Root Beer, Yeast and Fermentation

Root Beer Sweetness and Flavor Intensity

Problem

I wanted to learn how to make root beer.

Hypothesis

If I add more sugar and use a sour extract, then the taste will be closest to our control, store-bought root beer. After 7 days of fermentation, I predict the “H3” sample will be most similar to our control sample.

Materials

  • 6 empty 2 liter plastic bottle

  • water

  • ale yeast

  • sucrose (table sugar)

  • root beer extract (brand Z and brand H)

  • 10ml graduated cylinder

  • digital scale

  • measuring spoon (¼ tsp)

  • 1000mL measuring cup

  • thermometer

  • small cups

  • large mixing container

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Procedure

  1. Dissolve 0.25 g (1/2 tsp) of yeast in 250 mL of warm water (37ºC). We let this mixture stand for 5 minutes.

  2. In a large plastic container, combine 40mL root beer extract and sucrose (45 g for bottles #1/#4) with 1000 mL of warm water (37ºC) to dissolve the sugar. Bottles #2 (have 70g of sucrose) and #3 (have 95g of sucrose).

  3. Add the yeast mixture. Make sure that the yeast is suspended completely before adding it. Mix thoroughly with a giant spoon.

  4. Add additional 1000mL warm water to the solution.

  5. Wash the soft drink bottles well with detergent and hot water. Rinse with a 5% bleach solution to sanitize. Finally, rinse several times with warm water.

  6. Fill bottles with the root beer formula, up to 2.5-5 cm from the top. Tightly secure the caps on the bottles. Lay bottles on their side to check for leaks.

  7. Repeat these steps for all 6 bottles. Bottles #1-3 used extract Z. Bottles #4-6 used extract H.

  8. Age the bottles for 3 days at room temperature (65 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep them in a cardboard box.

  9. After 3 days, move the bottles to a cooler (50ºF), dark place. The total aging process took one week.

  10. Taste the products after 7 days. Record taste results in data table.

Results

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Conclusion

The results of my project did not support my hypothesis, my hypothesis turned out to be one of the lowest likes. The best ones were H#2 & Z#2. I wonder if adding half the amount of yeast and 10 mL more extract would make it taste better. In addition to making root beer, yeast is used in making bread and wine.