Sep. 27th, 2006

Butterbeer

Sep. 27th, 2006 01:03 pm
projectspace: (woozle)
Wanted to get this train of thought down before I forgot it.

I've always been a little dissatisfied with the Butterbeer recipes found on the intarwebz. They all seem to be along the lines of "add butter/butterscotch syrup to cream soda or root beer". That's butterscotch cream soda, not Butterbeer. I've been considering making my own sodas (several methods put forth on the web sound fairly easy, with the greatest difficulty lying in the ability to find high quality extracts in the flavors I want), and butterscotch was sort of on the list, so proper Butterbeer seemed like a logical step from there.

A couple things collided in my various and sundry researches over the last couple days: there was mentioned, on one of the Make Your Own Soda sites that hops is one of the ingredients in root beer. Butterbeer is at least slightly alcoholic (Winky gets rather drunk off it), so the possibility of actual butterscotch-flavored beer wasn't too far from my mind in the first place. Especially since one of the best soda-making tutorials I found on a Google search came up from Brew Your Own, a homebrewing magazine (the library subscribes). Right, off to the Florilegium Beverage archive for a look at the brewing threads. Wherein I found that the Medieval definitions are (generally) that ale is an unhopped malty brew thing, and beer is a hopped malty brew thing. In the 1400's (well before the Secrecy Act and separation of the wizarding world from the Muggles), the Brewers Guild petitioned the Mayor of London to ban brewing with hops. The Beer Brewers Guild and the Ale Brewers Guild were separate until the 1500's (still before the Seclusion). Hops were a beer component before wizards left the Muggle world, and thus were known to wizard brewers (and used by them) at time of the Seclusion. The key is that Butterbeer is indeed a beer.

That all leaves us with a definition of Butterbeer as a hoppy, malty, butterscotchy brew thing. Probably don't want to drunken up the kiddies (plus, beer brewing sounds rather effort-intensive); better to leave it as a soda than let it ferment. So...a syrup base with hops, malt (malted milk instead?), and butter/butterscotch as flavoring mixed with soda water? Which is a little better/more accurate than "make butterscotch-flavored root beer". I think.

Someday I may even get off my lazy ass and try this. After I get off my lazy ass and make Cinnamon Vanilla soda, the desire for which kicked off this entire line of thought in the first place.

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