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Old 05-21-2009, 04:34 AM   #21
wilbanba
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try xylitol instead of sugar as it has fewer calories/gram and will help drop the calorie count per bottle or serving

fyi yest doesnt feed on xylitol well so a ratio of 1:1 xylitol:sucrose should help

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:16 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MrFinstad View Post
I owned an organic root beer business for a while. Though I cannot divulge the secret company recipe, I did learn quite a bit about the Sassafras root.

It was banned from consumption based upon a single animal study. Inquisitive as I am, I turned up this study, which was performed on some poor rats. My research is currently thousands of miles away from me, but if I remember correctly, they injected the little guys with enough sassafras to equate to an average sized man drinking inhuman quantities of rootbeer every day...I want to say like five gallons a day. Consumed in normal amounts it wasn't any more dangerous than eating an apple every morning. Hey, isn't that supposed to be good for you?

Anyway, I would look into yourself, rather taking the FDA at its word. People have been eating or drinking the root for thousands of years. The FDA has only been stumbling over itself for the last hundred.

I tried making a few batches with some personally harvested root, which were great. I also tried batches with the bark, which were not great. Safrole, the stuff they say will kill you, is much more concentrated in the root, and as far as I can tell, entirely responsible for the delicousness and fragrance of old fashioned root beer.

That said, there are hundreds of things people have thrown together and called rootbeer. If you can manage to think outside the usual consumer norms, root beer can be pretty much anything you want it to be. Hell, I've seen some old recipes that would do a lot more than give you cancer.

I'm sure I sound like a delusional cancer crazed sassafras lover, so I'll try and post the study If I can dig it up again.
That's really interesting. Have you seen any recipes that might be close online, they seem to vary quite a bit. Or is there one you wouldn't mind dumping to the public domain that would get us close?
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:07 AM   #23
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The only problem with HFCS is how much people consume. Back when I was I kid a soda was a treat and now people have exchanged it for water, then wounder why they are getting fat. I still like the taist of sugar cain better thow

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:39 AM   #24
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Default ROOTBEER, literally from scratch.

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I have been brewing beers for several years now, but I got a hold of some great root beer in the store. I have an open tap and want some real root beer. I have been finding tons of recipes with just table sugar and RB extract. I would prefer to make it in more of a traditional fashion. Does anybody know where I can get ingredients and a recipe, or even a good kit?
I want to try the same thing. Many recipes with many ingredients online. I wanted to try to grow the main ingredients from wintergreen, sassafras, sarsaparilla and various other roots and herbs. Hard to come by though. I've discovered about 15 or so typical ingredients. Some health food stores carry most of them (except wintergreen the key ingredient). But the recipes that I've read call for fresh leaves, roots, stems or flowers. Maybe I'll look for the seeds online and plant them myself. Then, honey, brown sugar and molasses make the fermentation possible for home made root beer. Not sure when kind of yeast, but most agree that champagne does not work.

I heard that some cherry barks are useful too.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #25
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Try Safale S-04 (ale yeast). I tried it in a few sodas and liked it. It was not so yeasty as 1118 or the other champagne yeast I tried.

Champagne yeast works fine. I have used it many times. I just think I like the ale yeast better now.

Check EBay for some of ingredients you are looking for.

Kevin

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Old 07-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #26
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Check out Homebrew Chef: Home sean paxton has a recipe for a 5 gallons as well as some excellent looking "beer food"

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Old 07-11-2009, 10:03 PM   #27
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My take on the FDA: If they ban it, it must be good for you...if they allow it, check the allergic reaction list -- chances are they're hoping you become a patient so they can "service" you into the poor house...

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Old 07-12-2009, 03:35 AM   #28
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Going back to the original question and also taking from some previous replies, I've found in drinking root beers, it can and does contain different flavors depending upon the manufacturer. Also, these flavors can be of varying degrees of intensity.

That being said, the most common flavor components I pick up on in descending order of intensity are the following:

Sarsaparilla
Anise or Licorice
Birch or Wintergreen
Vanilla

I've drank quite a bit of sassafras based / containing products (tea, beer, wine) and smelled it in the wild, while cooking, and during consumption and I don't pick up any flavor or smell at all in the root beers I've had. Of course, these are all from large manufacturers so some of the smaller ones may have some sassafras component in them.

Were I putting together a root beer recipe, I'd include the ingredients I listed above and possibly a few other very low key flavor components. Sassafras would not be one of them unless I were trying for a different flavor than those root beers I've sampled.

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Old 07-20-2009, 03:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
My take on the FDA: If they ban it, it must be good for you...if they allow it, check the allergic reaction list -- chances are they're hoping you become a patient so they can "service" you into the poor house...
+1 on that.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:01 AM   #30
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+1 on that.
Great thread guys, I'd love to get into homemade root beer. Brewin, not to get snarky but that's not a Jefferson quote, rather it's a quote from Gerald Ford.
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