Root Beer Beer

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Masticon

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I just brewed up a Root Beer Beer using heavy lactose as a sweetener. My OG came out a bit higher than expected so I'm curious to see where it'll end up. Recipe and details can be found on my blog.

Root Beer Beer

Amount Item
7.00 lb Pilsner Liquid Extract (3.5 SRM)
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)
0.20 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
0.20 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (60 min)
1.00 oz Anise, Star (Boil 30.0 min)
1.00 oz Ginger Root (Boil 15.0 min)
1.00 oz Sasparilla (Boil 30.0 min)
1.00 oz Sassafras Root Bark (Boil 60.0 min)
1.00 oz Spearmint (Boil 7.0 min)
3.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 20.0 min)
3.00 beans Vanilla Bean (Secondary 2.0 weeks)
1.00 lb Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-)
 

Beezy

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That's awesome dood. I am subscribed so you can let me know how it went. I have thought about doing something like this but I am a n00b still.
 
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Masticon

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I'm running into an issue with slow fermentation. The OG came out really high (1.070) and after a week it only made it down to 1.040. Today it was at about 1.036. I'm not entirely sure how low it'll end up going with all the additions from herbs and the lactose.
Any thoughts on how much longer I should wait until it goes into the secondary?
 

Tholan

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I would see if you could get the numbers run on what your FG should be. Also, as Revvy would say no problem with leaving it on the cake for a month, your only at two weeks right? "Time is your friend."
 
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Masticon

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It's actually just 1 week and 2 days right now. It's slow, but I'm not anywhere near dangerous with it. I'm just curious to know what it should be when it's done.

Just by the stats beertools seems to think that my FG should be 1.013. It estimated my OG at 1.066 which is pretty accurate. I've made a pretty similar porter that ended up at 1.012, so the 1.013 seems very low. I've heard that 1lb of lactose adds about .006 to FG. That'd mean it'd finish out at 1.020.

Anyone else have experience with this?
 
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Masticon

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14 day update.

Gravity down to 1.030. I think I'll give it a few more days then move it to a secondary. It's only been dropping about .002 per day.

The flavor is interesting, the smell is great. I'm thinking if I did it again I'd probably double most of the herb quantities to really bring this flavor to the front. There's still decent sweetness but I can't tell if it's due to the lactose or the remaining sugar from the extract.
 

Tholan

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.002 per day seems ok. And you are only 5 days from your target of 1.02 at that rate... are you that anxious to get your primary empty?
 
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Masticon

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I've just never had anything take that long to drop in gravity, except for a really high gravity mead. Normally I get .040 in 5-7 days. I'm at 2 weeks and I've only gone down .040. I guess I'll just calm down and wait more.

I've never used lactose in a beer before so I'm not sure how it effects things overall. It looks like it slows fermentation a bit. Either that or the sassafras and ginger is working as an antiseptic slowing things down.
 

Beezy

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That's interesting I never even thought about that but since lactose isnt fermentable and surely it would effect your gravity. Maybe it's done?
 
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Masticon

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I racked to secondary on Tuesday. 19 days in the primary. It was sitting at about 1.028, Higher than I expected for sure. Perhaps with all the other additives it boosted it some but .008 sounds like a lot to boost. I moved it to the secondary and threw in a tablespoon of Stevia for additional sweetness as well as the three vanilla beans I'd been soaking in vodka since I started.

Taste was an interesting mix of flavors, the sassafras definitely showed through. Was still malty but also had a bit of sharp dryness that I normally get out of a nottingham. Very complex but I'm not sure if it's exactly in the best way. We'll have to see when I bottle it. I'm going to use 1 cup of brown sugar for bottling.
 
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Masticon

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I always have difficulty telling what the final flavor will be like when I'm drinking warm flat beer. Plus the big addition of vanilla will have a significant impact on the final flavor. I can say that 1# of lactose gives some sweetness but not much when you're thinking about soda rather than beer. I'll really have to wait and see before I give a final verdict. I'd definitely classify it as drinkable though.
 
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