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Not ashamed of using extracts
 
 
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MisterDominator
Root Beer Fan
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Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Harrisburg, PA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Hi to all, first post so be gentle.

I got hooked on root beer while traveling for work. I don't drink alcohol so was at a loss when we'd go out to microbreweries in Milwaukee for dinner, so I started trying all the local Root Beers and got hooked. and now I want to make my own.

so anyhow, I'm blessed to have a great brewery supplies outlet a few blocks from my house - Scotzin Brothers in Lemoyne, PA - so picking up some supplies was not a problem at all. I got two different kinds of extract, some bottles, champagne yeast, and off to the Root Beer races I went.

No offense, but boiling roots and all that is a tad complicated in this stage of my life. So I'm not ashamed to be trying extracts first. I got some extract from Shank's Extracts in Lancaster, as well as a small bottle from Scotzin's.

The Homebrew from Scotzin has a more sweetsy creamy A&W scent, while the extract from Shank's has a warmer, buttery scent if that makes sense. And it smells more like the Root Beer I love best in Milwaukee, brewed fresh at the Water Street Brewery.

so anyhow, batch number one isn't all that good. first off, I clearly didn't use enough sugar. I used 1 cup white and 1 1/2 cup light brown sugars to make a gallon. I used a generic recipe I found online, just to see how I would do. well, the verdict is that it's not sweet at all, and the champagne yeast has clearly still been fermenting in the fridge. it tastes too much like champagne.

the second batch I just made up the other day is still in the kitchen, fermenting. once the bottles are hard, off to the fridge it goes, too. I used more sugar, and some malto dextrin. hopefully this will be better tasting, before I get depressed and give up Smile

I'll post the recipes I used, and ask for some feedback. I already have read up a great deal on it but want ideas. the old dude at Scotzin swore by champagne yeast, but I'm reading that it will tend to keep fermenting at cold temperatures, so I'm looking now at beer yeast. I've also read to use molasses in my batch. once I figure out how much to dump in, I may give that a try. and the concept of how long to leave it where is still a vague haze to me.

anyway, I'll post what I've done and look for feedback. EXTRACT BREWERS UNITE!!!111 Very Happy
  

Last edited by MisterDominator on Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:56 am; edited 3 times in total
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MisterDominator
Root Beer Fan
Root Beer Fan


Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Harrisburg, PA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Batch One Recipe:

1 gallon of filtered water, less 1 cup
1 cup white cane sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon HOMEBREW root beer extract
1/4 tsp. Champagne yeast

I heated the sugars and 4 cups water up slightly on the stove until dissolved. I then added the extract, and let it cool by adding the rest of the water. once it was about lukewarm, I added the yeast, stirred it up, and bottled it. I used the plastic bottles they sell at the outlet.

I filled to about 1 1/4" from top, sealed the bottles, then let them set in about 72 degrees for 5 days, until the bottles were good and hard to the pinch. I then popped them into the fridge to chill.

I read somewhere to let them chill for 1-2 weeks. out of impatience and greed, I popped a bottle out after like 4 days and tried it.

not sweet enough. super bubbly, no foam or head. slight yeasty taste.

recommendations: more sugar. use malto dextrin for foam.

what are your recommendations? I know it's hard since you can't taste it, but just pretend for me here, ok? Very Happy
  
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MisterDominator
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Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Harrisburg, PA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Batch Two Recipe:

1 gallon of filtered water, less 1 cup
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons malto dextrin
1 Tablespoon Shank's Root Beer extract
1/4 Teaspoon champagne yeast

I did the same deal - I heated 4 cups water with the sugars and water and malto dextrin on the stove, then added the extract. using a candy thermometer, I noted it was heated to about 125 degrees. I added the rest of the water, cooled it to about 75 degrees, then added the yeast. I let the yeast stir around for about 5 minutes, then began bottling. same deal here - about 1 1/4" from the top, maybe a tad more depending on how sloppy I got.

It's still in the kitchen on the floor, a thermometer in the box tells me they are running between 71 and 73 degrees. I'll wait until the bottles get firm then fridge them up. right now it is day 2 of them being in the kitchen.

recommendations for batch 2?
  
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DewMan29
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Joined: Feb 22, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Mister Dominator,


Let me know how this goes for you and how they end up tasting.

I posted a few days back and have not gotten any replies. I have done a handful of batches and they have tasted bad. I get a bitter taste that gives an awful after-taste.

Like you, I too enjoy going to different micro-breweries and enjoying their Root Beer. My favorite bottled Root Beer is Thomas Kemper.

Perhaps together we can work to figure out our taste issues.

For my next batch, I am going to try filtered or distilled water. I have just been using tap water, which might have caused the bad taste. I will also use champagne or ale yeast, because I have been using normal bread yeast.

Let me know how it goes. Keep bottling!


-DewMan
  
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MisterDominator
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Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Harrisburg, PA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

kewl Dewman, I've never tried Kemper. not a whole lot around here in Harrisburg, PA. IBC, Stewarts, and Jones. plus all the typical mass bottled stuff. I didn't mind bottled Sprechers, it seems to lose its oomph when it gets bottled, though I had it on tap at a German pub in Milwaukee that was pretty yummy. I just can't bring myself to shelling out a small fortune shipping bottled root beer to my house. if I find it on my travels for work, though, well fair game IMO.

my second batch just hit the fridge this AM, the bottles are good and firm. looking forward to trying some of it in a few days.

I found a good recipe for the impatient root beer fan, too. I tried it last night, it was actually pretty tasty though it didn't keep its fizz for too long. make it, drink it, love it - but don't keep it too long or it will get flat.

take 3/4 cup warm water, and stir in 3/4 cup white cane sugar until it's dissolved. stir in 3/4 teaspoon root beer extract, then let it cool down a bit. stir this mixture into one liter of cold seltzer water, then drink it while it's fizzy. I call it instant gratification! Very Happy
  
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Laughingcenter
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Joined: May 09, 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

I like the instant gratification route, I've done a few diet root beers w/ Stevia that way that turned out great. Getting together with some family tomorrow, might be a good time for some.
  
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MisterDominator
Root Beer Fan
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Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Harrisburg, PA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Laughingcenter wrote:
I like the instant gratification route, I've done a few diet root beers w/ Stevia that way that turned out great. Getting together with some family tomorrow, might be a good time for some.


I pulled out some more Instant Gratification last night, went well. The only downside is that it goes very flat, very fast... ah well, such is life... still tasted pretty good...
  
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jefe_de_estado
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Joined: Apr 22, 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Not ashamed of using extracts Reply with quote

Mister Dominator, I wouldn't be ashamed of using extracts, seeing how real sassafrass could end up giving you cancer!

Dewman, I have whipped up about 6 batches and seem to be having the same problem that you are having. I get a real plasticy aftertaste. Kinda like when you microwave the leftovers in the styrafoam doggy bag and the styrafoam melts a bit and that nasty flavor gets in your food... yeah, that's what mine tastes like. So I've varied all sorts of things and seem to get the same result. The last batch was:

1.5 gal water
2 tsp of Rainbow Rootbeer extract (I have used as much as 3.5)
3.5 C of white sugar (used as few as 2)
2 tsp pure mexican vanilla
1/4 tsp yeast (Red Star Premier Cuvee Wine Yeast - brew store dude swore by the stuff, dies quick in the cold and is not supposed to have a yeasty flavor. In fact, when you buy a bottle of extract, they give you the yeast for free).

If anyone has any hints or tips, let us know!

ps; Bulldog Rootbeer is by far my fav... you can get it at World Market if you have one nearby.
  
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