Root Beer Recipe From Scratch

Root Beer Recipe From Scratch


welcome friends since we started making
pop a lot of people have been asking for
a root beer and I’m about eight
variations in at this point and I think
I’ve got something that works pretty
well so I’m gonna show that one to you
today in this pot I put 1 liter of water
and some ginger that I have chopped up
fairly fine
now you could grate the ginger if you
wanted to just to extract it a little
bit more flavor and I’m going to put in
one cinnamon stick and yes I know this
isn’t true cinnamon
this is cassia if you can get true
cinnamon use it but I think the cassia
actually brings the punch to this that
we’re looking for so I put this in a pot
and I’m going to bring this up to a boil
and I’m gonna boil it for two to three
minutes to extract as much flavor as I
can from those two ingredients now we’re
gonna talk about the roots since this is
root beer now this is sassafras and
sassafras is the major main flavor
component in root beer and I saw a lot
of root beer recipes out there on the
internet and in books where this was the
only ingredient beyond sugar and water
relied extremely heavily on this one
flavor and I thought it made a pretty
good tasting beverage but I wanted a
little bit more complexity so I started
looking at other recipes that added
other roots and the next most popular
route is sarsaparilla and if you watched
a lot of old westerns you would know
that the cowboy would go in and he would
ask for a sarsaparilla and that is a
variation on root beer that is only made
with the sarsaparilla root and I like
the flavor of both of these next flavor
component thing going to use is licorice
root you know what licorice tastes like
that sort of anise seed dark sweet
flavor and then I’m gonna put in some
wild cherry bark now other components
that I saw in a lot of recipes and I
tried and I didn’t like was birch bark a
lot of people put in burdock root or
dandelion root or all three of those and
I thought they brought kind of a an
extra bitterness that I didn’t want
in my root beer so that’s the
combination of roots that I landed on
and I would suggest that if you’re going
to make root beer go out and look at all
of the recipes and take each of the
individual roots and make a cup of hot
tea with it
put in a little bit of sugar and taste
it just so you can get an idea of what
that individual root tastes like and
what it’s going to bring to the eventual
end product I think that’s very
important to sort of understand what all
of the components are and I’m also
giving you this by weight I came across
a lot of recipes that said to use a
tablespoon of this and a tablespoon of
that and that’s great but not all of
these roots are ground to the same way
or chopped the same way and so you would
get a big variation in the amount of
flavor that you’re going to get in the
end result which isn’t good either
weight is always going to give you the
same amount of flavor so this has come
to a boil it’s boiled for a couple of
minutes I’m going to turn it off I’m
going to take it off of the heat and I’m
going to add these in I’m gonna give it
a stir and then put the lid back on and
I’m gonna let that steep for 15 to 20
minutes just to extract the flavors now
this is where I diverge from a lot of
the recipes that I found I tried it by
putting all of the roots in and boiling
it like I was told for 10 15 20 minutes
and then letting it steep for 2 or 3
hours and I found that it extracted an
astringent see almost a bitterness well
a lot of tannins that caused an
unpleasant feeling in my mouth that I
just didn’t like a flavor that I didn’t
like it wasn’t bright and it wasn’t
cheerful like a root beer should be and
I found that if I never boiled the roots
if I boil the water and then add the
roots and only let it steep for 15 to 20
minutes you’re going to get really nice
bright flavors without sort of the
tannic astringency so we’re gonna let
this go 15 20 minutes and then we’re
going to strain it out
okay smells amazing now we need to
filter out the solids and this is a very
important step if the solids stay in too
long they will continue to release their
astringency and over time it’ll start to
taste really dull so we need to strain
them out and we’re gonna use a fine mesh
strainer to get the big bits out look at
that color
great now that we’ve got the big bits
out we’re going to strain it through a
coffee filter now I have used paper
coffee filters I’ve used double
thickness paper coffee filters I’ve used
double thickness paper cup four filters
with this micro mesh filter and I found
that the micro mesh filter on its own
gets just as much as the paper filters
or any combination thereof so we’re
going to pass it through the coffee
filter great now I’m gonna put a lid on
this and I’m going to chill this as
quickly as possible in a cold water bath
I’m going to bring the temperature down
fast and that’s going to help whatever
is left in here to precipitate out
it’s almost as effective as a filter and
in some ways it’s our second or third
method of filtration and as soon as
that’s done we’ll move on
okay now that it’s chilled down we need
to sweeten it and we’re going to use two
different types of sugar but first we’re
going to very carefully pour the chilled
liquid into this pot and you don’t want
to swirl it you want to pour very
carefully because at the bottom there’s
going to be quite a bit of sediment left
and we don’t want to transfer that to
the pot
okay what’s left in there is sediment
and that will just make the drink bitter
we don’t want that now next in is the
sugar we’re using two kinds of sugar and
I found that sugar for pop making seems
to be very vexing to a lot of people the
first thing I’m going to put in is brown
sugar and we’ve got this on a
medium-high heat
and we just want to bring this up to a
low simmer so that we can dissolve the
sugar into the liquid
we don’t wanna bring it to a boil again
because that could introduce bitterness
just a low low simmer and I’m using
brown sugar a lot of the recipes that I
found use brown sugar or molasses or a
combination of brown and white sugar or
just white sugar or white sugar and
molasses it was all over the map and I
think it comes down to the flavor
profile that you’re looking for I’m
looking for that little bit of caramel
flavor that comes from the brown sugar
so I’m using all brown sugar as the
sweetener if you want to use another
