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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Homemade RootBeer Advice Please
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:30 PM   #1
Dark_Kiromaru
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Default Homemade RootBeer Advice Please

Alright well so far I've experimented with about 3 batches of Root Beer and 1 batch of Orange soda. Using the extract from the Rainbow Homebrew people I've managed to make 3 sets and kept notes on what's gone right and wrong. I'll give a short synopsis to help give an idea of what I've made but if you want to skip it just go down to the question after the notes.

First Batch:
Made 1 Gallon of Root Beer with 2 cups white sugar and yeast as per instructions inside box. Going against rules of not using glass - I put the mix in a sterile ice cream tub (neat how they make em in 1 gallon & 1 quart sizes) and then went ahead and bottled it and let it sit for 3-4 days. !Sadly I didn't have a thermometer at the time and thought the yeast water was lukewarm... at 140+ degrees Fahrenheit. So it took much longer to carbonate and inevitably came out with a very "synthetic" flavoring... Yeast was Champagne yeast by the way.

Second Batch:
Lessons learned and Thermometer in hand I re-did the same recipe with much happier yeast and made it simpler. Although both times I used plain old store bought Table sugar it seemed to lack a drink ability and tasted much like the Root Beer candy... so I did some looking into Malto Dextrin to see how that would go.

Leading into my most recent Third Batch:
This recipe: Homemade Root Beer Recipe

It called for Table Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar - I substituted Corn sugar and Light Brown Sugar(LBS). (Corn Sugar had a different consistency and slightly different taste so I thought it would be worth a shot) and the LBS was because I didn't have Dark on hand. After mixing this all up and again bottling it for 3-4 days and letting it sit - I popped the top on one and tried it, it tasted much different than the other two but had an almost "yeasty" flavor (if that's the correct way to describe it) and the second one I tried reminded me of a Diet Root Beer flavor. I wondered if it was because of the less sweet Corn Sugar or if the LBS is also lighter than a Dark Brown... It still had that punch of carbonation as well... it tastes less Synthetic and less like Candy but it still has that crisp almost yeast hit. I'm thinking of trying what I think is an Ale yeast..

**Needless to say: I'm looking for flavoring advice, I know my examples are all over but I'm looking to add a creaminess slightly like A & W has. Right now all the root beer I have is ... tolerable - It's not delicious but it's not "repulsive" to others - everyone just kinda hits it a few times.

The extract is almost my only option for store bought cause that's all the local brew store has.


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Old 05-18-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Not sure how much help I can be. I've brewed all three of Hoptech's root beers and all have been good. I like the #1 and #3 the best, but my wife likes the #2. The #3 to me is really smooth tasting while the #1 has a licorice bite to it. The #2 tastes a bit like store bought bottled root beer. For some reason I do notice a slight yeast taste when I make the #2, but not the other two. I make them two liters at a time and they turn out good. I use Hoptech's foam enhancer and it helps a little, but you have to make sure it splashes up when you pour it. It seems to work best with the #2 extract for some reason.


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Old 05-20-2009, 01:10 AM   #3
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Well thanks for the advice ~ I guess I'll need to just play around with the flavoring until I get it down pat. I'll try a different extract when I get a chance.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Kiromaru View Post
Well thanks for the advice ~ I guess I'll need to just play around with the flavoring until I get it down pat. I'll try a different extract when I get a chance.
There are a lot of different extracts out there, Zatarain's, Gnome, Rainbow, Hoptech, Fermentap...heck, I hear even McCormick, the spice people, have a root beer extract. So far, I've only used Hoptech and been happy with them, but I might try some of the others. Gnome seems to get pretty good reviews. So, it might just be a matter of finding a better base extract or the right recipe.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:29 AM   #5
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welcome to the root beer HB world
ive made too much root beer to count (or digest)
here are my suggestions:
1. root beer is best made with a blend of sugars but to understand this make batches with a single sugar FIRST, then use the same recipe with blending to the same amount of sugar accounting for substitution differences
2. once you find an extract you like keep using it in the same amount in each batch
3. for more creaminess add maltodextrin to the recipe
4. once you get the recipe down for flavor try making it with herbs instead of extract
5. repeat and enjoy, just dont forget to brush your teeth...
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the advice my next batch I plan to make will most likely include:

1 cup Sucrose (Table Sugar)
1 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Extract (The Rainbow flavor since that's all I've got at home X.x
2 TBSP MaltoDextrin
(not sure amount) Planned to add Honey for a slight flavor.

The yeast recommended is a Champagne yeast but I'm curious about trying "Munton's" ale yeast.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Kiromaru View Post
Thank you all for the advice my next batch I plan to make will most likely include:

1 cup Sucrose (Table Sugar)
1 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Extract (The Rainbow flavor since that's all I've got at home X.x
2 TBSP MaltoDextrin
(not sure amount) Planned to add Honey for a slight flavor.

The yeast recommended is a Champagne yeast but I'm curious about trying "Munton's" ale yeast.
I'm curious about how the MaltoDextrin will help it out...

As far as yeast, I've just been using Coopers yeast and it's turned out fine. I only notice a yeasty taste in one of the extracts I've been using.


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