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There is a softdrink I love called Fentiman's. They are made using a process they call 'botanical brewing' - as far as I can tell, it involves extracting flavors from herbs, then adding sugar and yeast. The resulting brew has alcohol, but not enough to be considered an alcoholic beverage (.5% or less).
Fentiman's seems to ferment for about 2 weeks, then is pasteurized (presumably stopping fermentation). Although, I've seen reconstituted yeast colonies in these bodies, so the yeast is certainly not all dead.
What I wonder is: what sugar content should I shoot for, and what kind of fermentation, to get to a final beverage that is under 2% alcohol for a 'botanical brew'?
My plan is to make tea first and then add in some sugar or juice and ferment. I'm considering also trying to add yeast to the whole herbs, I'm not sure if it'd be better than tea.
I can PC these jars before adding the yeast. How do other brewers add yeast to their brew? Is it as important to be sterile as with mushroom spores, so that I'll need to add the yeast in a still air box?
a 'rough' estimate is around 17g sugar per litre for 1% alcohol , bare in mind this is not including any sugars in whatever you are fermenting - i.e if you add say apple juice for some flavouring that is also going to contain sugars that will ferment. for a weak brew you can just use standard bakers yeast , just clean everything well in a weak bleach solution and make sure you rinse it well - theres no need to use a SAB in brewing. i'd recommend looking at and reading some homebrew forums.
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