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Old 07-18-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
Sinaz20
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Jul 2011
Petaluma, California
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I've been trying to make a root beer using roots and herbs sourced from my local apothecary. I follow recipes found online and in books. I do not brew it-- I just make the syrup, constitute it, and force carbonate it.

The problem is that the tea part of the syrup comes out tannic and bitter when I simmer it. I get the feeling the tannins would be tamed by yeast, but do I have to brew it? Is there any other alternatives to getting good mild flavor from herbs and roots rather than using an extract?

Recently, I'm making a sad sort of root beer using wintergreen oil, birch oil, anise extract, and vanilla extract. This isn't the way I want to make it, though.



 
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
Pumbaa
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what are you suing as a sweetener and how much?



 
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
MrFoodScientist
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Try bringing your roots/herbs to a simmer, cover, remove from heat and let sit overnight. Strain, then add sweetener.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
Sinaz20
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Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
Try bringing your roots/herbs to a simmer, cover, remove from heat and let sit overnight. Strain, then add sweetener.
I'm kind of worried that leaving the syrup in contact with the herbs and roots for even longer will allow more tannins to seep out. How do you suppose this will change the characteristics?

Also, I'm using brown sugar to sweeten. I am using roughly a quarter that would normally be called for, then supplementing with bulk splenda when I mix and carbonate.

 
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
MrFoodScientist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinaz20 View Post
Also, I'm using brown sugar to sweeten. I am using roughly a quarter that would normally be called for, then supplementing with bulk splenda when I mix and carbonate.
That would account for the bitterness.

Brown sugar has more of a molasses like flavor, that could add bitterness. The splenda might be giving off notes that could be bitter. If you're not using filtered water, chlorine might have something to do with it also.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
morticaixavier
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a lot of herbs will get bitter if simmered or boiled. Perhaps speak with your herbalist/apothocary about which herbs you are using might get bitter wil boiling/simmering and simply steep them for an appropriate amount of time and simmer those that will not get so bitter. I know with mint tea if it gets to hot it gets very bitter and nasty but you can steep it overnight on the counter and it's fine



 
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