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Old 08-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
Bauerbrewery1989
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Default Root Beer Recipe Advice

So I'm trying my hand at making root beer from scratch. I make a hard root beer with extract but thought it would be nice to make it myself. Here is the recipe I just got done making today.

1/2 gallon recipe

1 oz dried wintergreen
1/2 oz sasparilla
1/2 oz star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 oz honey

I boiled everything for 20min except the honey and vanilla bean, which I added in the jug. It tastes good, and I know the vanilla flavor will take time to become noticeable, but I still feel as though its missing "something". It seems very mellow, and Im looking for a very big flavor profile. i was thinking more wintergreen and sasparilla, maybe more honey as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what might give a bigger flavor?

I'm not against using sassafras, but I can't find I anywhere. So that would be one of the last options unless I can find a source for some.

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Old 08-19-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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licorice root, ginger root, carb with a ginger bug

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Old 08-20-2013, 02:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyrmwood
licorice root, ginger root, carb with a ginger bug
That's really just a ginger beer but enough of semantics. . .

Op, if you want the root beer flavor it really comes primarily from sassafras. You'll really need to source some to get that true root beer flavor. There is a good connection on Ebay that some have used for fresh roots and shipping at a fair price. Do a search on there and you should find the guy from Appalachia that sells them. I happen to have the benefit of have access to an innumerable amount around here. Just have to wait for the first frost before the ground freezes to dig them up.

Also if you have a local homebrew store that carries dried roots they usually source cut, dried, and sifted root bark that would suit you better as the root bark is the key to the highest concentration of oils and comes in 2 ounce packages that could make about 5 gallons.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Alright, thank you! I'm not a huge fan of ebay, but ill take a look. Everywhere I ask if they can order, they say its not safe, or they don't have a supplier, even had a guy at a natural foods store say they don't sell it because he said its an ingredient for LSD. Ill have to keep looking, I could grow it I guess, I used to work in horticulture, but where I would find the seeds and how long it would take is a potential problem.

Is there any other ingredients that would help give a more potent flavor? I believe that's what wyrmwood was giving- additional ingredients.

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Ah I see. I read it as a recipe not as added ingredients, my fault.

Typical ingredients in root beer are anise, burdock, ginger, juniper berries sarsaparilla, sassafras, vanilla, and wintergreen. Some spices thrown at it such as the anise are cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

I find burdock in small quantities to have an almost cinnamon- anise flavor. Most turn of the century recipes included this with the aforementioned ones in various quantities but sassafras was always included in the original "root beer"as much as I have seen from the actual original recipes from the late 1800's on through the early 1900's.

Your "root beer" could be a chicory beer, ginger beer, dandelion and burdock beer (a british favorite), sarsaparilla beer, or sassafras beer. I believe most people looking to brew root beer aim for the sassafras flavor with vanilla being the most prominent flavor. Commercial varieties are very heavy on vanilla flavoring such as A&W. As the prominent flavor in Coke is phosphoric acid I think it may be in most commercial root beers as well.

Let your imagination run with it
Test in small batches first to make sure though or just use some well respected ones from this forum. There's a few in there I'd try and one Ijust brewed from user Crazy8.

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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image-2527313822.jpg


Here's a pic of Crazy 8's recipe doctored up by me a few changes. . . It's phenomenal!
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Mmm, that looks really good! Ill have to look at the recipe. I do enjoy the vanilla flavor of A&W, but I also like Barqs, which I feel has a more "harsh" flavor, but in a good way.

Ill have to get some Burdock, I also got some anise seeds rather then the star anise, to see if I get a touch more of flavor from it. Ill also try juniper berries, and also some lactose, which might give a creamy, more full bodied flavor.

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Old 08-21-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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I should mention, the recipe I originally had came out really good, just didnt really taste like root beer. Doesn't taste like any soda I've had for that matter, I like it though.

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