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Alcohol produced using yeast
 
 
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Hildy
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Joined: Oct 22, 2005
Posts: 8
Location: St. Paul, MN

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:31 pm    Post subject: Alcohol produced using yeast Reply with quote

I am a new brewer. I am concerned about serving Root beer carbonated with yeast to someone with an alergy to alcohol (i.e. he's an alcoholic). I have done some searching on the web regarding alcohol content and came across an unoficial number of one 12 ounce root beer contains .035% to .05% alcohol. I am unsure, however, of the validity of these numbers.

I know I can force carbonate root beer in a keg but I am resistant to this idea for two reasons. The first is lack of authenticity. The second is the inability to bottle force carbonated root beer.

Does anyone have knowledge regarding alcohol content and a sure way to control it?

What are peoples experiences with force carbonation? Does it take away from the "real thing"?
  
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fred
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Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hildy wrote:
I am a new brewer. I am concerned about serving Root beer carbonated with yeast to someone with an alergy to alcohol (i.e. he

I am putting a project together for middle school kids where they will be making root beer and am also concerned about the alcohol content.
In the following link http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/ROOTBEER_Jn0.htm#Alcohol_in_root_beer they say that the alcohol content is about 10x what you have listed (0.3% to 0.5%). This is about 1/10 to 1/20 the strength of beer. I do not know if this listing is correct.
I am considering for the project in which I am involved, having the students taste small amounts to evaluate the flavor vs. having a drink. I know that this does not help you much. I have also considered having them make diet root beer. This would entail adding just enough sugar to allow carbonation and using some artifical sweetener for the flavor. I am a chemist by trade and have worked in the brewing and distilling industries. Measuring very low alcohol levels is difficult, especially when there are other ingredients present in variable quantities.
  
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keoxa
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Joined: Feb 26, 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:40 am    Post subject: Re: Alcohol produced using yeast Reply with quote

I'm also starting a brewing project, and i've been hesitiant to start for this exact reason. I'm an alcoholic, and pretty strict about not consuming alcohol. When I became sober, I spent a year terrified of alcohol in any amount (medicinal tincture, homebrewed non-alc sodas, etc.) I've recently started risking it, and so far it hasn't been an issue. I've consumed homebrewed rootbeer and birch beer since then and haven't had any problems at all.

As a very strict abstainer from alcohol, I'd say that the minutia of homebrewed root-beer (done correctly, that is) alcohol content is one i'm comfortable with, if that helps your decision at all.

about the students: when I was 16 i used to make hard cider out of apple cider and bread yeast and a ballon as an air lock! teaching these kids to make root beer -- a much more complicated process than my amateur-hour drunken teenage fumblings -- I'm sure the alcohol content of the final product is MUCH less of an issue than teaching them the process of fermentation to use at their own discretion for the rest of their lives.
  
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aruzinsky
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Joined: Oct 13, 2004
Posts: 159
Location: IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fred wrote:
Hildy wrote:
I am a new brewer. I am concerned about serving Root beer carbonated with yeast to someone with an alergy to alcohol (i.e. he

I am putting a project together for middle school kids where they will be making root beer and am also concerned about the alcohol content.
In the following link http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/ROOTBEER_Jn0.htm#Alcohol_in_root_beer they say that the alcohol content is about 10x what you have listed (0.3% to 0.5%). This is about 1/10 to 1/20 the strength of beer. I do not know if this listing is correct.
I am considering for the project in which I am involved, having the students taste small amounts to evaluate the flavor vs. having a drink. I know that this does not help you much. I have also considered having them make diet root beer. This would entail adding just enough sugar to allow carbonation and using some artifical sweetener for the flavor. I am a chemist by trade and have worked in the brewing and distilling industries. Measuring very low alcohol levels is difficult, especially when there are other ingredients present in variable quantities.


Why not stoichiometrically calculate the amount of alcohol from the amount of carbon dioxide? In the case of beverages brewed for carbonation, I assume no CO2 is lost. For the education of children, you can measure CO2 this way:

http://www.science-house.org/CO2/activities/co2/soda.html
  
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dmckean44
Root Beer Fan
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Joined: Aug 15, 2005
Posts: 11
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Alcohol produced using yeast Reply with quote

Considering that orange juice can have an alcohol content between 0.2% and 0.5%, I wouldn't be worried.

source:www.drugs.indiana.edu
  
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Laughingcenter
Root Beer Fantasizer
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Joined: May 09, 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Alcohol produced using yeast Reply with quote

Iknow this is a more complicated approach than just making sure you don't let em sit out too long, but one thing you can do is keg the root beer, force carbonate, and then use a counter pressure device (called a "beer gun" in home brewing circles) to move the root beer from the keg to bottles, and voila!, you have carbonated, bottled root beer, that you used no yeast to make and thus should not have any alcohol.

I put off posting this a while back, but figured maybe it would be useful to someone. Like I said before, it's more complicated than the alternative, but if you're really hard core, wanting to avoid the possibility, there ya go.
  
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parsa
Home Brew Guru


Joined: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 50
Location: Escondido, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: Alcohol produced using yeast Reply with quote

Your bottle of root beer probably has less alcohol than a ripe banana or a couple slices of yeast-risen bread. You'd have to really drown in the stuff to get any kind of high. The yeast don't get the oxygen to really flourish. They just make enough CO2 to carbonate, then when they go in the fridge they are dormant and stop production of even the CO2.
  
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