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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Root beer question
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Root beer question

I got a bottle of that Zatarains extract and was about to brew up a batch today but I've read enough stuff from the archives to worry me about proceeding. Even though the directions on the extract explain that you should condition the beer in bottles the general consensus here appears to be that its actually risky and potentially dangerous, especially if you don't consume it right away because the yeast will blow the bottles up.

Not that I want to tempt fate but I assume many folks have been able to successfully make root beer in bottles without a catastrophe. Is there a trick to this? Why can't glass bottles work? How does one do it safely?

Cooincidentally, I was originally planning on kegging the crap but after reading up on it I am totally not onboard with the hassle of dealing with over-cleaning root beer flavored lines and o-rings, I finally got my kegs to stop reaking of Dr. Pepper. I need my kegs for real beer. Not to mention I don't have hoses long enough to accomodate the pressure anyways (7').

Bottles seem easy...some WLP001 and wait....I just don't want to deal with bombs...give me the straight scoop.

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:30 AM   #2
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Plastic is recommended for soda because the yeast doesn't know when to stop. You add sugar to the soda, for flavor and to carbonate the soda. At warm temperatures, the soda can be carbed up in 24-48 hours. When the plastic bottle feels hard, you put ALL of the bottles in the fridge. That should slow down the yeast so you don't have bottle bombs. Of course, that temperature doesn't kill the yeast, just encourages them to go dormant. If the bottles warm up again, the yeast will continue to eat the sugar and the bottles will explode.

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:45 AM   #3
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I only do two liters at a time, using, you guessed it, two liter soda bottles. I let them get rock hard and then into the fridge. Works great if you can easily cut your recipe down to that size.

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Old 06-15-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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When I use glass bottles, I just fill one or two plastic soda bottles from the same batch, store in the same place and use those to monitor pressure. When the PET bottles are nice and firm then refrigerate the whole batch. Just be sure they stay refrigerated until consumption, they will start up again if they get warmed back up.

I usually use champagne yeast (Red Star Premier Cuvee), about 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.

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Old 06-21-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Would it be possible to drop your yeast in, wait until the proper carbonation has been reached, and then cool or heat your bottles to the point where any leftover active yeast is dead so you have carbonated soda that will not continue to carbonate? I'd like to bottle some and ship to my father but I don't want the bottles exploding on the way over...

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Old 06-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
and then cool or heat your bottles to the point where any leftover active yeast is dead so you have carbonated soda that will not continue to carbonate?
Yes, you can pasteurize with heat, but that process can be a bit risky since the pressure increases while heating.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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Carbonater cap FTW!
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ifishsum View Post
When I use glass bottles, I just fill one or two plastic soda bottles from the same batch, store in the same place and use those to monitor pressure. When the PET bottles are nice and firm then refrigerate the whole batch. Just be sure they stay refrigerated until consumption, they will start up again if they get warmed back up.

I usually use champagne yeast (Red Star Premier Cuvee), about 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.
That's using the old noggin there. I had this same question, and this is a damn good answer.
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