Root Beer

I made my first batch of root beer today. For 7L I used:

  • 3cups cane sugar
  • 2oz sarsaparilla
  • 0.8oz wintergreen leaves
  • 0.25oz licorice root
  • 0.5cups honey (added at end of boil)
  • 2T molasses
  • 0.25t nutmeg

The recipe is a simplified version of this person’s. I boiled for about 45 minutes, cooled, and pitched a little less than a quarter teaspoon of champagne yeast. It tastes pretty good, but perhaps too sweet. Next time I might tone down the cane sugar and bump up the licorice. The sarsaparilla tastes and smells absolutely wonderful! I sourced the licorice, wintergreen & sarsaparilla from Northern Brewer.

March Pump Mount and Splash Guard

Tonight I made a mount for my march pump which protects the pump and lets me hang it off the side of my brew stand.  Typically I set it on an upturned bucket which works just fine, but this doesn’t involve building something!

The sheet metal is from a piece of air ducting with its edges folded over.  The hook is a piece of flat iron bent around a punch.

Kettle False Bottom Demonstration

I did made a Classic American Pilsener today which used 5oz of hops. I was very patient with letting the trub settle out after whirlpooling and got some nicely clear wort. In order to get a better whirlpool I removed the chiller and let the pump go for a few more minutes.

The kettle's false bottom caked with trub

Clear wort when filtered through false bottom

The false bottom did a great job of keeping hops out of my fermenter, too, but this is approaching its limit before it plugs up. I made a Pliny the Elder clone last year with ~10oz of hops and the false bottom clogged up bad. Holes scraped for the wort to flow through would quickly plug up and i eventually gave up and poured the kettle into the fermenter.

Berliner Weisse Part 2

The spots that once dotted the top of my berliner weisee disappeared one day and were replaced by a greasy smear. There are still bubbles on top which indicates a slow ferment. Wyeast correctly recommended a long aging period with the 3191! I don’t know what’s left for the yeast to much on, really. I taste-tested the beer last week and it’s very good. It has tartness from both the lactobacillus and the brettanomyces; there’s straight-up sour plus a light citrusy funk.

It remsembles a fuzzy white oil slick