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

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Glass or PET bottles, favorite extract, champagne or Ale yea
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callmebruce
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Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scratch that cream soda recipe. It tastes odd. Not sure if it is the raisins or the brown sugar. Perhaps it's an old style flavor, but I prefer IBC cream soda. Anyway, don't use the recipe I noted above when you make cream soda..
  
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callmebruce
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Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went over the McCormick recipe. The weak flavor is entirely my fault. I wanted to make sure everything was clean, so I slowly simmered the mix. I should have let the mix cool, then put in the extract. Or not simmered it at all, just warm enough to dissolve the sugar, take it off the stove, cool it, then add extract.

To test my theory, I added a very small amount of extract to one of my bottles of root beer, shook it to mix - and it was fine.

I'd still like to try other extracts, but when I do - I won't be simmering them!
  
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steveb
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Joined: Mar 19, 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried a couple of extracts w/o adding any other flavors - just extract, water, sugar & carbonate. I tried Mcormicks and the #2 from homemade soda company. I actually thought the Mcormick's had decent flavor, I still need to try this with #3, and order their #1. I saw they have a sarsparilla flavor too. I may have to try that one also. Still need to order Zatarains and Rainbow sometime.

Sounds like you solved the weak flavor problem, how did your cream soda turn out?
  
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dasurber
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Joined: Sep 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Glass or PET bottles, favorite extract, champagne or Ale Reply with quote

A couple of us have tried the Rainbow brand "Homebrew" of Root Beer flavor and both of us agreed the aftertaste had a highly "medicine" flavor that was not pleasurable. I found the Zatarains didn't have that harsh aftertaste. you can get the Zatarains from either the company itself (very good price) on it's web site or a few other places online. I tried the RIO rootbeer flavor from Prairie Moon http://prairiemoon.biz/fulflavlissa.html it seems a little weak for my taste. The nice thing about this place is they have MANY different flavors and the prices are decent, I got an assortment of 12 flavors to try out. I haven't had a chance to pick up the McCormicks extract from Walmart to give that a try. The other brand I have heard decent things about is Gnome brand which is available from home brewing shops and several places online.

I have moved from using yeast carbonation to using a carbonator cap with a C02 tank and 2 liter bottles. I wasn't happy with the yeast flavor in the finished product. Also I don't have to wait 2-3 days since this can be carbonated quickly )within minutes if you have already cooled off the mix. Soda's carbonate best when soda is cold.

I was able to get a used C02 tank and regulator on Craigslist for under $100 and then a 20 lb Co2 fill was $18.50 at the local welding gas supplier. New tank/regulator and fill would be around $190. In some cases on Craigslist you might find someone selling a cylinder with Co2 still in it. At the welding place they just trade out the empty tank you have and give you a full one. I highly encourage you get a Aluminum tank of the 20 lb size or less so they are more easily handled. From what I have read I should be able to carbonate between 600 and 700 2 liter bottles from one 20 lb Co2 tank. You can save a little money by going for a 5 or 10 lb Co2 tanks size, but when you get them filled they all cost similarly for a refill so you save money going with a 20lb tank from that standpoint. Yes, going this route is not cheap BUT you can also move on up to making up 5 gallon batches with Corny keg (available at most homebrew shops or someplace like http://www.cornykeg.com/) for only another $30 or $40 investment in a tank and an inexpensive outlet tap. The downside of using a corny keg is if you make smaller batches, less than 3 gallons, you end up wasting a lot of Co2.

So I am trying to perfect my favorite root beer in 2 liter bottles and then once I get to a recipe I like then I can move to a keg system and make 5 gallons at a time.
  
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callmebruce
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Joined: Aug 11, 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did another batch with McCormick's. I used a candy thermometer in the water to make sure I didn't get it too hot. The lowest increment on my thermometer is 100 degrees. I kept the mix warm, but less than 100 degrees at all times.

Used 4 quarts water, dissolved in 2 1/2 cups of cane sugar. Added 3 tablespoons of McCormick's root beer extract. Added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Put 1/8 teaspoon Ale yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water to start it. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Put the root beer mix in a one gallon glass jug. Added the yeast mix. Capped the jug and agitated it to mix the flavors and yeast. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Then I bottled it. Took about 5 days to carb up. It tastes pretty good, just a little too sweet. I'll cut it back to 2 cups of sugar, and of that two cups - I'll combine cane, brown and maybe honey.

I might try adding just a touch of Anise next time. Still figuring it out. It needs a little less of something (sugar!), and a little more of something else (Anise? Brown Sugar? Honey?). And I need to figure out how to make a foamy head.

---

But! I picked up Rainbow root beer extract and Rainbow Cola extract. I'll start messing with those next! I got the Rainbow mix at a local wine making shop. If you have a beer or wine making shop near you - you might be able to save on shipping.


Cream soda takes some getting used to. The first bottle I thought it was really weird! After a few bottles I thought it tasted unique and kind of nice. I think the raisins gave it an odd flavor. Next time I'll skip the raisins.
  
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steveb
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Joined: Mar 19, 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Glass or PET bottles, favorite extract, champagne or Ale Reply with quote

dasurber - That's some helpful info about the tanks, I may have to look into that. Let me know when you get your recipe perfected. It is kinda hard to figure out what to add to your mix to get the flavor you're looking for.

callmebruce - I know the home made soda company sells "foam enhancer" but I haven't tried any. I have also read that yucca extract is used for foam in root beer, but again, I haven't tried any. Our local natural food store carries some, but I have been a little hesitant to try it. That is one thing that is missing from my brew for sure.
  
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callmebruce
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Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Glass or PET bottles, favorite extract, champagne or Ale Reply with quote

Darn. I should have searched the Rainbow reviews! Oh well, I have enough for 4 gallons. Might as well use it.
  
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