I promised that I'd post an update about the 4th and final bottle of homemade root beer:
If you remember, we made this batch about 6 weeks ago (see all the photos in this post). The first bottle wasn't carbonated at all because I refrigerated it too soon. The 2nd and 3rd bottles were better, but still not fantastic root beer - they were quite sweet and sugary.
This bottle went in the fridge the same time as the 3rd bottle, and just sat there for over a month. I opened this bottle a few weeks ago, and it was OK.
Then it sat and sat.
I cracked back into a few days ago, and it had gotten better. I was afraid it was going to taste too "sharp" because too much alcohol had built up, but that wasn't a problem (I don't think that will happen in the fridge). I took a few drinks and it had a "deeper" flavor that any of the other bottles. Then I put the cap back on and gentle shook it up because there was a little "yeast sludge" that had settled on the bottom. When I opened it back up again, it actually spewed foam everywhere! It had a great head!
So it still was far from the best root beer I'd ever had, but it got a lot better just sitting for longer, letting the yeast do it's thing.
I have ingredients for 1 more batch, and I might try adding some different flavorings to each bottle. Or letting 1 bottle stay out and ferment for twice as long as they say. Or other experiments like that. Any ideas for me to try? Leave a comment.