sweetener a non sugar sweetener like
stevia I’m sure that’ll work I don’t
know what the proportion would be this
is something that you can play with and
make it as sweet or not sweet as you
want but know this if you’re going to do
this as a naturally carbonated root beer
which is part of the process that we’re
going to move on to stevia won’t work
the yeast needs sugar
so as this comes up the temperature I’m
gonna put in lactose and obviously if
you’re lactose intolerant you’re not
going to put lactose in I’m gonna put
lactose in for a bunch of different
reasons I use it in actual beer brewing
down in the brewery and as much as it’s
a sweetener it’s not gonna bring a whole
lot of sweetness to this drink
and so the lactose is going to do a few
things for us the first thing it’s going
to do is it’s going to give that nice
white creamy frothy foamy head that we
all associate with root beer as it
spills over the top of the glass in all
of the advertising the second thing it’s
going to do it’s going to create a nice
unctuous mouthfeel a really luxurious
kind of stays in your mouth mouthfeel
that we all associate with root beer and
as much as I said that it’s not going to
add a lot of sweetness if you end up
doing a natural ferment or naturally
carbonated version with the with the
yeast yeast don’t eat or the East that
we’re using anyway these that we’re
using won’t eat the lactose or milk
sugar which will in the end help to
preserve some of the sweetness okay I
think everything is dissolved and we can
pour this into this glass container and
I’m just going to let this cool before
we move on to the next step now there’s
one last ingredient and that is vanilla
extract now we’re gonna put in about a
tablespoon
I found that anywhere between a
tablespoon and a tablespoon and a half
gets you where you want to be and a lot
of people are gonna ask if you could use
vanilla bean and I’ve tried it with
vanilla beans I’ve tried it with double
vanilla beans I found that by the time i
steeped the vanilla bean to get the
flavor I wanted I pulled out too much
astringency from the roots and so the
best way to get that vanilla flavor is
with the extract that I found and you
give it a try if you want to try it at
home please do so that’s all mixed
together now we’re gonna diverge this is
your root beer syrup and you mix one
part of this with three parts of
carbonated water and you get a root beer
pop just like you would at the corner
store I’m also going to do a version
where we ferment it with our ginger bug
our wild ginger bug so in here I’m gonna
put about five hundred mils just like
that and the rest is going to go into
this jug
okay now for the naturally fermented or
naturally carbonated ginger beer I’m
going to use about a third of a cup of
my ginger bug and my ginger bug is is
pretty active it’s in good shape and I
think that should be enough to get us
where we’re going so I’m gonna put that
in and I know from previous test that
this yeast is only going to give me
somewhere between one and a half and two
percent alcohol by volume when it what
it ferments out I’m just gonna putting a
little bit more I think a little bit of
the yeast settled in the bottom and so I
want to put some more in okay stir that
in now I’ve got flip-top beer bottles
these are really strong actual beer
bottles that will take the pressure
there cleaned and sanitized yes of
course I’ve sanitized my bottles and we
just stir in the ginger bug to make sure
that it’s evenly distributed and then we
just pour it into the bottles now when
you pour it in you want to leave enough
headspace for the expansion of gas while
these ferment so I just bring it up just
a little bit past the shoulder and that
should be fine close it up and move
along okay so last one seal it up I’ll
leave these on the counter for two maybe
three days to allow them to ferment and
carbonate and then I’ll stick them in
the fridge and I’ll see you in a few
days and we’re gonna do a tasting of
both versions
okay so there is carbonation so this is
root beer two ways this is the syrup
that I’ve mixed with carbonated water
and this is the one that we put the
ginger bug in is it carbonated mmm not
so carbonated light carbonation so I
should have left it on the counter
longer oh but when you give it a moment
yeah
it is it is carbonated so that was three
days on the counter before I put it in
the fridge maybe four days would have
been better no so let’s taste it
color is different yes okay so I’ll try
this one first I’ll try this one first
it’s a very pleasant flavor
I think that one’s more rootbeer II
completely different our thing that we
drive missing root beer I would say that
one this one always a very pleasant
flavor it’s just super I think the so it
seemed to me the fermentation with the
ginger bug okay has taken some of the
chop flavors off the ones that use that
are there that initial oh this is root
beer that I’m drinking oh that’s that’s
a lovely root beer that’s full-on root
beer isn’t it this is this is something
that you would but that’s quite their
book it’s very refreshing and pleasant I
mean some more bubbles would be nice
they’re both great in their own way so
dare two more on the counter in order to
ferment that to bring up the level go
ahead I was gonna say we did a bunch of
did we do multiple different days in
this no I just put it over for three
days and said three days should be okay
so probably so I’m gonna I’m gonna pull
the rest of the bottles out of the
fridge heat them up again and just let
them come to room temperature go for a
couple more days and then put them back
in the fridge which is something you can
do to test your fermentation as you go
along anyway so this is a very basic
root beer recipe and there’s so much
more that you can add to it as you as
you look at the labels of other root
beers there’s so many other things that
people put in it other than just the
roots so there’s aniseed or I mean like
they’ll put in a whole bunch of other
things and we put licorice root in here
so the anise seed would bring that
licorice flavor up yes it would sort of
enhanced that but I think that is sort
of the classic root beer flavor that
most people mm-hmm now we need to test
it against other root beers so I’ve got
a half-dozen other root beers and we’re
gonna do we’re gonna do a taste-off
between all of them so come on back and
and see that video and give this recipe
try thanks for stopping by
again soon
you

