Sugar Choice For Root Beer Recipe

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harley03

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Hello,

Just wanted to ask a quick question I am going to be making some root beer from an extract and was wondering what kind of sugar to use. Should I use regular white sugar or brown sugar? or does it really matter?
Some people are telling me that the brown sugar would add to the flavor.

I have only done one soda before and that was a creme soda in which I used white sugar. It did not turn out to bad I wish it was just sweeter. :)
 

david_42

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Yes, brown sugar would make your root beer taste like molasses. Not my idea of a good thing.
 
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Using all brown sugar sounds pretty gross, but adding a little might be nice. Turbinado sugar may also lend a bit of extra flavor without the heavy molasses kick.
 
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harley03

harley03

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Thanks for the reply guys! I guess I will go ahead and use regular sugar and see how it turns out.

I need to finish my all grain batch that I am in the middle of first.

Cheers!
 

panda

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Hello,

Just wanted to ask a quick question I am going to be making some root beer from an extract and was wondering what kind of sugar to use. Should I use regular white sugar or brown sugar? or does it really matter?
Some people are telling me that the brown sugar would add to the flavor.

I have only done one soda before and that was a creme soda in which I used white sugar. It did not turn out to bad I wish it was just sweeter. :)
I've been wondering this myself lately and will be interested in hearing about how yours turns out.

This is the recipe I used for my latest batch. We'll see how it turns out.
 

Mad_Milo

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It really depends on your own tastes. My family prefers the flavors that light brown sugar impart, as well as a bit more body. Scale the recipe down to 1/2 gallon (2 liter) and try small batches to find your preference.

Also try the soda as you make it. Don't put in all the sugar at once, as you can always add more. It's harder to take it out ;)

In a cream soda, you'd probably want the "cleaner" flavor of white refined sugar. Maybe.
 

Killer_Robot

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Remember too that brown sugar is just white sugar plus a little molasses. It's probably easiest to start with white sugar up to the sweetness level you want and then mix in some molasses a bit at a time until you get what you like.
 

noisy123

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I made a batch with entirely turbinado sugar. It was really good. I'd suggest a touch of honey too.
 

matticus

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Remember too that brown sugar is just white sugar plus a little molasses.
For the record, real brown sugar is 100% cane sugar, just not processed and refined to the white sugar stage. Turbinado sugar is the crystallized variety made from this raw cane juice.

Cheap brown sugar is just white table sugar sprayed with molasses and has a much less complex flavor and an altogether different texture due to the processing and refining that the white sugar has undergone.

Molasses is of course the syrupy byproduct of processing white sugar.
 

Mad_Milo

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For the record, real brown sugar is 100% cane sugar, just not processed and refined to the white sugar stage. Turbinado sugar is the crystallized variety made from this raw cane juice.

Cheap brown sugar is just white table sugar sprayed with molasses and has a much less complex flavor and an altogether different texture due to the processing and refining that the white sugar has undergone.

Molasses is of course the syrupy byproduct of processing white sugar.
+1

It's amazing on how varied sugars can be. We rarely use white sugar. Turbinado or real brown sugar is great, especially in coffee.

Really comes down to how much you want to spend.
 

Farmside

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So??? How did it work out? I am just starting a batch of root beer and found multiple suggestions on sugar choice! Brown sugar being the most common. Think I’ll make small batches with variations and come up with a recipe.
 

fissionc

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I avoid molasses/brown sugar flavours unless called for in a recipe, as they tend to dominate.

Brownie brand rootbeer uses caramel for flavour, as do many other soft drinks. Replacing a portion of the sugar with caramel syrup made from white sugar would work well as a way to layer flavour without being overpowering.
 

Farmside

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I avoid molasses/brown sugar flavours unless called for in a recipe, as they tend to dominate.

