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

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first attempts at soda
 
 
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adam
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Joined: Feb 24, 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:19 am    Post subject: first attempts at soda Reply with quote

I bought the Cresswell book on soda and rootbeer a few months ago, and two weeks ago finally tried my first batch. After reading the book and everything on the subject I could find online, I was too intimidated to try root beer right off, so I went with something a bit simpler - namely the Cream Soda recipe in the book. I bought some of the White Labs english ale yeast from a local homebrew store, and prepared the recipe as stated in the book, with the exception of using about half as much cinnamon bark as called for.

The process went pretty smoothly, and the soda was carbonated enough after about five days that it made a popping noise when I took the bail-top off, so I pulled the bottled out of my closet and put them into the fridge. At first, I wasn't very happy with the flavor, but after several days of sitting in the fridge it mellowed a bit and the flavors melded. I served it per the recipe, with a big splash of cream. In general it tasted nothing like commercial cream soda, but after a few bottles I kind of grew attached to it on its own. In the future I think I have some ideas for modifying this recipe, most notably using a lot less raisins, which are, while tasty, far too strong with the quantity listed in the recipe. I also found that the carbonation was less than I would like, so in the future hopefully I can temper my fear of exploding bottles and let it sit a bit longer.

I made my second batch of soda a few days ago, and I based it off of the ginger ale recipe in the book. I added some cream of tartar, per the "ginger pop" recipe, added a bit of lemon grass, and upped the quantity of yeast slightly as I was worried about carbonation due to the lemon. I opened a bottle today, four days after bottling, and it was carbonated enough that it fizzed over the top. I put the bottles into the fridge, and after a few hours gave on a cursory try. The taste is great already, but there is a definite touch of alcohol, which was something I was definitely hoping to avoid.

I'm going to wait a few days and check the ginger ale, if it does have some alcohol content I'll probably dump it. Regardless, my next batch will be root beer - I grabbed some sarsaparilla, sassafras, and wintergreen the other day, so I'm finally ready to see what I can make of it.

Any suggestions, in particular with regards to cream sodas or accidental alcohol in the brewing, would be fantastic.
  
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adam
Root Beer Fan
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Joined: Feb 24, 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: first attempts at soda Reply with quote

as an update, i waited a day and re-checked the ginger ale. the alcohol-ish taste is gone, and the soda is amazing! the ginger taste is very distinct, but it isn't as overwhelming as a lot of real-ginger tasting ginger ales that are commercially available. the lemon flavor is a lot stronger than i've tasted before, but i love it that way, and the real fruit is really refreshing.

all-in-all, i'd say that this batch was a huge success. i'm letting the rest of my bottles sit for another day or two, so after that the question of carbonation/fizzing will be answered, but from a flavor perspective, i'm very happy.
  
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