100 thoughts on “Root Beer Recipe From Scratch

  • Thanks for watching. If you liked it – subscribe, give us a thumbs up, comment, and check out our channel for more great recipes. Please click that share button and share with your friends on Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook.
    ^^^^Full recipe in the info section below the video.^^^^

  • Hello! How are you? How could we prepare non-alcoholic beer? And how much time or days it takes to turn into alcohol?

  • Hello! How are you? How could we prepare non-alcoholic beer? And how much time or days it takes to turn into alcohol?

  • Love your vids man. I love root beer so much (i call it super water) and i will attempt to make my own once i get ingredients in a few days. Wish me luck!

  • I might be off track here, my 8 year old had me look up root beer and they quit using sasafras I am sure I am spelling it wrong because it kills your liver and some other medical problems.

  • So 3 days with the ginger bug did not produce much carbonation. Yet when making ginger beer, 2-3 days was perfect. So perhaps it was how much of the ginger bug you used? Or perhaps the strength of the ginger bug varied from the ginger beer batch you made? Is there a way to test the ginger bug ahead of time to know how much and how long to allow it to ferment?

  • Downloading this Justin case of an apocalypse. That way I can make entire barrels of rootbeer to sell to other survivors, people will pay good for a taste of normal life in that kinda situation

  • You could boil the roots, by adding a bit of salt afterwards, since salt dismantles usually quite well some bitterness

  • Thank you ! I LOVE ROOTBEER! all by its self is great, and when I want a float I add Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla! that may not be gourmet enough for many, but its what I grew up with and I still love Blue Bell. I ought to get some free ice cream outa this for the plug, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Cheers and peace. May God bless you (?)

  • After watching several of your videos over the past few months I’ve now adopted a new hobby. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Is sassafras dangerous or not? Maybe just when eating the root itself. I know it’s main use now is for medicine but i also heard that it can cause cancer in the liver.

  • Unfortunately, in America at least, Sassafras root (or at least the safrole) is banned by the FDA for being a potential carcinogen. I personally don't agree with the ban but there's not much I can do.

  • As a recovering alcoholic, I would prefer the Root Beer and the Ginger Beer without the alcohol. How do I accomplish this?

  • Stevia – 6 – 8 drops/cup then add sugar to taste, to cut the carbs. Carbonation = Sodastream machine, no mess, no fuss

  • Great video, just something to note… licorice root does not have a licorice flavor…it was added to old tonics as it has medicinal benefits.

  • So, what happens to the Safrole that has leached out of the Sassafras? I've read that Safrole is a carcinogen that is linked to liver cancer among other things… Just curious???

  • When my dad was in Vietnam during the war his convoy stopped for some repairs and some guy jumped off the truck and ran into the jungle. He came back a few minutes later and was carrying some roots. He passed some around and told people to suck on them. It was root beer flavored. Maybe it was sassafras not sure.

  • The best "root beer" is Moxie. It isn't marketed as root beer, but it's still has a root-based flavor (it uses gentian root instead of sassafras root).

  • I'm a diabetic but I would like to make a truer root beer. For my children I would use your method all through. For me I may use agave. But would like to reduce the sugar can I do that?

