So last year for Christmas my aunt gave my younger brothers (identical twins a.k.a. The Twinners) the Mr. Root Beer Kit. I thought it was funny because I’m the one so into root beer but whatever, it uses plastic bottles and extract anyways so I wouldn’t really drink it. Fast forward to Nov. 5th, day of the launch party for gourmetrootbeer.com, my parents told me that my younger brothers didn’t want the Mr. Root Beer kit and that I could have it. Well, that didn’t seem right to me, plus I’ll only drink from glass bottles (or on tap from kegs, or growlers). I noticed that The Twinners had some empty spring top bottles and the idea hit me, we can just make it in those. But, I’d need more time. So I told my parents that it would be a great family (or brotherly) activity and we’d do it over Thanksgiving break. In that time I acquired another spring top bottle.
So this last Wednesday, after dinner, I announced that it was time to make root beer. The Twinners gathered and we began to read the instructions. We didn’t have any dark brown sugar so a quick trip to the store was in order. Then it was back to work. My Mom thought it would be a good thing to video tape for a family memory or something (I may post it here someday), so we had to wait again for her to get the camera on the tripod. The next half an hour was spent over dramatically reading the instructions, adding the ingredients, improvising song and dance routines about what we were adding, and generally having way too much fun making root beer. We then bottled our results and left them in a cabinet in the laundry room.
After two days the few plastic bottles that we had used were nice and firm so we brought them to the refrigerator to chill over night. Then, yesterday we popped open the bottles with BBQ’d burgers and chicken to try this stuff out. I had another spring top bottle this morning just to confirm my thoughts.
Well, the Body is not very sweet. This makes sense since there is only 2 cups of sugar for a gallon of root beer, but the yeast that you add eats a lot of that. It also wasn’t very creamy and was kind of watered down. The core root beer flavor was there though. There wasn’t really much Bite at all, which was a shame. The Head was decent considering it was only allowed to sit with the yeast for 2 days. The plastic bottles seemed to give better Heads than the glass spring top bottles. The glass bottles had the classic Two Second Head but then still had a lot of carbonation. The Aftertaste was slightly fruity root beer flavor. If you poured out the entire bottle though, the yeast solids that had settled would then get stirred up and you would have a very yeasty root beer, which was pretty nasty.
So overall it was a pretty fun experiment even thought the result was rather subpar. Since we can make another batch, we are going to try that over Christmas vacation. Of course I’m going to add additional seasonings to fix the shortcomings so hopefully we get a better brew. As it stands, just following the recipe the way we did, it only gets two kegs.