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Dr. Pepper Clone

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418Brewing

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I looked and couldn't find anything on this.

Currently I use a SodaStream for my soda requirements. It doesn't really save much money - once you figure in the cost of CO2 refills and syrup it comes pretty close in line with the 2L cost of off-brand soda clones at the store.

What I'm wondering is if I could save some money by making syrups myself, but I can't find anything in the way of a recipe for Dr. Pepper. It doesn't have to be exact, the SodaStream version "Pete's Choice" isn't going to be mistaken for DP either, but it is similar enough to appease me.

Ideally I'd like to include caffeine in the mix.


I also plan at some point to switch from using their CO2 bottles to my own, but I'm not quite to the kegging stage of homebrewing yet.

So let's have it... anyone know a Dr. Pepper clone recipe?
 
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418Brewing

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I cannot be the only person who wants to do this... I've tried every search parameter I can think of in Google and I can't find any indication that a recipe for something even vaguely like Dr. Pepper exists.

Am I just not finding it or has really no one ever figured it out?

It can't be that big a secret, every major grocery chain has their own version of DP... I don't need a perfect recipe, just something to start from.
 

Pumbaa

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all I know about DP is there are "23 flavors" in it . . .
1. Amaretto
2. Almond
3. Blackberry
4. Black Licorice
5. Carrot
6. Clove
7. Cherry
8. Caramel
9. Cola
10. Ginger
11. Juniper
12. Lemon
13. Molasses
14. Nutmeg
15. Orange
16. Prune
17. Plum
18. Pepper
19. Root Beer
20. Rum
21. Raspberry
22. Tomato
23. Vanilla

With that I know the root beer I am working on has 20+ ingredients besides water, CO2 and sugar . . . and thats only 1 "flavor of DP so good luck . . .

 
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418Brewing

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Thanks a lot for that, I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

Just out of curiosity, where did you find it?
 

scsi

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Sweet talk a local fast food joint and buy the syrup like I did :D

Just try to plan the transportation better than I did. A 60+ pound box filled with liquid is tricky ;-)

 

1234

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You can get a box of that stuff on ebay for 29.99 plus 10 for shipping. Not sure what you paid, but it does seem to be a cheap way to get 6 gallons of Dr. Pepper.
 
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418Brewing

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Do the math. $30 for syrup plus $10 for shipping is $40.

6 gallons is just shy of 23 liters, for a price of $1.74 per liter.


Or $3.48 for a 2 liter bottle. That's a lot more than it costs in the store.
 

scsi

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Im not sure which syrup you're using, but the stuff I got is mixed at a 5:1 ratio. 5 gallons of syrup makes about 30 gallons of Dr Pepper.
 

TheWeisOne

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Coming up with a homemade Dr. Pepper clone sounds like a lot of fun. Sure, it's probably not cheaper than buying a bulk box of syrup, but where's the fun in that?
 

kornbread

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Im not sure which syrup you're using, but the stuff I got is mixed at a 5:1 ratio. 5 gallons of syrup makes about 30 gallons of Dr Pepper.
Do you mix this in the glass, pre-mix it in a keg, or something else?
 

KevinM

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All the above if you have it. in the keg if you want, in a post mix system if you have one. Personally, I'd pour it into cleaned Torani bottles and stick a Torani pump on it and mix by the glass whenever I wanted it, but that's probably because I don't drink it quickly enough.
 

KFBass

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Dr pepper clone

1. 2lbs of fresh farmers market cherries
2. 4 tubes colgate toothpaste

Keg and force carb to 2.5 vol co2

:mug:

At least thats how I describe it
 

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Fionnbharr

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I had an elderly neighbor who swore that Dr. Pepper was Honeysuckle syrup mixed with a cola base.

Thing is, I didn't know you could make/get Honeysuckle syrup.
 
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Just to throw in my 2 cents. But 5 gallons of 5 to 1 syrup would make 35 gallons of finished soda. You can't forget the syrup starts out with 5 gal and you add 30 gal of water to that.
 

mattd2

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Just to throw in my 2 cents. But 5 gallons of 5 to 1 syrup would make 35 gallons of finished soda. You can't forget the syrup starts out with 5 gal and you add 30 gal of water to that.
Damn crazy Irish and their crazy math ;)
5:1 would end up with 30 gallons of soda = 5 gallons syrup + 5 x 5 (=25) gallons of water. Not that it matters much, might actually taste a bit better not so strong ;)
 
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I used to work for coke installing post mix systems. You have to think of it as parts. You indeed one part of syrup to 5 parts of soda. So 1 + 5 =6 that means for every gallon of syrup you get 6 gallons of finished soda. So if you put a gallon of syrup in a 5 gallon kwg with 4 gallons of water it is going to be really sweet. Really almost undrinkable really.
 

