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Old 10-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
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Can you share your "process" for making the rootbeer? Some boil water and steep for hours, others caramelize their sugars, some add spices at different stages since the ferment can yield various results depending on when you add ingredients, etc.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
That looks pretty good.

What do you think is the difference in the commercial root beers you're trying to get closer to? Is it mouthfeel? If so, you can add some malt-dextrine to make it have a bit of body and a creamy mouthfeel.

Don't add too much though! My son used too much and made root-beer Jello. He loved it, but it was gross to me. I don't remember the exact amount, but it's not much at all- maybe a tablespoon for 2 quarts (but check the "dosage"! as I'm not sure at all).

What happens if you leave out the salt? Does the rootbeer really need it to balance? I'd try leaving out the salt, too, to see if that brings the full sweet rich flavor into it (I assume that's what you're missing).

Are you using "dark brown sugar", or the light? You may want to use the molasses-y dark brown sugar if you've used the lighter one.
Thank you very much for all this info, there is a lot here to think about.

Now that you mention it, I would like to improve the mouthfeel a litte, so I will be sure to get some malt-dextrine. I can talk to one of the fine guys at Brew and Grow here in MN and see what they recommend as far as how much to put in. Root beer jello huh? That could be something to think about...lol

I also thought about leaving out the salt but when I have mentioned it to my wife she gave me a nice little piece of into. She said that she was watching a show where they made brownies and the recipe required a very very small amount of salt. The interesting thing was they showed that despite the small amount of salt the brownies without the salt not only tasted funny but I believe were also hard. So after hearing this I figured even though the recipe calls for a very small amount of salt maybe there is a chemical reaction going on with it that would want me to not get rid of it. However, you do make a great point that it could bring out the sweetness if I got rid of it. So I may still think about this and maybe make a batch without salt. Since it is calling for 1/4tsp for 2 gallons of water, I'd say that it would be worth trying.

I am not using the dark brown sugar. This is also another great suggestion in which I will be sure to try that with this recipe and see how that tastes.

Thanks again for the reply.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by saramc View Post
Can you share your "process" for making the rootbeer? Some boil water and steep for hours, others caramelize their sugars, some add spices at different stages since the ferment can yield various results depending on when you add ingredients, etc.
Instructions:
1. In a large deep pot, put in 4 quarts of water.
2. While water is heating up, place all ingredients into pot except brown sugar.
3. Let boil for 30 minutes.
4. Add brown sugar toward end of boiling time
5. Add the remaining 4 quarts of water. Turn off heat and let steep to 60-95 degrees F (70-75 degrees may be optimal). Any hotter and yeast will not survive.

- If bottling
a. Pour liquid through fine mesh funnel into Ale Pale
b. Once target temp has been reached, add yeast and stir thoroughly and fill bottles

- If putting into jug(s)
c. Pour liquid through fine mesh funnel into jug
d. Once jug has been filled add 1/4 tsp. champagne yeast

6. Let sit for 3 days then put into fridge for another 3 days to chill and slow down yeast activity.
7. ENJOY

I just made some of this today and this time the only step that changed in the process is step 2. I put in all ingredients except brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. I put those ingredients in at the last 5 minutes. another thing I did was when I had to add the other 4qts of water, half of it was ice and the other 1/2 was in water form. I did this just to speed up the cool down process.

Based on my current method, do you have any suggestions/recommendations on when I should be adding things, or maybe something I should be doing different in my process?

Thanks for your help on this.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:26 PM   #14
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...
Now that you mention it, I would like to improve the mouthfeel a litte, so I will be sure to get some malt-dextrine. ...
I used Cara-Pils and flaked oats in a root beer a while back and I was quite pleased with the result. The recipe is simpler than the one discussed on this thread, but the result is quite nice. See the thread here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/root...recipe-297882/
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:51 AM   #15
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Thank you very much for that info. This could be something else for me to try. I love this experiemntation stuff. Once I fond "the one" recipe that really ends up being everything we want, thats going to be exciting.

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:50 PM   #16
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Thank you very much for that info. This could be something else for me to try. I love this experiemntation stuff. Once I fond "the one" recipe that really ends up being everything we want, thats going to be exciting.

Good. Hope it helps further your "experiment". After trying several other approaches the recipe I posted was "the one" for me. But, no doubt it could be made more interesting with some of the ingredients you are planning to use. It might make a good "base" recipe for you that you can then tweak with other flavor ingredients.

Careful with the percentage of flaked oats -- no one wants to eat their Root Beer with a spoon.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #17
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Can you share your "process" for making the rootbeer? Some boil water and steep for hours, others caramelize their sugars, some add spices at different stages since the ferment can yield various results depending on when you add ingredients, etc.
I like going back to old posts and seeing if I can learn anything more from them or see if there are things I had missed and maybe even new questions. Well I came across this and it got me thinking. Im at a place right now with my brewing that I fell like I am really getting the process down and have a solid recipe now which has been tweaked and modified over the year or so that I have been doing this.

So saramc, I do the boiling water/steep method but when I read where you said "caramelize their sugars", what exactly is the process for doing this? Im always up for experimenting which is why I ask. I have never heard of this before.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
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You can caramelize sugar by simply placing the sugar in a deep, heavy bottomed pan, I start at low-medium heat and drop to low once it has started to melt. I stir often and will use a silicone brush dipped in water to liquify any crystals which form on side of pan. Stir frequently. It starts to change color. Remove from heat when desired color is reached, and definitely before it scorches. Some report they have even used a crock pot, have not tried that.
You can also caramelize sugar water, which I now find to be friendlier. The same works with honey. It is discussed here, http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/quic...-drink-413717/

Caramelization adds a new depth to the soda, have made at least 30 gallons of your rootbeer and 'honey boo boo' now. It does wonders to cream soda too.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #19
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Im glad to hear that you are enjoying my "Honey Boo Boo". Sure taste much better then them "go go juice's" shes slamming all the time. Anyway I have made cream soda where you start of with a simple syrup of 1:1 sugar/water. So is this pretty much the same thing? Will the yeast still ferment the soda effectively even once the sugar is caramelized? I don't know if you, or anyone else, would be interested but I have posted up some brewing videos on YouTube. Just search for my name "KD0RVY" (its my ham radio call sign) and there is stuff on brewing, cleaning, sanitizing, even the cram soda stuff. Maybe you can tell me if that's the same method your describing to me that I should use for my root beer.

Thank again for your input. Very informative.

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Old 06-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #20
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... I am not using the dark brown sugar. This is also another great suggestion in which I will be sure to try that with this recipe and see how that tastes....
All brown sugars start out as white sugar. Molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining, is added back in to create light, medium or dark "brown" sugar.

Using molasses and/or brown sugar may work fine in root beer since it is a sugary and sweet drink. The time it is added may make a big difference.

I know that one has to be careful adding molasses (or brown sugar) to beer. The result is not always what one had in mind. The sugars, even those from the molasses syrup, get fermented out and the remaining flavors lie in an astringent "yucky" range. Desulphured molasses suffers from the same problem. I'm not sure whether this exhibits itself so prominently when unaccompanied by its customary sugar sweetness or from molasses flavor compound modifications during fermentation.
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