How To Make Homemade Root Beer

Homemade root beer is flavored using an extract made from the root of the sarsaparilla plant, a trailing tropical vine, of the Smilax genus, that grows in America. The recipe below is typical of soft-drink recipes of home brews.

Root Beer Recipe
4 pounds granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry baker's yeast
5 gallons lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm water
2 ounces root-beer extract

Put the sugar in a 10-gallon plastic pail, and pour in the root-beer extract. Mix thoroughly, to distribute the extract as equally as possible through the sugar granules. Mix the yeast in the cup of lukewarm water, and allow

it to stand for 5 minutes. (Don't use more yeast than the recipe defines; if you do, the drink would be unpalatable and excessive gas pressure could develop in the bottles.) Pour 4 3/4 gallons of lukewarm water from the tap into the pail to dissolve the sugar. If stronger flavor is wanted, reduce the sugar to 3 1/2 pounds and the water to 4 gallons. Add the yeast mixture to the sugar mixture, and mix well. The next step is to siphon
the beer into a 5-gallon carboy. Allow the mixture to rest for an hour so that any sediment (which could affect the beer's flavor) would settle. Then, using the siphon hose or a bottle filler, fill 12-ounce carbonated-beverage bottles to within 1/2 inch of the top; more air space could cause spoilage. Seal the bottles using a hand capping machine and crown bottle caps.

Store the bottles on their sides in a warm place away from drafts till you see bubbles forming. Root beer should be ready to drink approximately 5 days after bottling (longer in cool weather). After 5 days, place a bottle in the refrigerator; chill thoroughly, and taste the root beer. If the carbonation is suitable, put the other bottles in a cool place with an even temperature. Just prior to serving, refrigerate for a short time to make the root beer very cold and to prevent excess foaming. When home-brewed beer is served, fill the glasses or the pitcher in one pouring to avoid agitating sediment.

Makes about 5 gallons, or approximately 50 (12-ounce) bottles

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