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Root Beer

December 11, 2011

My daughter and I have made root beer in the past with the extract from the brewshop and she mentioned she wanted to do it again (it’s been over a year), so we picked up a container of Rainbow brand stuff Saturday.  The last two times we did it were from Zatarain’s and we really liked it.  We’ll have to see how this stuff turns out.  I’ve read good things about it.

In addition to using Zatarain’s before, we also bottled using some dry Cooper’s yeast and PET bottles that came with my Mr. Beer kit.  Now that I have a kegging set up, we’re using it this time.  No more worries about exploding bottles or any of that.  Unfortunately, I’m almost out of gas and can’t fill up again till Monday (we “brewed” on Saturday).

Brew Day

We decided to make 2 gallons, which calls for 1/2 the extract.  Not being able to find my old recipe and not wanting to take the time to find one again because we were all primed to go and didn’t have too much time, I modified the recipe that came with the extract with a little bit of my memory.  Knowing that most of our sugar last time was brown and that we’d used a little less than what was called for, I put in (after heating the water up to 150 or so):

  • 2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 1/2 a bottle of extract

After tasting the mixture, I dumped in another 1/2 cup or so of white sugar.  We then let the water warm up a little more before putting it on the porch to cool.  I didn’t want to get it up to boiling because I’d read someone who said they drove off the extract flavor when they did that.

After cooling a bit, I put it in the keg and then the keezer.  I was only able to get the pressure up to ~7 psi when it looks like I need to shoot for 40 psi or so (I read that it should be 5+ volumes and at 48 F, 40 psi is ~4.5 volumes IIRC).

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