So I tried making root beer Friday. I’m still waiting for carbonation to finish in the bottles, then we’ll see if it’s any good. I’m hoping it is, but it seems a little heavy on the sarsaparilla. If I make it again, I think I’ll filter it through some cheese cloth. There seems to be quite a bit of debris that escaped my mesh sieve. Overall it should be pretty good though… I hope. It smells really good either way.
2c. shredded, sifted sarsaparilla
6″ vanilla bean
8 quarts of water
24 oz Dark brown sugar
Ale yeast (you can use bread yeast)
Add sarsaparilla, vanilla bean and water to an appropriate sized vessel. Bring to just before a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on low heat. The water should turn a dark orange color and have a strong sasparilla smell, if it doesn’t, add more sasparilla.
Cover and let sit off the heat for 30 minutes.
Continue cooling your brew to around 75°F. Either naturally or in a cold water/ice bath for the vessel. Be careful with glass vessels as they will shatter with temperature changes.
While cooling add 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast to 75°F water in a teacup to proof.
Once the brew is cooled, sanitize a vessel and strain the brew into it. I suggest a stainless steel mesh strainer and sanitized cheese cloth (to get the little bits).
Aerate the brew either with a pump aerator or with 3 – 5 minutes of virgorous shaking.
Add the yeast to your brew and agitate.
Let sit with the yeast added for 10 – 15 minutes covered, to avoid contamination.
You should have about 22 – 12oz bottles and caps sanitized and ready
Fill bottles and cap.
Wait 2 – 5 days for appropriate in bottle carbonation to occur, the refrigerate to halt yeast activity. I usually do about 3 small bottles as testers for carbonation.