Table of Contents
Alcohol creates alcohol chemistry
Once you understand why root beer doesn’t contain any ethanol (alcohol), it becomes much easier to prepare, since all you need is water, caffeine, and sugar.
The main component of root beer is carbon dioxide. Carbonation happens when you mix air into your beverage through some form of agitation–in this case, the tight-knit community of bacteria that lives on top of your tongue.
You can consider your saliva to be your own personal still for making dry ice. You breathe out nitrogen gas, or CO2, which is what makes your soda and brews fizzy.
Your mouth is full of tiny bubbles containing oxygen, so we give your drink a little kick start with a few quick puffs on a cigarette.
That breaks down the carbon dioxide from your breath into carbonate, which is what gives ales their effervescence.
However, this process needs to happen fast, so make sure the temperature in your room is as close to freezing as possible.
Freezing liquid works even better than smoking powder!
Different alcohols create different alcohol derivatives
All alcoholic beverages contain some form of ethanol (alcohol), also known as drinking water for those who drink it. In fact, up to 3% of our weight is made from the alcohol content in our fluids.
This universal ingredient transforms into another substance when we drink it, which allows us to have effects similar to narcotics – without any illegal drugs!
Drinking too much can result in a hangover state due to how our bodies handles substances that mask pain receptors.
However, since root beer does not contain acids, there is no loss of function like there would be with alcohol-based drinks. Studies show that root brew acts similarly to herbal teas, including peppermint–which has become one of the most popular home remedies because of its effectiveness at treating headaches.
Many people think that root beers are better than traditional ales because they’re more flavorful, but the truth is that their flavor profiles just happen to be less masked. That being said, if you want your palate to enjoy all that amazing flavor, then by all means, visit your local brewery or food establishment and buy a few bottles.
Alcohol imparts flavor
Aside from its fun flavors, alcohol is a natural mood booster. When consumed, alcohol affects our bodies naturally by causing some of the neurotransmitters in our brain to function differently.
Specifically, ethanol (alcohol) slows down the processing of certain neurochemicals in your brain, such as dopamine and serotonin.
These two chemicals are responsible for conveying messages between brain cells that help us feel happy or sad, excited or calm.
By slowing this process, alcohol prevents these chemicals from carrying their “message” to other neurons and instead causes them to stay inside the neuron where they were produced.
This means that when we consume alcohol, those previously mentioned Neurotransmitters remain within the neuron where they were made and cannot be sent away from there to another cell.
Thus, drinking alcoholic beverages can boost mood because it leads to the production of more serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine are also known as happiness hormones because of their increased levels resulting in a happier state of mind.
Alcohol acts as a preservative
Another benefit of alcohol is that it acts as a natural antioxidant. You might know that your drinks should be both sweet and sour, but did you know that ethanol (the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages) helps protect your cells from oxidative damage?
Oxidative stress has been linked to many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and others. By drinking alcohol, you can lower risk for several types of cancer due to its anti-oxidation properties.
Drinking also offers benefits such as improved skin quality and function. Your skin protects itself by killing off damaged cells. But when there’s too much inflammation, dead skin cells can break down and become visible, contributing to fine lines and dry skin.
Alcohol helps reduce inflammation throughout your body. It also contains sulfur compounds that work like botulism toxins, breaking down clots in your blood. This action also lowers risk for artery blockage.
Alcohol slows the fermentation process
During the fermentation of root beer, the yeast consumes the sugar in the honeydew melon, which provides both the sweet taste and carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the finished beverage. However, if alcohol is added to the mixture, the yeast goes into hibernation, preferring an absence of ethanol instead of encountering it. This causes the fermentation process to stop before all of the sugars are consumed, resulting in an overly tart or dead-tasting drink.
To avoid this, brewers add a few specific enzymes at specific times that break down some of the carbohydrates in the honeydew without causing significant fermentation.
However, these enzymes aren’t necessary for producing good root beer, they just prevent your beverage from becoming too flat. With practice, you will be able to produce excellent results regardless of the method used.
Alcohol affects the physical structure of the beer
Although alcohol is widely available, it can have several negative effects on the body.
Long-term use of alcoholic beverages is linked to various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is why these products are considered unsafe for most people.
Alcoholic beverages contain a chemical called ethanol. When eaten or drank, ethanol is broken down into sugar in your blood. You may not notice this process because the amount of sugar you store varies from person to person.
For some people, when they drink enough alcohol, it causes them to lose control of their insulin production. This is how many people become diabetics after long-term drinking.
Alcohol interacts with other chemicals
While most water-based beverages do not contain alcohol, many alcoholic drinks include soft drinks or hard lemonades because of their popularity.
Alcohol interferes with the taste perception of ingredients such as sugar, flavorings, and acids. For example, alcoholic beverages contain higher levels of citric acid than nonalcoholic versions due to the acidic nature of hops – the plant used to produce beer.
Because of this interference, there is little sense in adding alcohol to something if you don’t plan to add much else to it. Water is generally an inexpensive ingredient that contributes very little to the overall cost of the beverage. By adding high quantities of alcohol, you end up paying more for your juice (or soda) then what you would buy it for at retail price.
This adds up to why you won’t find much good booze at a Dollar General store.
Alcohol causes foaming
When making root beer, it is very important to avoid alcohol which can cause your tea to foam up when you add it. Too much alcohol can prevent the beer from reducing properly.
Also, different kinds of alcoholic beverages contain different amounts of alcohol. A medium drink contains about 2–3 ounces (60-90 ml) of liquor, so if you’re drinking smaller measures like shots or mixed drinks, that could increase the amount of alcohol in your glass.
A large body of research shows that chronic exposure to ethanol (alcohol), either acutely or over time, is toxic to most organs. This includes the liver, pancreas, heart, and brain.
However, because root beers do not normally contain high levels of alcohol, there are no reported health concerns.
In fact, recent studies suggest that with enough exercise and adequate nutrition, alcohol consumption may be healthy for some people.
This appears to apply particularly to white wine, table beer, and sweet dessert wines such as Riesling and Muscat honeydew.
Others have greater risk factors for developing health problems related to alcohol use. These include age, weight, gender, ethnicity, family history, and historical patterns of addiction.
It is also important to note that medications affect how our bodies react to alcohol. So even if you don’t have a medical condition, talking to your doctor about their recommendations may help.
Alcohol increases beer density
Before alcohol was popular, people would gently simmer their root beers to see if they could get them warmer. If they added more water, they would become hotter — but most of them did not really need it.
Alcohol makes your root beer taste better and richer, but only when you use enough to achieve a noticeable effect.
When used generously, alcohol gives depth of flavor that helps extend other flavors. However, overuse can make your root beer flat and thin, with little distinction between this and that or one-dimensional.
At its extreme, overusing alcohol can turn what might otherwise be good tasting notes into something fit for drinking tobacco juice.