Brownie brand rootbeer uses caramel for flavour, as do many other soft drinks. Replacing a portion of the sugar with caramel syrup made from white sugar would work well as a way to layer flavour without being overpowering.
What I did was took the idea from caramel apple cider (I love that stuff) and used half light brown sugar, half regular table sugar and carmelized it before adding it to my mix. Just bottled up 12-12oz bottles and set aside a test batch going to let it ferment out. I’ll let you know after it carbonates.
 

balrog

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It's going to depend on what you like.
My fav is to use Turbinado, "Sugar In The Raw".
When I tried using combo corn sugar w light &/or dark brown it was just weird and too much...something. I also found corn sugar alone was too "bright", and preferred table sugar to corn. But I like the Turbinado the best.
 

MaxStout

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First try at making root beer. I bought a bottle of the "Rainbow" brand at my LHBS--this stuff:




I made a small batch in a 1L plastic soda bottle. I just scaled the mfr's recipe. One quart warm tap water, 1/2 cup white sugar, 3/4 tsp (about 3.75ml) extract. Shaken til dissolved, cold-crashed, then force-carbed using a carbonator cap. I kept it pressurized and chilled for a couple days. Tried some today, it tastes like Necco wafers. Clove and anise were really front and center. Not bad, but not quite what I was expecting.

Anyway, back on topic... Does anyone know if subbing a little brown sugar, turbinado or molasses will take some of that anise/clove edge off the next time I make this? Otherwise, I might try another brand of extract, maybe Zatarain's or Gnome.
 

Farmside

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Anyway, back on topic... Does anyone know if subbing a little brown sugar, turbinado or molasses will take some of that anise/clove edge off the next time I make this? Otherwise, I might try another brand of extract, maybe Zatarain's or Gnome.
I’m experimenting with root beer also. I found it does need the molasses from brown sugar and really needs wintergreen or some sort of mint added. I started with Hires Big H extract, it is OK but added ginger, clove, and mint. Really made a difference. (I like some bite in my root beer).
 

Farmside

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I prefer the Zatarain's and all turbinado
Here is a recipe I found using Zatarain’s. 1 gallon.

3 Tbls Zanterains Root Beer extract
1 Tbls Vanilla Extract (Real)
1 Tps Wintergreen Extract
1/2 Tps Clove
5 quarts 110 degree water (save 16 oz out for activating yeast)
2 cups of sugar
Mix these together, let sit 10 minutes, whisk briskly till sugar is dissolved.


Now the yeast
 

Longshot_34

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First try at making root beer. I bought a bottle of the "Rainbow" brand at my LHBS--this stuff:




I made a small batch in a 1L plastic soda bottle. I just scaled the mfr's recipe. One quart warm tap water, 1/2 cup white sugar, 3/4 tsp (about 3.75ml) extract. Shaken til dissolved, cold-crashed, then force-carbed using a carbonator cap. I kept it pressurized and chilled for a couple days. Tried some today, it tastes like Necco wafers. Clove and anise were really front and center. Not bad, but not quite what I was expecting.

Anyway, back on topic... Does anyone know if subbing a little brown sugar, turbinado or molasses will take some of that anise/clove edge off the next time I make this? Otherwise, I might try another brand of extract, maybe Zatarain's or Gnome.
I’ve made this before and bottled it. I had to let it set for two weeks before I could stand to drink it. After two weeks it was pretty good. I still prefer Zatarain’s.
 

MaxStout

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I just got my Amazon order of Zatarain's a few days ago, and I picked up some turbinado at the store. I made up a couple small batches (16 oz), one with white sugar only and the other with 1/2 white and 1/2 turbinado. It's cold-crashing and I will force-carb with CO2 tomorrow, give it a few days and compare.

I found the Rainbow brand I bought before tastes better with some brown sugar (about half the sugar payload) and a bit of vanilla extract added. Tamps down that wintergreen dominance. Later I'll try a batch of the Rainbow with turbinado, now that I have that.

Edit- My recipe with the Rainbow extract (1qt in a 1L PET pop bottle):

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3.75ml Rainbow extract (I use a plastic pipette to measure)
1ml vanilla extract
Enough warm water to make 1qt, which leaves enough headspace to force carbonate
Cold-crash, use a carbonator cap and force-carb at ~30PSI
 
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