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Brew Your Own Root Beer With These Easy and Unique Recipes

Root Beer Recipe
Yearning for a chilled, foamy and sparkling beer!!! Learn about a few homemade root beer recipes, and make it all by yourself to taste its uniquely rich flavor.
Divya Bichu
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Root beer, also known as sarsaparilla, is a beverage made from the roots of the sassafras plant which gives it the primary taste, but it is also complemented with a lot of other spices which adds to the taste. Root beer is also referred to as small beer. It is carbonated, sweetened and frothy. It is very popular in countries like America, Britain, Ireland and the Philippines. Most other countries have their own versions and names of root-based beers, and very rarely call it root beer. There are two versions of this beer, one being alcoholic, which contains about 0.4 - 3% of alcohol, and the other non-alcoholic, which is diluted into carbonated water and served as a soft drink. Thus, it can be consumed by adults as well as children. There have been a number of stories regarding the brewing of root beer, but no standardized recipe. Root beer has a truly unique taste, sparkling, and with the slightest hint of alcohol it tastes great!!
How to Make Root Beer from Scratch
Root beer float
  • 1 oz. dried sassafras root bark
  • 1 oz. dried birch bark
  • 1 oz. dried sarsaparilla roots
  • 2 oz. dried licorice roots
  • 1" of fresh ginger
  • 1 split of vanilla bean
  • 1 gallon of filtered water
  • Clean soda bottles
  • Flavored sugar
  • Yeast
  • Dry funnel

Put the first six ingredients together in a medium-sized pot and bring it to boil. Now reduce the flame, cover the pot with a lid, and let it infuse for two complete hours. Filter the root infused liquid into a plastic container. Discard the solids. Add some more water to this mixture, just enough so that the mixture turns from a dark brown to a slightly lighter color. Stir it well and let it cool.

While the mixture cools, gather some plastic soda bottles, rinse them and see that they are dried well. Add two cups of flavored sugar (molasses) and dry yeast into the root infused liquid and set it aside for 30 minutes. (Sugar quantity can vary as per sweetness desired).

The fermentation process will begin. The yeast will eat up the sugary molasses resulting into carbonation and making the mixture slightly alcoholic. Now fill this liquid into bottles using a funnel. Be careful not to fill the bottles completely up to the top, but just a little more than half. Screw the lids and place it at room temperature for about 12 hours to let it ferment completely. After 12 hours, refrigerate it for 3-5 days. During this time, the root beer's character changes leaving it mildly and slightly alcoholic at the end of fifth day. The beer is ready, enjoy the frothy chilled beer.
How to Make Root Beer from Extract
Cold root beer
  • 1 cup table sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of root beer extract
  • Yeast (fresh)
  • Freshwater
  • Dry funnel
  • Clean soda bottles

Using a dry funnel, add a cup of sugar to the bottle (Sugar level can vary with the sweetness desired) and yeast. Ensure the bottle is clean, washed and dried properly. Why we insist on cleanliness is because, bacteria can thrive on unclean surface and spoil your root beer, hence making it taste nasty. Now shake the bottle thoroughly so that the grains are mixed evenly. Add 1 tablespoon of root beer extract and fill the bottle with fresh filtered water, just a little more than half. Leave about two-inch head space. Shake the bottle properly so that the grains dissolve completely and become one with the mixture. Set the bottle aside at room temperature for one day so as to let the mixture ferment properly. The fermentation process will only result in carbonation and impart the required alcoholic taste to the mixture. Thereafter, refrigerate the beer for one day, and your beer is ready!
Tips to Make Root Beer More Interesting
  • Licorice: Adding a few sticks of licorice to the mixture while cooking enhances the taste of the root beer. Discard the solid waste (undissolved pieces) after filtering the mixture.
  • Herb Teas: Add these herb tea bags to the cooking malt. That's because it's the spices make all the difference in the root beer and makes it more interesting.
  • Storing: Root beer gets better with storing. Store in a cool and dry area for the fermentation to take place properly. Also make sure you store it in a plastic bottle. Storing the beer in a glass bottle can cause the bottle to explode, and refrigeration makes the fermentation process slow. The beer is only going to taste like heaven if you let the fermentation process take time, and refrigerate it just before serving.
  • Avoid Popping: The fermentation process definitely causes splash when you try to open the bottle. Therefore, always crack the lid a little to release the agitated pressure slowly. Popping causes the root beer to lose the carbon dioxide making it bland to taste.
  • Hops: Hops are tiny little flowers that give the beer its bitter taste, making the beer taste strong and crisp.
The ingredients required for making root beer are easily available in every household and it's fun to brew beer at home. So get going, select one the above recipes and invite your friends for a beer party. Root beer is a hit at every party and best when served along with pizzas and burgers. Remember to serve over ice.
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