Saturday, October 3, 2009

Batch #3

This is my third batch steeping on the stove.

4 Tbsp sassafras
2 1/2 Tbsp sarsaparilla
1 tsp licorice root
2 Tbsp cherry bark
4 Tbsp birch bark
1/2 tsp burdock
1 Tbsp yellow dock
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 gallon water
1/4 cup dregs from bottle of previous batch

Using the settled yeast from a bottle I'd just drunk worked just fine. It was foaming from sitting at room temperature when I put it in. I let this batch brew for four days before refrigerating. After two there was almost no pressure or bubbling in the bottle I opened. Two more days and it bubbled vigorously without gushing. Once chilled, it isn't as bubbly as it could be, so I think I need to get over my fear of exploding bottles and impatience and let it brew another day or so. It tastes adequately carbonated though.

The flavor of this batch is just the right strength. The increased sassafras and decreased sarsaparilla is a better proportion. Tastes like root beer! Though more herbal, slightly smokey, and nuanced than the commercial stuff. I don't miss the anise (but will probably try a stronger anise/licorice brew at some point.) I think I can stand to up some of the secondary ingredients, like the bitter burdock and yellow dock, for a more grown-up flavor.

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