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Roots and extract - sources please
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

I've been doing some home brewing with root beer extracts and I'm ready to move on to experimenting with my own recipes, but I'm having a really tough time finding extracts.

The recipes in the Stephen Cresswell book call for fresh roots, but I'd be happy to find good extracts, preferably all natural (given no other option I'd even settle for artificial if the flavors were accurate).

I have only found: anise extract, vanilla extract

What I'm still looking for: sassafras, sarsaparilla, licorice, sweet birch, wintergreen.

If you know of sources for any of these extracts (or actual roots for that matter) please share pass them along!
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

For aromatic herbs and spices such as wintergreen and star anise, it is usually most economical to use essential oils and not extracts. It is important that the essential oils be FOOD GRADE or USP. For non-aromatic herba such as sarsaparilla and licorice, I recommend dried herbs and not extracts. You can find online sources by googling.

For sassafras, you may have to use the dried herb because sassafras oil is a controlled substance in the USA. You may be able to buy sassafras oil in another country, but if customs catches you, you might go to jail.

Read previous posts.
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

OK, I found some licorice root. There are no local sources for food grade essential oils and I'm not having a lot of luck on the internet (at least determining which ones are food grade). Do you know a good one-stop supplier for food grade essential oils? Also, I'm starting to lean toward wintergreen over sassafras and sarsaparilla, if those prove too elusive.

So now I'm looking specifically for: anise, wintergreen and (if possible) sassafras and sarsaparilla.

I've also notice yucca as an ingredient on some natural root beers, any idea what's up with that?

Thanks,
Kellan
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

In partial answer to my own question, I found a good source for essential flavoring oils and extracts:

AmericanSpice.com

I ordered food grade essential oils of anise, licorice, wintergreen, sassafras and birchbeer extract. Can't wait!

Kellan
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

I have ordered from here:

http://www.lorannoils.com/Products.asp?CategoryID=2&SubColumnName=EssenOils

Not all essential oils in the above list are food grade, but the ones that are are identified as "Food Grade" on the fourth line of their pages. Essential oils of possible interest in this list are:

anise
clove
ginger
juniper berry
nutmeg
wintergreen

I just found this:

http://www.faeriesfinest.com/essential-oils.html?gclid=COf8hMaOmooCFSAnSgodMnbohg

I just found a source of star anise oil which is prefered over anise oil for rootbeer:
http://www.naturesflavors.com/default.php?cPath=190


I also just now found this source. Food grade oils are identified by "FCC":
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl;jsessionid=ac112b321f43eb1c0af2d4434e78b3b6db62e9ee8435.e3eSc38TaNqNe3yObh0NaNiTe6fznA5Pp7ftolbGmkTy?c=ACCT12807&sc=2&category=59

Oils of interest here are:

birch (practically the same as wintergreen)
corriander

They also have tinctures, including Sarsaparilla and wild cherry bark, but there is not much info and I have no experience with tinctures.

Another for star anise oil:
http://store.scent-works.com/essentialoils.html

Sassafras and sarsparilla herbs:
http://www.herbco.com/bulk_herbs/bulk-herbs-su.php
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

Thank you very much! Those are excellent sources, especially the ones with larger quantities for when I'm ready to move up to larger brews.

Kellan
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

Can you tell me about the quality of the Loranoils' wintergreen? The stuff I just got from American Spice was terrible. It had a nauseating (non-wintergreen-like) smell that completely overpowered the flavor and made it unusable in a beverage. Very disappointing.

Kellan


[quote="aruzinsky"]I have ordered from here:

http://www.lorannoils.com/Products.asp?CategoryID=2&SubColumnName=EssenOils
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

Quote:

Can you tell me about the quality of the Loranoils' wintergreen? The stuff I just got from American Spice was terrible. It had a nauseating (non-wintergreen-like) smell that completely overpowered the flavor and made it unusable in a beverage. Very disappointing.

Kellan


I have never tried Loranoils' wintergreen, but I have tried wintergreen oils from different sources and there was practically no variablity. I suspect that your expectations may be incorrect. Essential oils, in general, and wintergreen, in particular, are very strong and must be greatly diluted for food use. Wintergreen oil should be diluted at around 1 drop per gallon of water. It is important that you read detailed instructions here:

http://www.root-beer.org/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=257&sid=2b8358bfbb0e186d1cb1aeb56506d6f4
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

Thanks for that feedback. I had no trouble with the sassafras, licorice or anise oils I tried but the wintergreen, at 1 drop in 8 oz of water, produced almost no flavor, but a repulsive formaldehyde-like odor.