EFaden

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I used to work for coke installing post mix systems. You have to think of it as parts. You indeed one part of syrup to 5 parts of soda. So 1 + 5 =6 that means for every gallon of syrup you get 6 gallons of finished soda. So if you put a gallon of syrup in a 5 gallon kwg with 4 gallons of water it is going to be really sweet. Really almost undrinkable really.
If you want to do 5 gallon kegs, just do .83 gallon Syrup to 4.17 gallon Water... that should get you close enough.
 

mattd2

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I used to work for coke installing post mix systems. You have to think of it as parts. You indeed one part of syrup to 5 parts of soda. So 1 + 5 =6 that means for every gallon of syrup you get 6 gallons of finished soda.
so you would get 30 gallons from 5 gallons of syrup, right?

So if you put a gallon of syrup in a 5 gallon kwg with 4 gallons of water it is going to be really sweet. Really almost undrinkable really.
I agree, if you put 1 gallon in to make 5 gallons of soda that would be a 1:4 ratio making it sickly sweet.

If you want to do 5 gallon kegs, just do .83 gallon Syrup to 4.17 gallon Water... that should get you close enough.
Yep I would call that a 1:5 ratio. To make things easier why not 3 quarts/litres to 15 quarts/litres will get you just shy of 5 gallons.
 

Torg

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I use Dublin Dr Pepper syrup, from the distributor in Dublin, TX. I mix 13 1/4 cups syrup in a 5 gallon keg and fill the rest with water. If I want it a bit sweeter I mix 13 1/2 cups of syrup in.

The 5 gallon BiB costs $75. I generally just drive there and pick it up. I believe shipping is $10, so $85 total. It will come to about $0.65/liter or $2.40/gallon. But I buy it more for taste then for the price point.

As for a clone recipe, like most modern sodas, many of the ingredients are hazardous and some toxic. Pure caffeine is one of those substances that is toxic in pure form. However the original recipe for Dr. Pepper is known (it did not contain caffeine):

1/10 Ounce Raspberry Vinegar (containing only 1/8 Minim of Absolute Acetic Acid)
1 Minim Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Grains Citric Acid
1/16 of 1 Minim Oil of Almond free from Hydrocyanic Acid
3/8 of 1 Grain of Phosphoric Acid U. S. P.
Burnt Sugar (Caramel) Color - 10 Minims
Simple syrup Q. S. [Quantity Sufficient] for 1 ounce.

I would be careful of that phosphoric acid as well. While not harmful, in and of itself, it can corrode metal and create hydrogen gas (it is also used as a rust remover). And a minim is 1/480th of an ounce, or roughly a drop. Keep in mind this was originally an apothecary recipe (i.e. it was from a pharmacy).

Really it is much easier, and safer, to simply buy syrup and do premix in a Corney keg. It is, after all, the kegs original purpose anyway.
 

Boodlemania

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My wife, originally from east TX, would LOVE it if I could mimic Dr. Pepper for her. She might even tolerate my homebrewing affliction a little more. Maybe.

I too have looked and my Google-fu has been too weak.
 

killureyes

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I had an elderly neighbor who swore that Dr. Pepper was Honeysuckle syrup mixed with a cola base.

Thing is, I didn't know you could make/get Honeysuckle syrup.
YES! i just got the recipe....i love the smell of it! you can find on internet, i found by accident.
 

Leadgolem

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I may have to try some of the possible combinations of flavors. I would be looking for a beverage similiar to Dr. Pepper that lacks the preservatives. Once I've got that I'd want to try fermenting some to see what happens. :D

In any case it will give me something to do while I'm drinking some space for more brew to go.
 

IXIboneheadIXI

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does anyone have a recipe they have tested for dr pepper clone? i would love to see tested recipes before i go ahead and make some
 

Leadgolem

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Here's what I put together today. This is the result of about 3 hours of experimentation. I do not consider this to be a finished recipe, but it's on the right track. I noted exactly what brands I used of most things, in case someone wants to duplicate this exact recipe.

