
You only mentioned one gravity reading. What are the two readings you came up with?

Good point. I think I figured it out.

OP - You're using your hydrometer wrong (I think). If you're measuring your gravity and it is at 1.040, that is the specific gravity of the solution. It only represents dissolved solids in the water. The alcohol scale on the hydrometer is the POTENTIAL alcohol that a 1.040 sugar solution has IF it were fermented completely. You have to take an original reading (1.040) and a final reading after fermentation (i.e. 1.004) and then do some math to arrive at ACTUAL alcohol by volume.

Haputanlas 02-06-2012 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sheeshomatic (Post 3750261)
Good point. I think I figured it out.

OP - You're using your hydrometer wrong (I think). If you're measuring your gravity and it is at 1.040, that is the specific gravity of the solution. It only represents dissolved solids in the water. The alcohol scale on the hydrometer is the POTENTIAL alcohol that a 1.040 sugar solution has IF it were fermented completely. You have to take an original reading (1.040) and a final reading after fermentation (i.e. 1.004) and then do some math to arrive at ACTUAL alcohol by volume.

You're probably correct. Good catch.

david_42 02-06-2012 09:57 PM

Correct, the initial reading is potential ABV. If you fermented all the sugar, you'd get 5%, but it wouldn't taste very good. Root beer really needs the sweetness to taste right.

I've made fermented root beer and then added more sugar to flavor (about as much as the original recipe calls for), kegged, chilled and carbonated. It worked well.

Dstreetbrew 02-06-2012 11:15 PM

I only let it ferment for 12 hours befor bottleing... Dose any one the formula used to come up the ABV I had it some place now I can't find it

david_42 02-06-2012 11:17 PM

(OG-FG)*0.13

Gravities in points. Typically, a naturally carbonated soda will be around 0.2-0.3% ABV.


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