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How to Make Birch Beer

Learn how to make birch beer from scratch, and you can brew it easily at home. For trying out homemade birch beer recipe, you will need birch sap, some birch twigs, honey, yeast and bread. Read on to know more.
Tastessence Staff
Root beer and birch beer are common supplies that almost all of us have in our pantry. But, homemade beer tastes something more special to beer lovers. Brewing homemade root beer is not new for people, who are fond of trying new drink recipes. Even the tips to make birch beer are not so difficult. What concerns a home brewer is the additional ingredients required in birch beer recipe. Yes, you may find it difficult to gather the supplies used in brewing this soft drink at home.
Tips on How to Make Birch Beer
In making birch beer, fermentation of the base ingredients is a basic step. So, what are the supplies required for brewing birch beer at home? Needless to mention, this soft drink is based on the sap of birch tree. The sap is collected during specific months of the year, when the plant sap flows freely. For the same, identify the sweet birch tree, and cut a small twig. Insert its cut end inside a bottle and attach it to the tree. This is a practical way to collect sap dripped from the twig without wasting.
In case, you don't have a sweet birch tree, or are making birch beer in winter (when the tree is in dormant state), consider purchasing pure sap from the grocery store. If you can't find it, replace birch sap with maple syrup. Other than the sap or maple syrup, you will require some birch twigs of a few inches long, honey, soft yeast and bread. Honey and birch sap provide the raw materials to initiate fermentation, which is carried out by the yeast spread over bread. Detailed info concerning the required ingredients and step-by-step procedure for making homemade birch beer is discussed below.
Ingredients for Birch Beer Recipe
  • Birch sap or maple syrup, 2 gallons
  • Sweet birch twigs, 2 quarts
  • Pure organic honey, ½ gallon
  • Soft yeast, ½ cake
  • Toasted rye bread, 1 slice
Steps for Brewing Birch Beer
  • To start with making of birch beer, keep measuring cups, a large crock (large enough to fit birch twigs), a saucepan and strainer at a handy place. Hoping that you are ready with these equipment and the above listed ingredients, let's move on to the preparation process.
  • Rinse the sweet birch twigs thoroughly under running water and scrape of the outer coating with a kitchen knife. This will expose the inner cambium layer that contains maximum sap. Add these twigs into the crock, and keep it aside in a safe place.
  • Depending upon whether you are using birch sap or maple syrup, add the liquid and honey in the saucepan. Heat this mixture over high heat setting, until it reaches boiling temperature. Reduce heat to medium low and continue boiling for 15-20 minutes.
  • Following the boiling step, carefully add the hot concoction in the crock that contains sweet birch twigs. Allow this mixture to cool down for about 50-55 minutes. Then, using the strainer, you can remove the twigs one by one.
  • The next step for making birch beer is preparing the soft yeast. Place the rye bread over a platter, and apply the soft yeast evenly over it. The yeast will stick to the bread substrate, which is better than adding yeast directly in the mixture.
  • Finally, introduce this bread in the liquid concoction. Ensuring that the mixture is cooled down to room temperature, seal the crock properly. Very soon, fermentation process will start inside the crock. Allow it to carry on for a week, and then open the seal to check your birch beer. You may be interested in knowing more on root beer vs. birch beer.

So, this is how you can brew birch beer at home. Using maple syrup also taste great, except that it is less flavorful. Of course, the birch twigs impart mild flavor to the drink. In order to enjoy best tasting birch beer, chill it in the refrigerator before serving. Also, you should keep this homemade beer in a cool and dark place for storing. Otherwise, high temperature will spoil the soft drink and render a rancid taste.