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Old 06-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #21
saramc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
...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? Maybe you can tell me if that's the same method your describing to me that I should use for my root beer.
The cream soda video you feature on YouTube is the same I use for making a basic simply syrup, but to caramelize the sugar BEFORE adding water/extracts I essentially do this... http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=_E623...%3D_E623VT_330
though this video does alot of pan shaking instead of stirring. I have to stir due to nerve damage/weakness in my arms. But there has never been an issue with fermentation. I think you would find caramelized sugar/honey quite nice in your soda.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #22
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Well thank you once again Saramc, I'm looking forward to doing this and seeing how it changes the root beer and see if it does make it any better. The recipe I use, which I call my "Signature" recipe, is pretty solid it seems. All the people who have tried it like it. Some more than others, but all like it. I have heard its better than A&W or any other store bought root beer and even 1919. I don't know if I can accept those accolades, but very flattering none the less. I have been told by many "don't change a thing, this is perfect."

But I am always one to believe that there is always room, even if just a little, for improvements. I personally think this recipe is great, I don't think its perfect or amazing but I guess we are all our own worst critics...lol Thanks again for your help on this and the addition information. Ill come back to the post once I try this and let everyone know how it turns out.

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Old 06-09-2013, 01:09 AM   #23
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im in the same boat. my root beer has a bitter after taste. i want to say its the sassafrass, but im not sure my next batch im goin to cut it down or out. il let yall know how it turns out.

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Old 06-09-2013, 06:38 AM   #24
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I made a batch where I separated the sassafras and sarsaparilla...Bad idea...lol Both of them tasted bad. It would seem on their own, at least the small quantity I use, they are not that great tasting but combined, its just magic. Yes pleas let us know what you find out.

UPDATE:

In regards to the sugar caramelization, I did try this out on 1 gallon of my "Signature" brew and I think I might not have removed the sugar from the heat quite fast enough. I think its just a hair darker than what it should have been. Here is what I did though...
* Used 1cp white sugar w/ 1/4cp of water. I learned the water might be pointless since it eventually gets boiled off.
* I got sugar to caramelize. Probably could remove it off heat sooner than I did.
* Poured crazy hot molten sugar into root beer. This is fun to watch the sugar re-crystallize into a ball of weirdness.
* Because the caramelized sugar recrystallized, I turned the heat back on for the root beer and dissolved it that way. I also added the 1tbs. of molasses since I used white sugar, so I could see the color change to brown, instead of the usual brown sugar.
* I ended up having to go outside for a bit and forgot that I left the stove on. This caused my root beer experiment to boil which I did not want, but not sure if anything I did will hurt this experiment. I feel as though I may have to try the sugar caramelization stuff again now that I know what I know now and what to expect.

I think I may have to see if there is some way at all for me to caramelize the sugar and make it easier/safer/better when it comes to pouring it into a much cooler environment (the root beer). Maybe there is nothing that can be done about that? Maybe I just bring the root beer back up to boil then pour in the hellishly hot caramelized sugar in. I probably should have thought that part of the process through more when I was doing it. This may get a second round. We will see how this round went in a few days.

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:58 AM   #25
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Oh, on the caramelized sugar...I ladle hot root beer into the caramelized sugar. Kind of like tempering hot liquid and adding eggs into play. With hot to hot transfer it does not seize.

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Old 06-18-2013, 02:58 AM   #26
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im in the same boat. my root beer has a bitter after taste. i want to say its the sassafrass, but im not sure my next batch im goin to cut it down or out. il let yall know how it turns out.

UPDATE: ok im still workin on it. i made 2 batches that work.lol in both no sassafrass were added. in the first i put to much wintergreen i dumped it, it was terrable. the second i had let it sit for a few days to steep, each day was a different flavor. but i put to much sarsapilla and cinimom in. il keep tryin and post results.
i did find this on the internet at rootbrew.blogspot
Ingredient notes
Results from my tea tasting:

Sassafras root is one of the main traditional root beer flavors, and I'd say the sharper component of that familiar taste. I don't think it's actually used anymore due to something in it being mildly carcinogenic in large quantities in small animals.

Sarsaparilla root by itself has a very fragrant, round, fluffy smell, akin to vanilla. It was less intense in the mouth than in the nose. Very root-beery.

Cherry bark made a quite weak tea. Obviously smells like furniture being made out of cherry wood. I think I can use more than in the last batch without risk of bitterness.

Birch bark was stronger than cherry, very nice, should probably use a lot.

Pine bark is nice, but strong. Probably use sparingly. Might be good with wintergreen (which I don't have.)

Licorice root was super sweet after it sat for a couple hours. Less so when it had only steeped for half an hour. Probably good to use to make low-sugar drinks. Some aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

Sliced stem that I thought might be American Ginseng had an even stronger non-sugar sweet than licorice. Definite aftertaste. I don't think ginseng is supposed to be sweet, so who knows what it is. As long as it isn't dried sea cucumber.

Yellow Dock root tastes like digging up green roots. Green, earthy taste. A little bitter.

Barberry root had a very mild, light wood taste.

Burdock root reminds me of a midwestern stream, or some wood used in boat building. Pretty bitter, maybe offensive to some, but probably adds some good complexity.

The flavors were less discernible once cooled. Putting a pinch of sugar in each didn't hurt, but adding ice and club soda wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be. It mostly just watered the flavors of the teas down.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:46 PM   #27
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I did Stephen Cresswell's simple Sassafras rootbeer which took 1/4 ounce of Sassafras root, 2 cups sugar, 3-4 qt water, and bread yeast. That one was really good! Great spicy root beer flavor and quite light in color. I tried a grape soda with 100% grape juice, water, a tad more sugar, with Red Star wine yeast ( yellow packet) and it was sulphur city! Absolutely terrible and fermented at the same temp as the root beer.

Fast forward 10 months to today and I tried the Cresswell recipe again but instead with Cuvee since it's advertised as being the most neutral champagne yeast they have. I did one gallon of that. I also tried 2 gallons of that recipe customized with:
.4 oz sassafras
.3 oz juniper berries crushed
1 cinnamon stick
2 oz ginger root
.25 oz licorice root
.4 oz dried sweet orange peel
1 lb Light muscovado sugar

I'll let you all know how they turn out

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Old 07-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #28
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For grape juice use premier cuvee (the blue packet of red star wine yeast), it's not prone to H2S production like the champagne yeast is.

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #29
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Duly noted, thank you.

The latter root beer was already carbed by 12 hours later. I popped one grolsch flip top and it started to shoot out so into 38F fridge it went. That was quite fast. The first root beer will need another day or two.

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Old 08-16-2013, 03:45 AM   #30
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Has anyone kegged that recipe? My concern is with the yeast: is it there only for carbonation or does it contribute to the flavour as well?

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