Homebrew Root Beer, version 1

posted in: Recipes | 2

bottle of root beerRoot Beer, version 1 (1 June 2008)

Boil the following ingredients:

6 oz Sassafrass tea extract (Saffrole free! This is important!)
1/4 oz Anise seeds, ground to a powder
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 qts water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and add:

2 qts water
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
4 drops Wintergreen Essential Oil (dissolve in 2 tsp of Honey first)
Ginger bug(*)

(* The ginger bug is a wild yeast culture grown with sugar and grated ginger root — I’ll do a separate post about growing that. It’s necessary for fermentation.)

bottle of root beerI’ve let mine brew for 6 days so far, and cracked open my first bottle yesterday, and second bottle today. I have one last bottle in the fermenter (a cabinet) right now, which I’ll pull tomorrow, to see if 7 days makes a difference.
The flavor is pretty good – the molasses flavor is a little too heavy, but it carbonated well and had a nice foamy head. I’m going to try using half as much (1/8 cup) next batch. The wintergreen wasn’t prominent enough, so I’ll try increasing that by 50% (6 drops). The sassafrass flavor was very abundant as well, I can probably scale that back a little bit. Beyond those three alterations, this was remarkably good for a first batch — if I were to give it to someone without telling them what it was, they would surely know it was Root beer.


So changes for version 1.1:

  • 1/8 cup Molasses
  • 6 drops Wintergreen extract in 3 tsp of honey
  • 4 oz Sassafrass tea extract

2 Responses

  1. JoshC

    So, was there ever a version 1.1? How did it turn out with the changes? What brand of Sassafrasss tea extract did you use?

    • Aaron

      I never got around to brewing a second batch, but if I was going to make another, I would use less ginger, maybe just using the sassafrass tea instead of ginger to make the bug. I forget what brand of tea I used, but I just bought it at the supermarket, so it wasn’t a particularly fancy kind.