I made 5 gallons of root beer and in an attempt to keep it on the healthier side for my kids, I used all honey as a sweetner, no sugar. Well, I don’t recommend it, it turned out thin. Its delicious and sweet, just thin. So I was thinking of adding some lactose to give it a bit more mouthfeel. I keg. So the question is how much lactose for 5 gallons (probably more like 4.5 gallons at this point) and should I boil it in a bit of water first?
I would think it would make it to sweet.
I use Equal for a sweetener.
I have only brewed root beer from scratch once and it was thin as well. I would forgo the lactose and try maltodextrin or as the old school recipes chopped, rehydrated, and strained raisins. The books I have suggest 1 1/2 cups raisins to 5G so I would start around there. Or better yet, fix a glass of 16oz to taste and then scale up. Been meaning to try some Zatarain’s extract…
I think what gives root beer body is all the sugar. Maybe you could use more honey. Alternatively try some maltodextrin to add body with minimal impact on flavor. Something like 1/2-1lb in 5gal.
I’d think sweetener would also make it thin. At least diet soda seems to be more thin, although maybe they don’t use the product that has maltodextrin in it like the storebought powders.
Glad you posted, I have licorice root and sarsparilla root that I want to brew a rootbeer with. Need to research this.
And be prepared to replace your beer lines. I put a keg of rootbeer on tap for my wife when she was pregnant. I cleaned and cleaned the lines but could still taste the rootbeer several kegs later.
Which, honestly, wasn’t horrible. :lol:
You can also use birch bark to add body and mouthfeel. Or slippery elm bark.
I would love to dedicate a keg to root beer. Some day I want to create a real spicy root beer. An India Root Beer or Imperial Root Beer (tm ).
One thing I never see mentioned in root beer threads is adjusting pH.
For the record, my first batch was made with real sassafras root. :shock:
I’m going to make mine with sarsparilla root, licorice root, mint, ginger, juniper berries, vanilla bean, a little hops, and whatever else I can think to throw in to make it complex. I don’t currently have any sassafras, supposedly it was used in place of wintergreen which I also don’t have. I’m going to sweeten with brown sugar and touch of fancy molasses. This is something like a recipe I saw online.
[quote=“CapnJB”]And be prepared to replace your beer lines. I put a keg of rootbeer on tap for my wife when she was pregnant. I cleaned and cleaned the lines but could still taste the rootbeer several kegs later.
Which, honestly, wasn’t horrible. :lol: [/quote]
No worries its a dedicated root beer keg and draft line. 20 feet of it actually.
Thanks for the feedback. In my mind I was thinking lactose and maltodextrine would have accomplished the same thing. And I think I have seen both in recipes.
So I took 8oz of dextrine, boiled it in some water and added it to the keg. Success. I now have a root beer sweetened with all honey and it has great body and mouthfeel. Thought I would pass it along if anyone wants a healthier root beer for their family.
Sounds good. I’ve made a couple of batches now and it has tasted quite interesting. Got some wintergreen for the last batch.
try steping a half pound of carapils in a gallon of your water then add to the brew. this will add body and head retention. i also add a couple oz.s of mollassas and a oz of real vanilla extract to the rootbeer extract mix.
i use Zatarains extract. it makes good rootbeer but like I said I add vanilla and mollassas. it is a good base but is overly spear minty.
I grew up loving birch beer.