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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Something missing in my Root Beer
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
pjvie
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Default Something missing in my Root Beer

Hey all!

My roommate and I have now brewed 4 batches of Root Beer. They have improved each time, but we cannot seem to get past a few key issues.

Right now, our recipe is something like this (1L batch):
1L purified water
1 tsp Root Beer extract (Zatarain's)
2.5 tsp Vanilla extract
0.25 tsp lemon extract
1 Tbsp Maltodextrin
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar/3 Tbsp Pure Cane Sugar/1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp Yeast (California Vale)

82 hour carbonation period in a 1L soda bottle.

I'm assuming the main body of flavor should come from the extract; however, the Zatarains extract has more of a wintergreen taste rather than the rooty/creamy/gourmet taste we are going for. So we tried to add some more body/flavor with the honey, vanilla and maltodextrin, but to little avail.

Any suggestions on getting a full flavor? Do you think we need a new extract or can we get what we need from additives?

Thanks!

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
Suthrncomfrt1884
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I try to stay away from extracts if I'm going for a real rootbeer. Most modern rootbeers use wintergreen instead of sassafras because of "health" issues. I don't buy all of those issues...so I use sassafras.

Check out this recipe... It's a little more complex, but adding yeast to it should allow you to carbonate it fairly well if you don't have a kegging system.

First, put about 5 quarts of water into your favorite brew pot, and then add:
•1 oz sarsparilla root
•1 oz sassafras root bark
•1 oz cherry bark
•1/2 oz licorice root
•1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
•1/8 oz cinnamon (about half a stick)
•2 to 4 oz raisins (you can add more if you like their flavor)
•1/2 tsp salt
•3 cups honey
•1/2 cup molasses
•4 lb sugar

Simmer this mixture for an hour or so, until you have a 5 quarts or so of syrup left in your pot (remember, adding all that stuff increased your volume by a couple of quarts).

Once this is boiled down, strain your mixture into another pot and add:
•1 tbsp vanilla extract
•1 tsp wintergreen or birch extract, or 1/2 tsp pure essential oil (optional)

Stir a bit, and then bottle in 1-quart jars. Due to the high sugar content, this should keep fairly well, but you could always use a plastic jar or bottle and store it in the freezer (do not put glass into the freezer). To make the root beer, just mix 1:4 with water (one part syrup + 4 parts water) and carbonate4. Depending on your taste preference, variations in cooking times, and/or the spices you used, you may find that the ratio needs to be adjusted for your batch, so don't hesitate to use more or less syrup to get the flavor just right.

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:18 AM   #3
Dstreetbrew
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I'm with you on that. Stay away from extracts. It takes away from the art of making the root beer. And as far as sassafras gos, use it. It is what will really give your root beer that old world creamy taste. As far as what the gov says abut it being bad for u is total BS... If it was rely that bad for you you wouldn't be able to buy it. I have not made any with winter green yet ( waiting for it to come in the mail) but I have had some nice result with things like licorice root and anise seed... Any of the root that southern comfort has given in his recip can be punched on line... The root are relatively cheap (about $6-$8 per lbs) your initial investment after shipping will be around $40!but well worth it because you onlY need about 1oz per item to make a 5 gallon batch... I live about 1 hour away from NYC so I can get into the city and go to some of the big spice shops and see and smell what I am buying, but online is a nice option if you don't have any other choice. If you live in an area that has a china town district you can find some neat stuff at there herb shops

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Old 02-27-2012, 05:10 AM   #4
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How much yeast are u useing for that batch

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