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Aging with Sassafras root?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by fvernon, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. fvernon

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    Has anyone here tried aging with Sassafras root? I know, I know... it's got some chemicals in it that are known carcinogens, but given the extremely low content it'd take years of drinking the stuff to cause a problem.

    Anyway, I love the smell/taste and don't put much credence in the rumored health threats - at least not from the amount it would take to properly age a stout, baltic porter, or maybe a pungent west-coast style DIPA. Any of you try something like this out? If so, what has your experience been with various ounces/days of aging?
     
  2. atomeyes

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    great question.
    i am thinking of brewing a root beer beer and it would have sassafras in it.
    i was going to add it to boil with 10-20 min remaining (as per a root beer recipe i have). the quantity i'd need for 5 G of beer may be ridiculous.
     
  3. rocdoc1

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    Sassafras root contains the natural version of Xstasy- be careful with it. I didn't know that when we found some on a camping trip and made a delicious hot tea with it. I would probably use a commercial extract like Zatarains if I was going to brew a sassafras beer.
     
  4. WickedSluggy

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    You can make MDMA (Ecstacy) from safrole but usually it is used to make MDA (Eve)
     
  5. rocdoc1

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    Didn't know what it was that night but we sat on the bank of the pond feeding the mosquitos and giggling like idiots. A few days later I read that MDA is derived from sassafras root.
     
  6. fvernon

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    it's possible to purchase safrole-free sassafras... i wonder if you'd get any of the same flavor characteristics with that
     
  7. fvernon

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    starting a baltic porter brewed with blackstrap molasses and aged with bourbon-soaked vanilla beans and sassafras root today... it'll probably be a few months before i have a good update on how the sassafras aging is doing, but i'll give a shout-out when i know!
     
  8. Danielbt

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    How much sassafras root did you use? Did you go with the cut and sifted kind?
     
  9. fvernon

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    sorry it's taken a while to get back to ya... i used 3 strips of 3" x .5" fresh sassafras root that i toasted in my oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (they turned a nice golden brown and took on more of a root beer than licorice smell) as well as 2 madagascar vanilla beans that i previously had used to make a bourbon vanilla extract (so they'd been sitting in a bottle of buffalo trace for about 9 months) and racked onto them from the secondary into a different carboy. keeping it in my lagering fridge at 55 degrees; i'm going to check at the end of october, but i'm guessing that it won't be ready until late november - so updates will be pretty few and far between while this one sits. it's either gonna be a hot mess or really tasty...
     
  10. fvernon

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    It's now been 4 months and I finally pulled the porter off the sassafras and vanilla into a keg. Its fresh, but the sassafras worked incredibly well - a lot in the nose right now, but it's a very smooth root beer/anise/licorice/woodsy-spicy thing going with the sweetness of the vanilla beans and smooth bitterness of the baltic porter. Once it has a month or so to calm down, I think we've got a winner.
     
    ditch likes this.
  11. rocdoc1

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    But does it make ya see stuff that ain't there?
     
  12. fvernon

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    nope! no non-alcohol-related effects to speak of. i'm guessing it would take a heck of a lot of sassafras to get that - more than anybody would want if you're just looking for an interesting aroma/flavor addition to a beer.
     
  13. ghostinthemachine

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    i know this thread is ancient but i was thinking of doing a brown ale, porter or stout with sassafras since it's all over the place. how did the beer finally turn out?
     
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