I was mixing it by spoon, so perhaps I need to use a blender to judge better. Or an emulsifier like alcohol. Am I correct in understanding that gum arabic can also be used as an emulsifier to dissolve oils into water?

Thanks again,
Kellan
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

A formaldehyde-like odor is bad at any concentration. It should smell like a wintergreen Lifesaver. I guess your order from Lorann won't be wasted.

I doubt that gum arabic can be used to disperse essential oils. The most popular commercial method is to dilute with propylene glycol which you can order from

http://www.bestdeal.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

Ooh... I'd prefer to avoid working with antifreeze, if possible.

I think I'll try dissolving some oils into a bit of Everclear. That's what the local brew pub told me they use to emulsify oils for their birch beer. When I asked about alcohol content in the final product they said it works at low enough quantities that their sodas have a lower alcohol content than orange juice. But they couldn't give me a rule of thumb as to how much I should use, since they always brew in very large batches. Any idea?

Kellan
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

I suspect that you are confusing Propylene Glycol with the substantially more toxic Ethylene Glycol, both used in antifreeze.

Propylene Glycol is widely used in food and generally recognized as safe by the FDA.

Everlcear is fine. You can use 90% everclear so 10 drops solution equals 1 drop essential oil.
  
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KellanH
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots and extract - sources please Reply with quote

OK, I've made a couple of batches from scratch now. The first wasn't bad, but gave me enough information to make a pretty tasty second brew. The LorAnn oils seem to be good quality. I repent of my complaints about the wintergreen from AmericanSpice. As aruzinsky indicated, wintergreen oil is just so potent that I wasn't getting the true flavor because I was trying to use way too much.

I blended the oils in a little water with some gum arabic and a glycerin-based vanilla extract and they seemed to disperse well. Force-carbonating at 30 psi provided a good fizz and the gum arabic made for a nice, foamy head.

I guess I'm on my way.

Kellan
  
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steveb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please bear with me....I've been reading some of the older posts trying to find which essential oils I may want to purchase to fine tune my root beer recipe. This post lists some oils and some links to purchse them, but I have never purchased or used oils, and I have some additional questions:

1. What are the main oils should I be looking for? This post mentions Anise, Star Anise, Clove, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Nutmeg, Wintergreen, and then also Birch, and Corriander.

2. The lorannoils website has choices af Ess Oil, Flavor, or Oil Natural Is there a preference of one?

3. In a different post, (was it aruzinsky?) that mentions adding 2 drops wintergreen oil, 1/2 drop allspice oil, & 1/4 drop anise oil to Big K Red Cream Soda. How can I find allspice oil, and - This may be a dumb question, but how do you add a 1/2 or 1/4 drop?

Any help would be appreciated.
  
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aruzinsky
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveb wrote:
Please bear with me....I've been reading some of the older posts trying to find which essential oils I may want to purchase to fine tune my root beer recipe. This post lists some oils and some links to purchse them, but I have never purchased or used oils, and I have some additional questions:

1. What are the main oils should I be looking for? This post mentions Anise, Star Anise, Clove, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Nutmeg, Wintergreen, and then also Birch, and Corriander.

2. The lorannoils website has choices af Ess Oil, Flavor, or Oil Natural Is there a preference of one?

3. In a different post, (was it aruzinsky?) that mentions adding 2 drops wintergreen oil, 1/2 drop allspice oil, & 1/4 drop anise oil to Big K Red Cream Soda. How can I find allspice oil, and - This may be a dumb question, but how do you add a 1/2 or 1/4 drop?

Any help would be appreciated.


1. Yes.

2. Only use essential oils sold for food use, at least, when serving to other people. For personal use, use other grades completely at your own risk. Most "flavor oils" are artificial flavors without any kind of standardization therefore there is ample opportunity for the manufacturer to cheat the buyer. In fact, the strawberry and raspberry flavor oils that I last purchased from Loran were less than 1/10 th the strength of the same flavors that I previously purchased from Loran. I will not buy flavor oils from Loran again.

2. E.g, to get approximately 1/4 drop, dilute 1 drop with 39 drops of alcohol and add 10 drops of the mixture to whatever. And, I am not suggesting that you throw the other 3/4 drops away. Anyway, you should use a carrier solvent such as alcohol to facilitate dissolution in water.
  
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