Learning how to make root beer can be a great way not only to save money from buying too much A&W, but learning the right way to make great homemade root beer can also provide you with a great drink and impress friends with your root beer brewing abilities. While many people envision making root beer as a very difficult and drawn out process, nowadays making homemade root beer actually doesn’t have to be that hard, especially if you use a quality root beer extract.
If you want to make root beer, you will need several things. Any good home made root beer brewing kit will include: root beer extract, cane sugar, baker’s yeast, cold fresh water, clean bottles, clean bucket/barrel (that can be covered), and a dry funnel. While it can be difficult, keep everything as clean as possible. You make root beer at home through fermentation, and anytime there’s bacteria involved you want to keep it as clean and isolated as possible.
The first step is simple: follow the instructions on the root beer extract bottles exactly, keeping in mind the size of the containers you will need. Often times home made root beer is made in batches of five gallons or more, so you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment handy or else your brewing root beer experiment could end up just being a really awful mess.
Aside from batches, you can also scale down the ingredients to attempt a bottle by bottle brewing of root beer, but it’s recommended that you get down learning how to make larger batches of home made root beer before you try to jump to trying the bottle by bottle method. Many instructions for how to make root beer include amounts like “dissolve 5 gallons of sugar into 5 gallons of boiling water” so be well aware ahead of time what you need. Experiment in the future by adding honey, molasses, brown sugar, or any type of sweetener you want to get the right flavor of homemade root beer.
The next step is fermentation. Add your baker’s yeast (ale yeast often works the best, though the option really is up to you) to your boiled sugar water when the temperature is warm, but not hot, at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Fermentation for large batches will take around 12 hours, as the bacteria eats the sugar and causes carbonation.
After the initial fermentation is over, bottle it. A funnel is the old fashioned way, if you have a bottle filler, that’s even better. Be sure to tightly cap the bottles to keep the home made root beer from being exposed to air. Then chill for a day and enjoy! That’s a cold refreshing drink of homemade root beer that you deserve!