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GreenDragon 10-20-2011 02:44 PM

Root Beer - 1st attempt
To celebrate the upcoming birth of my first child I'm going to make a "Baby Dragon Root Beer" (My brewery is "Green Dragon Brewery" and most of my beers are named after dragons). Here's the recipe I'll be using:

Approximately 2 oz Sarsaparilla
Approximately 2 oz Sassafras
Approximately oz licorice
2 oz Wintergreen leaves
2 pounds sugar
2 gallons water

I have a few questions:

1) I'll be kegging the root beer to carb it so that it contains absolutely no alcohol, will this affect the taste? (I know in beer the yeast is a good portion of how the beer tastes)

2) Should I sub Dex for the cain sugar? It's probably just a beer thing but I just don't like normal cain sugar. Edit: On second thought I think cain sugar is good for soda. I like Mountain Dew Throwback way better then normal Mt. Dew.

I will be using real Sassafras. That study about Sassafras containing carcinogens is extremely dated and flawed. To reach the levels the mice were given you would have to drink over 25 gallons of root beer per day! Not only that but cinnamon and nutmeg also contain trace amounts of carcinogens and are also used in some recipes but no one bats an eye at those since they are used in soooo many cooking recipes. /end rant

The plan is to drop all the herbs in 2.5 gallons of water and slowly bring the water to a boil. After it reaches a boil I'll remove it from the heat to add the sugar and then return to a boil. I'll be using an old AG bag to make removing the herbs easier. I'll ice bath it down to 100F or lower and then take it directly into the keg. I'll hit it with 25psi to seal it, then purge the excess gas to get rid of any O2, then set it to 7psi and forget about it for a few weeks until it's done.

Any huge flaws with this plan?

Suthrncomfrt1884 10-20-2011 03:24 PM

In order to carb root beer, you'll need to hit it with about 25psi. It should be carbed in a few days. But...it will taste flat with anything under 25psi in my opinion.

As for the recipe...looks great. I'm also a big fan of using the real roots and herbs. I would go with either cane sugar, or brown sugar. I do half and half because I love what the brown adds to the flavor.

As for the yeast...I never use yeast in my root beer. I think the yeast adds an odd flavor. Your recipe will yield a more "old fashioned" type of rootbeer. Not something you can get in stores. Let me know it turns out, I might give your recipe a shot.

GreenDragon 10-20-2011 03:50 PM

Is it just me or does that recipe sound more like a recipe for a 5 gallon batch?

2.5 gallons with some boil off and some of it being absorbed in the herbs I'm probably looking at around 2 gallons. I'm thinking the guy I got the recipe from just left off topping it off to 5 gallons maybe?

Yeahman99 10-20-2011 08:10 PM

Where do you plan on getting your roots? Everywhere I have looked they are uber expensive.

brull68 11-02-2011 09:52 PM

You might check out www.herbco.com/ the Monterey Bay Spice Company. I ordered from there, and I didn't think they were too pricy.

Suthrncomfrt1884 11-03-2011 01:46 PM

Also try www.starwest-botanicals.com

GreenDragon 11-03-2011 06:16 PM

Monterrey Bay Spice Company was the only place I found will all the ingredients in stock. Their prices are reasonable too.

Does anyone know if the recipe I listed is for 2.5 gallons or 5 gallons?

Suthrncomfrt1884 11-03-2011 06:34 PM

It looks like 5 gallons, but it depends on how strong you want it. I used around the same amounts for mine, but I condensed the mixture a little bit so it was like a thick syrup. Then I added water in the keg.

GreenDragon 11-03-2011 07:17 PM

Do you think it scales normally? I need a 2.5 gallon batch. If I just cut everything in half will I be okay?

Suthrncomfrt1884 11-03-2011 08:46 PM

I would think you'd be fine. You could always make the full batch, and then freeze half the syrup that you make (minus water). That way, if you like it, you've got another batch ready to go.

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