  • Growing up we used to go from TX. to Louisianan to visit my Grand Parents every summer for 3 or 4 days . My Grandmother made her version of Root Beer which was Root Beer extract , sugar and Tap water!! It was so good over Ice or cold from the Fridge over Ice that as little sweaty running around outside kiddies me my brother's and cousins from the area we just swigged it all down she would have to use 3 or 4 bottles of Extract a day . She passed away and my Mom never made it or learned but I can still smell and taste it if I relax and think back !! Grand Parents never get enough time with their grand kids imho . If you still have GP call or go see them !!

  • The beautiful thing, is how much money 💰 we will save doing rootbeer ourselves! Oh, and the Kids are camped out on the kitchen floor the last 32 hours, but still excited!

  • Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it, you can change the flavor to an even better flavor if you can find good molasses. BTW, a good molasses is green in color.

  • Yeah, like everybody keeps large liter-size measuring jars and 5-gallon stainless steel pots laying around the kitchen.

  • Having never made from scratch root beer but from being in the soft drink business for around 30 years most soft drinks including root beer are brixed at a ratio of 5 parts water to 1 part syrup. Maybe if you mixed your syrup and water at that ratio you'd come up with a smoother drink, just a thought!

  • Instead of rounding up all of the different spices and roots. I just keep a bottle of root beer concentrate on hand. I use Zatarain's root beer concentrate.

  • Root Beer is my favorite. I think my favorite commercial brand is A&W they add a little vanilla to it and I think it really adds to it.

  • Root beer smells like germolene antiseptic cream from the UK and tastes absolutely awful , try IRN BRU you Americans will love it it's made from girrrrrdurrrrs in Glasgow

  • I can't believe this video came up in my suggested list. I was just talking to a friend last week about wanting to make root beer. I hadn't even looked it up yet. A & W brings back many happy memories for me as well. I hope you have the time to answer a couple of questions.
    Where do you get the roots from?
    If you were to make the syrup thicker would the naturally carbonated ones have a stronger flavor?
    Does the temperature of the kitchen effect the time you need to leave it out?
    Did 4 days end up being the best time to leave on the counter?
    I am subscribed now. Thank you

  • Did you try adding a shot of the root beer syrup to the final "not so rootbeery" ginger bug product. Light give a better rootneer flavor, if added at serving…

  • Cool 😎 video 📹 where did you get them brown bottles with lids! I always liked Rootbeer float! 🍦🍨🍧🍷🍹🍻🍺☕🍵🍶

  • And another good point you can reuse the same roots over a couple of times to get the rest of the flavor out of them!!

  • Loved the video, My Grandmother made Root Beerfor us when we were kids like when she was a little girl in the 1920s and she made it from Sassafras Tree Root basically a Sassafras Tea. We use Sassafras leaves in our Gumbos as a thickening agent.

  • this was a great find for me, well done info. my rootbeer tasted more like the yeast i used vs iingredients. how is your carbonated water system set up?

  • They used to sell "Root Beer" in MacDonald's years ago and it tasted like something you'd use on a scraped knee – Germaline? Awful. but a visit to the UK's only temperance bar, just a few miles from me – oh! That was totally different and surprising lovely. I no longer drink alcohol and so look for drinks to enjoy in their stead. Root Beer (soda) seemed the obvious substitute. Many suppliers of boozy drinks here in the UK are realising the decrease in alcohol consumption and going down the alcohol free beer and lager journey. But there has to be other options rather than just making booze free versions of the same drinks, it's like meat free sausages and burgers, why? Past encouraging meat eaters to try new alternatives it just tells me that veggies and vegan miss meat. So it's time to get inventive isn't it? Great video, thanks.

  • Many years ago i met a old guy. That was kind of a old Hippie from New Jersey and he claimed Northern New Jersey had some of the best Sasparilla trees for making homemade RootBeer and he still used his Grandfathers recipe and techniques that his Grandparents used i met this guy in a Hospital Setting. Where the two of us were actually going to Physical Rehab at i asked him to bring some in to taste and he told me he would love to but. He couldn’t because of the Alcohol Content in the Root Beer ! I never knew people Spiked Root Beer and he claimed that was part of making it the way his Grandparents did during Prohibition ! I always rewmembered that story as my now Ex Wife was from the very same area this guy said the best roots were and ironically those trees are actually in some of The State Parks and the Spike is basically a Rum Byproduct of the recipie Unfortunately i never did get the recipie from that guy and we parted ways After our Therapy was concluded. At that time ? In all honesty i cant even remember the guys last name as that was over 15 years ago my Father-in-law who is a very well educated Retired teacher and a history buff told me he did hear about those trees. Over the years as well !

  • Growing up we had 1 to 2 gallons in our kitchen under a counter and covers by a towel we had. We were not a huge pop drinking family but we did make root beer. Us kids maintained this after awhile. It was an interest treat to offer visitors “ Home made Root Beer”? Who asks or hears this question

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