Showing posts with label 5/10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5/10. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Brew It Yourself Root Beer - Second attempt review

If you've read my first review of this Firebox gift of Brew it Yourself Root Beer kit then you'll know it didn't go very well. The lessons learned that time were that maybe I didn't put enough root beer flavouring in and the dark cane sugar was just too much.

Homebrew Root Beer 2.0
I used the same still water in two 2 litre bottles but tried two recipes to make two different bottles and flavours. Both were made with:
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3 squeezes of honey (probably half a tbsp)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 unit of Root Beer flavouring extract supplied with the kit – actually I might not have used enough in the first batch as there was more left than I expected.
Left recipe had:
  • 33% vanilla cane sugar
  • 33% dark brown cane sugar
  • 33% normal white cane sugar
Right recipe had: 
  • 33% vanilla cane sugar
  • 67% dark brown cane sugar
Due to an old saucepan replaced I only had one 2.5 litre pan and one 2 litre pan so preparation got a little messy stirring the mixture to dissolve the sugar. The cinnamon might have been a mistake as it just floated on the top (my wife said I should have tea-bagged it – the cinnamon not…). After heating up the mixture and stirred it for a while it actually tasted ok. Warmed it up a little too much so it took ages to cool to the optimum temperature for the yeast (around 24C needed). In the end I was putting it in the fridge then the freezer to finish the job before bedtime.

I’d seen a YouTube video of an experienced root beer homebrewer and he actually added the yeast differently to the instructions given. So this time I added the yeast straight into the bottles and shook them up as per the video. After about 2 to 3 days both bottles were checked for their fizzy-ness then put into the fridge.

The results
I was expecting the Left bottle to taste better due to having less dark brown sugar but the root beer flavouring didn't come through, neither did the vanilla and the yeast didn't activate properly so it was instantly flat. The cinnamon flavour came through but although all flavours were extremely subtle there were small floaty bits.

Left recipe: 4/10

Right bottle was marginally better having a lot more fizz than Left (after being chilled it almost flooded my kitchen work surface). However, the root beer flavouring was too subtle and perhaps suffered from the bad idea of cinnamon. After two openings the carbonation had almost gone so a poor result.

Right recipe: 5/10

Overall, I think even though the cinnamon might have caused some flavour confusion it was the root beer flavouring that wasn't strong enough. Other causes could have been brewing it in 2 litre bottles instead of using 355ml glass bottles but that would have meant special capping equipment and saving bottles. Let's say I won't bother buying this again and with finding the actual natural ingredients to homebrew this properly I might as well let the experts peddle their wares.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Carters Root Beer review

After a tip-off from a Facebook fan I went to Asda supermarket to buy a six pack of this Carters Root Beer. At £1.40 for six 330ml cans this is a bargain at just over 23p per can. Carters is made in the UK hence the price and should be supported otherwise Walmart has the power to sink these type of companies i.e. if the public doesn't buy it, they won't stock it. With over 500 stores in the UK that's a lot to lose.

If you remember how some of us in the UK got introduced to root beer then you would have had a McDonald's root beer. Well, Carters root beer is exactly the same taste - that medicine or Deep Heat cream smell and taste which haters will hate! Although this is not a diet drink you can taste the saccharin sweetner slightly which becomes more apparent as the drink gets warmer. If it was a wine it would be the house wine of a cheap restaurant. The best way to drink it is as cold as it can get, with ice in a frosted glass.

Because of its excellent value for money, being a British product and easy to get hold of this is the standard or the mid-point where root beers should be measured. Any gourmet, low-production, imported root beers should be better than this (and normally are).

It would be great if Carters could market and produce a vanilla version but with the UK soft drinks market as it is the investment and risk looks doubtful.

I rate this bargain beer:


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Drive-in Style Dog 'n' Suds Root Beer review

Dog n Suds drive-in diner.
Dog n Suds drive-in diner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nice colourful label with a cute hot dog or should that be dawg. A little web research reveals that its a small chain of drive-thru restaurants in the US Midwest named Dog n Suds.

However, this is possibly the blandest tasting root beer yet. The flavour is drowned out by the fizzy water and there was no frothy head to speak of, as claimed by their Wikipedia page but obviously greatly exaggerated.

Bought from Cyber Candy's website for £1.79 for a 355 ml bottle.

I rate this dog of a root beer:


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