Root Beer World - root beer history, brands, recipes, news

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home brewing awesomeness
 
 
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KarateExplosion
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Joined: Jul 01, 2007
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:29 pm    Post subject: home brewing awesomeness Reply with quote

I'm new to root beer home brewing, and I just want to say that this hobby is completely awesome. I don't even care how my root beer tastes, I just like being able to tell people that I brew my own root beer. They do a double take, like, "I didn't even know you could do that!" I think it's a quirky and unique enough hobby that it suits me perfectly.

As it happens, my 1st batch was too yeasty, 2nd and 3rd batches were not carbonated enough (I just didn't let them sit long enough.) I'm still trying with yeast, but I got a free CO2 can from someone, so I'll probably try force carbonating in the near future, although for some reason force carbonating seems less cool to me. It takes some of the fun out of it. Either way, home brewing your own sodas is way cool.

Rock on fellow root beer makers!
  
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andrew01292
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Joined: May 23, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: home brewing awesomeness Reply with quote

Indeed it is awsome! By the way is there a way to know when your brew is done?
  
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KarateExplosion
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question, and one I'm not sure that I know the answer to, because my root beer hasn't turned out too great yet.

I put my wort + yeast in a plastic 2 liter soda bottle and squeeze it daily to see how tight it is. When it gets "tight enough", I put it in the fridge. The problem is, I'm impatient, so I feel it, think "that's pretty tight", put it in the fridge, and find out later that it didn't have enough carbonation yet. It needs to be tight enough that you can't squeeze it, really, and I haven't quite let it get that hard. You can tell how tight to let it get by feeling a new 2 liter bottle from the store before it's been opened. It's tighter than you think. You have to be careful to not let it get too tight though or it can explode, so it can be a delicate balance, especially if you are using a yeast other than ale yeast.

The other problem is how long to leave it in the fridge before you drink it. The longer you leave it in the fridge, the more of the yeast will go dormant and drop to the bottom of the container, which makes it taste less yeasty, and more of the CO2 will absorb into the root beer (I think). I've been leaving it in the fridge a couple of days, and it still tastes pretty yeasty. I think if I left it a few more days it might taste better. That's my current plan. I get the idea from my beer brewing friends that I might have to let it sit in the fridge even longer for the yeast to completely crash out.
  
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KarateExplosion
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone who's interested, I tried letting my last batch sit in the fridge for 4 days, and it still had a noticeable yeast flavor and smell. My beer drinking friends actually like the taste, but me not so much.

Anyway, I recently got a different bottle of root beer extract, and the instructions on there said that you should leave it in a cold dark place for at least a week, or two weeks for improved flavor. That's the first time I've seen any suggestions on how long to leave it in the fridge, so I'm going to try that out with my new batch (which I just put in the fridge).

In two weeks I'll post again and update everyone on how it tastes. Probably not that useful for all the pros on here, but I haven't really seen this question addressed that much - maybe I'm the only one with this problem, or the only one who doesn't like the taste. Hopefully this will be useful info for us newbies.
  
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KarateExplosion
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for anyone who was curious, I tried my brew after 2 weeks in the fridge. It was nice and carbonated, but still had a pretty strong yeast taste. So, I'll probably just stick with force carbonating. I still have some champage yeast I'm going to try (carefully) because some people say it has a milder flavor, and some California Ale White Labs liquid yeast to try, but I'm not counting on anything. I'd say force carbonating seems like the way to go.

Does anyone have any other ideas about getting rid of the yeast flavor? To me it seems very fairly strong, so I don't see why it is recommended so often. Many people seem to be ok with the taste, but to me it really takes away from the flavor of the root beer. Maybe I'll try raisins Smile
  
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