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Old 12-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
Rigger103
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Default White Birch Beer?

Anyone know anything about White Birch Beer (actually clear no color) Is there an extract to make it or is it somthing beyond the home brewer? Here in south central PA (amish country) there is a brand sold in our grocery store called "Frozen Run" It has a Black Bear on the bottle........Its really good but I would like a sugar free version. My kids who live in other states are always on the prowl for it when they come home......they are comming home this weekend first time since Ive been making my own soda......cant wait.......Merry Christmas to all......

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Old 12-20-2011, 02:14 AM   #2
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Sure, just look for a source for birch oil. (Boiled down birch sap). This is what's used to flavor birch beer. White birch beer just manages to be clear. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find an oil producer since it appears to be mostly produced in PA.

If you're looking to make it, it could be more difficult. It seems like they essentially distill the sap to get the essence. (Similar to ways essential oil would be extracted from any other plant matter, mint for example).

While distilling plant matter for essential oils is completely legal, I hesitate to have it anywhere near my beer materials since I don't want the wrong idea going on. (Though laboratory material of a certain small size may be passable, I don't feel like inquiring about it until I feel like making orange oil and peppermint oil again.)

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Old 12-20-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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Of course you can always boil your bark, you'll end up with something that's a TAD more cloudy (But a white grey with bark; the particulate matter is what's brown), fine straining always helps with that too.

And of course, flavor manufacturers always have the clear, chemically pure, and shelf stable version of every flavor imaginable.

I make totally alcohol free sodas, but i'm VERY interested in this essential oils extraction business... Links or threads?

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:56 AM   #4
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That is true, you can potentially steep the bark to make a tea to be sweetened and carbonated. After all, even if we had the essential oil, we would be diluting it down with water anyways. You will want to see what else is steeped from the bark however that is not taken in the essential oil. I haven't found anything that says it's an issue yet, but just to be sure you take black/sweet birch for this.


There's a lot of different equipment used for making essential oils, ranging from simple to complex. Keeping the biomass in the water, or above the water, how to collect the essential oil and so on.
Simply said though, the equipment for essential oils is similar to that of making spirits (so I've read), but usually in a much reduced size. Still, because of this, I'm not going to go into more detail about the possibility of making essential oils here to avoid any misinterpretation as it could be dangerously mis-used.

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Old 01-15-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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Be very careful with Birch Oil. It contains Methyl salicylate which is chemically similar to aspirin. If you are boiling the bark yourself you'll probably be fine but distilling the oil is much stronger stuff. Here is some info from wiki:

In pure form, methyl salicylate is toxic, especially when taken internally. A single teaspoon (5ml) of methyl salicylate contains 7g of salicylate,[10] which is equivalent to more than twenty-three 300 mg aspirin tablets.

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Old 01-15-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlee
Be very careful with Birch Oil. It contains Methyl salicylate which is chemically similar to aspirin. If you are boiling the bark yourself you'll probably be fine but distilling the oil is much stronger stuff. Here is some info from wiki:

In pure form, methyl salicylate is toxic, especially when taken internally. A single teaspoon (5ml) of methyl salicylate contains 7g of salicylate,[10] which is equivalent to more than twenty-three 300 mg aspirin tablets.
That's a lot of methyl salicylate.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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Good point. Also, to be a danger, you pretty much have to take the essential oil by itself. Generally speaking, just about any essential oil is going to be toxic as well. Just about anything in a pure form is going to be pretty dangerous.

And it's true that birch oil extract (aka methyl salicylate) can still be dangerous in diluted form should enough quantity be consumed. However, it will be diluted in a soda.

There wouldn't really be a difference in methyl salicylate between boiling the bark or using drops of essential oil, because methyl salicylate is the flavor. So if you're boiling the bark to get 1 ml or methyl salicylate, or adding 1ml of methyl salicylate, it becomes the same thing. .You just get other byproducts from the bark which may or may not taste good or give other issues.

Your general recipe for a soda involving essential oils are going to be involving drops per glass. For example opencola is 10ml of essential oils in 6 gallons of soda. Assuming (but not necessarily) the same proportions, I'd have to have 3 12-oz glasses before I would make it to a single asprin.
(6 gallons = 64 12oz servings, 23 tablets/64 servings .36 tablet per serving)

Any birch beer is going to have amounts of methyl salicylate as well.

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