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Root Beer! Batch 1

I don't use this Blog for anything else, I might as well use it to post and keep track of my receipies as I try them.

For starters, let me point out that today is Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day. A coworker of mine offered up to teach some folks how to brew. I don't drink alcohol (that's right. None at all), but I was still curious about the process. This is the same friend who made me a batch of root beer earlier this year, which came out quite tasty, but definitely had some room for improvement.

After leaving Dave's place, my friend Nick and I stopped by the local brew supply store, Doc's Cellar, and picked up a Tap-a-Draft system. In short, it's a 6 liter bottle that takes two 8 gram CO2 cartridges and carbinates "stuff" (either beer or soda) in your normal fridge. Including a box of 10 cartitrdges, $62. Could've gotten it cheaper on the net, but who cares. Not much cheaper, I like supporting local businesses, and I would've had to wait. :-p

Looking through a receipy book, I found one that, with a few modifications, would suit my needs. here it is:

.5 oz Sassafrass root bark, from Grande Foods in AG (typical "hippy" health food store)
1c loosely packed Molassis brown sugar from TJs
2c loosely packed "normal" brown sugar from Albertsons
1 vanilla bean, guts scrapped out, husk used too
2qt water
2qt(ish) ice
2qt(ish) water

Make sure all water and ice used is (or is made from) good quality filtered water.

Put sassafrass root bark, all sugar, vanilla bean guts and husk into 2qt water, bring to a boil sturring to dissolve sugar. simmer for 25 minutes with lid on. Turn off heat, let sit for another 25 minutes with lid still on. strain into 8qt pot, removing all "chunky" bits. Add ice to drop temprature. When mixture is no longer warm enough to quickly melt the ice, laddle mixture into bottle of Tap-a-Draft system and fill the rest of the way with water. Cap up, insert cartridges, and stow in fridge for a week before drinking.

I'll be sure to update this post when I've had my first drink. But, I'll say, it sure smelled good while making it. :)

*UPDATE* 2006-11-05
Curriosity got the best of me and I tasted the batch last night before going to bed. Realize that it has _NO_ CO2 in it right now, so no carbonic acid, so the flavor is going to be very different in a few days. But, it was kinda sweet for my taste. We'll see how it does after it carbonates a bit.

Curriosity got the best of me _AGAIN_, and I tasted it again this morning. I'm glad I did. It was totally flat. No pressure left in the cartridges or bottle or anything. Apparently, there's a slow CO2 leak in the Tap-a-Draft I got.

While Cindy and I were out shopping in SLO today, I stopped by Doc's Cellar. The guy who sold it to me yesterday admited that the one I got had been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile, so the gaskets might not have been as soft and flexible as they could've been. He gave me a newer one to take home, and bring back the old one when I can. I've hooked up the new one and repressurized using two new cartridges. We'll see how this one holds up.

*UPDATE* 2006-11-25
After the swapped out Tap-a-draft, it took carbonation pretty well. The problem is, even with the new tap-a-draft, it still takes 4 cartridges to carbonate a 6L batch, and even then it's not very fizzy. I think the new one might have a very small leak in it somewhere. I'm going to look for it soon. But, for now, two more posts with receipies.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 4, 2006 7:02 PM.

The previous post in this blog was FEESH!.

The next post in this blog is Root Beer! Batch 2.

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