I am gathering everything I need to make root beer the old fashioned way. Here's what I bought so far...
4 - Cornelius soda kegs - Pressure Tested (I know these need to be sanitized before use, so I have to gather that info as well).
12 - 4 oz bottles of Zatarain's Root Beer Extract (each bottle makes 5 gallons - perfect for corny kegs - cost was 2.49 per bottle)
50 - 5 gram packets Red Star Pasteur Champagne Active Dry Wine Yeast (got 50 because I wasn't sure how many I would actually use per batch and only cost me 60 cents per packet). I got this because I read it produced the cleanest tasting soda with minimal yeast flavor.
Now, there's a recipe on the back of the Zatarain bottles and here's what it says:
Old fashion method: To make 53 bottles Zatarain's Root Beer. HANDLE WITH CARE. USE ONLY HEAVY GLASS BOTTLES.
Five (5) gallons of lukewarm water, white sugar (three to four pounds according to taste), one (1) bottle Zatarain's Root Beer Extract, one (1) package beer yeast (5 grams) dissolved in a cup of warm water. Mix properly and strain into clean heavy glass bottles. Cap securely. Lay in sun for an hour or two (to help it age and help yeast to rise). Always lay bottles down. Allow to stand at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, test one bottle for carbonation and flavor by tasting; if additional carbonation is desired allow to stand additional time and taste again. Refrigerate after desired carbonation is reached.
CAUTION: NATURAL CARBONATION MAY CREATE EXPLOSIVE CONDITION IF IMPROPERLY STORED OR HANDLED.
Ok, now with all that out of the way. My desire is to make a keg at a time of this root beer. But not in glass bottles as they say. I want to make it in the corny kegs. So my question is do I follow the mixing instructions by adding the quantities they listed (probably not all the water right away, but maybe 4 gallons then top off in the end with a bit more water ( I know I need to leave a little room in there maybe a quarts worth). Then seal the keg and shake/flip the keg to mix up the ingredients more. Then store away for about a week or two to carbonate.
Then once the proper level of carbonation is reached, how to serve it out? Do I need additional pressure to serve it from the keg using a party tap? Do I need a CO2 tank hooked up to serve it or is there a hand pump that can be used to build up pressure to serve it?
Obviously, I am new to this, so any help would be greatly appreciated. I have 3 eager kids that would love to have this root beer.
Thanks in advance!