일요일, 9월 25, 2005

Homemade Root Beer

I just finished mixing up my first batch of homemade root beer. I made it using regular Fleischman’s yeast and McCormick’s Root Beer Extract, which I picked up in the U.S. It’s really easy to mix up—I took my time, and was done in fifteen minutes.

Basically, the process is as follows:

Mix 1 tablespoon extract with 2 ½ cups sugar. Add 4 litres of spring water, and mix until dissolved. Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm (85-95 degrees F) water

After tasting the pre-yeast mixture, it didn’t seem very special, so I added a bit of pure vanilla to give it some creaminess. It also crossed my mind that root beer is made from different tree bark extracts (wild cherry bark is listed on the McCormick’s bottle), and I’ve also tasted Birch beer, which wasn’t quite as good, but still worth trying. Why not make a sort of Canadian version of root beer, with maple syrup? There was a little left after I was finished filling the bottles, so I mixed it with a bit of maple syrup and tried it. It was different, but not too bad! I’d like to say that I’m well on my way to inventing a new beverage, but a quick Google search revealed that others have gone before, with little success. (I found one maple-flavoured root beer on a “worst beers” website!)

I’m imagining that it would be possible to make ginger beer the same way, just with ground/sliced ginger instead of extract. You could put all sorts of other things in there too, to spice up the mixture: cinnamon, fenugreek, etc. I’d like to try some Korean roots and herbs—perhaps ginseng root beer should be my next invention! I’d also like to try some other extracts—Hires, Zatarains, and any others I can find. The shipping to Korea would be outrageous, though!

David B. Fankhauser has perhaps the best site for homebrewing soft drinks His page about root beer is very detailed and illustrated with useful photos (http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/ROOTBEER_Jn0.htm ). He also has several pages about cheesemaking, but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve wondered a little why it is nearly impossible to find root beer here in Korea, unless you’re connected in some way to a US military base. It’s pretty much unknown here—even web searches in Korean yield few results. Well, this summer we took some kids to Canada and I bought them some root beer. They tasted it, spit it out, and refused to have any more. I guess that’s why no one sells it here.

Just before I left this summer, found some Bundaberg Ginger Beer (an Australian import http://www.bundaberg-brew.com.au/ ) at a very reasonable price in the Family Mart near Migliore at the Dongdaemun Clothing Market. I bought about half their stock and savoured every last drop. I also found it available online at Jung Imported Foods (http://www.jungfood.com). However, when returned at the end of the summer, they no longer carried it. It’s a real shame, because it was the best ginger beer I’ve ever had. If you can tell me where I can find it, you’ll make me a very happy man! Until then, I guess I’ll just have to brew it myself.

3 Comments:

At 2:43 오후 GMT+9, Blogger Dale said...

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At 6:51 오전 GMT+9, Blogger kwandongbrian said...

skindle,

I see you have your fill of spammers, too. I hope the 'word verification' helps. It's stopped spam on my site...so far.

Korea had a beer called 'Genus' that was ginseng flavored. The bitter of ginseng went well with the beer's natural bitterness. I know that's not the same as root beer, but they have tried ginseng here.

You once offered to share some of this beer, or another homemade product. Email me a brianetcetera (at) hotmail (dot) com.

 

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