From the HBD Archive
From: m14051@mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo)
Subject: Reply to Kiwi Questions
Date: 1990-01-17 14:17:34 GMT

>Date: Wed, 17 Jan 90 11:02 +1300
>From: "S. Travaglia, University of Waikato, New Zealand"
>
>1. Tell me, what is root beer?
> We don't get that over here; is it something like gingerbeer?

It is a non-alcoholic drink that is full-bodied and sweet and
creamy. A nice head to it, as well. A much nicer alternative to a
cola.

>2. Can you get beer "kits" over there. (This essentially gets rid
> of all the hops work etc; you just add sugar, water and yeast
> {and whatever else you want, caramel, lactose etc} and
> let it ferment, then bottle it. That is extremely big
> over here. {I don't know anyone who works with hops})

Yes, indeed many people do a lot of brewing with kits here, too. The
main problem is that you don't know what is in them. If you start with
the basic ingredients, you have more control over the result. Sort of
like cooking--you may start making meals from a box and end up actually
making them from real food :-). As a side note, I have found that most
kits have horrible directions on them; they never mention boiling the
wort and usually recommend adding sugar. I have made some really nice
beers with kits by adding malt extract and doing the regular boiling
and adding finishing hops.

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