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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > ROOT beer and yeast question
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:11 PM   #1
Chuck_in_WI
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Default ROOT beer and yeast question

I am trying to make an extract-based rootbeer for the kids. the yeast may have been a bit old (expires November 2008).

I just pitched the yeast at 4pm central time. Can I re-pitch new yeast later this evening if I do not see active fermentation?

Gimme your thoughts,

Chuck

the "wort" is at about 80 degrees

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Old 09-21-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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What kind of container is this in?

Also, what kind of yeast? Bread yeasts will be quicker than brewing yeast. Some yeast may take a day to start carbing the container and then need a few days to reach a good level. Just be sure to check the bottles/container daily to be sure it is not getting too pressurized.

I do mine in 20oz bottles and usually need 2days for the carbonation level to be where I like it. Plus, I have less of a risk of blowing up the bottles when compared to glass bottles.

Be sure to check out the Soda Forum on this site: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/

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Old 09-21-2008, 10:35 PM   #3
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Root Beer is really not supposed to ferment, the yeast is only used for carbonation. You're supposed to bottle right after you pitch yeast and you won't really see anything happen in the bottles. At 80 degrees they should carbonate in 2-3 days, if they are plastic bottles are are not getting hard by then you may need new yeast. If they're glass bottles, open one after 3 days and if there's no pressure, you should try new yeast. If there is pressure, refrigerate the whole batch - root beer has to stay refrigerated once finished so it doesn't go too far and burst the bottles.

I've made several batches this season with Premier Cuvee wine yeast and they came out great. At 80 degrees they carbonate rather quickly so be careful.

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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I threw the 2.5 gal batch into my 5 gal glass carboy, with the intentions of it sitting there for 12 hours or so, then bottling it.

I was expecting to see some bubbling with the airlock on top of the carboy.

thanks for the heads up on the soda forum. i must have looked right past it.

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_in_WI View Post
I threw the 2.5 gal batch into my 5 gal glass carboy, with the intentions of it sitting there for 12 hours or so, then bottling it.

I was expecting to see some bubbling with the airlock on top of the carboy.

thanks for the heads up on the soda forum. i must have looked right past it.
You should bottle it right away- you don't want to make alcohol, you want to carbonate the root beer. It should take about two days- squeeze the bottles, and when they feel rock hard, put them in the fridge. It goes without saying, of course, but soda should always be bottled in plastic.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:41 AM   #6
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And, it's still going to do some fermenting, even in your fridge. Drink it pretty quickly. A couple of months should be OK.

Oh, plastic bottles are safer, but they still can pop. Won't blow glass all over, but they'll blow rootbeer all over.

steve

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Old 10-04-2008, 01:46 AM   #7
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If you ferment it in an open environment for that long, there's a good chance you'll be getting your kids drunk when you give it to them. Fermenting root beer serves NO purpose other than to carbonate it in a closed container.

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Old 10-06-2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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Yeah, I agree with all these people, if you bottle in plastic right after pitching you will still end up an abv of .25-.5. Any more than that and I don't think I would be serving it to kids. I've used both bread yeast and ale yeast, both should show at least some carbing within 2-3days. I suggest plastic bottles, and getting them into the fridge as soon as the bottles are firm enough. Only practice will teach you when firm is firm enough.

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Old 10-21-2008, 12:59 AM   #9
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If after 24 hours I notice no change in the firmness of the bottles how do I add more yeast. Just open the cap and put in another 1/8 - 1/4 tsp or do I have to put the yeast in warm water first.

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Old 10-21-2008, 01:02 AM   #10
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If after 24 hours I notice no change in the firmness of the bottles how do I add more yeast. Just open the cap and put in another 1/8 - 1/4 tsp or do I have to put the yeast in warm water first.
Wait at least 48-72 hours at 70 degrees before you do anything. If after that, you feel that you need to add more yeast, you can add like one grain of dry yeast to each bottle. Even that would be a bit too much, but if you add the minimum amount you can, it'll be ok. It might be more yeasty tasting, though.
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