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Old 02-21-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
NOISEpollution
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Default I want to start making root beer

I've been brewing beer for a while now but wanted to brew a root beer. Any good places to start reading up on it? Any tips? Recipes? Any info helps.

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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I myself have only used extract and force carbonate with kegs. I like Zatarains extract. Its really cheap. You might be able to find in walmart. You can play around with different types of sugar like Brown sugar and honey. Also you can spice them up with vanilla extract or cinammon,etc.
5 gallons- 2lbs White table sugar 2lbs Dark Brown sugar 1lb Clover Honey 1 bottle extract of Zatarains. I just melt the sugars down in gallon of water then mix and force carbonate.
I have tried Dr Watkins extract and it was not that good and also overpriced
if you do you use Dr watkins you would probably need 4- 2oz bottles for 5 gallons

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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I've tried just about every root beer extract on the planet, along with just about every recipe with different combinations of sweeteners and ingredients to make what I consider to be a good root beer. All have fallen short of my expectations until I discovered Sprecher's root beer syrup! It does have a preservative in it that will only allow you to force carbonate it as the preservative would kill any yeast that you would add to carb in bottles, but it's the best tasting, most authentic (to me) root beer that I've ever had!

You can order it from most of the home brew suppliers on the web, but it's a little pricey coming from them. You can save a little by buying it directly from The Sprecher's Brewery Gift Shop. You simply add the one gallon of syrup to 4 gallons of water in a keg and then put it on the gas for a couple of weeks and you're good to go. To speed things up, as CO2 takes more time to go into solution when added to a sugary mixture, I like to carbonate the plain water in the keg for a few days before I add the syrup. It works great, tastes great and the kids absolutely love it!

I even bought one of their ceramic tap handles with my last order, which is due to arrive this very day!

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOISEpollution View Post
I've been brewing beer for a while now but wanted to brew a root beer. Any good places to start reading up on it? Any tips? Recipes? Any info helps.
I'm still planning my recipie, but if you want to make a real root beer (well, as real as you can with no safrole) pick up the books Homemade Soda and Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop . Both are excellent reads on the subject and include a plethora of recipies.

My current plan is to combine birch, sarsaparilla and spruce all in one spectacular soft drink. I'm planning on calling it Branchwater Beer, I just haven't worked out all the kinks.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:55 AM   #5
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I was in the same boat as you. Did a lot of online research and kind of came up with my own thing. I did not like the extract I used so I got all my roots and went to town. I have made 4 different batches and all are very nice, more of an old world root beer than lets say A&W.... I do not have what I need to force carb as I am looking for the gear to do it. I used ale yeas to carb my beer. A lot of people say to just bottle ASAP but I have had nice results with letting the root beer ferment for 12 hour befor bottling. I like using the yeast I feel it gives it a certain flavor that you don't get for for e cab. Plus the start up for a basic used system is about $200-$250 so I go with yeast for now... Also a lot of people say NEVER to use glass bottles because they will explode a case death and destruction to you and your family. But I will go on the record that over the last 2 month I have bottled over 100 bottles of root beer and not one has blow up on me, but I guess it happens so be carefully ether way. And if you do use glass fill up at least one plastic bottle so you can use that a way to tell when your ready to cold crash. When the bottle is hard throw them in the fridge.

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Old 02-26-2012, 06:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22
I've tried just about every root beer extract on the planet, along with just about every recipe with different combinations of sweeteners and ingredients to make what I consider to be a good root beer. All have fallen short of my expectations until I discovered Sprecher's root beer syrup!
Unfortunately it is based on high fructose corn syrup. It does seem to be one that everyone likes though.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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Unfortunately it is based on high fructose corn syrup. It does seem to be one that everyone likes though.
Just so you know, table sugar (sucrose) is made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. High fructose corn syrup is processed to be about 90% fructose through a conversion process that utilizes enzymes to convert glucose into fructose, as corn does not contain any fructose. It is then blended down with untreated syrup (containing only glucose) into a mix of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose. The rest is glucose, so there's only 10 percent more fructose in most high fructose corn syrup than there is in plain table sugar (less fructose than table sugar in some cases). Honey also has a similar fructose to glucose ratio of that of HFCS55. Honey has more fructose than HFCS42, as does table sugar. Seems like much ado about nothing.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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Just so you know, table sugar (sucrose) is made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. High fructose corn syrup is processed to be about 90% fructose through a conversion process that utilizes enzymes to convert glucose into fructose, as corn does not contain any fructose. It is then blended down with untreated syrup (containing only glucose) into a mix of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose. The rest is glucose, so there's only 10 percent more fructose in most high fructose corn syrup than there is in plain table sugar (less fructose than table sugar in some cases). Honey also has a similar fructose to glucose ratio of that of HFCS55. Honey has more fructose than HFCS42, as does table sugar. Seems like much ado about nothing.
I really think you are missing the point.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
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I really think you are missing the point.
What point would that be?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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What point would that be?
High fructose corn syrup is like brewing with extract and cane sugar is brewing all grain. There IS a difference. I am starting to think about making root beer and I am considering using FRESH cane juice that I will boil down into a syrup.
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