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March 2008 Archives

March 29, 2008

Batch 10b writeup, Batch 11 and Batch 12

Been a while since I've made a batch of rootbeer. I was feeling the urge again recently, so I picked up a pound of sassafras from the Internet, some Wintergreen extract and got to work.

But first, my writeups, such as they are.

Batch 10b: Uhh. Honestly, I don't remember. It's been many months. I remember not being totally enamored with it, but I finished it so it couldn't have been too bad. IIRC, it was still too acidic for my taste.

Batch 11: This is the real interesting one. This batch was made not long after Batch 10b was done being consumed, but I never wrote up the recipe, which I'm now regretting. IIRC, I was experimenting with wintergreen leaf, which I can now tell you with relative authority tastes _NOTHING_ like wintergreen I'm used to. The problem is that I ran out of sassafras and tried to make up for it with wintergreen leaf.

This did _NOT_ work. I tried it after a week of carbing and hated it. Unfortunately, I never got around to emptying the keg and cleaning things out, so I had a bit of work before I could do anything tonight, cleaning out the keg, flushing the lines, etc.

Batch 12: I want a known good batch and recipe. I tried to take the bits that made the best batches in the past and use them here: honey as the sweetener, loose steeping of 40z of sassafras (read: not in a grain bag), etc. This is what I came up with:

3gal of RO water, about 1gal of which was ice.
2 Vanilla beans, cut and gutted.
4oz Sassafras root bark c/s
1/4tsp Anise seed
2c Orange blossom honey
2c Spike weed honey
1c Buckwheet honey (yes, these three were just what I had in the cupboard.)
1tbsp Wintergreen extract

Boil 1gal of water. Put colander into water. Put vanilla bean and guts, sassafras and anise seed into water. Boil for about 10 minutes, stiring the whole time. Pull colander, taking most of the sassafras and vanilla husks with it. Mix in honey, stirring to dissolve, making sure to not let the honey build up on the bottom of the pot, thus burning. Use a little strainer-on-a-stick to filter out most of the remaining chunky bits. Add ice to cool down boiling mixture, then ladle into sanitized keg. Add remaining ice and RO water to fill keg. Add wintergreen extract, close keg, shake to mix extract. Pressurize, burp, and stow in the chill chest for a week.

I made the mistake of not tasting this batch before closing the keg up. It smelled and looked good, though. I have high hopes for this batch.

A couple things about this batch:
- Grab-bag of honeys. I like each type individually; I just hope they go well together. The orange blossom is pretty mellow, so hopefully it'll keep the honey flavor from getting too over powering.

- I added the honey at the end of the boil instead of the beginning. Not quite sure why I did this. Hopefully, the sassafras will be able to more fully flavor the water if it's not as sugary.

- Added wintergreen extract instead of wintergreen leaf. At least this wintergreen actually smells and tastes like wintergreen. The quantity of "1 tbsp" was a total stab in the dark. I googled for "rootbeer recipe wintergreen" and found wildly varying opinions on the subject, so we'll see how this turns out.

It'll take a week to see how this comes out. Hopefully I'll remember to post the results.

About March 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Mark's Blog in March 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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