1 quart black cherry juice. Just Black Cherry, R.W. Knudsen Family brand.
2 quarts filtered water. My tap water tastes bad, hence the filtered.
1 cup granulated sugar.
2 tbs molasses. Brer Rabbit; all natural, unsulphured, full flavor.
1/4 tsp rum flavoring. Watkins imitation rum extract.
1/4 cup lemon juice. ReaLemon 100% juice.
2 tsp vanilla extract. I used really cheap imitation vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp almond extract. Great Value Pure Almond Extract.

I did a fair amount of fiddling around with small samples to get that far. The result isn't exactly what I wanted, but it's drinkable.

The main flaw is that the black cherry flavor is to strong. In the next batch I will mix all of the other ingredients first, then add the black cherry juice a 1/2 cup at a time until it's right.

The second flaw I believe is the molasses. The molasses I used is not fiery at all, and has a very complicated flavor. I thought this would be perfect for the mix, but it turned out to be overly complicated. In the next batch I will use the more fiery, but less complicated Grandma's Orignal molasses.

The third is the rum flavoring. This type of rum flavoring is a "sharp" flavoring. Although I believe rum flavoring to be important to this recipe I think a "soft" rum flavoring would be more approriate. Ironically, that's what you get from very cheap rum flavorings. I have a bottle of Kroger rum flavoring I will try next time.

I will probably continue to use the cheap imitation vanilla extract for the time being. Once some of the other issues are figured out I'll then give real vanilla extract a chance. I'm thinking the difference is liable to get lost in a drink with so many strong flavors in it though.

Prune juice, one taste and my taste buds told me very firmly that prune juice was not in Dr Pepper.

Black strap molasses.... Yeah, no. If you've ever tasted this molasses, you already know why. If you haven't, then please don't.

I was planning on trying another batch with the blueberry juice instead of the black cherry or prune juice, but I ran out time to experiment.

drpepperingredients.jpg
 

Leadgolem

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I decided to go ahead and ferment this stuff. Extra cherry flavor won't hurt it for that purpose anyway. I don't really feel like drinking it all before running a second version of the soda recipe anyway.

Pitched 4 grams of distillers yeast, 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient, and 1/4 tsp pectin enzyme into 2 quarts of the stuff. It's chilled now, so it will probably be a slow starter. It was 13.5 brix or 1.055 OG. That means it could finish at as much as 10% abv, though I'm expecting more like 6%.
 

Leadgolem

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Fermentation went fairly quickly. The gravity is down to 1.004. That would put it at 6.8% abv. I'll give it a few more days just to be sure. Tasting a sample gave me a fairly dry black cherry wine. It has lost almost all of the flavor complexity from the original recipe. Once I refine the recipe a bit, I'll try fermenting the base without any of the flavor additions and more sugar. Then add the flavorings post-fermentation.
 

Leadgolem

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Gravity is still at 1.004, moved to secondary. Lots of solids in the bottom of the bottle. I'm doubting this will really clear up. In the glass it's still the nice burgundy color.
 

Leadgolem

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I probably will, I'm not really a fan of red wine. That's pretty much what this tastes like. Since black cherries don't have all the tannin of red wine, the flavor is pretty mild though. It's also fairly one dimensional. All the complexity from the flavor additions went bye bye in primary.
 

jprice

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Sounds like a pretty cool idea though, hard Dr. Pepper. I would hit it with some super kleer and then add some wine conditioner to cut the dryness and bring back the flavors.
 

Leadgolem

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It sounded interesting to me too. :) I want to see what it does without any clarifiers first. I can do the unflavored gelatin thing if I need to. I've also got baking splenda on hand to back-sweeten, though that gets a little pricey. I'll probably back-sweeten with table sugar, and then bottle pasteurize immediately thereafter.

I did the second batch of the Dr Pepper clone today. It was closer. Reduced the black cherry juice a great deal, and made the other changes to flavoring brands I talked about earlier. Recipe as follows:

1/2 cup black cherry juice. Just Black Cherry, R.W. Knudsen Family brand.
2 quarts filtered water. My tap water tastes bad, hence the filtered.
1 cup granulated sugar.
2 tbs molasses. Grandma's original, unsulphured.
1/4 tsp rum flavoring. Kroger imitation rum extract.
1/4 cup lemon juice. ReaLemon 100% juice.
2 tsp vanilla extract. I used really cheap imitation vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp almond extract. Great Value Pure Almond Extract.

It's still missing something. I'm fairly confident that what it is missing is kola.

The molasses flavor is still to strong, I'll cut the molasses down in the next batch.
 

Ramdough

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Thanks for all of your effort and posting your recipe. I am anxious to see how close you can get.
 
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