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Old 10-08-2010, 06:43 PM   #1
usmcoklahoma
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Default IBC or A&W clones

So my SWMBO and our little girl have gone on a RB drinkin binge for a few weeks. Now they have me contemplating brewin our RB at home. So first off, where is a good reputible place to get supplies.
Second, anyone know of a clone for IBC or A&W rootbeer?

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Old 10-09-2010, 01:57 AM   #2
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For supplies:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/advanc...?keywords=root

For looking your self:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/?day...ort=replycount

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Old 10-15-2010, 01:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for the links. What are there bare bones ingredients for making root beer? I know the extract, water and sugar... is there anything else other then the wine yeast? Also, is there a way to carb root beer other then yeast carbing or force carbing in a keg?... cause i dont have a keg and I dont feel like having some 2 liter bottles detonate as if EOD teams strapped det-cord to them with a time delay fuse.

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Old 10-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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I've been playing with root beer extracts, so will chime in.

There are several varieties. Cheapest and easiest to find is McCormick's. I found it at Walmart in the spice and extract section. I also picked up Rainbow root beer extract from my LHBS. I plan on trying Gnome and Homemade Soda Company extracts (birthday coming up, so I'm putting in my orders!).

For basic info on cleaning and sanitizing equipment, using yeast for carbonation and making soda from scratch - Steven Creswell's book is great. But if you just want to get started, you can simply pick up some extract, some sugar, some yeast, and get started. Some people recommend champagne yeasts, others recommend using Ale yeast. You want to stay away from baking yeast. I used Nottingham Ale yeast with good results several times.

If you want to try different amounts of sugars and add in different flavors, you might want to try starting out with 2 liter bottles or one gallon batches. I've been doing one gallon mixes.

I use a large pot and a thermometer - but you don't really need the thermometer. I bring 4 quarts of water up to 180 degrees and add in sugar. You can use white cane sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, turbinado, honey, ... Or you could blend your sugars. You mix until well dissolved.

The 180 degree temp will kill your yeast, so you need to get your mix back down to lukewarm before adding yeast. I put a lid on my pot, put it in the sink and run cold water outside the pot to do a quick heat exchange. Get your yeast going in a bowl with a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. It just takes 5 minutes or so. You don't want to put your extract in when you are bringing your water and sugar up to temperature. You will lose the flavors. Add your extract after the water and sugar gets back down to lukewarm.

You don't need to do this step - but I use a funnel to pour my rootbeer into a one gallon glass jug, then I add the yeast. This lets me cap it and shake it up well to mix the yeast in.

Then I use a funnel and pour the root beer mix into 12 ounce bottles. I use 10 glass bottles, and one plastic bottle so I can check carbonation daily. After the plastic bottle feels firm, you put all of the bottles in the refrigerator. Give it a day or two for the yeast to settle out.

To keep root beer from getting all over the place, you could put your bottles of root beer in a cooler while carbing them up. That way if they explode - you don't have a huge mess to clean up (someone else on the forum recommended that - and I've been doing that).

Equipment? A good size pot. Something to measure out a gallon of water. A measuring cup. Measuring spoons. A funnel. Just basic kitchen supplies. A one gallon glass jug with lid is good to have.

Bottles? Either PET bottles, or re-used plastic soda bottles, or glass bottles with a capper. I just sanitize the whole mess with water and a very small amount of bleach - then rinse well.

I'm sure there are other ways of carbing (like a soda siphon and CO2 cartridge) that don't involve a keg. I haven't messed with them yet.

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Old 10-15-2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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That's good info bruce. I still recommend a corny keg force carbing system.

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Old 10-15-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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Yeah - I'd love to try a corny keg system. I like the root beer carb'ed with yeast, but my kids don't like it as much. I'm sure a force carbing system would give a cleaner flavor. I've been thinking of going for a soda syphon and co2 cartridges, or saving for a nicer system.

usmcoklahoma - making root beer from extract using yeast to carb it is quick (maybe an hour or so to prepare and bottle), carbs quickly (three to five days depending on room temperature and how much yeast you start with), and settles quickly in the fridge. You will want to pour it into a good mug, watching so that the yeast does not go in the glass. But depending on your wifes and children's tastes - you could end up having a couple liters of root beer to yourself!

I'd try it once or twice at a low volume to see if your wife and kids are okay with that method. If they don't like it - then a soda siphon or a corny keg system might be a better choice. For a low cost, first run - you could re-use sanitized plastic soda bottles and caps. Your expense would be the extract, sugars and yeast. If you find that's not for you - then you wouldn't be out much.

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