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Old 20-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
Jazz
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Default Alcoholic Root Beer, Birch Beer and Dandelion and Burdock

Just wondering if anyone has made any of these ?

I have a few recipes but they're mainly for soft drinks. I suppose you just let it ferment longer + maybe add more sugar to make it alcoholic ?

It seems quite challenging to make a soft drink that doesn't explode. So better to let it ferment fully.

They tend to be made with ale yeasts but I suppose you could use cider, wine or champagne yeasts ?

I'm tempted to give the River Cottage D&B a go....

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... rdock-beer

American Root beer you really need Sassafras root bark which I can get from a herbalist (not cheap though). Wintergreen (a bit like Vicks) is often used but not available as far as I know.


Birch beer sounds interesting but I have no idea how it's made... Sarsaparilla is very similar to Root Beer (interested in that as well).....

Love to know your ideas ?
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Old 21-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Alcoholic Root Beer, Birch Beer and Dandelion and Burdock

if using yeast and not drunk straight away the yeast will eat all the sugar turning the drink dry. to sweeten use lactose or artificial sweetener, Ginger beer is a good shoe in to alcoholic sweet drinks, using an artificial sweetener or lactose u can ferment all the sugars safely bottling and priming as usual without fear.
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alcoholic Root Beer, Birch Beer and Dandelion and Burdock

I suppose you could brew with malt so it would produce a sweet taste ?

I don't like the idea of adding artificial sweeteners. I guess that's how they do it commercially though ?
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alcoholic Root Beer, Birch Beer and Dandelion and Burdock

lactose (milk sugar) isnt fermentable and weight for weight is about half as sweet as granulated sugar, its available in most brewshops, 500g is enough to sweeten 20-23l of g/beer to my taste. mot sickly sweet... any malt extract you add will ferment so wont add sweetness, but malt extract will make an excellant base for ginger beer.

the recipe i now go with is
2 x tins of light malt extract
500-750g ginger grated finely
juice from 4-6 lemons
grated peel from 2 lemons
few cloves
500g lactose
all boiled for 30 mins with as much water as possible in a pan on the stove, then strained into a fv with 10l of cold water and topped up to full volume with water washing thru the sieve.

for an extra kick add no more than 1 TEASPOON of hot chilli powder.
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Old 22-09-2015, 08:19 PM   #5
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I do dandelion wine and dandelion mead every year. Your supposed to pick them on st. George's day for some reason. Which I have done for 3 years now.

Have also tapped a birch tree first time in January early Feb. But haven't tried it yet. Tasted foul when bottled. Tasted lovely raw but not at all as sweet as I thought it would be.
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Old 22-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #6
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Oh and burdock can be confused with poisonous plants so be careful. I've not found any yet in 3 years of looking.
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Old 26-10-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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I know this is an old thread but is anyone planning on tapping a tree after Christmas?

I've already scouted the ones I'm going to tap.

Going to use a larger drill bit this year though.
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