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Sir_Robdog

Sweet sarsparilla

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Hi,

I recently made a ginger beer from scratch using just ginger, sucrose, maltodextrin, cream of tartar and yeast. I fermented it out and bottled it with it being about 4.5? ALC/vol. I found it quite nice as it was carbonated perfectly and had quite a fiery bite however it was not at all sweet due to the yeast eating all the sugars. I have some ingredients for a homebrew attempt at making sarsparilla. I would like this one too be slightly sweeter. I am not keen on using artificial sweeteners as I do not totally trust that they are safe. I also can't use lactose as one of my friends is lactose intolerant. From what I have been reading heating the bottles to kill the yeast may be the best option. Has anyone done this before? I am concerned that heating the bottles may lead to them cracking or exploding due to the internal pressure increasing. On the flipside has anyone cooled bottles to kill yeast? Or does anyone have an idea on how to sweeten?

Cheers,

Robin

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Hi Sir Robdog,

 

You could rule out chilling to kill the yeast, as even if you freeze it, some yeast will survive.

 

Heating to kill yeast after carbonation has reached the right levels is pretty risky, looks like with a quick google, it's pretty common for bottles to explode with this process.

 

Adding sugar syrup when you open it to drink is one very safe option!

 

Adding a lot of complex unformentable sugars, like maltodextrin would help, but not sure if this is to style for this drink. Possibly molasses might leave some unfermentable sugars as well but will leave some pretty significant flavours too.

 

Cider brewers are faced with the same challenge. Commercially, the sweet cider makers would pasteurise the whole batch, then force carbonate and bottle like a megaswill beer producer.

 

 

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Hi Sir_Robdog.

 

Using simple sugars such as sucrose/dextrose as a brewing ingredient tends to dry the end beer if too much is used. I would look to minimize it's use here & sub it either completely, or with a large percentage of malt extract. Given what you're making, you may even be able to get away with an amber malt extract that will carry some obvious sweetness.

 

The other thing to look into is the yeast you use. Try using a lower attenuating yeast that inherently leaves more body behind in the beer. With more body, generally comes more sweetness.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Lusty.

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Thanks Headmaster, I think you are right. It is a bit too dangerous to attempt to pasteurise my sarsparilla. Sadly force carbonating isn't yet an option for me. I was planning on using honey, sucrose and a little bit of molasses as fermentables which would leave a little residual sweetness from the honey. Lusty's idea sounds good I might drop by the LHBS tomorrow to see what low attenuating yeasts they have. I will also look into adapting the recipe to include amber malt.

Cheers for your help guys I will let you know how it goes ????

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a little residual sweetness from the honey.

 

I don't think it would, honey is fully fermentable.

 

BTW what is your home brewed Sars recipe?

 

You could make it like a traditional ginger beer.

Bottle with a fair amount of sugar into PETs and put in the fridge when they become firm. I did that with a non alcoholic ginger beer and it worked.

 

http://www.afarmofyourhome.com/growing-your-own-ginger-beer-plant/

 

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My recipe is something along these lines. I am just doing a 5l batch so if it goes badly I don't have to drink too much of it :)

 

Sarsaparilla 5L recipe

 

500ml amber malt or brown sugar

125ml molasses

125ml honey

5 tbsp sarsaparilla powder

1 tbsp ginger powder or fresh ginger

1 tbsp licorice powder

1tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod

3 star anise pods

Ale yeast

 

Add water 1L simmer with sarsaparilla powder, ginger powder, licorice powder, vanilla and star anise for 20 mins. Add fermentables and stir in till dissolved heating only if necessary. Add to fermentation vessel. Top up to 5L with water and stir till homogenised. When temperature is in acceptable range add yeast. Ferment until Sg is constant over a couple over 3 days. Add to bottles prime with sucrose and leave for 14 days. Drink.

OG Roughly 1.045

 

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Sucrose is no more of a simple sugar than maltose is. They are both disaccharides. Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose, while maltose is made up of two glucose units. Simple sugars are the monosaccharides, such as glucose (dextrose).

 

It (sucrose) does dry the beer out, though.

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How did it go?

 

My recipe is something along these lines. I am just doing a 5l batch so if it goes badly I don't have to drink too much of it :)

 

Sarsaparilla 5L recipe

 

500ml amber malt or brown sugar

125ml molasses

125ml honey

5 tbsp sarsaparilla powder

1 tbsp ginger powder or fresh ginger

1 tbsp licorice powder

1tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod

3 star anise pods

Ale yeast

 

Add water 1L simmer with sarsaparilla powder' date=' ginger powder, licorice powder, vanilla and star anise for 20 mins. Add fermentables and stir in till dissolved heating only if necessary. Add to fermentation vessel. Top up to 5L with water and stir till homogenised. When temperature is in acceptable range add yeast. Ferment until Sg is constant over a couple over 3 days. Add to bottles prime with sucrose and leave for 14 days. Drink.

OG Roughly 1.045

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