Sat 28 Feb, 2009 01:38 pm
What's your favorite recipe for home made rootbeer?
Myself and a friend are thinking about making some rootbeer and would like your advice and suggestions.
Root beer making is a warm weather endeavor. I believe my mother and her mother before instinctively knew that, and would make a batch of root beer when warm weather was afoot. Days should ideally exceed 90 degrees F.
However, I've tricked the root beer into thinking it's warm weather by buying a electric seed mat sold in seed catalogs and placing it at the bottom of a large pre-warmed cooler, enough to fit a batch of root beer. ( I make 2.5 gallons at a time, which is a half bottle of concentrate sold in most grocery stores. It fits perfectly in an extreme cooler.) This keeps the ambient temperature hovering over 80 degrees with the cooler lid closed and results in a very satisfying taste. Three days will be sufficient and then chill immediately.
I buy a case of 24 plastic pint water bottles, which will supply you with the 2.5 gallons of water needed. I strongly recommend using these bottles versus glass. The plastic bottles easily handle the pressures that build up during the aging process, as long as you allow about 1 and 1/2 inches of airspace. You must not overfill.
As for the yeast, there is much debate. Purists insist on expensive champagne yeast. Most people I'm sure simply use the dry yeast found in grocery stores, such as Red Star or Fleishmann's. I've used bread machine yeast with great results. I needn't tell you the yeast must be fresh, whatever you use.
I've been making my root beer for several years now, and always plan on having a fresh supply for our family reunions. It gives me great pleasure to hear someone tell me that it tastes just like grandma's used to.
In a large tub:
-some Root Beer powder from the brew store
-1 part water
-1 part grain alcohol
-2 parts bourbon
-5 lbs of dry ice to chill and lightly carbonate
Not really root beer at all, but darn tasty. Makes a halloween party really neat with a bubbling cauldron of tasty potent punch